Friends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River (Friends) seeks an inspiring leader, advocate and spokesperson for river and water resources to be its next Executive Director.

Our Organization

Friends is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to keep the North Fork of the Shenandoah River clean, healthy, and beautiful through education, science, advocacy and community action. The North Fork is 116 miles long, with a watershed covering 2,675 square miles of Rockingham, Shenandoah, Frederick and Warren counties in Virginia and Hardy County, West Virginia. Having just celebrated its 35th anniversary of river protection, Friends is financially stable and primed to grow its stewardship efforts.

Principal Responsibilities

Reporting to the Chair of the Board of Directors, the full time Executive Director works with the Board to develop the organization’s vision and strategy and is principally accountable for executing that strategy. The Executive Director is responsible for developing and overseeing programs and projects; executing a fundraising strategy and ensuring effective administration of organizational systems, program development, strategic planning, and fundraising. The Executive Director is also responsible for people leadership, supervising, coaching and coordinating volunteers and paid staff. As funding permits, it is anticipated that the new Executive Director will hire and manage additional staff and build a team to support programs.


The Executive Director will run and/or oversee programs in several areas:

  • Science. Coordinate our volunteer Benthic Macro Invertebrate monitoring and environmental science programs.
  • Education. Lead our Stream Team educational programming in collaboration with local schools and educators.
  • Regional Partnerships.Coordinate with Friends of Seven Bends State Park, an all-volunteer arm of Friends of the North Fork dedicated to the nearby state park. Carry out Friends’ obligations to the River Heroes quality assurance project plan, a regional stakeholder interview and behavior assessment project. Collaborate with regional governments and nonprofits to advance our mission.
  • Stewardship. Plan and carry out stewardship programming including occasional river clean ups, riparian buffer maintenance and plantings, etc.
  • Advocacy. Provide advisory information and recommendations to local town, county, state, and federal decisionmakers; inform and educate the public about watershed issues; and, promote best practices, stewardship, and increased awareness through grassroots engagement.


Friends offers a salary between $65,000 and $75,000, commensurate with experience, with bonuses determined on meeting benchmarks for earned grants, philanthropic giving, and successful programming. Friends offers a competitive benefits package.

Location and Travel

Employment will be in-person at our Woodstock, Virginia headquarters and will require travel in a personal vehicle, primarily within the Shenandoah Valley region. Approved travel expenses will be reimbursed.

Required Skills, Experience, and Personal Characteristics

  • Experience and commitment to developing and implementing water resources and river focused programs; advocating for best water and river management plans and practices;
  • Proven ability to build organizations and manage a team effectively;
  • Knowledge of financial management, including monitoring income and expenses, budgeting, supervision of bookkeeping, and regular financial reporting;
  • Ability to raise and leverage funds from foundations, corporations, and individuals;
  • Effective engagement with watershed residents, community and local government leaders, and other river and water resource focused NGOs; ability to inspire trust and confidence from all these stakeholders;
  • Proven ability to collaborate on program design and implementation with public, private and other non-profit sector partners;
  • Proven communicator with effective writing and public speaking skills;
  • College level degree in a relevant field or equivalent experience.

Preferred Skills, Experience, and Personal Characteristics

  • Experience in NGO management and building organizations;
  • Familiarity with bookkeeping computer programs such as QuickBooks;
  • Familiarity with the effective use of constituent management databases;
  • Demonstrated experience with fundraising campaigns and/or grant-writing;
  • Advanced degree in a relevant field or equivalent experience.

Desired Start Date: After January 15, 2024

Application Due Date: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis

Apply: To apply, submit a statement of Interest and Resume to our application form:

If you think you’d be a great fit, but don’t necessarily meet every single requirement, please still apply. We’d love to consider your application!

Equal Opportunity Employer: Friends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River, Inc., provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender or gender identity, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, national origin, age or disability in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws.

Inquiries:All inquiries about the position should be made to the Board of the Friends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River with emails addressed If you request accessibility assistance with the application process, please inquire.