Policy and Programs Director | Upper Mississippi River Basin Association

Posted on Jul 26, 2018

The Policy and Programs Director works collaboratively with UMRBA staff and partners to develop and advance the Association’s strategies related to integrated, balanced management of the Upper Mississippi River System. These strategies are currently provided in UMRBA’s 2012-2017 Strategic Plan.

Activities include developing regional resource policy positions and serving as an advocate for the basin states’ collective interests; facilitating and fostering interagency coordination, cooperation, and communication; tracking and analyzing river-related policy and management issues of interest to the states; communicating with stakeholders, the public, and the media about the Association’s work; preparing and administering grants; and providing staff support to federal and state interagency forums. The Policy and Programs Director works with relevant federal and state agencies, local communities, nonprofit organizations, industry, and other stakeholders on various river-related programs and initiatives.

The Policy and Programs Director is expected to seek new opportunities for UMRBA to serve its member states within a balanced management framework. The individual holding this position also represents the Association in various venues and assists the Executive Director in administrative matters as requested and provides staff support for quarterly UMRBA Board meetings.

Specific Responsibilities:
• Interagency coordination — facilitate interagency coordination and cooperation by providing staff support to standing groups, working with other partners on specific projects, etc.
• Staff support — provide staff support to the UMRBA Board and its standing coordinating forums. This includes framing issues, preparing necessary background information, facilitating discussion and joint action, planning meetings and training sessions, documenting meetings and group decisions, etc.
• Advocacy — prepare and/or guide development of UMRBA position statements, study reports, testimony and letters of comment, and other UMRBA publications and official correspondence.
• Issue analysis — track and analyze water resource issues of potential interest to the UMRBA. Assist member states in developing joint positions as appropriate.
• Report development — prepare various types of reports for the UMRBA depending on the issue area and objective. Some of these reports will be required under the terms of funding agreements, while others will be initiated at the request of the UMRBA Board or UMRBA coordinating forums.
• Communications — communicate, promote, and implement UMRBA’s priorities and positions on river issues.
• Oversight — hire and oversee any temporary project staff or interns as needed. This includes ensuring that the project staff’s work is appropriately scoped, timely, and of high quality. Currently there are no supervisory responsibilities.

• Grants management — prepare and administer grants, cooperative agreements, and other funding instruments through which the UMRBA receives support for activities. This includes scoping projects and timelines, developing budgets and staffing plans, writing proposals, and meeting all reporting requirements.

• Identify new opportunities — identify new ways in which the UMRBA can help meet its member states’ needs. This includes refining ongoing work as well as identifying possible new areas of endeavor and the resources needed to support new activities.
• Other duties — assist in other UMRBA issue areas as directed, support Executive Director in administrative matters as requested, and represent the Association in various venues as needed.

Policy and Programs Director PDF


• Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience in water resources, economics, public affairs, transportation planning, natural resources, environmental science/management, or related field. Advanced degree strongly preferred.
• Progressively responsible experience in water resources, public policy, or related area.
• Knowledge of interstate, river-related issues and federal legislative and budgetary processes.
• Excellent analytical, strategic planning, and communication skills.
• Excellent judgment and ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
• Strong interpersonal and team-building skills.
• Willingness and ability to travel, on average once or twice per month.


Employment Type: Full time
Salary Range: $48,600 – $64,800
Benefits: 25 percent of salary in lieu of pension and medical insurance
403(b) retirement savings plan (employee contributions only)
Paid holidays, vacation, and sick leave


United States

How to apply

Deadline for Resumes: Resumes will be accepted through August 17, 2018

Submit Resume and Brief Writing Sample to:

Kirsten Wallace, Executive Director
Upper Mississippi River Basin Association
408 St. Peter Street, Suite 415
St. Paul, MN 55102

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