Associate Director, Growing Water Smart

Fully remote position physically located within the State of Colorado.

Job Title: Associate Director

Organization: Growing Water Smart

Location: Fully remote position physically located within the State of Colorado.

Overview: Are you passionate about helping communities in the West become resilient to existing and future water challenges? Sonoran Institute is seeking an enthusiastic and committed Colorado-based (remote) Associate Director to join the Growing Water Smart team. Sonoran Institute’s “Growing Water Smart” (GWS) program trains and assists communities in ensuring that land-use planning, which largely determines future water demand related to urban growth and development, is sensitive to future water conditions and makes the most strategic and equitable use of that water. The Associate Director is responsible for building and managing projects such as the multi-day Growing Water Smart workshop and community implementation grants, the Peer-to-Peer Network of land use planners and water resource managers, and the creation of additional cutting-edge resources to support local governments and water providers in achieving water-smart growth. This includes organizing, marketing, attending, and/or facilitating events that encourage communities to use less water and approach water management holistically. The Associate Director will lead Colorado-based program activities as well as supervise and/or support program activities in Arizona, California, along the US-Mexico border and in other emerging geographies. The Associate Director is supervised by the Director of the Growing Water Smart program and will supervise the Program Associate. 

Come join an organization whose mission is to connect people and communities with the natural resources that nourish and sustain them. They envision resilient and sustainable communities living in harmony with the natural world, where flowing rivers and healthy landscapes enable all people and nature to thrive. The work transcends borders, bringing together diverse communities to promote civil dialogue about complex conservation issues that know no boundaries. All aspects of the work are guided by inclusivity and collaboration to create positive environmental change in the western United States and northwestern Mexico. 


  • Identify and oversee education and outreach activities designed to promote community participation in GWS and elevate the program’s profile among local and state officials, land use planners, and water resource managers. 
  • Serve as project manager for GWS projects, particularly in Colorado, including managing project tasks and timelines, coordinating and leading project management meetings, and tracking grantor deliverables.
  • Lead the curricular design, marketing, management, and facilitation of training workshops. 
  • Provide technical assistance to communities before and after GWS workshops. 
  • Present at various meetings, conferences, and other public venues.
  • Define research or other information needs to advance the program.
  • Advocate for policy changes locally, at the state level, nationally, and binationally, to advance the program. 
  • Contribute to the GWS peer network platform, as well as SI’s social media, on-line resources, and publications. 
  • Draft and manage vendor, consultant, and technical assistance grant contracts.
  • Support the preparation of program/project budgets.
  • Fundraise for program activities by preparing and reviewing grant proposals and reports, ensuring grant requirements are met.
  • Develop and/or manage relationships with prospective, current, and past workshop attendees; outside agencies; consultants; partners; and funders.
  • Manage 1-4 direct reports, including conducting annual performance evaluations.


Education and Experience

  • Master’s degree in natural or water resource management, public policy, environmental policy, sustainability, climate science, urban and regional planning, or related field and five years of work experience with increasing levels of responsibility in the fields of water and/or land use. Two years of additional experience may be substituted for a Master’s degree if in possession of a Bachelor’s degree.

Required Skills and Competencies

  • Program management skills, including ability to prioritize and balance multiple projects simultaneously. 
  • Designing and leading stakeholder or community engagement processes.
  • Applying creative and strategic thinking skills for problem solving and project conceptualization.
  • Developing grant proposals and ensuring compliance with grantor requirements.
  • Managing staff and conducting annual performance evaluations.
  • Commitment to natural resource conservation.
  • Proficient in principles of land use planning or water resource management.
  • General understanding of local, state, and federal land use and water policy.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, such as the ability to communicate complex ideas and information to a broad range of audiences.
  • Energetic, outgoing, flexible, creative, and a proactive problem solver. 
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office 365.
  • Ability to work independently and remotely.
  • Ability to travel by car or plane, occasionally overnight, and occasionally work on evenings or weekends, as needed.
  • In possession of a current, valid driver’s license. 

Desired Qualifications:

  • Spanish language proficiency.
  • Experience with website/digital/graphic design/video or other media tools.
  • Knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite, including InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop.
  • Knowledge of ArcGIS.

Salary/Pay: $46,500-$63,000 (based on qualifications and experience) 

Application Deadline: Open until filled

How to Apply: Please use the online application to view the full job description as well as how to apply.