Senior Program Manager, Oregon Policy

Wild Salmon Center Published: July 8, 2022
Portland, OR
Skill Level
Senior Level
Job Type
Natural Resources/ Restoration / Policy / Program Management

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Vice President of Conservation

The mission of the Wild Salmon Center (WSC) is to identify, understand and protect the best wild salmon ecosystems of the Pacific Rim. The Organization develops and implements practical strategies, based on the best science, to protect forever these extraordinary places and their biodiversity.

The Organization is a $9M international organization with a staff of 33 and programs in Alaska, the Russian Far East, Sakhalin Island, Kamchatka, British Columbia, and the California, Oregon, and Washington coasts. The home office is located in Portland, Oregon, in the Jean Vollum Natural Capital Center.

The mission of the Wild Salmon Center is to promote the conservation and sustainable use of wild salmon ecosystems across the Pacific Rim. We do this by establishing a local presence and/or providing technical and financial assistance to local partners to help them secure the health of the most productive salmon ecosystems on Earth. We depend on the best conservation science to guide pragmatic, implementable solutions to sustain wild salmonids, as well as the human communities and livelihoods that depend on them.

Position Summary

The Senior Program Manager, Oregon Policy position is a full-time, regular exempt employee eligible for all WSC benefits.The position is based in WSC’s home office in Portland, Oregon. This hire will be at the senior manager level and will work with other Oregon Policy staff and across WSC programs to advance protection of important habitat for salmonids. The Oregon Policy Program seeks durable policy-level changes for salmon, with a focus on broadly applicable habitat measures or significant public funding. The position involves working in coordination with various non-governmental entities, state and federal agencies, Tribal partners, and other local and regional partners. Some lobbying is required.

Qualifications Summary

Competitive candidates for this leadership position will demonstrate a clear record of advancing conservation policy in governmental and non-profit processes relating to state, private, and/or federal forest management and freshwater salmon habitat. Strongly desired: experience in Oregon; experience in policymaking at the state and/or federal level; experience with forest policy; experience with Endangered Species Act; experience with water policy; experience building and leading coalitions; experience in fundraising. Significant leadership experience is strongly preferred.  BA/BS required; advanced degree preferred.

Primary Work Activities

  • Lead coordination of conservation engagement on the development of Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs) for Oregon’s forested landscapes, including the state forest HCP and the Private Forest Accord HCP.
  • Lead and manage coalitions to collaboratively identify, develop, advocate for, and advance solutions to conservation and forest management challenges in Oregon.
  • Establish the groundwork for ongoing Tillamook Forest stewardship group.
    Coordinate all aspects of WSC’s advocacy on forest issues in Oregon with Oregon Policy staff and across WSC programs.
  • Build and maintain strong working relationships with state and federal agencies, Tribes, local governments, grassroots leaders, and other diverse stakeholders.
  • Track and advocate for state and federal funding that supports conservation priorities.
  • Develop annual conservation priorities, campaign strategies, and policy agendas in coordination with the Oregon Policy staff and across other WSC programs.
  • Represent WSC on Oregon forest issues in the media and before legislative bodies, Boards, and Commissions.
  • Support WSC’s Oregon Water Program work to achieve freshwater policy priorities, particularly those that overlap with forest issues.
    Coordinate with WSC’s Development Program to secure funding for priority policy initiatives.
  • Cultivate and steward major donors and prospects, including individuals and private family foundations.
  • Assist with grant proposals and report writing in coordination with WSC’s Development Program as needed.
  • Coordinate with WSC’s Communications and Government Relations Programs to develop external campaigns that educate and motivate target audiences on key salmon habitat issues.

Position Requirements

  • Demonstrated track record related to Qualifications Summary and Primary Work Activities.
  • Minimum of five years of progressively complex professional experience working on natural resource policy and management issues, with preference given to experience working on natural resource policy advocacy in Oregon.
  • Experience interpreting and analyzing forest management regulations, laws, agency guidance, and procedures.
  • Proven track record of building and maintaining strong relationships as well as working collaboratively with diverse stakeholder groups.
  • Demonstrated ability to think and act strategically to achieve program goals in a dynamic environment with minimal supervision.
  • Experience representing an organization before a legislative body, testifying on legislation, and meeting with legislators to discuss proposals and programs.
  • Ability to accurately communicate and distill complex legal, technical, and scientific information to diverse audiences, including legislators, the media, stakeholders, donors, and the public in writing, presentations, and conversations. 
  • Experience managing complex processes and projects while balancing multiple priorities and consistently meeting deadlines with high quality work.
  • Proven ability to work effectively independently and as part of a team.
  • Highly organized, detail-oriented, able to take initiative and to think creatively.
  • Strong active listening skills.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills; effective, diplomatic and friendly communication style and ability to translate complex policy and conservation issues into clear and understandable language to diverse audiences.
  • Passion for and commitment to the conservation of freshwater ecosystems.
  • Ability to attend meetings and workshops outside of regular work hours, including occasional weekends and evenings.
  • Ability to work in the Portland office and to frequent Salem.
  • The position involves occasional overnight travel.


The compensation package includes a competitive salary depending upon experience as well as an excellent benefits package including 401(k) match, medical and dental plan, life insurance and disability coverage, and Section 125 health and dependent care plan.

To Apply

Please click "Apply" below to email your cover letter, resume and a policy-related writing sample, with Oregon Policy Senior Program Manager in the subject line. Applications will be accepted until July 31st or until ideal candidate is identified.


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