About NHI > Job Openings

The Natural Heritage Institute is Recruiting

A Chief Executive Officer

The Natural Heritage Institute is searching for a Chief Executive Officer to take responsibility for the management, direction, growth and success of this non-profit, natural resource conservation organization. At the election of the new CEO, this position will be either in San Francisco (NHI's current headquarters) or Sacramento California, in the United States of America.


NHI is the premiere non-profit, non-governmental organization, working at the global scale, to rehabilitate natural functions in heavily engineered rivers systems. For over two decades, NHI has been working to re-create a world where rivers function like rivers again, in harmony with human needs. Our focus is on major, often transnational, river basins in California, the U.S. boundary waters, Africa, Asia and Latin America. Their floodplains, wetlands, deltas, and estuaries are truly the engines of biological productivity and the earth's aquatic life support system. Yet, freshwater ecosystems are today the most imperiled on the planet. No other natural resource is as intimately connected to food security and basin human needs, particularly in the most vulnerable communities of the world. These stresses will become more pronounced as the climate changes.


Often, repairing damaged river requires re-optimizing entire hydropower, water supply, irrigation and flood management systems at the basin scale. This work demands exceptional technical, economic, and legal capabilities. Yet NHI's unique and highly efficient business model assures that we are never capacity-limited in these projects. We assemble specialized project teams by drawing upon our remarkable board of directors, our network of expert affiliates, partnering organizations all over the world, academic experts and consultants, to augment the capacity of our resident staff.

We often work with the ultimate decision-makers on water resources: the governments themselves, and the ultimate custodians of water resources, the water rights holders, infrastructure operators, power companies, and farmers.

Our range of tools and strategies to influence the ways in which water resources are managed includes the development and deployment of hydrologic and water resource systems models, on-the-ground ecological restoration projects, the design of improved management and institutional arrangements, policy analysis, and legal advocacy and interventions.

You can learn much more about NHI, its projects, and its successes by visiting our website at www.n-h-i.org.

Required qualifications:

  • Advanced degree in relevant fields of law, science, economics or environmental planning
  • Demonstrated ability to conceptualize, organize, attract funding and manage new project activity within NHI's mission and beyond
  • Depth of experience working with water resource institutions in California, nationally and/or internationally
  • Demonstrated track record of organization management
  • Exceptional communication skills
  • Strong personal and professional passion for natural resources conservation work

This position will remain open until an outstanding candidate is selected. Review of statements of interest will begin on December 1, 2011.

Please send statements of interest and qualifications to:

Dr. Gerald E. Galloway, Chairman of the Board

c/o Shelley Gabriel

Natural Heritage Institute
100 Pine Street, Suite 1550
San Francisco CA 94111

FAX: (415) 693-3178

No telephone inquiries, please.

And The Natural Heritage Institute is Recruiting

Hydrologist - Water Resource Engineer (Dam Reoperation)


The Natural Heritage Institute (NHI) is a non-profit, natural resources conservation organization located in San Francisco, California. Our mission is to restore natural functions in developed river systems in California, nationally, and globally. For more information about NHI and the scope of our projects, visit our website at: www.n-h-i.org.

NHI has the lead role in a suite of river system dam reoptimization and environmental flow restoration projects that will be launched early in 2011. These include the Greater Mekong River, two projects in West Africa, the California Central Valley and Delta water system, and the water system that defines the U.S.-Mexican border. We are also developing projects in other river basins in California, China, India, Brazil and East Africa. Our role will include building whole-system hydrologic planning models and environmental flow assessments. Sediment and temperature management will also be crucial aspects of these projects. Reoperating hydropower and irrigation systems to enable ecosystem restoration is another essential dimension.

NHI will meet these needs through a combination of staff recruitments and outsourcing. For the former, we are currently soliciting applications from river basin scientists, engineers and aquatic ecologists with a depth of relevant training and experience.

An overview of required and desired qualifications is provided below:

Required qualifications:

  • Advanced degree in civil engineering, hydrologic science, fluvial geomorphology, or environmental science and planning
  • Excellent analytical skills, including familiarity with analytical tool and hydrologic planning models
  • Minimum of 5 years of relevant experience
  • Superlative written and oral communication skills
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills
  • Ability to conceive, organize, articulate, resource and manage complex water resources restoration projects, involving multiple partners and consultants
  • A passion for conservation of natural resources

Desired qualifications:

  • Experience with California and/or Western water issues
  • Experience with natural resource agencies at the federal level
  • Experience working in large, complex, international river basins
  • Familiarity with international and intergovernmental institutions involved in the water sector
  • Proven skills in organizational management
  • A solid technical understanding of agricultural water management, hydropower or flood control systems
  • Foreign language fluency (Spanish, Mandarin, French, or Portuguese)

We do not expect to find this full range of capabilities in any one individual. Rather we are looking for solid relevant credentials and the ability to quickly master our exceptionally demanding projects.

NHI pays competitive non-profit professional salaries and benefits.

Interested candidates should respond with a letter of interest and qualifications, C.V., and a representative writing sample to:

Shelley Gabriel

Natural Heritage Institute

100 Pine Street, Suite 1550

San Francisco CA 94111


Please indicate "Applicant" in the subject line. No phone calls please.

100 Pine St., Suite 1550 San Francisco, CA 94111 415-693-3000
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