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Chief of Operations

Job Location

Pennington, NJ


Type of Job



The salary range for this position will be no less than $100,000 and commensurable with experience.

Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

May 11, 2022

About the job

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The Watershed Institute is dedicated to keeping water clean, safe and healthy, and pursues its mission through programs in environmental advocacy, watershed science, environmental education, and land conservation. The organization is headquartered at the LEED-Platinum Watershed Center on a 950-acre nature reserve near Pennington, New Jersey. It is committed to building a culturally diverse organization and strongly encourages applications from people of color.


Water is our most fragile and precious resource. Essential to all forms of life and to our economies, our water supplies face a myriad of threats from pollution to climate change. Keeping our water clean, safe and healthy in the face of these challenges is the heart of The Watershed’s mission. Its strategy for doing so involves scientific investigation, advocacy at the state and local level, enhanced land and water stewardship, and education to expand environmental literacy.


The Watershed Institute’s staff includes policy advocates, scientists, land and water stewards, naturalists and educators. It speaks out for water and the environment, protects and restores sensitive habitats, tests waterways for pollution, and inspires others to care for the natural world. The Watershed focuses much of its work in the Stony Brook-Millstone and the adjacent part of the Central Delaware River Watersheds, while also leading several statewide initiatives.


This dynamic and multifaceted nonprofit conservation organization is seeking a full-time Chief of Operations (COO). Reporting to the Executive Director, the COO will lead all internal operations. This is a new position that will work collaboratively with the Chief of Finance & Administration to implement the goals and vision established by the organization’s Executive Director and Board of Trustees. The organization seeks a mission-focused, seasoned, strategic, and process-minded leader with experience leading an executive management team and developing a performance culture among a group of diverse, talented individuals.


The COO must be a leader who is able to help others deliver measurable, cost-effective results that make the vision a reality. Importantly, the successful COO will have the skills, sensitivity, and personal confidence to tap into the power that each member of the team brings to this mission. While it is essential that the COO bring efficient and effective systems to increase the productivity of the organization, is it also critical that its experienced team retain the creative spark that drives the organization.


As a prerequisite, the successful candidate must believe in the core values of The Watershed Institute and be driven by the mission. The candidate should demonstrate a passion for environmental protection and innovation that leads social change and have a basic familiarity with the organization’s core areas of work. Beyond that, The Watershed seeks a candidate that has proven experience in managing and strengthening organizations and a demonstrated ability to both lead and build the capabilities of a driven, bright, diverse team.


This person has a proven track record of exceeding goals and a bottom-line orientation; a demonstrated ability to consistently make good decisions through a combination of analysis, wisdom, experience, and judgment; the ability to balance the delivery of programs against the realities of a budget; problem solving and project management skills; and creative resourcefulness. The candidate will have the ability to think strategically, anticipate future consequences and trends, and incorporate them into the organizational plan.


The COO will have the ability to effectively build organization and staff capacity, developing a top-notch workforce and processes that ensure the organization runs smoothly. The successful candidate will have an exceptional capacity for managing and leading people; be a team builder who has experience in scaling up organizations; the ability to connect staff both on an individual level and in large groups; the capacity to enforce accountability, develop and empower top-notch leaders from the bottom up, and lead from the top down; and the ability to cultivate entrepreneurship and learn the strengths and weaknesses of the team to put people in a position to succeed.


This individual is action oriented and enjoys working hard and looks for challenges; is able to act and react as necessary, even if limited information is available; is not afraid to take charge of a situation; and can overcome resistance to leadership and take unpopular stands when necessary.


The salary range for this position will be no less than $100,000 and commensurable with experience. TWI offers a comprehensive benefits package, including but not limited to employer-paid health insurance, dental and vision; a 403b retirement plan; generous paid time off, health leave, and 10 paid holidays.


The Watershed Institute is committed to building a culturally diverse organization and strongly encourages applications from people of color.


Apply before June 25, 2022 by submitting a current resume and letter of introduction to Kittleman & Associates, LLC at (click on the Apply button at the bottom of the page). To learn more about the programs and activities at The Watershed Institute, visit


The Watershed maintains a policy of nondiscrimination with all employees and applicants for employment. All aspects of employment with the Watershed are governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, gender, national origin or ancestry, religion, age, disability, affectional or sexual orientation, marital status, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, genetic information or liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States or any other basis prohibited by statute. All employees will be treated equally with respect to compensation and opportunities for advancement, including upgrading, promotion and transfer.

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