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Executive Leadership

Job Location

Billings, Montana


Type of Job



$90,000 - $120,000

Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

Jun 20, 2023

About the job

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Executive Leadership

Job Announcement

Extended deadline: July 13, 2023


The Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC) seeks experienced leaders and candidates who are deeply committed to community organizing, building grassroots power in rural communities, and advancing economic, environmental, and social justice. We seek candidates who bring a deep understanding of and experience with member-led organizing, prioritize relationship-building and shared leadership, and have significant experience working within or leading networks, alliances, or coalitions. This leadership will be based in Billings, Montana.

We welcome applications from single Executive Director candidates as well as applicants interested in Co-Executive Directorship. Regarding Co-Executive Directorship, teams who apply together are preferred, but we will consider individual Co-Executive Director applicants if another applicant provides a strong complement to their skills and experience.

WORC’s Executive Director retired in December 2021; the board appointed a long-time senior staff member as Interim Executive Director to manage and lead the organization until new executive leadership is hired. Our executive leader will inherit an organization that is financially strong, with an 18-member board, a staff of 17, and an engaged network that is ready to build on our past, evolve with the changing challenges, opportunities, and landscape that we now face, and create a strategic direction to guide our next ten years. This is an exciting time to take the helm of this bold and impactful organization.


WORC is a powerful regional network of nine grassroots community organizations (our member groups) in seven western states with 19,935 members and 39 local chapters. WORC is nationally respected for its 44 years of winning campaigns on natural resources, food and farming, and many other issues through community organizing, policy advocacy, training, leadership development, and voter engagement. Our network is committed to ushering long-term, ground-up change by building grassroots power through base-building and leadership development. Our guiding principles provide a compass and constant reminder of what is most important to us.

Our member organizations are Dakota Rural Action (SD), Dakota Resource Council (ND), Idaho Organization of Resource Councils, North Dakota Native Vote, Northern Plains Resource Council (MT), Oregon Rural Action, Powder River Basin Resource Council (WY), Western Colorado Alliance, and Western Native Voice (MT). Each of WORC’s member groups is led by its own director and board, and each group appoints two directors to the WORC board. WORC is incorporated as a 501(c)(4) with a $2.2 million annual budget, with an associated 501(c)(3), the WORC Education Project, that passes through over $1.5 million to WORC’s member groups each year.


Our interim ED has led the organization since January 2022. These have been exciting and challenging times, including living through and emerging from the pandemic, moving to a hybrid and in-person way of meeting and communicating, growing our network through the addition of our ninth member group — North Dakota Native Vote — as well as a new organizing project in Nebraska, shifting priorities among our members, a number of board and staff changes, and internal discussion about ways to fulfill our intentions for a comprehensive DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) process at all levels of the organization and network. In other words, this is a time of growth, challenge, and opportunity at WORC.

You will play a key role in navigating this terrain and will lead the organization and network in building strong relationships rooted in our core strategies, aligned values, and a shared vision for continuing to build grassroots power across WORC’s region. Working with network member groups, our Executive Director(s) will help create and execute a collective vision for our work and provide motivation and support to our staff team in service of those goals. The Executive Director(s) will partner with the WORC board, which sets the organizational direction, priorities, and budget, and lead the WORC staff team to carry out the organization’s campaign, program, and fundraising work.

Leadership, Strategy, and Values

  • Grounded in aligned values and vision, build trusting and mutually beneficial relationships with the WORC staff and board, as well as with the leaders and staff of our member organizations and allies.
  • Maintain and strengthen information and feedback loops between WORC staff, board, and member organizations, grounded in communication practices that honor respect, transparency, and efficiency.
  • Bring big-picture thinking and community organizing values to a strategic planning process that may include updating our mission, vision, values, core priorities, and key strategies as well as creating a roadmap for fulfilling our strategic goals over the next several years.
  • Honor and promote the role of member-leaders as spokespersons for the organization and also serve as a visible leader and voice for WORC when appropriate and strategic within the network, with funders and supporters, and in broader coalitions and movements.
  • Bring strong skills in the area of facilitation and consensus building to help identify points of common interest and collective benefit within the network as it grows in numbers and diversity.
  • Model a commitment to shared leadership within WORC and throughout the network, stressing transparency, openness to others' ideas, and mutual problem-solving and accountability.

Staff Management and Organizational Wellbeing

  • Work with WORC staff managers to ensure strong, transparent, and equitable systems for staff hiring, training and development, supervision and evaluation, and ongoing communication.
  • Model and strengthen a values-driven, collaborative organizational and network culture where staff and members are valued for their contributions and supported in their development and well-being.
  • Directly supervise, support, and regularly convene five senior managers to ensure a healthy organization and healthy team culture.
  • Work with staff and board to set clear goals and objectives and ensure sufficient organizational resources and support to achieve outcomes.
  • Ensure development of and compliance with internal policies.
  • Maintain and enforce a healthy work-life balance for self and staff, including reasonable work plans and a sustainable workload.
  • Oversee a comprehensive organizational/network assessment process in order to clarify roles, revisit our staff structure, strengthen our internal culture, build greater cohesiveness across our complex ecosystem, and address other areas that will increase our overall impact and sustainability.

Board and Governance

  • Report to and partner with the WORC (501(c)(4)) and WORCEP (501(c)(3)) member-led boards and board committees to ensure strong governance, policies, and fiscal health.
  • Cultivate the development of strong board committees equipped with good information and understanding, a shared analysis, and a strong sense of ownership.
  • Bring policy recommendations to the board and actively engage the board in strategic decisions.
  • Provide information to the board and assist with planning and facilitating meetings in a manner that encourages participation, discussion, questions, and decision-making.

Fundraising, Budgeting, and Financial Management

  • Ensure that the organization is fiscally sound and financially healthy.
  • Oversee the fundraising strategy and annual fundraising plans in conjunction with WORC development staff to ensure sustainable and values-aligned funding necessary to carry out our program of work.
  • Serve as a visionary and inspiring voice to sustain and increase overall financial support for WORC, our member organizations, and our movement at large. Cultivate and steward relationships with funders and individual and institutional donors and coordinate pass-through funding to WORC’s member groups.
  • Oversee the annual budgeting process to ensure that financial resources are utilized effectively and appropriately to advance WORC’s mission, strategies, and priorities, including budget development, approval by the WORC board, and monitoring and reporting throughout the year.


We seek candidates who value the power of grassroots community organizing, embrace our mission and guiding principles, and bring substantial experience in key areas.

Required Qualifications:

  • Experience building long-term, grassroots power through member-led community organizing. Cares deeply about the issues of the member groups and is willing to fight for them.
  • Substantial experience leading a mid-size organization, including in the areas of staff supervision and development — including hiring, firing, delegation, accountability, and evaluations, foundation and grassroots fundraising and financial management, and strategic direction.
  • Ability to develop strong, open working relationships with staff, member-leaders, and others, work through and resolve conflict, build trust, and bring people together.
  • Ability to think strategically, including working at the individual, team, organizational/network, and ally/movement levels to set and prioritize goals.
  • Dedication to and demonstrated skill in advancing justice and equity within organizations (ideally coalitions or networks), including planning and implementing inclusive processes to develop shared vision, values, and priorities that address the challenges and opportunities we face as a multiracial/multiethnic community.
  • High degree of cultural awareness and emotional intelligence; the ability to effectively navigate and challenge white supremacy, sexism, classism, and other systems of oppression, and to cultivate accountability and leadership within our network.
  • Experience working with and cultivating a deeply engaged board of directors, including supporting leadership development and facilitating transparent, informed, shared decision-making.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills, including the ability to clearly communicate vision, values, goals, and strategies for various audiences.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Lived, professional or other experience in the states where our members work and/or rural communities in other parts of the United States.
  • Experience leading, managing, and developing complex networks, coalitions, or collaboratives of autonomous organizations.
  • Experience working with Native American communities.
  • Knowledge of and relationships with key foundations and major donors.
  • Knowledge of and relationships with other environmental and other social justice organizations, coalitions, and movements.
  • Spanish language speaking skills.
  • Experience with shared leadership.
  • Experience with public policy at the state, local, national, and tribal levels, preferably in the WORC region.


The position is located in WORC’s Billings, Montana office. Our LEED platinum-certified building showcases green building strategies and technologies and is a great place to work. The position is full-time and will require some travel and flexibility, including several monthly evening calls or meetings and approximately 8-10 multi-day trips nationwide each year. Generally, we offer our staff the flexibility to work some of the time from home, balancing that with the cohesion that comes from working in the office.


The annualized salary range for this position is $90,000 - $120,000. WORC offers a generous benefits package, including fully paid health and dental insurance, with optional vision insurance with a modest employee contribution; 20 paid vacation days; 12 paid sick and wellness days; ten paid holidays; flex time policy; three months of paid parental leave for the birth or adoption of a child; four days paid bereavement leave; policy to encourage the use of alternatives to fossil-fueled transportation by compensating employees for use of mass transportation and awarding up to three additional paid days off; employer contribution to a retirement plan after one year of employment; eligible to apply for a sabbatical including up to three months of paid leave and up to three months of unpaid leave after five years of employment.


WORC is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to cultivating and preserving a work environment built on equity. We welcome qualified people of all backgrounds and abilities to apply and will not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, veteran status, disability, marital status, creed, or other non-job related factors protected by local, state, and/or federal law in hiring, promoting, demoting, training, transfers, layoffs, terminations, recommendations, rates of pay, or other forms of compensation. For more information about WORC and to view our Equity Statement, visit our website at


Please send a letter of interest and your resume in one PDF document to by June 12, 2023. In your cover letter, please indicate if you are interested in the position as a solo ED, as a potential Co-Executive Director with or without an identified teammate, or are open to considering either structure. Please also highlight your most relevant experience, areas you may need to grow into, and any connections you have to WORC as an organization and our people.

For more information, please see

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