Multnomah County Drainage District: Environmental Program Manager

Salary Range:

Job Type: Exempt; Permanent.

Benefits: MCDD provides a generous and competitive benefits package – which includes, but is not limited to; medical, dental, vision, and life insurance. In addition, MCDD participates in the State of Oregon Public Employees Retirement System (PERS).


Posting Date: Monday, April 29th, 2019

Closing Date/Time: Open until filled; Next review June 28th, 5 PM

Anticipated Start Date: August 12, 2019

About Multnomah County Drainage District (MCDD):

To enhance community safety and support the region’s vitality, MCDD reduces flood risk by maintaining our levee system, managing drainage, and responding to emergencies. We help protect lives and property from flooding by operating and maintaining stormwater and flood management systems for nearly 13,000 acres of land along the Columbia Slough and the lower Columbia River. These systems include: 27 miles of levee, 12 pump stations, and 45 miles of ditches, sloughs, streams, and culverts.


MCDD has evolved substantially over the past decade to become a solutions-oriented leader with our partners in the region. We are a small, agile, and mission-driven team with a passion for customer service and supporting community values. 


Position Summary:

MCDD is currently working on the modernization of our levee system and governance structure that will result in a more holistic management of the system that includes incorporating an integrated floodplain management approach that provides for multiple benefits (e.g. ecosystem function, nature-based engineering, and recreation).  The Environmental Program Manager will play a key role in the design and implementation of the new management regime.


In addition to the work described above, the environmental program manager will oversee the environmental program, which includes: natural resource management, planning, permitting, emergency management, and GIS.  This position will report to the Deputy Director of Planning, Policy, and Admin. We seek a highly experienced individual who can provide leadership and inspire a varied and connected team of project managers. This position will directly supervise 3 to 5 staff members.


This position is responsible for managing dynamic and collaborative projects for MCDD.  The position plans, prioritizes, assigns, supervises, and reviews the work of staff and consultants. The position also manages resources; establishes methods for supporting all projects during planning, permitting, design, pre-construction, construction, and operations; participates in the development of environmental goals and objectives as well as policies and procedures; and maintains a thorough understanding of the environmental regulations and other requirements and maintains effective relationships with agencies, regulators, and local jurisdictions that administer and enforce environmental programs applicable to MCDD.  In addition, the Environmental Program Manager works with all departments in the agency to ensure that projects do not adversely impact the operation of the flood control system

The successful candidate should have a specialized practice area in natural resources, environmental management, urban planning, or other closely related field, with well-established connections in the Pacific Northwest, a demonstrated track record of successfully delivering projects, managing staff and consultants. 


Key responsibilities for this position:

  • Possess a "can do" attitude that seeks creative solutions usually requiring originality and ingenuity.
  • Ability to negotiate and manage complex environmental issues.
  • Manage and develop stakeholder relationships; anticipate and resolve issues.
  • Skilled at providing solutions-oriented leadership on complex and challenging issues.
  • Proficient written and verbal communications skills for varying audiences, ranging from technical to the general public.
  • Organized, able to multi-task, and successful in prioritizing their team's work in a high energy environment with high ambiguity.
  • Motivating co-workers who aren't direct reports to collaborate constructively.
  • Mentor staff to support ongoing growth.
  • Shows the utmost respect for others and is a proven team player.
  • Act as subject matter expert and/or engage technical staff or consultants for expertise regarding natural resources.
  • Manage complex components of a highly varied portfolio of work that involves complex legal implications, nuanced regulatory interpretation and implementation, evolving best practices, and very dynamic and complex political interactions with federal, state, local and tribal governments.
  • Maintain focus on the longer-term, strategic issues and opportunities facing the department in context of evolving priorities, while supporting the team on tactical implementation activities.
  • Work well with others; persuade and influence; achieve results through and with others.
  • Demonstrate commitment to valuing differences among individuals and passion for being inclusive.

Duties Applying to All Employees:

It is the duty of all employees to:

  • Perform other duties as assigned.
  • Strive to achieve the Mission, Vision, and Values of the organization.
  • Perform the duties assigned during an emergency.
  • Complete required Incident Command System training within 90 days of hire.
  • Ensure and encourage a safe workplace environment.


Working Environment: Primarily working in an office environment.  However, there are projects that may require time in the field.  Employees will be required to utilize the appropriate PPE for their time in the field.  During flood fighting season, October 15th – May 15th, employees may be asked to perform levee and drainage inspections.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in natural resources management, environmental sciences or similar field; or, an equivalent combination of education and relevant work experience. Master's degree preferred.
  • Minimum of five (5) years' experience in functional area with lead worker responsibilities. An additional two (2) years' management experience is preferred.
  • Familiarity with emergency management and the Incident Command System is preferred. 
  • Valid Oregon or Washington Driver's License is required.

Supplemental Questions:

Please answer the following questions:

  1. Describe a project with a natural resource management component that you have managed with challenging permitting requirements. How did you solve it and what lessons did you learn?  300 words maximum
  2. Describe your ability and experience in managing a portfolio of projects. How do you prioritize the projects, manage internal and external stakeholder expectations, and empower employees? 300 words maximum.
  3. Describe a challenging personnel situation you have experienced as a supervisor?  How did you solve it and what did you learn from it? 300 words maximum.


How to apply: Please submit, in PDF form, a cover letter and resume addressing the responsibilities listed in the job description, and responses to the supplemental questions to with the subject line: “Environmental Program Manager” by the closing date listed above.

Applications will not be considered complete and not reviewed without responses to the supplemental questions.


Please do not include your social security number or other sensitive information in your application package.  Applications will also be accepted via first class mail or by hand delivery to: 1880 NE Elrod Dr., Portland, OR 97211.


Assistance will be gladly provided upon request for any applicant with sensory or non-sensory disabilities. Please contact Sunny Simpkins for any questions on accessibility or accommodation during the hiring process.




Accommodation: Reasonable accommodation is available to anyone whose specific disability prevents them from completing this application or participating in this process.


Veterans’ Preference: Under Oregon Law, qualified veterans may be eligible for veterans’ preference when applying for MCDD positions. If you are a veteran and would like to be considered for a veterans’ preference for this job, please provide qualifying documents with your application submittal.


Equal employment opportunity:  All qualified persons will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, familial status, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability for which a reasonable accommodation can be made, or any other status protected by law.


Hiring Schedule:  We anticipate phone interviews the week of July 8 and in person interviews the week of July 15th.  We anticipate an August 12th start date.


This position is not represented.