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Multnomah County Drainage District #1  - Executive Director 

Posted: 2/3/2021
Salary: $146,318 – $212,174 
Location: Portland, OR

The Role 
Provide strategic and motivational leadership to guide an extraordinarily talented staff through a unique transition for the agency of merging four districts into one district.  The incumbent will be able to articulate a vision that integrates flood safety, climate resiliency, habitat restoration, water quality and environmental justice; be able to bring diverse groups to consensus; and have the knowledge and ability to provide services in a manner that respects diversity and promotes equity in all aspects of the District’s operations. 

About You 
You have a demonstrated commitment to MCDD’s mission, vision and values including equity and social justice, through your personal and professional background.  You can provide inspirational leadership, and critical thinking as you bring the team and stakeholders together around a strategic vision.  You are a consensus builder able to work with diverse stakeholders and are adept at navigating the political terrain.   

Ideal Qualifications 

  • Ten years relevant experience at an executive or senior management level. 
  • Advanced educational degree in relevant field may be substituted for some experience. 
  • Experience in utility management, government affairs, and/or water resources management. 

About Multnomah County Drainage District #1 (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 also serves three other districts along the south shore of the Columbia River: Peninsula Drainage District #1 (PEN1), Peninsula Drainage District #2 (PEN2), and the Sandy Drainage Improvement Company (SDIC). The four districts collectively extend from the edge of Smith and Bybee Lakes on the west, to the Sandy River on the east. MCDD has evolved substantially over the past decade to become a solutions-oriented leader with our partners in the region. An agile mission-driven team with a passion for customer service and supporting community values define the culture of the organization. More information about the District is found on its web site:  

In 2019, the Oregon Legislature passed a bill that established an Urban Flood Safety and Water Quality District which will unify the four existing drainage districts in Multnomah County into a single entity.  It is expected that the drainage districts will transition to become part of this new district over the course of the next several years. The bill created an interim board for the Urban Flood Safety & Water Quality District, which includes representatives from local jurisdictions as well as members appointed by the Governor.  The Executive Director is also a member of the Levee Ready Columbia team, works closely with the Program Director and associated staff, and provides support for the vision to engage all MCDD and LRC staff in the transition of the four drainage districts to the new Urban Flood Safety & Water Quality District. The ideal candidate will have a skill set that uniquely qualifies them to manage an organization through transition and beyond.  

Values: To live our mission and fulfill our vision, we: 

  • Are proud of the service we deliver 
  • Are safe, inclusive, and unified 
  • Consider our impact on the environment 
  • Invite new ideas and scrutiny of our work 
  • Exercise financial stewardship 
  • Embrace collaboration and conflict 
  • Encourage individual growth and share team success 

Additional Information:  

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 request Veterans’ Preference for this job, please provide qualifying documents (Copy of the Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, DD Form 214 or 215; Disabled Veterans must also submit a copy of their Veteran’s Disability Preference Letter from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) with your application submittal. Documentation must be received by the closing date and time of this recruitment for the applicant to receive Veterans’ Preference.  

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.   

This position is not represented. 


Please submit the following, in PDF form, via the MCDD Smartsheet link found here:  Incomplete applications will not be considered.  A complete application packet will include: 

  1. Cover letter indicating prior experience that qualifies you for the position and why you are interested in this position. 
  2. Resume showing sufficient experience and/or education to meet the qualifications of the position. 
  3. Answers to the following supplemental questions on a separate sheet from your cover letter:
    - Based on what you know now, what do you see as the greatest opportunity and challenge of this position?  
    - What has been your greatest accomplishment in a similar role, include the position and organization you are referencing. 

Application Deadline: February 28, 2021