Division Director, Water and Land Resources

  • King County
  • 201 S Jackson St, Seattle, Washington, United States
  • Sep 29, 2016
Full time Management Natural Resources Water Quality Wetlands and Watershed Watershed/Stormwater

Job Description

Job Duties:
The Division Director is responsible for the implementation of WLR Division's vision and strategic business plans, directing and supervising operational and maintenance activities, agricultural and forestry services, and ensuring compliance with all regulatory, environmental, and safety requirements.

The Director assumes responsibility for day-to-day operations, short and long term planning and implementation, and directing 350 personnel to provide:
Regional leadership
Innovation to deliver services efficiently
Emergency flood and spill response
Sustainable environmentally sound operations

This position will build partnerships and strong working relationships with contract agencies and elected officials as well as local, regional, state, and federal stakeholders and customers. The Director is the primary liaison of the King County Flood Control District to ensure that policy and programs are delivered as directed and that the district Board of Supervisors are appraised of the operational and emergency response activity undertaken by the WLR Division to protect public safety. 

The Division Director leads the management team and all employees to advocate and support the mission and vision of the Division. The Director is responsible for ensuring that we protect public safety and ecosystem functions in watersheds throughout the County. The division has developed programs for flood hazard protection, storm and surface water, land acquisition and management, agriculture, forestry, habitat restoration, design and construction of drainage and water quality facilities.

This position is responsible to incorporate principles of Equity and Social Justice in WLR Division's plans, policies and programs. WLR Division is committed to implementing the Equity and Social Justice work-program to increase fairness and opportunity for all. This means giving people meaningful opportunity for public participation, and including efforts for inclusiveness in how we communicate news and information, and improving our infrastructure cost-effectively to support King County's increasingly growing and diverse population.

The Division Director guides all work related to sustainability and resiliency through the division sustainability work plan identified in the King County 2015 Strategic Climate Action Plan.  Specifically, the Director leads WLR Division's work to achieve ambitious carbon neutrality targets, meet energy conservation goals at the Environmental Laboratory, prepare for the impacts of a changing climate, and ensure that King County continues to lead on climate action.  The Director also ensures that work of the Land Conservation Initiative is well supported with relevant data, conservation targets and analysis.

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills:
The ideal candidate will provide strong leadership and management to the organization and successfully implement WLR Division's strategic mission and vision, as well as establish the organization's policies and priorities. Additionally, the Division Director will provide strategy and policy recommendations to the Department, King County Executive, and as needed, the elected body.

In addition to being a highly seasoned leader of programs and people, the ideal candidate will have:
A bachelor's degree in environmental engineering or planning, ecology, natural resources management, public administration, or closely related field or equivalent combination of education and experience.  An advanced degree may be a plus combined with career experience.
At least ten years of natural resources or utility experience including leadership activities in finance, legislative, and/or policy analysis for a public agency or private firm.
Strong public service ethic with clear leadership, people management and problem solving skills.
Ability to understand diverse lines of business, evaluate and resolve complex problems, understand large complex organizations and ensure the effective delivery of services.
The ability to make good business decisions based upon a mixture of analysis, experience, judgment and knowledge of current practices, trends, and information.
The ability to motivate a diverse staff to share a common vision and mission.
Ability to use Lean principles to analyze, evaluate and improve functions across the Division.
The ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with a diverse group of people.
Excellent oral and written communications skills and the ability to communicate diplomatically on sensitive issues.
A sense of humor.

Other desirable personal qualities and attributes of the ideal candidate will include:
Passion for creativity and driving innovation, continuous improvement, and efficiencies;
Political savvy;
Managerial courage, and the ability to incorporate conflict management and collaboration skills based on situational needs;
Strategic agility in leading and directing a large, complex organization; able to skillfully maneuver in a political and highly unionized environment;
Build effective teams and motivate others;
Recruit, develop, and retain the most qualified and diverse talent;
Deal with ambiguity in a large, complex environment; and
Strong decision-making skills with a combined focus on vision and purpose.

In summary, the Division Director will quickly be able to recognize where the organization currently is and where the organization needs to go to ensure future success. Additionally, with a personal and professional commitment, the new Director will be able to integrate into the community and be part of the region's future success. The successful person will bring sound professional judgment, tact, courtesy, and unquestioned integrity to this position. A dose of humility and appreciation for the hard work and contributions of all staff as well as sustaining the environment will also serve the new Director well.
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Job Level

Senior-level, Executive-level


Government- Local/Regional


$132,499.54 - $167,951.06 Annually