Oregon Walks Seeks Executive Director

Click here for a link to the pdf version of the job description


About Oregon Walks:

Oregon Walks is a nonprofit, membership-based advocacy organization dedicated to promoting walking and making the conditions for walking in Oregon safe, convenient and attractive. Founded in 1991, we have a strong history of success, committed partners and stakeholders, and a passionate and growing membership. We are well positioned to play a pivotal role in influencing our transportation future and addressing the needs of pedestrians across the region and state.  


The Opportunity:

Oregon Walks is seeking an enthusiastic, entrepreneurial, dynamic leader with a passion for pedestrian advocacy to serve as our next Executive Director. Our new Executive Director will collaborate with our Board of Directors, staff, members, and volunteers to lead successful programs and advocacy campaigns. The Executive Director will develop and implement new initiatives to further Oregon Walks’ mission. They will serve as our lead ambassador, fundraiser, and strategist - ensuring organizational stability and success.


Key Areas of Responsibility:

Organizational leadership

  • Develop programmatic advocacy priorities and agendas; Work closely with staff, volunteers, and partners to achieve advocacy outcomes that meet our mission and strategic direction
  • Serve as Oregon Walks’ lead ambassador and as a champion for pedestrian issues in Portland and statewide; Demonstrate passion and commitment for our mission; Inspire and secure support for our programs and advocacy priorities
  • Model accountability, collaboration, professionalism, a positive attitude, and transparency
  • Work with board and staff to create and sustain an organizational culture that is welcoming and inclusive and that embodies our values, and promotes diversity and equity; Serve as a role model for creating a positive and engaging work environment and support staff professional development

​​Advocacy, strategic partnerships, and communications

  • Collaborate with a wide range of members, volunteers, elected officials, funders, and transportation and planning experts; Work collaboratively with key partners and coalitions, such as the Getting There Together Coalition, and the Transportation Justice Alliance
  • Imbue our work with social justice principles and the understanding of the intersectional nature of transportation policy and investments (e.g housing, racial equity, income inequality)
  • Participate in local, regional, and state committees, councils, advisory boards, and community groups, representing our programs, positions, and constituents
  • Proactively lead through advocacy campaigns and policy discussions—including testifying before government bodies—written and orally, speaking to the media, and participating in policy planning processes
  • Serve as primary contact for internal and external communication strategies; Demonstrate strong communication skills, effectively interacting with a wide range of people - including members and volunteers, elected officials, media, funders, and business and community leaders
  • Communicate regularly with staff, board, committees and volunteers to ensure clarity and consistency in messaging and positions on external advocacy work​

Finances and fundraising

  • Oversee an annual—and growing—budget of $230,000; Monitor cash flow, banking, and expenses; Work with bookkeeper and board treasurer to ensure the board has appropriate financial statements; Implement and update financial management policies and procedures
  • Oversee the development and implementation of annual and long-term budgets and fundraising plans to grow and sustain the organization
  • Serve as the organization’s lead fundraiser, raising revenue through a variety of streams, including grantwriting; contracts with the private and public sector; solicitation of members, businesses, and individual donors; leading the vision for a large scale annual fundraising event; and managing effective stewardship activities
  • Develop and maintain relationships with individual donors, public entities, and private funders to position the organization well for successfully receiving funding
  • Work closely with board, staff, and fundraising committee to execute annual fundraising plan​

Operations, management, and administration

  • Manage and support the work of two staff, interns, board of directors, and volunteer committees
  • Provide direct supervision to, training of, and timely performance reviews for staff; create opportunities for professional development and growth; In conjunction with staff, ensure that annual work plans are developed and implemented to meet the goals set forth in the strategic plan
  • Monitor compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local rules and regulations governing the operation of nonprofit agencies and the use of government funding; Monitor grant compliance and reporting
  • Collaborate with the board of directors to regularly evaluate and revise the strategic plan as necessary for the organization’s mission, vision, and values
  • Provide support to board members, enabling them to fulfill their responsibilities and successfully govern; Provide data, information, and expertise to support the board in making strategic, governance, and policy decisions; Clearly communicate the needs and major accomplishments of the organization to the board both verbally and in written reports and data
  • Ensure all board members can meaningfully participate in all board meetings and activities; Work with the board to recruit and maintain active and committed members; Participate in board meetings, executive committee meetings, and in board committee meetings as requested

Ideal Experience and Qualifications:

Qualified candidates will possess a strong capacity to work on a highly collaborative team, demonstrate strong communication skills and absolute reliability, and have the experience and ability to smoothly manage the day-to-day operations of a small nonprofit. They will have the community-building and fundraising skills to expand and deepen Oregon Walks’ work, and a policy eye for advancing the organization’s advocacy goals and priorities that help create a safer and more livable Oregon for everyone.

Specifically, we are looking for candidates with:

  • At least 3-5 years of relevant experience in a leadership position at a nonprofit organization, government agency, or in the private sector
  • A proven track record of successfully developing and leading organizational strategy and programs that move people toward a shared vision and drive toward organizational goals
  • A sense of humor and collegiality to help balance high standards with fun and laughter in a team environment
  • Demonstrated fundraising abilities, including individual and business donor cultivation, grant writing, and event experience
  • Keen relationship and partnership building skills; competency in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion principles; ability to work effectively in a collaborative and diverse environment, and to cultivate equity and inclusion in every aspect of the organization’s work
  • Strong fiscal management acumen and skills, including experience in developing and managing budgets
  • Highly developed oral and written communication skills, including superior listening and exemplary writing skills, and the ability to communicate our mission and vision in highly compelling ways that motivate a broad range of individuals and groups, including allies, funders, and the public
  • Ability to coach, develop, support, supervise, and evaluate staff job performance in a timely, constructive, and collaborative manner
  • Understanding of the nuances of nonprofit management and organizational development
  • Excellent time management and organizational skills; ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects while responding quickly to emerging opportunities
  • Ability to maintain professional boundaries and confidentiality
  • Comfort and proficiency with technology, including word processing, database, and spreadsheets
  • Love for walking and dedication to pedestrian safety

Additional preferred knowledge, experience, and qualities 

  • Bachelor’s or graduate level degree in Public Policy, Nonprofit Management, Urban Planning, Communications, or related field or equivalent experience
  • Racial and social justice work experience
  • Advocacy experience at the local and state levels
  • Experience working effectively with a board of directors
  • Knowledge of Portland and Oregon politics and current and potential partners and community resources, as well as a strong set of local relationships and networks
  • Well-versed in current events, particularly those related to transportation, the environment, and social justice
  • Linguistic and cultural fluency; proficiency in a language other than English and experience in more than one cultural context​

Compensation and Benefits:

This is a full time, exempt position based in Portland, Oregon.

Salary: $52,000 - $58,000 Benefits: Health insurance - including vision and dental, paid vacation, and paid sick leave

How to Apply:

Submit the following as a single PDF document to: jobs@oregonwalks.org with the subject line “Executive Director”.

To be considered in the initial round of application review, all materials must be received by 11:59pm PST on Tuesday, March 13, 2018. The application process will be open until a qualified candidate is hired, but screening of applications will begin after the initial deadline.

- A 1-2 page cover letter that addresses the following:

  • Why are you compelled to apply for this position?
  • How do your experience and talents fit the criteria laid out in the job announcement?
  • How did you hear about this position?

- A complete and current resume, including dates of employment.


Women, people of color, members of LGBTQ communities, and people with disabilities strongly encouraged to apply.

If you need any accommodations to participate in the application process, please let us know.


Oregon Walks Respects Civil Rights: Oregon Walks does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, age, national origin, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, citizenship, veteran status, marital status, sensory disabilities, physical disabilities, mental disabilities and all other identities protected by state and federal law.