Operations Director

Clear Lake Environmental Research Center

Lakeport, California

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $87,360-$112,320 per year commensurate with experience and qualifications.
Required Experience 2 - 6 years

CLERC seeks our first Operations Director! This is an opportunity to work for an organization with a growing budget and programs. Over the past five years we have successfully grown the organization’s programming and impact, securing over $28 million primarily in federal and state grants to support our work over the next several years. We’re looking for a relationship-builder and skilled administrator who understands the role of operations in an organization.
The Operations Director must be able to successfully manage both a variety and high volume of tasks and communication inputs and outputs simultaneously. They must also be a tenacious problem-solver who focuses on quality assurance and compliance. The ability to balance long-term projects and priorities with short-term needs is essential to success, as are flexibility and results-orientation.

Job Type Full-time, ExemptLocation This position is based at CLERC’s office in Lakeport, California. Travel to project sites within Lake County may be required. Occasional travel beyond Lake County may be required.

Salary $87,360-$112,320 per year commensurate with experience and qualifications.

Physical Requirements
Valid driver’s license. Ability to carry boxes weighing 25 lbs. Ability to participate in meetings with partners at various community locations.

Other Requirements
Experience with Federal and State grant compliance and reporting.

Organization Overview
The Clear Lake Environmental Research Center (CLERC) is an environmental non-profit organization based in Lake County, California. CLERC serves as a steward for environmental and economic sustainability of Clear Lake, its neighboring lands and waters, local communities, and beyond. CLERC was founded in 2014 and has grown to have an annual budget of approximately $8 Million and a staff of 11 employees and growing. Funding for programs and our core operations comes primarily from state and federal grants and cooperative agreements, along with a mix of private grants, contracts and donations.

CLERC coordinates projects throughout Lake County to help combat the impacts of climate change and wildfires by promoting healthy regeneration of burned areas and improving fire resiliency of local forests and woodlands that have not been impacted by fire. CLERC manages multiple community-wide grant-funded forestry projects that focus on fuel reduction, reforestation, prescribed fire, prioritization planning, workforce development, and community involvement.

CLERC also operates the only accredited water lab in Lake County, providing local drinking water and wastewater agencies with a place for regulatory testing needed to ensure public and environmental health and safety. CLERC is in the process of repurposing the Lakeport Carnegie Library building into an environmental education and research center and initiating several research studies in the fields of climate change, ecosystem monitoring, and wildfire modeling in order to improve our understanding of the effectiveness of our ecosystem restoration projects.

Position Description

The Operations Director is responsible to assist the Executive Director in the oversight and management of the organization’s operations. The Operations Director is a key management leader of CLERC. The Operations Director will be a strategic thought partner in a newly-established senior leadership team with the Executive Director, Administrative Director, and Program Directors. This team will coordinate and collaborate around organizational operations, fundraising, and programs. The Operations Director will have both internal and external facing responsibilities and will partner closely with the Executive Director to chart CLERC’s growth and strategic response to increasing demand for the organization’s leadership and services. Strong candidates will have significant work experience in organization operations and business or nonprofit administration and will convey decisiveness, adaptability, and a solutions orientation.

The duties of the position include: development of annual business plans and budgets, day-to-day operation and management, organizational development, supervision of staff members and contractors, developing and implementing environmental education and research programs, contract negotiations, developing and managing organization policies, budgeting and financial reporting, planning, promoting and executing events, managing communications (social media, print and electronic), and other initiatives related to CLERC’s mission.

Summary of Duties and Responsibilities


  • Provide collaborative and supportive guidance to the managers of CLERC’s programs and partnerships, ensuring the success of the programs and responsible compliance with their contractual requirements.
  • Develop an annual business plan for activities, events, and meeting goals.
  • Works with the Executive Director, Administrative Director, and Program Directors to develop CLERC internal administrative, financial and personnel policies as
  • Ensures the implementation of internal policies among the program staff.
  • Serves as liaison for internal policy issues involving program staff.
  • Supervise and collaborate with organization staff.
  • Ensures that job responsibilities are clearly communicated and duties delegated appropriately among program staff.

Program Management

  • Provide accurate and timely grant recordkeeping and reporting in compliance with funding source guidelines.
  • Provide support in implementation of CLERC’s programs.
  • Ensure grant compliance, including budget management and timely submission of all grant narrative and financial reports.

Human Resources Management

  • Ensure HR and policy compliance across the organization.
  • Establish employment and administrative policies and procedures for all functions and for the day-to-day operation of the organization.
  • Provide support to staff related to compensation and professional development.
  • Supervise operations staff, support work plan development, conduct regular supervisory meetings and annual performance evaluations.
  • Provide support to managers related to staff supervision and development.
  • Refine and oversee performance management system.
  • Develop/update all organizational policies with staff and board input.

Organizational Administrative Support

  • Provide an efficient, cost-effective office environment.
  • Evaluate, improve, maintain all operational systems and technology.
  • Provide affordable enhancements to CLERC’s information systems to improve the organization’s productivity, effectiveness, and security.
  • Assist the Secretary of the Board of Directors with maintenance of organizational records.
  • Oversee the functionality, maintenance, and upgrading of organization’s computers, printers, and mobile devices.
  • Develop and implement new policies and procedures as required.


  • Represent CLERC’s mission and programs accurately to a variety of stakeholders.
  • Represent CLERC, its partners, and funders in a positive and proactive manner.
  • Contribute to additional CLERC programs (as appropriate based on skills and interests).
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


  • Strong organizational abilities including planning, delegating, program development and task facilitation
  • High level of expertise and analytic skills in areas of budget management, human resources, and operations
  • A commitment to relational work and related experience in building partnerships and relationships. Motivation to create connections and relationships, internal and
  • Collaborative, coaching management style
  • Contract analysis and negotiation skills
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills – including, effective persuasive communication to inspire action, diplomatic communication to foster trust and
    respect, and clear and direct communication to increase organizational efficiencies
  • Experience in developing, managing, and reporting on program and grant budgets
  • Ability to establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationships with a wide range of people.
  • Possess excellent interpersonal skills, including tact, patience, courtesy, and diplomacy in all professional settings
  • Possess good project management skill and ability to manage multiple programs and projects, budgets, and coordinate CLERC activities amongst a variety of stakeholders, agencies, and community members.
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities and frequently changing deadlines with ease and adaptability.
  • Ability to absorb and process information quickly and remain focused when faced with pressure
  • Delivers when working with competing timelines
  • Not easily intimidated or thrown off course when unexpected changes happen
  • Strong computer skills, including Microsoft and Google products, including experience in Excel budget worksheets, social media platforms, content management
    websites, and graphic design applications.
  • Ability to write clear, accurate, and effective reports.
  • Creativity, sense of humor, “can do” spirit, collegiality, flexibility, strong desire to lead.
  • Must possess a driver’s license and insurance valid in California.

Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor's degree (B. S.) from four-year College or university and five years related experience and/or training or ten years of experience or equivalent education and
  • A minimum of five years of relevant experience in a similar role, including advising an Executive Director or CEO in operations and supervising at least three direct reports
  • The ideal candidate will have experience in non-profit management or an equivalent combination of education, training, and experience.

Salary and Hours
The Operations Director is a full time position (30-40 hours a week) depending on workload. Travel to project locations in Lake County may be required. Starting salary of
$87,360-$112,320 per year, commensurate with experience and qualifications. Benefits package (after a 30-day probationary employment period) includes employer contributions towards health and dental insurance. Paid vacation and 401k retirement plan available after 90 days.

Limited evening and weekend work may be required. The Operations Director may have access to a CLERC vehicle in coordination with other CLERC staff. A valid driver’s license and proof of insurance is required. The Operations Director should anticipate occasional use of a personally owned vehicle for work travel; approved job‐related mileage is reimbursed at the IRS rate. A work laptop and cell phone are provided.


Email your cover letter, resume including references, and one or more of the following to will.evans@theclerc.org

  • writing sample,
  • meeting agenda and materials (such as a powerpoint or poster presentation) you designed,
  • video or recording demonstrating your presentation skills, and/or
  • detailed description of an implementation project that you designed and implemented.

The cover letter should be no more than two pages. Include your experience with the minimum qualifications, skills and competencies outlined in the position description. There is no limitation on resume length.
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. First application review will begin on June 3, 2024.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category Admin & Leadership , General / Stewardship