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Executive Director

“We all love this place we call Montana. We believe that land and water and air are not ours to despoil, but ours to steward for future generations.” – Paul Hawks (rancher, Melville, MT)

Northern Plains is a grassroots organization of people from the plains and mountains, cities and towns. We are everyday Montanans who love where we live. We stand up, shoulder-to-shoulder, to protect this place we all call home.

We believe that true prosperity begins with healthy land, water, and air. We believe that our families, farms, ranches, schools, businesses, governments, and communities thrive when we are good stewards of these resources. We believe that if we look beyond our fences, listen to one another, and keep our minds open, we will find creative solutions to secure a clean, healthful environment for all.

“The venerable Northern Plains Resource Council, a Montana group that has fought coal plant pollution for 40 years and defended ranchers against the gouging of their land . . . ” – Seattle Post-Intelligencer

We are working toward a future where we live in harmony with nature, where our economy serves the people rather than the people serving the economy, where neighbors work side-by-side to build a world that lives up to our ideals of fairness, inclusion, and justice.

For more than 48 years, Northern Plains Resource Council has helped Montanans organize to protect water quality, family farms and ranches, and our unique quality of life.

“This thriving citizens organization exemplifies the ideal of public involvement in public processes.” – Billings Gazette editorial

We are seeking applicants for the position of Executive Director, a full-time salaried position based in Billings, Montana.

Required Qualifications

  • Experience in a leadership role with an organization working on social change or environmental issues (either by employment or volunteer service).
  • Ability to build relationships with people from varied backgrounds.
  • Committed to grassroots organizing, recognizing the role of staff in a member-driven organization.
  • Experience in employee supervision.
  • Fundraising experience in the form of direct asks as well as grants.
  • Ability to travel and be away overnight.
  • Willingness to work long hours when needed.

Also helpful:

  • Experience in a political campaign.
  • General familiarity with the workings of legislative bodies and government agencies.
  • Experience working with rural people.
  • Familiarity with conservation and agriculture issues.


  • Provide leadership and vision for the organization, balanced with the clear understanding that Northern Plains is a truly democratic organization controlled by its member leaders.
  • Manage the organization by ensuring that the Board of Directors has the necessary information and opportunity to make policy and strategy decisions in a timely manner.
  • Ensure that the directives and goals set by the Board of Directors are carried out – including our five-year strategic plan.
  • Manage the day-to-day operations of Northern Plains and ensure that the organization recruits, hires, trains, and fosters its staff, which is currently a team of 20.
  • Lead a management team to keep the staff team moving forward together.
  • Ensure that the organization operates within the Board-approved budget (currently $1.5 million) and that sufficient and appropriate internal and external fundraising is done to meet the organization’s financial needs.
  • Significant travel, both daylong and overnight trips, around the state of Montana and out-of-state.

The salary starts at $70,000 and is negotiable based on experience. Compensation includes generous benefits and vacation time.

The Northern Plains Resource Council is committed to a policy of non-discrimination in both its employment practices and in its membership. Northern Plains does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identity. This non-discrimination policy applies to members, Board members, volunteers, and employees.

Applicants will submit:

  • cover letter
  • writing sample
  • résumé
  • three (3) professional references

Applications are due May 1, 2021. Applications will be reviewed when received.

Applications should be emailed to: steve@northernplains.org

Northern Plains Resource Council
220 South 27th Street, Suite A
Billings, Montana 59101
(406) 248-1154