Washington State Department of Ecology Water Quality Program Manager



Protecting Washington State’s environment for current and future generations is what we do every day at Ecology. If you want to lead a highly effective, collaborative team that is dedicated to protecting Washington’s waters, this may be the position for you.

Our Missionat the Department of Ecology is to protect, preserve, and enhance Washington’s environment, for current and future generations.

Our Water Quality Program contributes to that mission by working to protect and restore Washington’s waters to support healthy watersheds and communities. Our work ensures state waters can support beneficial uses including recreational and business activities, supplies for clean drinking water, and the protection of fish, shellfish, wildlife, and public health.

The Water Quality Program Manager is an Exempt Management Service Band 3 position that reports to Ecology’s Deputy Director, and is located at our headquarters building in Lacey, WA.

We are seeking a motivated and innovative problem-solver, with both strategic and operational experience, to lead and manage our Water Quality Program. Our new Program Manager will be a forward facing problem-solver who builds strong relationships with our various stakeholders in order to achieve results through technical and financial assistance and regulation.

At Ecology, you’ll be a part of a team that is invested in making a difference. We’re engineers, environmental scientists, planners, geologists, communication specialists, administrative professionals, and more, all working toward our common goals. We invest in our employees to create and sustain a working environment that encourages creative leadership, teamwork, professionalism, and accountability.

To learn more about The Department of Ecology, please visit our website at www.ecology.wa.gov and follow, like or visit us on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram or our blog.



You’ll manage a team of over 270 staff who are working within five major activity areas: Preventing point source water pollution, reducing nonpoint source water pollution, controlling stormwater, providing water quality financial assistance, and cleaning polluted waters. To help us succeed, you will:

  • Set the strategic direction of the program.
  • Guide the implementation of statutes, legislative directives, and water quality standards for our state.
  • Use advanced management principles to address the various and often conflicting views of numerous stakeholders.
  • Oversee the water quality financial assistance program, which helps local communities, watershed organization, and tribes develop and implement projects to improve water quality.
  • Effectively communicate with public groups, public health agencies, individual businesses and business groups, the legislature, the media, and individuals residing in Washington State.
  • Manage the program’s diverse budget and human resources.

Who are we looking for?

We’re looking for an experienced leader who is ready to team with a large group of dedicated professionals. You’ll need to have the ability to:

  • Problem solve and adjust strategies to capture emerging opportunities or unexpected challenges.
  • Have a clear understanding of larger state and federal policies which impact the work and direction of the Water Quality Program, as well as an ability to translate those larger imperatives into appropriate actions.
  • See and understand the opportunities and challenges of how the work impacts people and what is needed to ensure durable outcomes to protect the environment.

A Key Member of Ecology’s Executive Leadership Team

It is critical that this important position maintains the highest standards of personal, professional, and ethical conduct to support the state’s commitment to efficient, effective, and accountable government.

This is a highly visible environmental management role which impacts fisheries, hydropower, land use, and other aquatic related programs. Success in this position requires the use of advanced management, communication, negotiation, and consensus-building skills with high-level, influential elected and appointed officials.

As a key member of our Department’s Executive Leadership Team, the successful candidate will:

  • Represent the Director with federal, state, local, tribal and elected officials, the general public, environmental groups, and the business community.
  • Develop credibility as a problem solver and a source of water quality information for decision-makers and the public.
  • Make recommendations to the Executive Leadership Team on how to implement programs and develop policies including agency direction for work procedures to ensure responsive service delivery and consistency.

Why join the team?

This is an opportunity to make an impact! The Water Quality Program is our agency’s largest environmental program. You’ll have the opportunity to help solve complex natural resource issues, work collaboratively, and build an extensive statewide network.

This position is open until filled, with an initial screening date of February 24, 2020.  In order to be considered for initial screening, please submit an application on or before February 23, 2020. The agency reserves the right to make an appointment any time after the initial screening date.

Please do NOT include your salary history. Wage/salary depends on qualifications or rules of promotion, if applicable.

Required Qualifications:

A bachelor’s degree or above in engineering, environmental science, public administration, law, or other qualifying discipline.

A minimum of five (5) years of professional level supervisory responsibility, including experience managing supervisors.

A minimum of five (5) years of professional level management experience, including:

  • Providing direction to mid-level managers and supervisors in scientific and/ or public health fields which included coaching, training, recruitment, evaluation and performance.
  • Providing oversight of a program’s diverse functions combining and directing all aspects to meet overall program objectives.

A minimum of five (5) years of budget management experience.

A minimum of three (3) years of strategic planning experience (annual or biennial based business plan) including the ability to conceptualize and articulate the future direction of a program.

Please note: Experience in each of the areas may be gained concurrently.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Experience managing diverse fund sources.
  • Experience as a member of a leadership team.
  • Experience in an environmental, natural resource, public health, or similar field.

Special Requirements / Conditions of Employment

Must have a valid driver’s license.

Why work for Ecology?

Joining Ecology means becoming a part of a team committed to protecting and restoring Washington State’s environment and addressing climate change.

A career in public service allows you to help solve some of the most challenging problems facing our state, while keeping the health and financial security of you and your family a priority. We combine one of the most competitive benefits packages in the nation with a strong commitment to work/life balance.

Ecology employees may be eligible for the following:
Medical/Dental/Vision for employee & dependent(s)Public Employees Retirement System (PERS),  Vacation, Sick, and other Leave*, 11 Paid Holidays per year*, Public Service Loan ForgivenessTuition Waiver,  Long Term Disability & Life InsuranceDeferred Compensation ProgramsDependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP),  Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA)Employee Assistance ProgramCommute Trip Reduction Incentives (Download PDF reader)Combined Fund DriveSmartHealth

Student debt and how working for Ecology can help
Employees may be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program, which forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer. See https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service for more details.

*See the Benefits tab in this announcement for more information

Supplemental Information

Application Instructions:

Please include the following documents as attachments to your application:

  • A cover letter – In your cover letter, please specifically address your recent professional leadership experience.
  • A resume outlining your professional experience.
  • Three professional references.
Please do NOT include your salary history. Wage/salary depends on qualifications or rules of promotion, if applicable.
Please complete the applicant profile when applying for this position. Or, you may paste the text of your resume within the profile’s resume text field.

Please read the supplemental questions carefully and answer completely.  Incomplete responses, including “please see my resume” may disqualify you from further consideration.

Department of Ecology employees, please make sure to answer the agency-wide questions regarding permanent status as a classified employee within the Washington General Service or Washington Management Service. Do not forget to select Department of Ecology as a response to question 2, and type your personnel ID number for question 3. If you are not sure of your status or do not know your personnel ID number, please contact Human Resources at 360.407.6186.

If you are reading this announcement in print format, please visit www.careers.wa.gov to access the online recruitment system. Click on “Look for Jobs” and select Dept. of Ecology under the “Department” search list. Click “Apply Search.”

Other Information:

If you need assistance applying for this job, please call Human Resources at (360) 407-6186 or e-mail careers@ecy.wa.gov. Please do not call this number or send an email to this address to follow-up the status of your application. You can view the latest status of your application on your profile’s main page.

If you have specific questions about the position, please email Heather Bartlett at: heather.bartlett@ecy.wa.gov. Please do not contact Heather to inquire about the status of your application.

The act of submitting application materials electronically is considered affirmation that the information is complete and truthful. The state may verify this information and any untruthful or misleading answers are cause for rejection of your application or dismissal if employed.

The Washington State Department of Ecology is an equal opportunity employer. We strive to create a working environment that includes and respects cultural, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation and gender identity diversity. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of disability, persons over 40 years of age, veterans or people with military status, and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply. Persons needing accommodation in the application/testing process or this job announcement in an alternative format may call (360) 407-6186, or Telecommunications Device for the Deaf at (360) 664-6211.