Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Initial Posting Date: 09/16/2022
Application Deadline: 11/13/2022
Agency: Department of Environmental Quality
Salary Range: $11,216 – $17,361
Position Type: Employee
Position Title: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Agency Director
State of Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Our client, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ or the “Department” or the “Agency”) is a state agency responsible for safeguarding the quality of Oregon’s air, water and land in order to protect public health and the environment.
The Department of Environmental Quality’s mission is to restore, maintain and enhance the quality of Oregon’s air, water, and land to protect public health and the environment. DEQ works to accomplish its mission by working with Oregon communities, partner organizations and regulated entities. The Agency values diversity, equity, and inclusion in how it carries out its work and is helping to advance environmental justice for all Oregonians.
DEQ employs over 800 people who work with communities, businesses, and other partners to carry out state and federal environmental programs. The Oregon Environmental Quality Commission (EQC), a five-member citizen panel appointed by Oregon’s governor, oversees DEQ’s policy and budget actions, and hires the DEQ Director. The Department has an operating budget of approximately $540 million. DEQ is working to build a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce to support its ability to engage with and understand the needs of all of Oregon.
DEQ partners with the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Oregon communities, businesses, and tribal nations to advance environmental quality across the state. The agency uses both regulatory and non-regulatory tools to help in this work, including incentives and innovative ways of stimulating private actions. DEQ incorporates environmental justice into its many programs and is continuing to build its capacity to engage with diverse communities as we also grow our capacity to understand, avoid, and reverse burdens on particular groups of people and places. In addition to state programs, DEQ also carries out federal environmental programs delegated to Oregon by EPA, including the Federal Clean Air, Clean Water, and Resource Conservation and Recovery Acts.
The Department’s headquarter offices are located in Portland, with regional offices in Eugene, Bend and Portland; and field offices in Coos Bay, Medford, Pendleton, Salem and The Dalles.
Key Focus Areas of the Agency
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – DEQ is in the midst of significant work on DEI. The Agency’s DEI Council is overseeing an agency assessment and helping guide improvements to agency recruiting and retention. DEQ works with outside experts to advise the Council and the Agency’s Leadership Team. The diversity of DEQ’s workforce continues to grow, as the Agency also works to improve retention and opportunities for advancement.
- Climate Change – The Agency has established an Office of Climate Programs, which reports directly to the DEQ Director. These programs regulate fossil fuel suppliers to reduce the greenhouse gas emission that occur from the use of fuels in Oregon. DEQ also is a Clean Air Act 177 state, following California’s vehicle standards both for clean trucks and clean cars. Along with these requirements for vehicle manufacturers, DEQ also carries out Oregon’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Program to provide significant incentives for vehicle purchasers to buy new and used zero emissions vehicles. As a result, Oregon consistently shows up as a national leader in the proportion of vehicle sales that are zero-emissions cars and trucks. With these and other programs in place, the result is that Oregon is on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2035.
- Environmental Justice – DEQ supports Oregon’s Environmental Justice Council, which is currently leading the development of an Oregon-specific environmental justice mapping tool. This tool ultimately will help guide both resource investments and engagement in major regulatory decisions. DEQ’s Environmental Justice Workgroup connects EJ work across multiple programs and helps bring best practices in effective community engagement and alleviating environmental burdens to all of the Agency’s work.
- Localized Air Quality Impacts – Following the release of information about air toxics emissions in the Portland metro area in 2015, Oregon has put in place a robust air toxics program. A similar focus on short-term, localized air quality impacts from certain facilities is currently a priority for the Agency. These programs involve significant work with affected communities to provide clear and reliable information, and to involve communities along with businesses in developing actions to reduce health risks.
- Sustainable Use of Materials – Oregon is a leader in the sustainable management of materials as a means to avoid environmental and societal harms. Oregon’s 2050 Materials Management Vision and programs focus on collaboration with the private sector to incentivize sustainability. Oregon also is a leader in producer responsibility programs with a major expansion to consumer packaging and existing programs for prescription drugs and paint.
- Improving Water Quality by Reducing Nonpoint Source Pollution – Oregon has a large proportion of its waterways in good or excellent condition. Nevertheless, climate change and forest and agricultural land uses are threatening water quality and fisheries in many areas. DEQ is working closely with partners in other federal, state and local agencies to address long-standing nonpoint source water pollution problems at the sub-basin level through water quality plans, funding for restoration, and baseline regulatory expectations.
- Completing Significant Federal and State Cleanup Projects
- Portland Harbor: The Portland Harbor Superfund Site is one of the largest and most complex federal superfund sites in the nation. The site is an unusual joint federal/state effort, with EPA in the lead for in-water work, and DEQ in the lead for upland cleanup work. This site in nearing completion of final remedial design, with cleanup work beginning in the next few years.
- Bradford Island: This newly-listed federal Superfund site is one of the most contaminated PCB sites in the Pacific Northwest, and also the site of significant tribal fisheries. DEQ works with the U.S. Army Corps, EPA, Washington Ecology, and tribes to move this site forward.
- Scappoose Bay: This site, near the City of St. Helens, is slated to be the largest state-led cleanup project in Oregon’s history.
ABOUT OREGON AND PORTLAND
Oregon is a state of geographic and social contrasts, with snow-dusted mountains, vibrant and dynamic cities, dramatic rivers, beautiful towns, lush valleys, a rugged coast, and plains and fertile fields. Oregon’s population is largely concentrated in the western part of the state known as the Willamette Valley. The eastern portion of the State lies east of the Cascades and is dryer and more rural.
Like its diverse landscapes and waterways, Oregon’s economy also is diverse, with significant and growing high technology industry lying right next to a healthy and diverse agricultural economy. Oregon also continues to be the top lumber producer in the contiguous United States. Major employers include Intel, Nike, health care providers, Precision Castparts, Daimler Trucks, Boeing, and a range of financial institutions.
Portland is the largest city in the State with roughly half of the State’s entire population calling the metropolitan area home. Portland is situated at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers and offers a wide variety of performance arts, including a range of classical performing arts institutions, including the Portland Opera, the Oregon Symphony, and the Portland Youth Philharmonic; the last of these, established in 1924, was the first youth orchestra established in the United States. The City is also home to several theaters and performing arts institutions, including the Oregon Ballet Theatre, Northwest Children’s Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Artists Repertory Theatre and Miracle Theatre.
The City also boasts a thriving culinary scene and popularized food carts. Today, Portland offers over 600 licensed carts. The city is home to Stumptown Coffee Roasters as well as dozens of other micro-roasteries and cafes. Portland has 58 active breweries within city limits and over 70 within the surrounding metro area.
Portland hosts a number of festivals throughout the year that celebrate beer and brewing, including the Oregon Brewers Festival, held in Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Held each summer during the last full weekend of July, it is the largest outdoor craft beer festival in North America. Other major beer festivals throughout the calendar year include the Spring Beer and Wine Festival in April, the North American Organic Brewers Festival in June, the Portland International Beerfest in July and the Holiday Ale Festival in December.
The director’S role
The Agency Director leads a team of administrators and managers engaged in innovative, cutting-edge environmental initiatives, including climate protection, environmental justice, and sustainability. The Director works closely with the Environmental Quality Commission (EQC), five citizen volunteers who oversee the Agency and who make major policy decisions including agency rules and the agency’s proposed budget. With the help of the DEQ Leadership Team and a Deputy Director, the Director develops Agency recommendations to the Commission, and then works to implement commission, legislative and the Governor’s direction in agency operations. The Director also works closely with the Oregon Governor’s office and other agencies in developing and coordinating multi-agency efforts to protect public health and the environment.
With the Deputy Director, the Director leads the work of the Administrators of three media divisions located in DEQ Headquarters that focus on program and policy issues (Air Quality, Water Quality, and Land Quality), as well as the three regional administrators overseeing DEQ’s operations (focusing on permitting, compliance and enforcement). The Director also works closely with the Central Services Division administrator on budget, human resources, and information technology issues. DEQ’s laboratory division is overseen by the Deputy Director.
The Director convenes and facilitates regular meetings of the DEQ Leadership Team and participates in the Agency’s Environmental Justice Workgroup as well as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Council. The Director supervises the Deputy Director, the Central Services Division Administrator, the DEI Coordinator, the External Relations and Policy Manager, the Internal Auditor, the manager of DEQ’s Office of Climate Programs, and an Executive Assistant. Supervisory functions include recruiting, performance feedback and mentoring. The Director works closely with the Commission assistant and an executive assistant in supporting the EQC, including regular preparation for Commission meetings and briefings. Externally, the Director participates in regular meetings of the Governor’s Natural Resources Cabinet and the cross-agency Executive Leadership Team. The Director regularly meets with stakeholders, legislators, other state agencies, and the public.
The Director works with the Chief Internal Audit Executive and the Internal Audit Committee to review program operations. These reviews may direct program and project work to correct deficiencies or risks that are identified.
The Director is responsible for overall progress on diversity and affirmative action in the Agency and also works with Human Resources staff to review and decide labor grievances as needed.
The Director works closely with the Central Services Administrator and the Policy and External Relations Manager on budget development and implementation issues. Leading up to and during legislative sessions, the Director works with a team of policy analysts on proposed legislation and budget decisions.
The Director represents the Agency and the EQC before the public, interest groups, the Legislative Assembly, local, state, and federal agencies, and the media. The Director regularly testifies on behalf of the Agency before the Legislature. The Director represents the Agency on state and federal interagency commissions, boards, councils, committees, task forces including the Oregon Global Warming Commission, the Oregon Natural Resources Cabinet, and the Climate Cabinet.
Oversight of the DEQ Office of Climate Programs
The Director supervises the Manager of DEQ’s Office of Climate Programs. In this role, the Director meets weekly with the managers and provides high level policy and administrative supervision. The Office of Climate Programs includes Oregon’s Climate Protection Program, Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program, and Oregon’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program. The Director also works closely with the DEQ Clean Vehicle Rebate Program, and DEQ’s clean car and clean trucks programs, which largely follow California’s clean vehicle programs.
Support for the Environmental Quality Commission
The Director meets regularly with the EQC Chair and Vice Chair. The Director also conducts briefings for Commissioners in preparation for EQC meetings and assists in setting agendas for meetings. The Director reviews and oversees the preparation of reports to the Commission, including rulemakings and budget proposals.
Other duties as assigned by the Commission.
- At least eight years of management experience, with at least five years of senior management experience in a public or private organization, and with a demonstration of increasing responsibility over that time.
- An advanced degree, or equivalent experience, in a field related to the environment, natural resources, public administration or an associated subject area.
- Demonstrated commitment to the protection of the environment and public health.
- A strong vision for the most important environmental issues facing Oregonians today, and how to improve upon those issues over the next five years.
- Demonstrated leadership and commitment in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Understanding of the principles of environmental justice.
- Ability and experience in inclusive leadership, including the ability to lead and work with a team of skilled, diverse, and motivated colleagues.
- Ability and experience in working collaboratively with fellow state, federal, local, and tribal leaders, both to build strong working relationships and to advance environmental protection.
- Strong ability to communicate verbally and in writing with diverse audiences, including staff, regulated entities, and community members.
- Familiarity with preparation and execution of budgets.
- Familiarity with development of legislation, program rules and policies.
- Strong knowledge of and experience in the implementation of federal and/or state environmental laws and policy
- Commitment to travel to different parts of the state and build relationships.
- Patience, perseverance, integrity, and empathy.
- Experience and commitment to strong enforcement of environmental laws.
- Understanding of or experience in working with labor unions, particularly in a government setting.
- Familiarity with the principles and structure of the Incident Command System.
- The ability to critically analyze and appreciate the positions of internal staff, advocates, and industry.
- Demonstrated experience (or understanding) of navigating divisive public policy issues or rulemakings.
- Ability to foster interagency collaboration.
- A record of assessing regulatory proposals against the resulting public benefit and the challenges of implementation for both the regulator and regulated entities.
- The ability to set tone and direction for senior leadership at DEQ and hold them accountable.
- Experience with applying principles of environmental justice and empowering community members to influence or change government policy decisions
- Experience with or knowledge of means beyond traditional regulatory pathways for achieving ecological stewardship and social justice.
- A solid understanding of what is and is not realistic for regulated entities.
- Strong ability and experience in working with regulated entities.
- Understanding of or experience of reporting to an elected or politically appointed board.
- Experience leading and inspiring diverse staff and fostering an inclusive culture of belonging.
- Experience managing or providing leadership within a matrixed-style organization or within a hierarchical setting similar to Oregon state government or DEQ’s organizational structure of varied programs in varied locations.
- Experience working with varied communities in urban and rural settings, as well as with tribal nations.
- Demonstrated experience navigating divisive public policy issues.
- The ability and/or lived experience to understand and fully engage with the diverse people and communities of Oregon, especially those who have been historically marginalized by state and federal policies, along with an understanding of dominant culture behaviors and values.
- The ability to appreciate and lead within an organization that is on the precipice of transformational change – a change that could be defined by inclusivity, equity, and kindness.
- Skills both at delegating, and in leading collaborative efforts.
- Ability to advocate effectively for actions that advance the mission of the agency before elected and appointed officials at the state and federal levels.
- Experience in an executive level position that included legislative and rulemaking processes.
- Emotional intelligence.
WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU?
The opportunity to work in a fast-paced and creative setting as part of a team leading efforts to protect Oregon’s environment. We offer a very competitive benefits package that offers comprehensive medical, dental, and vision plans for the employee and their qualified family members, as well as paid sick leave, vacation leave, personal leave, and 11 paid holidays a year. In addition, employees receive significant retirement benefits through the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), and you have the opportunity to potentially receive student loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF). If you are passionate about Oregon’s environment, apply today!
- Be sure to attach a resume and cover letter. The cover letter must explain clearly how you meet each of the minimum qualifications listed above, as well as your skills in relation to the listed required skills. You may also address the listed desired attributes.
- Allow yourself plenty of time to complete and submit the application, resume, and cover letter.
- Workday will timeout after 15 minutes of inactivity.
- This posting closes at 11:59 PM on Sunday, October 16, 2022, unless extended by the EQC.
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EFL Associates, an executive search firm, is assisting the State of Oregon and EQC with this important search. Applications will be accepted until 11:59pm on Sunday, October 16, 2022. The EQC reserves the right to extend the application period if necessary, but expects to make a hiring decision by late 2022.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality strives to build and sustain an inclusive environment that embraces and values diversity. Employees at all levels of the agency work together to foster fairness, equity, inclusion, and belonging. We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, ethnicity, veteran, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, or physical or mental disability. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job, and that candidate may not meet every one of our listed preferred qualifications. Lived experience may count towards the preferred qualification. If you are excited about this position, we encourage you to apply. If you are unsure as to whether or not you meet the qualifications of this position, please contact us to discuss your application.
DEQ provides veterans’ preference points to all eligible veterans. For more information on veterans’ preference, please visit Veterans Resources, or call the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs at: 1-800-692-9666. For privacy reasons, please do not attach veterans’ preference documents when initially applying. You will be asked to submit those at a later time.
As an employer, the State of Oregon complies with HB 2005, the Pay Equity Bill. We do not discriminate on the basis of protected class in the payment of wages, and we do not screen applicants on the basis of their current or past compensation. Please visit http://www.oregon.gov/das/hr/pages/equity.aspx for more information. Please note: the salary listed is the non-PERS qualifying salary range. If the successful candidate is PERS qualifying, the salary range will reflect an additional 6.95% (6% goes to PERS and .95% covers payroll taxes). Please review the Classification and Compensation page for more details.
DEQ does not offer visa sponsorships. On the first day of employment, all hires will be required to complete the US Department of Homeland Security’s Form I-9, confirming authorization to work in the United States. In addition, hires will have three business days from their first day of employment to present documents that establish employment authorization and identity. DEQ is an E-Verify employer and will use E-Verify to confirm that hires are authorized to work in the United States.
If you have questions about the recruitment or need assistance to participate in the application process, please contact Maddy Ouye, HR Liaison/Recruitment Team Lead, at email@example.com or (503) 347-5759 or Kylen Stevens, Executive Recruiter, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (503) 400-5821.. TTY users: please use the Oregon Telecommunications Relay Service at 1-800-735-2900.