OARS seeks leader 

By Anne O’Connor  anne@theconcordbridge.org
September 7, 2023

After almost 20 years, including 12 as executive director, Alison Field-Juma will be stepping away from OARS, but not until next June, giving the nonprofit with a mission of restoring and protecting the Assabet, Concord and Sudbury Rivers time to conduct a nationwide search for a new leader. 

Field-Juma announced her retirement in an email to the OARS community on August 18. 

“It’s hard to leave somewhere that means so much to me and has very important work still to do. It’s possible because we have a team of smart, energized, insightful, and professional people who are OARS and who will carry the work forward with a new leader,” she wrote.  

“I’m so excited to see OARS’ new ecological restoration program with two major dam removal projects in progress to make our rivers more resilient to climate change, realizing a vision over two decades in the making. This is the right time for OARS to take the next step forward, and I will be cheering the team on!”  

The new executive director will need both passion and skills, OARS said in a release.  

The accomplished leader should have a passion for restoring and protecting riverine environments. Necessary skills range from strategic leadership to fundraising, including grant-writing, securing major gifts, and cultivating individual donors, to environmental policy analysis and advocacy, financial management, project management and accountability, collaboration, and constituency-building. 

Also needed: The ability to foster diversity and inclusion among staff, the board, and membership, along with working collaboratively with municipalities and other stakeholders.  

“The successful candidate will be realistic, inspirational, forward-looking, strategic, and mindful of OARS’ legacy,” the release said. 

The candidate may also be someone who is not yet an executive and has a strong background in a relevant field. 

For more information and an application for the full-time position in West Concord, with hybrid work options, flexible hours, and health insurance benefits, visit oars3rivers.org.