Development Director

Restore Hetch Hetchy

Job Description

Restore Hetch Hetchy seeks Development Director

Restore Hetch Hetchy, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, seeks a development professional to identify, engage and inspire individuals and institutions to help underwrite an environmental restoration project of historic and exceptional importance - returning Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park to its original splendor.

The Development Director will report directly to the Executive Director, will be mentored by an experienced development professional, and will work closely with the Development Committee and board members to secure sufficient funds for fulfilling Restore Hetch Hetchy’s strategic plan and to build political support for this unprecedented change. 

The position is expected to be half time; salary to be negotiated based on experience.

The ideal candidate:

·       Will enthusiastically support our campaign to restore Hetch Hetchy Valley,

·       Will learn Restore Hetch Hetchy’s organizational culture and practical goal-oriented approach,

·       Will have a college degree,

·       Will have experience in fundraising from high-end donors or institutions,

·       Will reside in California, as Restore Hetch Hetchy is located in the Bay Area, and the vast majority of its supporters are in California,

·       Will know how to use Microsoft Word and Excel,

·       Will write well,

·       Will reach out and talk with existing supporters,

·       Will reach out and talk to potential supporters,

·       Will work closely and cooperatively with the Executive Director, other staff, consultants and Board Development Committee,

·       Will assist in developing and executing a fundraising plan,

·       Will assist in organizing events, including Restore Hetch Hetchy’s Annual Dinner, and

·       Will ask supporters and potential supporters for financial or in-kind support when so directed.

To apply:

Please send a cover letter and resume to [email protected]. The cover letter should include an awareness of the unique nature and challenge of our campaign. Applications submitted through third party sites will not be considered.


Hetch Hetchy was once a resplendent glacier carved valley, with towering cliffs and waterfalls cascading onto a serene valley floor. Often compared to the world-famous Yosemite Valley – 15 miles to its south, Hetch Hetchy was one of Earth’s most beautiful places. 

For millennia, Hetch Hetchy was home to Indigenous peoples, including Sierra Miwok, Yokuts, Washoe, Western Mono, and Paiute who used the valley both seasonally and year-round. The word Hetch Hetchy may refer to the name of a Miwok village in the valley and/or to “a kind of grass or plant with edible seeds abounding in the valley.”

European-Americans first arrived in the area in the mid-1800s. In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signed legislation to protect the natural features of Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove. In 1890, Yosemite National Park was created, greatly increasing the protected area to include Hetch Hetchy Valley, Tuolumne Meadows and the entire upper watersheds of the Tuolumne and Merced Rivers.

In 1913, for the only time in American history, the US government allowed significant destruction within one of our national parks. When President Woodrow Wilson signed the Raker Act, he permitted Yosemite National Park’s Hetch Hetchy Valley to be dammed and submerged beneath 300 feet of water for use as a reservoir by San Francisco. 

The Raker Act was deeply controversial, and was condemned in more than 200 newspaper editorials nationwide.  That outcry is often cited as the birth of today’s conservation movement. Three short years after the Act was signed, Congress made partial amends by passing the National Park Service Act, largely to protect our national parks from any similar disfigurement.

Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Valley, however, remains underwater and unavailable to the American people for whom it was originally meant to be preserved “in perpetuity.” That reservoir is the greatest blemish in America’s otherwise magnificent national park system.

Restore Hetch Hetchy is committed to removing the reservoir and returning Hetch Hetchy Valley to the American people, thereby making Yosemite National Park whole once again. Technical studies by government agencies, universities and conservation groups have shown the valley can be restored without San Francisco losing a drop of water, but City leaders have demonstrated no inclination to relinquish their special deal.

Since its founding 20 years ago, Restore Hetch Hetchy has engaged in major efforts to return the eponymous valley to the American people, including consideration by Governor Schwarzenegger’s Administration, a measure on the ballot in San Francisco and a challenge in California’s courts – only to be defeated, so far, by San Francisco’s powerful political machine. 

Yosemite National Park is more popular than ever and Yosemite Valley itself is very overcrowded. Until Restore Hetch Hetchy’s principal goal to remove Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and restore the valley is realized, recreation and access in the Hetch Hetchy area of Yosemite National Park must be improved consistent with the promises San Francisco made when it pleaded with Congress for permission to build the dam and reservoir. Today, barely 1%  of park visitors go to Hetch Hetchy, so Restore Hetch Hetchy is working with the National Park Service to expand limited gate hours, allow camping and to improve trails and other forms of access to the spectacular backcountry. (See Keeping Promises: Providing Public Access to Hetch Hetchy Valley, Yosemite National Park.) 

In 2021, Restore Hetch Hetchy developed a strategic plan designed to methodically develop sufficient political support, across the United States, throughout California and within San Francisco, to reform San Francisco’s water system and return Hetch Hetchy to Yosemite National Park for the benefit of all.

Restore Hetch Hetchy promotes restoring Hetch Hetchy, Yosemite Valley’s lost twin, to its natural splendor; a majestic glacier-carved valley with towering cliffs and waterfalls where river and wildlife run free. 

Hetch Hetchy can be a new kind of national park, with limited development, an improved visitor experience, shared stewardship with Native peoples, and permanent protection of its natural and cultural heritage for future generations.  

There’s opportunity for Hetch Hetchy to be a better Yosemite, one that is designed to accommodate visitors from all walks of life without the traffic and congestion that all too often diminishes the visitor experience in Yosemite Valley. The campaign to restore Hetch Hetchy, however, will require substantial and sustained outreach, especially throughout California to achieve success.   

For more information, see 

Posted 1 year ago
Education Requirement
Some College
Experience Requirement
1 - 5 Years