Operations Director

Standing Rock, ND


SAGE, “Strategic Advancement Goals for the Environment”, provides renewable and sustainable energy resources in balance with Natural Law to recognize the interconnectedness of all living things.

The Standing Rock (“SAGE”) Renewable Energy Power Authority acts as a Public Power Authority (PPA) that will control and operate all the energy production assets within the reservation. SAGE institutionalizes SRST’s involvement in renewable energy projects, facilitates agreements with third-party entities, and holds Standing Rock’s equity interest.

 SAGE Core Values:

  • Wisdom Natural Law ― the respect of the balance of all living things
  • Respect Tate Topa (four winds) ― the winds each bring different aspects that give life
  • Caring/Compassion 7 generations/good ancestors mindset ― make sound decisions that will have a positive impact to our relatives in 500 years
  • Fortitude/Bravery Protecting ― local control and ownership respect for SRST law and individual land ownership
  • Generosity To be equitable ― to give a fair return on revenue and fair pricing for energy to our customers
  • Humility Leadership ― be willing to listen, learn and lead to build community
  • Honesty Fiscally responsible ― follow general accounting principles and work within the APPA standards for public power


The Operations Director is a leadership role responsible for ensuring the smooth functioning of the organization. The ultimate goal of the Operations Director will be to drive the implementation and improvements of operational processes and procedures, optimizing efficiency, and ensuring the effective performance of all departments.

Top essential functions and duties include but are not limited to:

Team Management

  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with external partners, vendors, and stakeholders.
  • Establish working relationships with the Board of Directors President and committee chairs in verbal, written, and electronic communication
  • Align board members with SAGE's staff planning processes and benchmarks
  • Supervise and lead the HR Consultant, Office Manager, Board Development Consultant, and other consultants as it pertains to SAGE operations.
  • Supervise personnel across various departments, offering valuable and constructive feedback for continuous improvement.
  • As the organization expands, take on a supervisory role in development/fundraising and finance, providing guidance and support to team members.
  • Create, promote, and sustain an organizational culture that aligns with SAGE’s core values.

Strategic Planning & Evaluation

  • Manage and oversee organizational planning and evaluation processes to ensure alignment with SAGE’s mission, vision, and strategic goals.
  • Collaborate with other Directors to enhance cross-team cohesion, team development, and performance evaluations.
  • Contribute to improvement plans based on assessment outcomes.
  • Oversee budget development and forecasting for operational expenditures; monitor board budget
  • Counsel SAGE on effective board partnership strategies
  • Aid in board member training and coaching; outlining board member's roles and responsibilities
  • Oversee the development of new internal processes to improve program and opportunity pathways for business development and cross-functional efficiency.
  • Work alongside the leadership team to craft and implement SAGE’s policies, procedures and work plans, providing constructive feedback for continuous improvement.

Efficiency Systems

  • Create and operationalize efficient systems for day-to-day operations.
  • Streamline processes to enhance productivity and effectiveness.
  • Troubleshoot operational issues and implement solutions promptly
  • Create and maintain board booklets

Compliance & Risk Management

  • Monitor legal requirements, compliance, and reporting obligations.
  • Lead compliance and risk management initiatives and coordinate audits as needed.

Work Plan Integration

  • Aggregate work plans from different teams and integrate them across the organization.
  • Develop streamlined timelines to optimize project execution.
  • Manage and negotiate contracts with third-party service providers and suppliers to ensure cohesive integration.

CEO Support

  • Assist the CEO in operational strategy and deliverables for the internal team, consultants, stakeholders, and Board of Directors.
  • Provide an open-door policy to staff members, fostering communication and accessibility.
  • Work in partnership with the CEO to provide constructive feedback and propose strategic solutions to support the success of the organization.

SAGE Ambassador

  • Serve as a knowledgeable and enthusiastic ambassador and public speaker to build and maintain SAGE’s positive public image and rapport with community members and stakeholders.
  • Stay up to date on industry trends, innovations, and best practices to drive continuous improvement.
  • Honor and incorporate Lakota/Dakota cultural values in SAGE’s daily operations.
  • Other duties as required and assigned by the organization. 


Our ideal candidate will bring a strategic, “can-do” approach to their work and have ten (10) years of experience in providing services supporting the strategy and implementation of operations management, preferably in a nonprofit or development context with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Operations Management or other related technical four-year degree

Our candidate will also embody the following skills, abilities and values:

  • Diplomacy - Effective, clear, and concise diplomatic communication strategies and conflict resolution throughout all levels of the organization.
  • Strong leadership, communication, problem-solving, and decision-making skills to support collaborative work with diverse individuals and teams.
  • Demonstrates big-picture thinking, considering the entirety of concepts and long-term impacts. 
  • Strong change management skills and ability to work well under pressure to meet deadlines.
  • Project completion – Strong desire and ability to ensure all elements of the project are present and complete.
  • Flexibility – Plans ahead to account for unplanned changes and adapts to change with a new plan quickly.
  • Teamwork - Interact productively with a team and play to each person’s strengths.
  • Demonstrated success in building long-term effective business relationships.
  • Fiscal responsibility – Exercise a fiscally conservative approach.
  • Deadline-oriented – Works consistently through deadlines.
  • Judgment - Use sound judgment to work through complex situations.
  • Experience with and eager to incorporate Lakota/Dakota and Native American-centered ideology and values into organizational strategies and engagement.
  • Preference is extended to Native American candidates.


The Operations Director role is on-site at the SAGE office in Fort Yates/Standing Rock, North Dakota. Compensation will be offered at a range of $80,000 - $120,000 annually and is commensurate with experience, skills, and qualifications. 

Health insurance and retirement benefits are available after completing the introductory period.


If you are someone who aligns with SAGE values and is eager to contribute to their mission through your passion for sustainable energy for the Lakota/Dakota Native nation, please apply with your resume and cover letter. Within your cover letter, please share with us why you feel your background fits well in this position.

SAGE complies with federal and state disability laws and makes reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with disabilities. If reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application or interview process, perform essential job functions, and/or receive other benefits and privileges of employment, please message us through the portal with your application. 

Don’t exactly fit the description?  Research shows that certain demographics, especially women and other marginalized groups, tend to only apply for a job when they meet all the criteria.  If this role sounds like a great fit for you but you don’t meet every item on the description, we’d encourage you to apply anyway 

SAGE and Gorge HR have partnered up in the recruitment efforts for this position.