Government Relations, Senior Representative
Type of Job
$70,000 - $78,000
Apr 4, 2023
About the job
This professional position is responsible for advancing Defenders of Wildlife’s legislative and administrative interests before Congress, the Administration and the media. Issue priorities are drawn from Defenders’ current priorities, including endangered species; wildlife; national wildlife refuges, national forests and public lands; and related appropriations issues. Responsibilities include: leading multi-group legislative campaigns involving direct lobbying; developing legislative strategies; leading and/or participating in inter-departmental campaign teams; leading and/or representing Defenders’ interests in national issue-based coalitions; helping to develop grassroots and communications and social media strategies; working with and monitoring Congressional committees; drafting reports, fact sheets and testimony; obtaining legislative and political information; and generally assisting the advocacy work of Defenders’ Government Relations and External Affairs department.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Play a leading role in clarifying and advancing Defenders’ legislative/administrative goals for assigned issues
- Lead and regularly work in coalitions with advocacy staff at partner organizations to strategize politically, craft messaging, determine legislative targets, and help determine resource allocations for national issue campaigns
- Employing sound political judgment, build an effective network of congressional, coalition and public support to advance assigned issues
- Utilizing strong legislative judgment, identify and implement effective legislative/administrative strategies and projects to advance assigned issues
- Continually marshal, leverage, and organize inter-departmental and, where possible, external resources on assigned legislative/administrative issues through ongoing campaign planning, project management, legislative targeting, team building, and coalition leadership
- Implement, as appropriate, various aspects of issue campaigns through activities including: direct lobbying; coalition representation; legislative, policy and legal analysis; multi-party negotiations; bill drafting; direct and grassroots lobbying materials development; action alert drafting; testimony and public presentations; media representation; and drafting press materials and legislatively focused Web content.
- Closely monitor legislative developments in assigned issues and disseminate timely information about those issues throughout the organization
- Play the lead role in responding to questions about the legal definitions of what constitutes direct and grassroots lobbying and in educating Defenders’ staff about these definitions and the organization’s compliance practices
- Review communications for potential lobbying content and elevate more complex issues within Defenders and/or to outside counsel
- Play a lead role in ensuring Defenders’ compliance with electioneering prohibitions through staff education and responding to issues as they arise
- Play a lead role in ensuring Defenders’ compliance with congressional and federal ethics laws, including those related to bribery, gifts, travel, dinners and events.
- Provide timely responses to requests for progress reports, funding proposals, budgets and other information requested by departments including: Government Relations, Communications and Philanthropy
- Contribute to the development of Defenders of Wildlife’s legislative Report Card through activities by identifying potential votes and drafting vote descriptions
- Effectively contribute to Defenders’ positive image on Capitol Hill, with outside organizations, and in the media
- Perform all other related duties as assigned.
Education: J.D. degree
Experience: 6 years of Capitol Hill or other legislative experience and/or education, preferably involving natural resource issues. Experience working with wildlife conservation issues and knowledge of federal resource agencies, laws, treaties and policies dealing with use and conservation of natural resources. Political experience, judgment and sensitivity, including a thorough understanding of lobbying, resource and appropriations committees, budget process and federal legislative procedures and grassroots targeting. Experience developing, implementing, and managing legislative and advocacy campaigns on a national level.
An equivalent combination of education and experience may be accepted as a satisfactory substitute for the specific education and experience listed above.
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities for All Defenders
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities for Professional 4
- Ability to accurately maintain electronic and physical records
- Anticipate and meet the needs of internal and/or external stakeholders delivering excellent service
- Ability to clearly and accurately communicate with internal and external stakeholders
- Ability to articulate complex ideas clearly, accurately and concisely
- Ability to convey effective messages to broad and diverse constituencies
- Ability and willingness to effectively represent Defenders’ interests in external environments
- Ability to exert influence and build consensus with internal and external stakeholders
- Ability to handle sensitive and confidential matters with discretion
- Strong research and data analysis skills, including ability to gather and synthesize information from multiple sources to produce high quality work products in a consistent, efficient, accurate, and timely manner
- Creative problem-solving and troubleshooting skills with willingness to experiment and innovate new methods.
- Facilitate and promote the integration of diversity, equity and inclusion strategies into Defenders’ work
- Ability to independently exercise appropriate judgment in response to complex and/or fluid environments
- Strategic thinker with the ability to take high-level strategy and translate into relatable points and action steps.
- Ability to work well under pressure and tight deadlines while balancing competing assignments
- Ability to remain flexible and adaptable to shifting priorities while remaining responsive to urgent requests
- Ability to take ownership of a project or process and to use problem solving skills to resolve issues
- Ability to manage deadlines on multiple cross-functional projects in a dynamic environment
- Demonstrated ability in managing competing interests on complex issues
- Ability to independently initiate project and initiative ideas; managing projects and initiatives through to completion
Coalition and Community Engagement
- Strong interpersonal skills and ability to form effective working relationships with diverse constituencies including federal/state agencies; elected officials and their staff; Defenders’ members and donors; private landowners; hunters and anglers; community leaders; religious, scientific, and academic communities; and /or the general public.
- Ability to lead diverse stakeholders in collaborative activities, to anticipate policy issues impacting wildlife and make recommendations within Defenders, other organizations, and coalitions.
- Networking skills to engage with leaders in the conservation community, federal and state agencies, NGOs, and other organizations.
- Expert-level knowledge of Defenders’ legal, scientific, and/or political issues
- Expert-level knowledge of national and regional social, political, and ecological landscapes
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities for Senior Government Relations Representative
- Ability to work effectively as part of Defenders’ legislative and administrative advocacy team
- Ability to conduct research, analyze information, and produce quality work products in a consistent, efficient, and timely manner
- Ability to effectively lead and/or represent Defenders’ interests in national issue coalitions
- Other relevant experience with public policy, education, grassroots organizing, communications, editing, and/or development
- Demonstrates a willingness and ability to productively engage and collaborate with internal and external stakeholders from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives
- Ability to represent Defenders to external entities and the public in a professional manner while exercising tact, diplomacy, and discretion.
- Ability to provide sound advice to ensure organizational compliance with complex lobbying and electioneering laws and regulations
- Personal interest and commitment to conservation
PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES, ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS, PHYSICAL DEMANDS
Check all that apply
(N)Never, (O)Occasionally or (C)Constantly
Ascending or descending ladders, stairs, scaffolding, ramps, poles and the like.
Moving self in different positions to accomplish tasks in various environments including tight and confined spaces.
Remaining in a stationary position, often standing or sitting for prolonged periods.
Moving about to accomplish tasks or moving from one worksite to another.
Adjusting or moving objects up to 10 pounds in all directions.
Communicating with others to exchange information.
Repeating motions that may include the wrists, hands and/or fingers.
Operating machinery and/or power tools.
Operating motor vehicles or heavy equipment.
Assessing the accuracy, neatness and thoroughness of the work assigned.
Check all that apply
(N)Never, (O)Occasionally or (C)Constantly
Outdoor elements such as precipitation and wind.
Small and/or enclosed spaces.
No adverse environmental conditions expected.
Check only one
Sedentary work that primarily involves sitting/standing.
Light work that includes moving objects up to 20 pounds.
Medium work that includes moving objects up to 50 pounds.
Heavy work that includes moving objects up to 100 pounds or more.
Visit www.defenders.org to apply.
All employees are required to satisfactorily perform the essential duties and responsibilities of their positions. The essential duties and responsibilities listed above are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.
Defenders of Wildlife requires employees who engage in in-person work activities, including business travel or onsite work, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. An applicant (i) who is disabled or pregnant or who has a qualifying medical condition that contraindicates a COVID-19 vaccination or (ii) who objects to being vaccinated on the basis of a sincerely held religious belief, observance or practice may request an exemption from this vaccination policy. This determination will be made on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with applicable law. Any medical information concerning an applicant's disability will be treated as a confidential medical record in compliance with applicable federal, state and local laws.
Defenders of Wildlife provides equal employment opportunity to all qualified individuals without regard to their race, color, creed, religion, sex national origin, ethnicity, age, physical or mental disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, personal appearance, family/parental status, matriculation, political affiliation, genetic information, or any other legally protected characteristic in all personnel actions.
Please be advised this position is union-eligible.