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Senior Manager, Government Relations

Job Location

Washington, D.C.


Type of Job




Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

May 4, 2021

About the job

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Ocean Conservancy educates and empowers citizens to take action on behalf of the ocean. From the Arctic to the Gulf of Mexico to the halls of Congress, Ocean Conservancy brings people together to find solutions for our water planet. Informed by science, our work guides policy and engages people in protecting the ocean and its wildlife for future generations.



Ocean Conservancy’s Government Relations team works to develop and implement policy solutions to address key ocean threats. Through strategic engagement with Congress, the Administration, partner organizations and other stakeholders, we work to educate policy-makers on ocean issues and influence ocean-related legislation and policy decisions to achieve lasting change. We pride ourselves on promoting policy solutions that are visionary, but pragmatic; inspiring and activating key constituencies in new and innovative ways; and working with our program teams to win real policy and legislative changes that protect and promote ocean health.


The Government Relations Senior Manager’s mission is to drive the development and advancement of Ocean Conservancy’s policy and legislative agenda.  This position serves as Ocean Conservancy’s voice to government officials on Capitol Hill, in federal agencies, and in certain state legislatures, and works with our conservation experts to develop principled but pragmatic policy goals, activate new constituencies, and win real policy and legislative changes that protect and promote ocean health. Specially, the individual in this role will serve as one of the government relations staffers responsible for developing and implementing a cross-cutting advocacy campaign and government relations strategy to achieve our Trash-Free Seas and Plastics policy objectives. This position will also support our Fish Conservation lobbying efforts.


This position is based in Washington, D.C. and the successful candidate will be expected to register as a federal lobbyist.



The Senior Manager, Government Relations will:


Act as Ocean Conservancy’s representative and voice on Capitol Hill and with federal agencies.

  • Forms relationships and promotes the organization’s visibility and political reputation with Members of Congress, their staff, and the Administration on ocean conservation and funding issues.
  • Lobbies policymakers, their staffs, and administration officials to persuasively present Ocean Conservancy’s policy positions and encourage action to further the organization’s policy and funding priorities.
  • Responds to requests for information and advocate for the organization’s positions before Congress and federal agencies.
  • Represents the organization at legislative hearings, meetings, markups and press conferences.
  • Works collaboratively with outside lobbying contractors that support our advocacy work.
  • May also be responsible for working with a select number of state legislatures and state agencies to achieve policy objectives.

Drive visionary and politically pragmatic policy solutions.

  • Works closely with Ocean Conservancy program staff to identify and create opportunities to advance specific policy and funding goals, and to develop and implement strategies and tactics to achieve effective policy outcomes.
  • Performs policy analysis, legislative strategy development and implementation, selective stakeholder outreach, and coordination of the NGO community in support of policy objectives.
  • Determines when new legislative authority is needed, draft testimony, legislation, and legislative amendments, and communicates with Congressional staff.
  • Coordinates with program staff to review and draft letter, legislative, and policy endorsement recommendations to OC leadership.
  • Participates in planning processes to prepare Ocean Conservancy and our programs for shifts in political power, such as election scenario planning and administration transition planning.

Lead cross-cutting communications and advocacy strategies.

  • Leads creation of cross-cutting advocacy campaign plans, strategies, and tactics.
  • Produces a variety of written products, such as letters, blogs, fact sheets, action alerts, and op-eds, to support advocacy and lobbying activities.
  • Plans and coordinates with other organizational staff, including Digital, Communications, and the Our Ocean Network, activities in support of policy advocacy, such as stakeholder fly-ins, special events, and digital and communications campaigns.



  • Proven ability to understand and analyze complex environmental and legislative issues; and develop and implement strategies to advance policy and legislative goals.
  • Minimum of three years of experience working with Congress and/or the federal government on policy issues.
  • Prior experience or familiarity with marine debris, plastic pollution, or fish conservation policy issues.
  • Prior experience or familiarity with the Environmental Protection Agency or the National Marine Fisheries Service.
  • Prior experience or familiarity with the Senate Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, House Natural Resources Committee, Senate Environment & Public Works Committee, or House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee.
  • Prior experience leading the development of cross-cutting advocacy campaigns plans, strategies, and tactics.
  • Superior oral and written communication skills, including capacity to communicate complex ideas compellingly to a variety of audiences.
  • Demonstrated ability to integrate across disciplines and work collaboratively with diverse teams, networks, and coalitions.
  • A strategic thinker who can identify, maximize, and create opportunities to advance Ocean Conservancy’s policy goals.
  • A high-level performer who will bring the necessary creativity, energy, and commitment; and with the ability to move rapidly in response to policy opportunities as they present themselves.
  • Understanding of Congress, the Administration, and the policy-making process.
  • Attentive to details and adheres strictly to deadlines and deliverables while keeping a larger vision in mind.
  • Highly collaborative with an appreciation of the benefit of a multi-disciplinary team approach.



Bachelor’s degree in political science, environmental policy, law, or marine science preferred.
Advanced degree a plus.
Knowledge of one or more of the policy issues listed above preferred.



If you think you have what it takes to join Ocean Conservancy’s team, please apply here.

Ocean Conservancy is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, sex, handicap, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran status. Ocean Conservancy is continually seeking to diversify its staff, particularly to broaden opportunities for individuals from demographic groups that are historically underrepresented in the sciences and in environmental advocacy.



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