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Sr. Attorney/Sr. Policy Analyst – Clean Water Initiative

Job Location

Chicago, Illinois


Type of Job



$103,500 is min., salary midpoint is $129,250

Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

Apr 7, 2022

About the job

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Senior Attorney/Senior Policy Advocate

Job LocationsUS-IL-Chicago

Posted Date3 months ago(1/12/2022 3:48 PM)

Job ID 2021-4728 # of Openings 1 Group Litigation [103000]


NRDC (The Natural Resources Defense Council) is one of the nation’s most effective and influential environmental organizations. It is guided by the understanding that protecting the planet is about protecting people – our health, our communities, and our economy. At the core of its mission is a simple idea: a healthy environment should be a basic right for all of us – regardless of where we live, what we look like, or how we vote. And it is relentless in its commitment to defend that right.


The organization’s unique approach combines the power of law, science, policy, and public engagement to create solutions for lasting change. On any given day, NRDC takes polluters to court. It advocates in city halls, statehouses, and government chambers. It publishes ground-breaking scientific research. NRDC works alongside communities to make them healthier and more resilient. It activates public pressure to make government officials and corporations do the right thing.


Today, our staff of more than 700 lawyers, scientists, economists, policy advocates, communications experts, and others work across the United States and internationally from our offices in New York; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Santa Monica; San Francisco; Bozeman, Montana; and Beijing.


Position Summary:

NRDC is seeking a Senior Attorney/Senior Policy Analyst Job to work with the Safe Water Initiative team in our Chicago office. The candidate will collaborate with a team of attorneys, policy analysts, and other staff engaged on drinking water and source water protection issues within the People & Communities program as well as across the organization. At this time, the person’s portfolio of work will include Illinois drinking water policy advocacy but will likely expand to include other related work such as source water protection, addressing contaminants like PFAS, water affordability, and more.


NRDC’s Safe Water initiative is a multi-faceted, cross-institutional campaign that seeks to make safe, sufficient, and affordable water from source to tap an enforceable human right. The candidate will help us achieve this goal by working with a team to address the legal, health, environmental justice, and governmental failures that compromise the safety of our water. We know these problems are not unique to communities like Flint, Michigan, and this person will also work to help tackle the roots of these systemic problems.

The position will report to the Director of the Safe Water Initiative and be based out of our Chicago office.



Successful candidates have demonstrated both strong independent initiative and the ability to contribute effectively as a member of a team and collaborate across organizations. Specific responsibilities include:

  • Assist the director of the Safe Water Initiative in developing strategies to grow NRDC’s advocacy efforts on water policy in key states.
  • Actively work to center diversity, equity, inclusion, and movement building in our work with our partners.
  • Build and maintain strong ties and participate in productive working relationships community partners, environmental organizations, and non-traditional allies to establish new relationships with social justice, civil rights, and health organizations to support improved water policies.
  • Serve as a resource for partners when our insights and technical expertise are requested.
  • Work jointly with key NRDC staff to help develop and coordinate activities of the initiative regarding communications, lobbying, negotiation, policy advocacy, partnership alliances, and public engagement, and ensure that ongoing litigation activities are coordinated with all other aspects of the campaign.
  • Review and analyze current federal, state, and local water policies; in partnership with local community groups, produce and promote relevant and innovative solutions.
  • Advocate at the state and federal level for our policy goals and objectives.
  • Pursue and/or support litigation in state and federal court, where necessary, to achieve our programmatic objectives.
  • Speak on behalf of NRDC’s work in the media and other related opportunities, such as the organization’s social media platforms.
  • Engage in public speaking at conferences, webinars, and other related opportunities.
  • Assist with fundraising efforts and grant reports.
  • Supervise the work of contractors and interns.
  • Once it is safe, travel as necessary to implement work plan objectives in national, state, and local areas of focus.
  • Other duties as assigned.


While no candidate will have all the qualifications listed, an ideal candidate will have working knowledge of many of these characteristics.

  • Bachelor’s Degree required. A law degree or advanced degree in public policy, water resources, public health, engineering, or a related subject is a plus.
  • Minimum of 7 years work experience in a related field.
  • A passion for protecting the environment and advancing NRDC’s policy priorities.
  • Knowledge of Midwest or Great Lakes water policies, especially as they relate to drinking water, is ideal.
  • A general understanding of issue advocacy or fundamentals of a political campaign.
  • Experience and/or working knowledge of environmental justice and social justice issues.
  • Excellent oral and written communication and advocacy skills.
  • Ability to work hard, efficiently, and independently.
  • Ability to represent NRDC with maturity, judgment, and professionalism.
  • Comfortable interpreting scientific and technical concepts.
  • Project management experience.
  • Demonstrated commitment to public service or social justice work.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work as a member of a team to build upon strengths of the program.
  • Willingness to travel periodically.
  • Demonstrated commitment to principles of and competency in equity and inclusion, including contributing to an inclusive working and learning environment.
  • Commitment to NRDC’s values and mission.

NRDC is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, both in our work and in our workplace. We believe that celebrating and actively welcoming a diversity of voices and perspectives is essential to solving the planet's most pressing environmental problems, and we encourage applications from candidates whose identities have been historically under-represented in the environmental movement. We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

We offer competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a supportive working environment. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and commensurate with skills and experience. Salary minimum is $103,500; salary midpoint is $129,250.  Salary may be higher as appropriate for the selected candidate, with internal equity considerations taken into account.

Since March 2020, NRDC’s offices have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You will be attached to the Chicago office, but until circumstances allow us to re-open, we will continue to support staff with remote working arrangements.  Should you relocate from your current location in the future, we will review any change to your compensation, and relocation assistance, at that time.

To apply, please visit and upload your resume and cover letter through our online portal. We would like you to upload any additional papers or project work that you think would showcase your abilities. Due to the high volume of applications NRDC receives, we will only contact candidates we would like to progress through the search process. Please no phone calls, emails, faxes, or in-person resume drop-offs. Please reference where you saw this posting. NRDC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

If you are having technical difficulty while applying, or if you are a person with a disability and you need assistance applying online, please reach out to iCIMS Customer Care by dialing 1-800-889-4422.

For further information about NRDC, please visit

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