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Wildlife Policy Specialist, Gulf Program

Job Location

Tampa, FL New Orleans, LA


Type of Job



$65,000 - $70,000

Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

Nov 9, 2022

About the job

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Founded in 1936, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF or Federation) is America's largest and most trusted grassroots conservation organization with 52 state/territorial affiliates and more than six million members and supporters, including hunters, anglers, gardeners, birders, hikers, campers, paddlers, and outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes. The Federation's mission is to unite all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in our rapidly changing world through science-based programming focused on conserving wildlife, restoring habitats and waterways, expanding outdoor opportunities, connecting children with nature, and addressing the causes and consequences of climate change.


To support our mission, NWF is seeking a Wildlife Policy Specialist to support its Gulf Program, a longstanding effort to restore the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, build back coastal land in Louisiana, and promote coastal resilience across the Gulf states for the benefit of the Gulf’s people and wildlife. The Wildlife Policy Specialist will be responsible for analyzing and communicating the impacts of various projects, programs, and policies on wildlife in the Gulf region, using best available science. The Wildlife Policy Specialist will identify opportunities to maximize benefits to Gulf wildlife through federal, state, and local programs and decision-making venues, while maintaining consistency with other NWF priorities. The Wildlife Policy Specialist will report to the Gulf Program’s Senior Manager for Science Policy, and will work with the program’s Director and team members (including staff engaged in the Restore the Mississippi River Delta coalition), NWF’s Texas Coast and Water Program, NWF’s Gulf state affiliate organizations, NGO coalitions, and other stakeholders to advocate for sound ecological restoration projects and programs.


The Wildlife Policy Specialist will promote NWF’s wildlife and restoration priorities and will represent NWF in meetings and communications with decision-makers, the media, donors, and coalition partners, as well as in public meetings, hearings, and conferences.

This position can be remote along the Gulf Coast, ideally in the Tampa Bay Region or in New Orleans where NWF has an office.


Principal Duties (major areas of responsibility):


  • 50% -- Wildlife Science and Policy. Identify key issues related to the health of Gulf wildlife, with emphasis on: species or populations especially dependent on healthy Gulf ecosystems; threatened, endangered or imperiled wildlife populations; keystone species; and iconic species that help raise public awareness for NWF priorities. In collaboration with the Senior Manager for Science Policy, program staff, and NWF state affiliates as appropriate, identify priority wildlife issues to pursue; develop and implement strategies to benefit Gulf wildlife; and develop materials to promote those priorities. Provide wildlife expertise and advice to the Restore the Mississippi River Delta coalition, NWF’s offshore wind team, and to other campaigns and coalitions as strategic.
  • 20% -- Restoration Science and Policy. Identify high-priority restoration needs and effective, ecosystem-scale restoration opportunities for the Gulf. Cultivate partnerships with conservation NGOs and other stakeholders as appropriate (commercial and recreational fishing, tourism, local governments, etc.) who would benefit from ecosystem restoration projects and activities. In collaboration with the Gulf Program’s Senior Manager for Science Policy, program staff, coalition partners, and NWF state affiliates as appropriate, develop and implement strategies to maximize the effectiveness of restoration dollars in Gulf states.
  • 10% -- Advocacy and Communications. Represent NWF at public meetings and other meetings related to NWF’s interests, provide testimony at relevant public hearings, attend and present at conferences, and provide interviews to news media on issues related to Gulf wildlife and restoration. Work with program staff to disseminate program messaging to decision-makers, opinion leaders, the news media, NWF constituents, and the general public.
  • 10% -- Technical Information Gathering and Dissemination. Monitor current science on Gulf restoration, Gulf wildlife, and climate change and projections. Gather and interpret scientific and technical information pertinent to the Gulf Program for program staff and other audiences. Integrate science and into NWF campaign messaging. Work with the Senior Manager for Science Policy as well as policy, outreach and communications staff and NGO partners to develop and disseminate NWF campaign messaging. Assist the Senior Manager for Science Policy in communicating programmatic objectives and achievements to the broader NWF organization, regional and national program staff, leadership, and philanthropy staff, and seek out opportunities for collaboration with other NWF programs.
  • 10% -- Fundraising. Assist the Gulf Program’s Senior Manager for Science Policy, the Gulf Director, the Gulf Program Manager, and philanthropy staff in communicating the Gulf Program’s objectives and accomplishments to prospective and current donors, foundations, and other institutional funders. Assist in the cultivation of current and potential donors, and the drafting of proposals and grant reports.


Minimum Experience


  • College degree in natural resources, marine sciences, biological sciences, environmental studies or related field
  • Five years of successful job experience in biological science, conservation or non-profit fields
  • Demonstrated success engaging with diverse stakeholders
  • Demonstrated ability to develop relationships with a broad range of constituencies
  • Coalition and partnerships experience preferred
  • Experience and knowledge of Gulf Coast wildlife and ecosystems


Minimum Skills:


  • Self-starter with demonstrated ability to work both independently and as a team player
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to develop trusting relationships with diverse constituencies and communities
  • Strong prioritization skills and ability to work strategically in a fast-paced environment with many partners
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Facility with all aspects of Microsoft Office, Outlook, Zoom, and Google Docs


NWF Values:


Your actions are expected to reflect the staff values of the National Wildlife Federation: collaboration, mindfulness, empowerment, inclusivity, and mission focus. Your competencies should include:


  • Being motivated by values of equity and responsibility to those most marginalized;
  • Consistently bringing a high level of empathy and social skills to work and interpersonal interactions;
  • Being committed to deepening an environmental justice approach in policy priorities, program development and partner engagement;
  • Actively seeking feedback, direction, and guidance from all team members and keeping staff informed of decisions that impact them;
  • Being dedicated to advancing NWF’s internal equity transformation and compelling partners and allies to incorporate equity into their work; and
  • Passion for and commitment to NWF's mission.


Compensation and Benefits:


The salary range for this position is $65,000-$70,000, commensurate with experience.


We are proud of our designation by Mogul as a Top 100 Workplace with the Best Benefits in 2021! We value work-life balance and a family-friendly atmosphere with flexible scheduling. We want you to be able to integrate work and personal life with attention to your self-care, so that your work schedule is not depleting. We offer benefits so you feel restored and fueled through the day and week.


We offer these supports to help manage your mental, emotional, and physical health:


  • Paid time off: Vacation that starts off at three weeks accrual, unlimited wellbeing (this time can be used for physical, spiritual, emotional, cultural, religious or financial wellbeing for yourself, a partner, or family member – including pets), 10 holidays, and 3 floating holidays
  • We close down for a paid winter break between December 25 to January 1 to recognize end of-year stress, and time for reflection, rejuvenation, and spending time with family.
  • Up to 16 weeks of fully paid Family and Medical Leave
  • Low-cost health, dental, and vision insurance options – all outpatient mental health is covered at in-network rates
  • Therapist available at no cost
  • Pet insurance and discount perk program
  • Annual wellbeing allowance


In addition to your salary, we offer the following supports to your personal finances:


  • Retirement plan with immediate match and vesting
  • Annual year end retirement contribution
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Adoption and Surrogacy assistance
  • Pet adoption stipend
  • Student Loan management


Applicants are invited to learn more about National Wildlife Federation’s benefits package at


COVID Consideration:


The National Wildlife Federation closely follows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease and has implemented processes that promote the safety of our employees, candidates, and communities. Because the health of our employees and candidates is a top priority, we conduct our hiring process virtually via phone or video until further notice. We are currently starting our positions as remote, and are continuing to explore what our future of work will be moving forward. Proof of vaccination will be required to join the National Wildlife Federation.




Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Candidates should submit a cover letter and resume.

We strive to increase diversity, equity, inclusion and justice (DEIJ) in all elements of our work and with our partners to support the interdependent needs of wildlife and people in a rapidly changing world. We recruit, employ, train compensate, and promote regardless of race, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity (including gender nonconformity and status as a transgender individual), age, physical or mental disability, citizenship, genetic information, past, current, or prospective service in the uniformed services, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal, state, or local law. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Applicants are invited to learn more about National Wildlife Federation’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion at


We recognize that people come with a wealth of experience and talent beyond just the technical requirements of a job, therefore our job descriptions are guidelines, not hard and fast rules. Your experience, which may include paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work, helps build the competencies and knowledge that translates to our openings. Diversity of experience and skills combined with passion is a key to innovation and a culture of excellence. Therefore, we encourage people from all backgrounds to apply to our positions.


Please let us know if you require accommodations during the application or interview process by reaching us at or 703-438-6244.


If selected for this position, a background check will be conducted.

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