Senior Policy Advisor, Fire & Forest Restoration
The Nature Conservancy - Washington, DC

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The Senior Policy Advisor develops, coordinates and implements a strategy to further the work of the Conservancy and its conservation partners through direct interaction with U.S. government, national, and multi- and bi-lateral agencies focusing on policy and funding initiatives that provide conservation opportunities and/or impact our conservation programs. S/he identifies conservation policy and funding opportunities, evaluates the potential for TNC and NGO partner involvement, and develops and implements strategies to influence policy and public funding for conservation at the national and/or global level. The Senior Policy Advisor liaisons with counterparts in the Conservancy’s U.S. Government RelationsTeam, North America Conservation Region, field-based Operating Units, including Whole System Projects, and others to provide and extract useful lessons and experience and to coordinate on joint policy approaches. S/he also serves as a key point of contact with the external professional community in the policy arena to keep abreast of new developments and opportunities that may be useful to the Conservancy and to report on and share the Conservancy’s experiences with others. The Senior Policy Advisor provides expert policy analysis and contributes directly to the Conservancy’s public funding strategies by providing input for proposal writing, negotiating with bilateral and multilateral agencies, influencing federal appropriations, and donor cultivation as needed.

The Senior Policy Advisor on Forest Restoration and Fire develops, coordinates and implements a robust strategy to further the work of the Conservancy’s Restoring America’s Forests (RAF) Program and related projects through direct interaction with Congressional members and staff, U.S. government agencies, a wide variety of national and regional stakeholders and relevant members of the private sector. The person in this position leads the Conservancy's forest restoration and fire management partnerships with the U.S. Forest Service and Department of the Interior, in particular, but may also work with other federal agencies as they relate to RAF Program goals. The key objective of these partnerships is to influence federal agency policies, priorities and funding strategies so that they emphasize proactive, science-based and collaborative forest restoration at a meaningful scale. The Advisor may also serve as a point of contact for the U.S. Forest Service and other federal agencies on issues beyond the immediate scope of the RAF Program such as land conservation, freshwater, climate change, disaster risk reduction and energy development and mitigation. Within the Conservancy, the Advisor will coordinate closely with U.S. Government Relations, the North America Conservation Region, field-based Operating Units and others to abate ecological threats and pursue innovative solutions through shaping policy, programmatic and funding priorities. Specific duties include:
  • Develop and implement both annual and multi-year policy strategies in support of the RAF Program and related organizational goals, including:
  • Increase both federal and non-federal funding for proactive, science-based and collaborative forest management at a meaningful scale.
  • Improve the legal authorities and policy direction that guide both large-scale and project level planning on National Forest System lands.
  • Secure an alternative, off-budget means of funding federal wildfire suppression so that it does not deplete funding needed for conservation priorities.
  • Promote the establishment of agency policies and funding that support the increased use of fire (both prescribed and wildland) as a management tool.
  • Incorporate restoration and maintenance of landscape-scale forest ecosystems and a central goal of USFS planning and implementation.
  • Serve as the primary contact for key Administration and federal agency partners, including: the USDA Natural Resources and the Environment Mission Area, U.S. Forest Service, Dept. of the Interior (particularly the Office of Wildland Fire Coordination), and other relevant agencies; key members of Congress and staff, particularly those on the relevant authorizing and appropriations committee(s); and relevant officials at the Office of Management and Budget and Council on Environmental Quality.
  • Participate in federal agency decision-making processes, including preparing comments on plans, rule-makings and other administrative actions.
  • Develop and maintain effective relationships with Congressional members and staff and work to advance Conservancy projects and partnerships through both legislation and Appropriations.
  • Develop strategic partnerships and build high-level coalitions with relevant constituencies including private industry, conservation organizations, local and state government organizations, the science and academic community, water, utility and outdoor recreation interests and others to advance the Conservancy’s policy agenda.
  • Provide strategic advice, support, training and coordination to state and divisional operating units of the Nature Conservancy seeking to advance government relations and policy initiatives at the local or regional levels.
  • Develop and present compelling written, visual and oral communication materials in support of the Conservancy’s policy and conservation goals.
  • Work in close coordination with the Conservancy’s marketing and communications, conservation campaigns and philanthropy functions, as well as select specialists across Conservancy projects and operating units, to advance government relation initiatives.
  • Supervise staff as assigned.

  • Bachelor’s degree in political science, environmental policy, or related field and 6 years of senior government relations/external affairs experience or equivalent combination education/experience.
  • Experience conceiving and implementing strategic initiatives.
  • Project management experience including coordinating the work of other professionals inside and outside an organization.
  • Experience preparing and presenting project proposals and negotiating complex high profile or sensitive agreements.
  • Experience working with partners/government agencies without violating any restrictions related to conflicts of interest, lobbying former employers, or influencing decision makers.
  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant field and 8 years of senior relevant experience. Master’s degree and federal agency and/or congressional staff experience strongly preferred.
  • Expert knowledge of current trends and key players in relevant policy discipline.
  • Demonstrated experience conceiving and implementing high-level strategic initiatives.
  • Demonstrated excellent project management skills.
  • Demonstrated excellent verbal and written communications skills.


The Nature Conservancy offers competitive compensation, 401k or savings-plan matching for eligible employees, excellent benefits, flexible work policies and a collaborative work environment. We also provide professional development opportunities and promote from within. As a result, you will find a culture that supports and inspires conservation achievement and personal development, both within the workplace and beyond.


To apply to position number 41303, submit resume and cover letter as one document. All applications must be submitted in the system prior to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on August 7, 2013.

Failure to complete all of the required fields may result in your application being disqualified from consideration. The information entered in the education and work experience sections are auto screened by the system based on the basic qualifications of the position.

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The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, minorities, veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

The successful applicant must meet the requirements of The Nature Conservancy’s background screening process

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