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External Affairs Advisor

Dec 18, 2018
The Nature Conservancy
74 Wall Street
Seattle, WA
About Us
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore, we are committed to a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter. 
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. 
The Washington Chapter of The Nature Conservancy is undertaking bold steps to transform the conservation movement by combining innovative conservation methods with new, broader coalitions of advocates for community-based conservation. 
The External Affairs Advisor will help guide The Nature Conservancy’s strategies to build influence, leverage and momentum for environmental progress in Washington State. They will guide planning, outreach and communications, and will lobby all levels of government for policy or budget appropriations necessary to achieve conservation goals. The External Affairs Advisor will work with other members of the Government Relations team to strengthen strategic external relationships that will enable the Washington Chapter to have the greatest possible impact to protect the environment and improve the well-being of communities in our region. 

Essential Functions
The External Affairs Advisor plans, implements and coordinates strategies within The Nature Conservancy’s Washington Program to affect government policy and legislation. They oversee legislative and administrative initiatives and policies related to The Nature Conservancy’s mission and programs, including polices to address climate change, forest health, clean water, and healthy cities. They work to build and support effective coalitions among diverse interests, and problem-solve to tackle political challenges. Essential functions include: 

Lobbying and Government Relations (50%)
  • Cultivating relationships with state, federal, tribal, and/or local government decision-makers, with potential emphasis on either state or local and tribal relationship building/relationship management.
  • Advocating conservation policy priorities through regular contact with federal, state, local, and tribal government officials
 Collaborating with Program Teams (50%)
  • Collaborate closely with conservation, science, and other staff to develop government relations strategies and policy initiatives that advance our conservation goals with initial emphasis on working with Puget Sound team on issues related to clean water and healthy cities.
  • Work with conservation staff to develop high-level strategies to build, influence, and improve partnerships.
  • Develop multi-faceted legislative campaigns to increase our impact and achieve specific policy goals.
Level of Position: 
The External Affairs Advisor is a senior advisor position with broad strategic responsibility and external visibility. 
  • They may supervise one or more administrative and/or professional staff, interns or volunteers, with responsibility for performance management, training and development.
Within the scope of the position, they will:
  • Advocate and lobby for priority policies and public funding for programs and projects that are key to conservation priorities and advance the work of The Nature Conservancy and its partners.
  • Communicate with diverse types of people, including business executives, tribal leaders, rural community representatives, people of color, and elected officials in support of conservation outcomes. 
  • Research, analyze, evaluate and prepare recommendations on state and federal public policy issues, policy options and the potential impacts of proposed legislation, proposed rule-making efforts, and changes in agency policies. 
  • Build and maintain productive relationships and open communications with key elected officials and agency officials at the state, local, and federal level, as well as with tribal governments and other nongovernmental organization partners.  
  • Support program objectives by working in a complex matrix organization environment and working collaboratively within cross-functional teams.
  • Assure compliance with all state and federal lobbying laws and regulations, including responsibility for maintaining, reporting and tracking state and federal lobbying activities. 
Work Environment and Schedule
  • Must be willing to travel within Washington State, including frequent travel between Seattle and Olympia; occasional travel to Washington DC and other U.S. locations.  
  • Work long and/or flexible hours as needed.
Minimum Qualifications
  • Bachelor’s degree in political science, environmental policy, management or other relevant field and 5 years of government relations, policy, lobbying, or advocacy experience, OR equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience developing, directing and managing multiple projects and implementing strategic program goals. 
  • Experience working with teams across an organization to achieve policy objectives. 
  • Experience building coalitions and identifying key stakeholders. 
  • Valid driver’s license or ability to obtain one prior to starting the position.
Desired Qualifications
  • Master's degree preferred
  • Experience lobbying elected officials and implementing legislative campaigns or policy goals.
  • Multi-cultural experience, including working in partnership with diverse communities.
  • Excellent communication skills including presentation, conversation and written. 
  • Excellent team player with experience working in multi-disciplinary groups, using influence and interpersonal skills, listening, diplomacy and tact to build strong relationships with governments, partners, volunteers, and all levels of staff. 
  • Experience and familiarity with social, economic and political conditions, issues and trends in Washington State.
  • Demonstrated political savvy and know-how.  
  • Experience preparing and presenting to and/or negotiating with government representatives and/or community leaders. 
Auto Safety
This position requires a valid driver's license and compliance with the Conservancy's Auto Safety Program. Employees may not drive Conservancy-owned/leased vehicles, rental cars, or personal vehicles on behalf of the Conservancy if considered "high risk drivers." Please see further details in the Auto Safety Program document available at 
Employment in this position will be contingent upon completion of a Vehicle Use Agreement, which may include a review of the prospective employee's motor vehicle record.

Salary Information
Estimated starting salary: $82,000 - $90,000/annually, dependent on qualifications and experience.

To Apply
Visit and apply online with cover letter and resume to job #47176 or apply directly here. All resumes and required cover letters must be submitted through The Nature Conservancy’s online application system. The application deadline is January 17, 2019 at 8:59 PM PST. If you experience technical problems with the site or application process, please contact and include the job opening ID.

Organizational Competencies 

Builds Relationships 
Builds productive relationships by interacting with others in ways that enhance mutual trust and commitment.
Collaboration & Teamwork 
Works collaboratively with stakeholders across levels, geographies, backgrounds, and cultures to improve decisions, strengthen commitment, and be more effective.
Communicates Authentically 
Communicates proactively and in a timely manner to share information, persuade, and influence with the appropriate level of detail, tone, and opportunities for feedback.
Develops Others 
Takes ownership to help develop others’ skills, behaviors, and mindsets to help them maximize their workplace contributions.

Leverages Difference 
Demonstrates commitment to harnessing the power of differences strategically; consistently sees, learns from, and takes strategic action related to difference; and demonstrates the self-awareness and behaviors to work across differences of identity and power respectfully and effectively with all stakeholder. Actively seeks to build and retain a diverse workforce and fosters an equitable inclusive workplace by drawing upon diverse perspectives. 
Systems Leadership 
Thinks and acts from a broad perspective with a long-term view and an understanding of 1) the dynamic nature of large-scale challenges and 2) the need for integrating five key practices: skillfully engaging appropriate people; providing a clear process for change; taking a holistic view of situations; focusing on a small number of strategic actions, while learning from and adapting them over time; and being aware of how one’s own thinking or patterns of behavior may be limiting change.

This description is not designed to be a complete list of all duties and responsibilities required for this job.