Director of Public Advocacy and Engagement Position Description

External Affairs Director I

External Affairs




State Director

Seattle, WA



Founded in 1951, 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. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore, we strive for a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Working in 72 countries, including all 50 United States, 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 Director of Public Advocacy and Engagement leads and coordinates a comprehensive program to shape government policy and legislation at the local, state, and federal levels. They lead the Washington Business Unit’s Government Relations team, influencing and learning from community and business leaders, building coalitions, and elevating key issues to advance the Conservancy’s mission and the conservation and policy goals. They drive legislative and administrative initiatives and policies and work with a diverse range of stakeholders, partners, tribal governments, and elected officials to build coalitions to develop and advance key policy initiatives for the state.
The Washington Director of Public Advocacy and Engagement manages and supports the Government Relations team, ensuring that the program complies with state and federal lobbying laws and regulations, and serves as a member of the Executive Team of the Washington Business Unit.


• Serving as a senior representative for The Nature Conservancy with elected officials, agencies, tribes, and stakeholder and partner interests;
• Developing, supporting and leading regional and statewide policy, advocacy, and public engagement initiatives to advance the mission and goals of The Nature Conservancy;
• Leading the Government Relations Team in collaboration with the conservation teams to develop and advance government policies and programs that support The Nature Conservancy’s mission and the Washington Program’s conservation goals;
• Planning, developing and implementing an annual plan and budget for the Washington Government Relations Program, and supervising Government Relations staff of four;
• Researching, recommending, advocating and lobbing for federal and state programs, policies and funding that support our work;
• Building and maintaining productive relationships and open communications with federal, state and local public officials;
• Assuring compliance with TNC’s values, code of conduct, policies and procedures as well as state and federal lobbying laws and regulations, including responsibility for maintaining, reporting and tracking all chapter state and federal lobbying activities;
• Serving as a member of the Washington Executive Team including chapter-level planning, leadership and management;
• Engaging and inspiriting donors and the Washington Board of Trustees;
• Working across The Nature Conservancy to advance TNC’s national and multi-state policy priorities.
• Acting as the chapter’s lead on ballot initiative campaigns when appropriate.
• Leading the team and the chapter in upholding The Nature Conservancy’s values and the Washington Chapter’s Equity Statement


• Manages multi-disciplinary administrative and professional staff with responsibility for performance management, training, and career development. Establishes clear directions and sets stretch objectives.
• Develops and administers departmental budget and has authority to modify budget based on changing circumstances. Operates within budget guidelines to ensure sound financial performance.
• Ensures that public and private funds are raised to meet program needs.
• Work checked through consultation and agreement with others rather than by directives of superiors.
• Ensures that program meets all lobbying, contractual and legal regulations and standards.

Work Environment and Schedule
• Work requires only minor physical exertion and/or strain. Work environment involves only infrequent exposure to disagreeable elements.
• Work may require regular travel, including overnight and out of state travel.
• Ability to work intensively on campaigns and legislative sessions at critical times.


• Bachelor’s degree and 7 years of related senior-level work experience, including current and evolving political, legislative and conservation trends on a federal and/or multi-state level.
• Fluency in English
• Demonstrated experience building strong relationships across an organization and with partners such as corporations, public agencies, tribes, donors, and/or volunteers.
• Experience managing and supervising a large multi-disciplinary team and managing a program budget.
• Experience working with current and evolving political, legislative, sustainability, and/or conservation trends on an international, regional or country level.
• Experience in directing or participating in complex negotiations and presenting to and communicating with government officials, corporate executives, board members and others.
• Experience designing, implementing and directing multiple and multifaceted projects, setting deadlines and ensuring program accountability.


• Seven years of experience and success directing legislative and issue campaigns, lobbying elected officials, directing policy initiatives, building diverse coalitions across political and social divides, and engaging business and community leaders.
• Experience with current political and conservation trends and issues in Washington State and the United States.
• Knowledge of state and federal lobbying laws and regulations.
• Supervisory experience including successfully leading and growing a diversifying workforce
• Experience developing, directing and managing multiple projects and implementing strategic program goals.
• Experience preparing and presenting proposals to and/or negotiating with federal, state, county and/or municipal government representatives, as well as tribal, community, and interest group representatives.
• Ability to work with partners/government agencies without violating any restrictions related to conflicts of interest, lobbying former employers, or influencing decision makers.
• Ability to communicate and work productively and cooperatively across political, racial, socioeconomic and other differences to achieve results.
• Commitment to The Nature Conservancy’s values, Code of Conduct and the Washington Equity Statement.
• Experience inspiring and engaging trustees, volunteer leaders, and donors
• Demonstrated experience deeply listening to the needs of constituents and end users. Experience applying those learnings in engagement plan and strategy development

• Cultivates the creative ideas of others to identify potential solutions. Experiments to find creative solutions – thinks out of the box.
• Designs, implements and directs multiple complex projects, setting and meeting deadlines and ensuring program accountability.
• Work is highly diversified and needed courses of action often do not fall under established practices and guidelines.
• Coordinates the efforts of multiple parties (both internal and external) on projects.
• Act as a resource to others to solve problems.

• Significant opportunity to act independently within broad program goals.
• Makes strategic decisions based on analysis, experience and judgment.
• Decisions may have program-wide impact.

• Develop multi-year public fundraising strategies and goals and implement programs to achieve them.
• Manage multi-disciplinary administrative and professional staff, with responsibility for performance management, training, and career development. Establishes clear directions and sets stretch objectives.
• Responsibility and accountability for meeting departmental strategic goals and objectives.
• Develops and administers departmental budget.
• Ensures that program complies with TNC policies and procedures and external lobbying and legal regulations.

• Work and communicate with a wide range of people – government officials, board of trustees, community leaders, partner organizations, program leadership, volunteers, the public and other staff to develop, negotiate and/or implement programs and projects.
• Consistently demonstrate professional and approachable attitude/demeanor and discretion.
• Function productively as a member of a work team.


Estimated starting salary: $134,000.00 – $140,700.00/annually, dependent on qualifications and experience.


Visit and apply online with cover letter and resume to job #48968 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 September 28, 2020 at 8:59 PM PST. If you experience technical problems with the site or application process, please contact and include the job opening ID.


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.

Drives for Results
Sets challenging goals and objectives based on a strong sense of purpose and high-performance standards and steadfastly pushes self and others for tangible results, while ensuring work-life balance.

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.

The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and cultures. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientations, gender identities, military or veteran status or other status protected by law.