Associate Vice President, Public Policy & Advocacy

04 Jul, 2021


Associate Vice President, Public Policy & Advocacy

New England Aquarium
Boston, MA

The New England Aquarium is a catalyst for global change through public engagement, commitment to marine animal conservation, leadership in education, innovative scientific research, and effective advocacy for vital and vibrant oceans. The Associate Vice President of Public Policy and Advocacy will develop and champion the New England Aquarium’s (NEAq) legislative priorities and advance those priorities on Beacon Hill and in Washington, DC. The Associate Vice President (AVP) will develop a grassroots/grasstops advocacy network to support those priorities, help ensure that our grassroots actions are highly coordinated and aligned with our well-respected grasstops advocacy efforts so they are bolstering and amplifying one another, and work with leaders from across the organization to advance our policy priorities. This role is new and has been created to advance our overall public policy, advocacy and government relations agenda.


  1. In conjunction with VP of External Relations and other New England Aquarium (NEAq) leaders, co-develop the Aquarium’s federal, state and local legislative, political and grassroots/grasstops advocacy strategy.
  2. Shape, lead, and advance NEAq’s legislative and administrative priorities and ensure alignment with our mission and organizational priorities, including those related to our ocean conservation policy agenda
  3. Represent NEAq at public and agency meetings, Capitol Hill, State House and City Hall legislative hearings, in local communities and other forums to promote NEAq’s mission and enterprise-wide policy agenda.
  4. Conduct research on policy and legislative approaches; draft bills and legislative text, and vet new proposals with policymakers, agency coalition partners.
  5. Develop communications and campaign materials and content (legislative fact sheets, web and social media content, bill testimony, newsletters, blogs) in service of our policy goals and strategy, in conjunction with Marketing/Communications and Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life (ACCOL) colleagues.
  6. Identify, partner, and coordinate effective NGO, and other public-private sector coalitions to advance the enterprise-wide public policy and government relations priorities.
  7. Recruit and supervise policy and advocacy interns and guide activities of grassroots volunteers on campaigns that support our grasstops advocacy goals and priorities.
  8. Maintain expertise and stay informed about key advocacy issues and help position NEAq as a thought leader on ocean conservation, marine mammal protection and climate adaptation science.
  9. Contribute to organization-wide activities and initiatives including team-building, fundraising, professional development, tracking compliance with lobbying regulations, conducting training (e.g., lobbying).


Minimum Requirements

  • JD or Master’s degree in public policy, economics, law, science, political science or a related field.
  • 8-10 years experience working on state legislation, policy and programs, including a minimum of 5 years’ recent direct experience working with Capitol Hill and/or Beacon Hill legislators and legislative staff, state agencies, and other state officials.
  • Strong passion for and interest in policy and advocacy on environmental health and sustainability, climate resilience, protection of our natural places and species, equitable and inclusive access to oceans and harbors, environmental justice, and all aspects of NEAq’s mission and work.
  • Strong knowledge of inner workings of federal and/or state government, policymaking and budgetary processes, including key legislative committees, legislators and staff; Executive Office and line agencies and key staff; key coalition partners, NGOs, and influential industry players.
  • Familiarity with the current US and Massachusetts political and policy context.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge and expertise in ocean conservation, climate mitigation/resilience, clean energy, nature-based solutions policy and programs preferred.
  • Experience supervising others and an ability to collaborate as a leader and member of an interdisciplinary team and organization.
  • Demonstrated record of accomplishment with sustained high-quality work in fast-paced environments.
  • Strong time and project management skills, ability to stay organized, establish and stick to key priorities, and deliver strong follow-up across multiple competing demands and timelines.
  • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain strong working relationships with senior and junior staff, legislators, legislative and agency staff and coalition partners.
  • Strong record of accomplishment and comfort with public speaking and presentations.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

For more information, please visit:

New England Aquarium is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer as defined by the EEOC.

Job posted: 2021-07-04