AVP, Public Health and Economic Justice Policy

16 Nov, 2021


AVP, Public Health and Economic Justice Policy

National Wildlife Federation
Washington, DC

Job Details


Founded in 1936, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) has grown into America’s largest conservation organization with 52 state/territorial affiliates and more than six million members and supporters nationwide. The mission of the National Wildlife Federation is to unite all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in our rapidly changing world. In an effort to achieve our mission, we are committed to the integration of equity and justice in our programs and policies.

The Environmental Justice, Climate, and Community Revitalization Program is committed to unraveling systems of oppression to achieve healthy, sustainable, and just communities by addressing environmental injustices that have overburdened lower wealth, communities of color, and Indigenous people by using our resources, cultivating strong partnerships, and prioritizing on-the-ground solutions that communities find value in. To support our ability to connect frontline and fence-line communities with decision-makers on a national and international scale, we seek to hire an Associate Vice President, Public Health and Economic Justice Policy to join our team in Washington, D.C. In addition to a commitment to advance racial and economic justice across organization-wide policies, the Associate Vice President will play a critical role in establishing policy and advocacy priorities across the Federation that center the voices and priorities of historically marginalized communities in collaboration with the environmental justice team.

Your major areas of responsibility:

Establish Legislative and Policy Priorities Across the Organization

  • Provide insights and recommendations to guide organization-wide policy stances that center Environmental Justice Principles and the Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing
  • Staff, lead, and consult with the Environmental Justice Advisory Council on a regular basis to ensure the insights and perspectives of council members are integrated across the Federation
  • Establish policy and advocacy priorities in consultation with and specific to internal environmental justice leaders, affiliate environmental justice leaders, impacted communities, and external environmental justice partners
  • Build and implement an iterative process to engage frontline and fence-line community leaders and organizations on policy advocacy with the support of the Environmental and Climate Justice Policy Specialist
  • Work collaboratively with affiliate organizations to advance local and state policy that advances environmental, climate, and economic justice
  • Remain up-to-date on environmental, climate, and economic-related legislation to guide organize-wide posture

Build Upon Cross-Team Collaborations

  • Lead efforts to develop and pilot a Natural Infrastructure Institute, in collaboration with program leads across the Federation, that brings forth natural solutions to vulnerable communities
  • Apply and environmental, climate, and economic justice lens on legislation to advance the interests of historically marginalized communities that face the brunt of the climate, economic, and public health crisis
  • Actively build relationships with members of Congress and policymakers on a local, state, and federal basis
  • Collaborate with the National Wildlife Federation government affairs and lobby team members, with the support of the Environmental and Climate Justice Policy Specialist, when communicating with congressional staff and members to consult, draft legislative proposals, etc.

Strengthen Environmental Justice Program and Policy Advocacy

  • Supervisor the Environmental and Climate Justice Policy Specialist
  • Work in collaboration with the Associate Vice President of Environmental Justice and Climate Justice and the Sr. Environmental Justice Program Manager to guide the growth and development of the environmental justice program, including strategic planning
  • Regularly engage with staff and members of Congress on the Hill and government agencies to build stronger synergy between environmental justice programs and policy advocacy
  • Build relationships with foundations, donors, and other institutions to support fundraising efforts
  • Strengthen environmental justice communications and marketing efforts by actively building a connection between science and public health
  • Help organize convenings and facilitate meetings with stakeholders to ensure frontline and fence-line community priorities and policy recommendations are amplified
  • Provide public commentary and testimony when applicable
  • Serve as a proxy to the Vice President of Environmental Justice, Climate, and Community Revitalization and represent the environmental justice team on policy discussions
  • Report to the Vice President of Environmental Justice, Climate, and Community Revitalization and lead additional initiatives as directed


  • 10 years or more of working experience on policy at a state or federal-level
  • At least 5 year of experience working directly with federal legislatures and/or policymakers on advocacy and/or lobbying
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office applications
  • Experience building relationships with foundations, donors, and other institutions to support fundraising efforts is a plus.

Required Competencies:

Equity Analysis & Action

  • Demonstrated experience and expertise in environmental and climate justice policy advocacy and the intersections between public health and the economy
  • Committed to deepening an equity and justice lens in policy priorities, program development, strategic planning and partner engagement
  • Motivated by values of equity and responsibility to those most marginalized, in both internally-facing work and externally-facing work
  • Demonstrates awareness of the attributes associated with a white dominant culture, especially as it manifests within the National Wildlife Federation and across the conservation movement, and takes actions to dismantle hierarchies of oppression within that culture
  • Dedicated to advancing the National Wildlife Federation’s internal equity transformation and compelling partners and allies to incorporate equity into their external work and internal culture

 Self-Awareness & Learning

  • Exhibits a commitment to continuous learning and growth, especially related to the development of strong equity competencies and managing large and diverse teams, and models this approach with others
  • Dedicated to deepening understanding of cultural and systemic racism and the intersectionality of multiple forms of social inequality and how this impacts our work on environmental issues
  • Demonstrates awareness of positional power and privilege (both personally and professionally) and its attendant impacts on colleagues, team, and on oneself
  • Consistently brings a high level of empathy and social skills to work and interpersonal interactions

Authentic Relationships & Community Partnerships

  • Maintains a sophisticated understanding of how group dynamics impact supervisory relationships, organizational culture, partnerships, campaigns and coalition work
  • Demonstrates capacity to maintain relationships across difference and create greater psychological safety in the workplace
  • Acknowledges when mistakes are made and harm is done; works to repair breaches in relationships
  • Openly holds space, and invites others into conversations during sensitive engagements, exhibiting a responsible and respectful demeanor with colleagues and partners
  • Models and encourages commitment to community care and selfcare in order to bring best self to relationships and interactions

Direct Communication

  • Ability to translate complex legislation and policies to a wide array of stakeholders, including a public audience, and Congressional and agency offices
  • Exhibits strong interpersonal skills rooted in teamwork, diplomacy, respect and an awareness of how diverse identity and communication styles intersect
  • Provides clear and direct communication with and feedback to colleagues, with an understanding of communicating respectfully across different identities
  • Strives to match intent and impact in all interactions
  • Works proactively to resolve conflicts and misunderstandings toward restorative solutions; attends to conflicts as opportunities for learning and growth
  • Ability to facilitate discussions and learning sessions with staff and partners around developing team equity competencies

 Supervision & Power Sharing 

  • Supports the leadership, success, and professional development of staff members, with a commitment to utilizing power to ensure equitable access and opportunities for staff of color and with other marginalized identities
  • Consistently provides positive and developmental feedback to support growth of team members
  • Actively seeks feedback, direction, and guidance from all team members and works to integrate and lead with this guidance in mind
  • Strives for transparency and timeliness, keeping staff informed of decisions that impact them
  • Intentionally shares power through decision-making, clear definition of roles and responsibilities, effective delegation, and equitable access to resources


  • Actively seeks new solutions to persistent problems by engaging a diversity of perspectives and experiences
  • Practices both/and thinking and the ability to accept ambiguity
  • Demonstrates willingness to take risks, pilot new approaches, bring in new partners, learn from failure, and continually improve efforts
  • Provides expertise, leadership, and new thinking in environmental and conservation policy

Travel and regular participation in Hill meetings are required when offices reopen.

Compensation and Benefits

This position pays $135,000 – $140,000 (commensurate with experience and skill set).  The starting salary will not be set outside of this range, so please consider this when applying.

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 https://www.nwf.org/About-Us/Careers.


Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Please submit a resume, a cover letter, and writing sample (e.g., policy brief, memo, report).

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 nwf.org/equity.

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 hrhelp@nwf.org or 703-438-6244.

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

Learn more here

Job posted: 2021-11-16