Director, Government Affairs

08 Nov, 2018


Director, Government Affairs

The Audubon Society
Washington, DC


Now in its second century, Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Audubon’s mission is engaging people in bird conservation on a hemispheric scale through science, policy, education and on-the-ground conservation action.  By mobilizing and aligning its network of Chapters, Centers, State and Important Bird Area programs in the four major migratory flyways in the Americas, the organization will bring the full power of Audubon to bear on protecting common and threatened bird species and the critical habitat they need to survive.  And as part of BirdLife International, Audubon will join people in over 100 in-country organizations all working to protect a network of Important Bird Areas around the world, leveraging the impact of actions they take at a local level.  What defines Audubon’s unique value is a powerful grassroots network of nearly 500 local chapters, 23 state offices, 41 Audubon Centers, Important Bird Area Programs in 50 states, and 700 staff across the country.  Audubon is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).

Position Summary

Reporting to the Senior Director of Government Affairs, the Director, Government Affairs is a senior member of Audubon’s federal Government Affairs team, and takes a lead in planning and executing a comprehensive strategy to advance a bipartisan policy agenda in the U.S. Congress and federal agencies. Audubon’s conservation policy priorities are guided by the vision and goals laid out in its current strategic plan and developed in collaboration with the leaders of its Climate, Coasts, Water, Working Lands and Bird-Friendly Communities conservation teams.

The Director is a critical leader on the Washington, DC-based team that drives the organization’s efforts to implement transformative bipartisan policy solutions, and mobilizes the most effective conservation network in American to turn policy ideas into real protections for birds and the places they need.

Working with the Senior Director, the Director will build and maintain bipartisan working relationships with congressional offices and federal agencies and remain informed of policy and legislative developments related to Audubon’s agenda. S/he will identify opportunities to leverage Audubon’s best assets – an engaged grassroots membership in all 50 states, a desire to build broad coalitions, and an organization-wide commitment to pragmatic science-based solutions – in pursuit of sustainable policy accomplishments.

The Director must be skilled at implementing a focused approach to engaging and educating key decision-makers by managing and prioritizing multiple conservation policy interests and needs and understanding broader internal and external policy and political implications. S/he will ensure Audubon is a highly-visible, trusted and influential resource in the halls of Congress and the executive branch.

The Director arrives at Audubon during an exciting time of organizational growth driven by its leadership and advanced everyday by dedicated, highly-collaborative Audubon team members in Washington, DC and across the country.

Essential Functions

  • Develop strong, bipartisan relationships with members of Congress and their senior staff, congressional committees, and relevant federal agencies, in order to clearly communicate Audubon’s conservation priorities as well as negotiate and influence pragmatic policy outcomes;
  • Lead in developing and implementing a strategic approach to advancing Audubon’s federal conservation policy agenda in assigned areas;
  • Work closely with Audubon’s conservation strategies teams, including Climate, Coasts, Water, Working Lands and Bird-Friendly Communities, to remain aware of federal policy priorities and provide strategic advice on opportunities for advancement and/or any associated risks related to those priorities;
  • Monitor legislative developments for key congressional committees and relevant agency actions and provide timely updates and strategic and tactical recommendations related to this activity;
  • Collaborate with Audubon state office staff and chapter members to develop strong relationships with key members of congress through coordinated in-district and D.C. advocacy;
  • Serve as a key leader on interdepartmental teams, and collaboratively work with other Audubon departments, particularly Campaigns, Communications, Development, Marketing, Network, and state offices, to advance the organization’s strategic goals;
  • Represent Audubon with national issue-based coalitions, environmental and conservation organizations, and nontraditional partners; contribute to collaborative, coalition-based policy efforts to advance shared interests; and identify and recruit strategic allies to support Audubon’s agenda;
  • Aid in the development of high-quality analysis, briefing documents, fact sheets, position papers, testimony and other materials necessary to support Audubon’s policy priorities;
  • Prepare and distribute periodic federal government relations updates for internal audiences, and maintain an in-house legislative targeting and tracking system.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Forward-looking leader with demonstrated experience in developing and implementing effective short and long-term policy agendas at the federal level.
  • Served in a decision-making role requiring careful consideration of the political, strategic, and policy implications of recommendations, and a proven ability to seize opportunities to drive policy outcomes.
  • Thorough understanding of the political and legislative landscape at the federal level and outstanding legislative analysis skills.
  • Team builder with a record of working collaboratively with both Democrats and Republicans on federal policy.
  • Proven record of building and activating diverse coalitions to successfully advance policy outcomes.
  • Experience engaging with grassroots constituencies on policy matters and creativity when communicating complex legislative activity or strategy to broad audiences.
  • A self-starter with demonstrated ability to work independently and effectively manage a complex workflow.
  • Experience with legislative and/or political campaigns desired.
  • Technically savvy including proficiency with Microsoft Office. Experience with a tracking database software desired.
  • Bachelor’s degree and 7-10 years of professional experience, including 4-5 years in Congress, in a government relations-oriented role within an organization, or with a relevant federal agency.

Personal attributes:

  • Interest in conservation issues and passion for Audubon’s mission, programs and policy agenda.
  • Exceptional judgement and tact with a commitment to impeccable integrity and strong work ethic.
  • Personal desire to build durable bipartisan public will for conservation issues, work with diverse stakeholders, and engage both Democrats and Republicans on Audubon’s policy interests.
  • An active listener with excellent and persuasive communications skills.
  • Outstanding political instincts.
  • Desire to be part of and contribute to a team effort, have a sense of humor, and possess a willingness to accept occasional setbacks with an eye on the next opportunity to drive success.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2018-11-08