Director, Government Relations

25 Jan, 2019


Director, Government Relations

Port of Seattle
Seattle, WA

This list is ILLUSTRATIVE ONLY, and is not a comprehensive listing of all functions and duties performed.  Essential duties and responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Lead and manage the daily workflow and strategize with Government Relations staff to drive and achieve legislative priorities, to anticipate emerging issues, and to leverage opportunities to advance the Port’s Century Agenda Goals. Collaborates with the Port Commission, Executive Director, Senior Director of External Relations and business division leaders to identify legislative priorities, emerging issues and proactive policy objectives and develops/executes strategies to advance the Port’s Century Agenda goals.  Work with staff to instill and maintain a highly proactive posture in seeking out political opportunities to elevate the Port’s political reputation, relevance and effectiveness.  May serve as the lead staff person for specific issues, projects or with certain legislative entities.
  • Utilize clear understanding of the Port Commission’s public policy priorities and the Port’s approved legislative agendas (federal, state and local) to identify and create impactful opportunities for Port Commissioners to leverage their unique expertise and position to advance the Port’s Century Agenda Goals.
  • Regularly confer with the Executive Director and the Port’s Executive Leadership Team to understand and identify opportunities for advancing the Port’s business interests (aviation, maritime, economic development) through multiple forms of governmental engagement including: legislative advocacy, working with governmental agencies and departments, addressing regulatory matters, pursuing funding opportunities, etc.
  • Lead the Government Relations staff in broadening and strengthening the Port’s partnerships with special interest groups, stakeholder organizations, and other influential civic leaders to advance the Port’s interests.
  • Collaborate with Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) staff and support the NWSA Managing Members in leveraging the shared strengths of the ports of Seattle and Tacoma in advancing collective legislative priorities.

Knowledge and understanding of the functions and processes of all levels of government to include but not limited to Congress, Executive branch and other federal, state, regional and local governments and agencies. Demonstrated experience in policy development and thorough understanding of dynamic political factors that can influence and determine the outcome of important legislation. Thorough understanding of the Port’s business enterprises and operations and the unique role of ports to state economy. Demonstrated understanding in the process of how legislation is drafted, amended and passed; and how to read and understand complex legislative initiatives and port issues quickly and accurately.

Strong interpersonal, political savvy, critical thinking, relationship and consensus building skills. Demonstrated skill in effective communication, both verbal and written. Skills in providing leadership and directing professional and administrative support staff. Strong time management, communications, decision making, presentation and organizational skills.

Ability to maintain effective relationships with key elected officials and staff, industry advocates and other key stakeholders to advocate for Port initiatives. Ability to work with people of all perspectives in a collaborative manner and build trusting relationships.

Combination of education and experience demonstrative knowledge, skills and abilities equivalent to:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, Economics, Business or a related field;
  • Ten (10) years of experience working in a variety of levels of government (state, local, federal); and
  • Management of staff and consultants on multiple coinciding projects and issues.


  • Master Public Administration (MPA);
  • Fifteen (15) years of experience working in a variety of levels of government and an understanding of how to operate in each; and/or
  • Experience managing controversial or challenging issues as the leader of a team and working directly with elected officials in the process.

Work Environment

Will generally work in an office environment. Some travel will be required.

Additional Details

Driver’s License Requirement:  
A valid Washington State Driver’s License, or the ability to obtain one, is required.

Weekly Standard Hours:
Normal work schedule is Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (40 hours per week).

EEO Statement

The Port of Seattle is an Equal Opportunity Employer, Affirmative Action Employer and is committed to diversity in the workplace. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2019-01-25