External Affairs Advisor

22 May, 2021


External Affairs Advisor

The Nature Conservancy
Wilmington, DE


Since 1951, The Nature Conservancy has been doing work you can believe in protecting the lands and waters that all life depends on. As a science-based organization, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that we can create a world in which people and nature thrive.

We’re rooted in our Mission and guided by our Values, which includes a Commitment to Diversity and Respect for People, Communities, and Cultures. We know we’ll only achieve our Mission by hiring and engaging a diverse workforce that reflects the communities in which we work. Whether it’s career development, work/life balance, or a rewarding mission, there’s lots of reasons to love life #insideTNC. Our goal is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that all of our colleagues around the globe feel a sense of belonging, and that their unique contributions to our mission are valued.


TNC’s External Affairs Advisor will bring their experience in government relations and external/community affairs to lead, develop, and execute strategies to help us achieve our conservation goals in Delaware.  They will serve as a spokesperson and advocate and represent the Conservancy with local, state, and federal agencies/officials, NGOs, industry, corporate partners, and other conservation partners in Delaware to broaden support for the Conservancy’s priorities.

The External Affairs Advisor reports directly to the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania/Delaware Chapter and will work collaboratively with chapter staff, regional government relations staff, and TNC’s North American Policy and Government Relations team to leverage state and federal level policy and investments.  They will lead and develop public policy, public funding, stakeholder engagement, coalition-building, lobbying, and advocacy strategies that will advance TNC’s protection and climate goals in Delaware (e.g., community resiliency planning, financing of nature-based solutions, healthy land use).

Candidates must be an experienced policy and external affairs professional who can act independently and identify trends and opportunities to position the Conservancy for success in the public policy arena and have strong working relationships with various constituents. This is an outstanding opportunity to build upon a legacy of conservation in Delaware, the Mid-Atlantic, and beyond.


The External Affairs Advisor is an outward-facing representative of the Conservancy’s priorities, projects, and accomplishments. In coordination with TNC’s Executive Director in Pennsylvania/Delaware, chapter staff, TNC’s Delaware trustees and volunteers, they plan, implement, and coordinate efforts to further The Nature Conservancy’s mission in the state and the region and in support of TNC’s local, national and global goals. The Advisor builds close working relationships and serves as the principal contact to Delaware’s General Assembly members, Congressional delegation, Governor, Administration, and State Agency leadership. They monitor state legislative and administrative initiatives and policies and strategically advance those relevant to the Chapter’s conservation strategies.

Duties also include developing strategies for corporate and community engagement, non-profit organizations, donors, media, state agency partners, and other key audiences on matters of TNC’s climate and energy policy priorities.  They work with PA/DE staff to support national and global goals. They participate in fundraising activities to increase financial support for TNC climate and energy projects and priorities and support program objectives by working in a complex matrix organization environment and collaborating with a cross-functional interdisciplinary team.


Working closely with TNC leadership in Pennsylvania/Delaware, other TNC chapters, and in TNC’s U.S. Government Relations program, the External Affairs Advisor:

  • Coordinates with Pennsylvania/Delaware Executive/ Director, conservation, and other interdisciplinary teams to identify and advance policy strategies to advance TNC’s global, national, and regional policy priorities.
  • Maintains a deep and broad understanding of and ability to communicate the Conservancy’s programs and priorities in Delaware, the Mid-Atlantic/Central Appalachian region, and globally.
  • Manages government relations contracts and serves as the state lead on ballot initiatives and/or legislative campaigns.
  • Assures compliance with TNC’s values, code of conduct, policies, procedures, and state and federal lobbying laws and regulations, including responsibility for maintaining, reporting, and tracking all chapter state and federal lobbying activities.
  • Monitors legislative, regulatory, and administrative developments and coordinates action on policy and funding opportunities, as appropriate, supporting climate action and TNC’s climate and energy priorities.
  • Conducts policy and legal research on a broad range of climate policy subjects (e.g., science and technology, economics, public opinion), organizes and advocates for federal and state programs, policies, and funding that support our work.
  • Builds and maintains strategic and productive relationships and partnerships with state and municipal leaders, communities directly impacted by climate change, and other partners, such as the business sector, non-profit community, media, and funders.
  • Convenes and facilitates external meetings to deepen understanding of climate change impacts, expand support for climate change initiatives, and advance climate and energy policy priorities.
  • In conjunction with Marketing staff, coordinates use of media (e.g., earned, paid, social) supporting climate action and TNC’s climate and energy policy priorities.
  • Financial responsibility may include working within/managing a budget to complete projects, negotiating and contracting with vendors and outside consultants, assisting with budget development, and meeting fundraising targets.
  • Develops relationships and works effectively with corporate, government, community, and non-governmental organization partners.
  • Serves as a team leader for assigned projects, coordinates the work of other staff and volunteers, and engages and inspires TNC leaders, trustees, and donors.
  • May supervise administrative staff and/or volunteers, interns, or temporary staff.


  • Bachelor’s degree and at least four years related experience or equivalent combination.
  • Fluency in English.
  • Experience presenting to and/or communicating with business, government, or legislative staff and/or program leadership.
  • Experience in designing, implementing, and directing multiple complex projects and ensuring program accountability.
  • Written and oral communications experience, including preparing and presenting project proposals and developing written communications.
  • Experience working with corporate or NGO partners and government agencies.
  • Experience building networks and influencing outcomes without direct authority.


  • Master’s degree preferred.
  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural experience are appreciated.
  • Familiarity with social, economic, and political conditions and issues in the Mid-Atlantic and Delaware, specifically.
  • Self-starting, independent worker who can thrive with minimal oversight.
  • Experience coordinating projects in a decentralized organization, working across teams, operating units, and functions to achieve optimal results.
  • Outstanding written and oral communication, negotiating, and organizational skills.
  • Demonstrates strong communications and presentation skills and persuasively conveys the need for action on TNC’s climate and energy priorities to a diverse and wide range of audiences.
  • May need to gain cooperation from individuals or groups (inside and outside the Conservancy) over whom there is no direct authority to accomplish program goals.


To apply to position number 49795, submit resume and cover letter (both required) separately using the upload buttons. Applications will be reviewed in the order they’re received and the position will remain open until filled.

Click “submit” to apply for the position or “save for later” to create a draft application for future submission. Once submitted, applications cannot be revised or edited. Failure to complete required fields may result in your application being disqualified from consideration.

If you experience technical issues, please refer to our applicant user guide or contact applyhelp@tnc.org.

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 culture. 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 orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.

The successful applicant must meet the requirements of The Nature Conservancy’s background screening process.

Job posted: 2021-05-22