Policy Director

24 May, 2021


Policy Director

National Audubon Society
Remote (WI)

Position Summary

The Policy Director will oversee Audubon’s freshwater policy work in Wisconsin and will be a critical regional leader that will help drive Audubon Great Lakes’ vision to implement transformative policy solutions in the Midwest and mobilize an effective conservation network of members and volunteer chapters. Audubon is committed to turning pragmatic policy ideas into real protections for birds and the places they need.


Reporting to the Senior Director, Audubon Great Lakes; the Policy Director will be a key member of the Audubon Great Lakes (AGL) team. They are responsible for planning and executing a comprehensive strategy to advance a bipartisan policy agenda at the local, state, and/or federal levels in targeted AGL states with a particular near-term focus on developing and advancing a proactive freshwater policy agenda in Wisconsin.  The Policy Director will work in collaboration with AGL and national policy staff and will ensure that Audubon’s Wisconsin and Great Lakes’ freshwater policy programs are just and equitable, benefiting the full diversity of people and communities who depend upon these freshwater systems, and enabling their voices to help shape the ongoing management and enjoyment of these natural resources.


The Policy Director will build and maintain bipartisan working relationships with external partners and stakeholders, the Wisconsin Governor’s office, state and federal legislative offices, relevant local officials, and state and/or federal agencies to remain informed of policy and legislative developments related to Audubon’s agenda. They will help advance opportunities to leverage Audubon’s best assets – an engaged and growing grassroots membership, a desire to build broad coalitions, and an organization-wide commitment to pragmatic science-based solutions – in pursuit of sustainable policy accomplishments with state and federal decision makers.


The strong preference is for this position to be based in Wisconsin with travel to Chicago, IL, Washington DC and other locations around the region, as needed.


Essential Functions

  • Develop and oversee a WI policy agenda and field plan to mobilize grassroots and grasstops support for key priorities and integrate advocacy into all external engagement activities.
  • Serve as a WI/Great Lakes point person for Audubon’s national water campaign team. Help design and support freshwater campaigns that aim to secure policy outcomes and elevate the Great Lakes region.
  • Serve as an ambassador for Audubon Great Lakes, engaging key stakeholders including government officials, major funders, and business leaders to advance conservation efforts. Participate in lobbying activities in Congress, federal and state administrative branches and agencies, and others to advance conservation objectives.
  • Stay abreast of local, state, and federal legislative and administrative affairs and decisions effecting Audubon’s agenda and its constituents.
  • Raise the profile and visibility of Audubon in the Great Lakes region as a leader in conservation policy efforts; build creative and enduring alliances and partnerships to support Audubon’s policy efforts within the state and region.
  • Collaborate with Audubon’s National government affairs and policy teams on all AGL water related policy issues and develop strong and effective working relationships with staff across the Audubon network.
  • In collaboration with the National Development staff and Great Lakes leadership, support fundraising efforts, as needed.
  • Serve as an articulate, enthusiastic, and visible spokesperson for Audubon Great Lakes. Collaborate with state and national communications staff on earned and paid media opportunities to elevate policy and conservation agenda throughout the state and region.
  • Advise on relevant organizational strategy and participate in advisory board meetings.
  • Promote an organizational culture and structure that fosters cooperation, communication, collaboration, respect, teamwork, and trust.
  • Build and expand a freshwater policy agenda that is just and equitable, benefiting the full diversity of people and communities who depend upon these freshwater systems, and enables their voices to help shape the ongoing management and enjoyment of these natural resources.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in political science, natural resources or related field and 7+ years’ professional experience in policy, grassroots advocacy, wildlife conservation, public service or related field. Equivalent combination of education and experience will also be considered.
  • Keen understanding of current policy trends in Wisconsin, the Great Lakes region, and Midwest related to water policy. Experience applying this knowledge to successful policy advocacy and implementation strongly preferred.
  • Deep knowledge of freshwater policy and understanding of wetland conservation desired.
  • Personal desire to build durable bipartisan public will for water, climate, energy and conservation issues, work with diverse stakeholders, and engage both Democrats and Republicans on Audubon’s policy interests.
  • Experience in working in partnership with a network of invested grassroots and grasstops leaders.
  • Experience working in a decentralized organization that coordinates strategies for both local and national legislative issues.
  • Willingness to aid in fundraising efforts as needed, experience with political campaigns a plus.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability synthesize and interpret technical information for various audiences.
  • Willingness and ability to travel as needed, some weekends and evenings required.
  • A commitment to Audubon’s mission of conservation of birds, other wildlife, and their habitat and the ability to communicate the mission, goals, and programs effectively to partners, government officials, donors, and the public.
  • A commitment to equity diversion and inclusion principals and to working to make Audubon an anti-racist organization.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2021-05-24