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Jan 18 / BARD CEP

Government Relations Associate — Washington, D.C.

Organization: Defenders of Wildlife

Job Title: Government Relations Associate

Location: Washington, D.C.

Hours and Compensation: full time and competitive salary

Application Deadline: open until filled

Posted On: Jan. 16, 2013

Organization Overview

Founded in 1947, Defenders of Wildlife is a major national conservation organization focused solely on wildlife and habitat conservation and the safeguarding of biodiversity. We believe in the inherent value of wildlife and the natural world, and this singular focus defines our important niche in the environmental and conservation community and serves as the anchor for our organizational values.


This professional position is responsible for advancing Defenders of Wildlife’s legislative and administrative interests before Congress, the Administration. and the media. Issue priorities are drawn from Defenders’ current priorities, including endangered species; wildlife; global warming; public lands; and related appropriations issues. Most immediately, the primary focus will be on climate legislation, including policy solutions to safeguard wildlife in a warming world, the Farm bill and legislative work on the Endangered Species Act. Responsibilities include: direct lobbying; developing legislative and advocacy campaign strategies; leading and/or participating in inter-departmental campaign teams; leading and/or representing Defenders’ interests in national issue-based coalitions; working with and monitoring Congressional committees; drafting reports, fact sheets and testimony; obtaining legislative and political information; and generally assisting the advocacy work of Defenders’ Government Relations and External Affairs division.


  • Play a leading role in clarifying and advancing Defenders’ legislative/administrative goals for assigned issues
  • Employing sound political judgment, build an effective network of congressional, coalition and public support to advance assigned issues
  • Utilizing strong legislative judgment, identify and implement effective legislative/administrative strategies and projects to advance assigned issues
  • Continually marshal, leverage, and organize inter-departmental and, where possible, external resources on assigned legislative/administrative issues through ongoing campaign planning, project management, team building, and coalition participation
  • Implement, as appropriate, various aspects of issue campaigns through activities including: direct lobbying; coalition representation; legislative, policy and legal analysis; multi-party negotiations; bill drafting; direct and grassroots lobbying materials development; action alert drafting; testimony and public presentations; media representation; and drafting press materials and legislatively focused Web content
  • Closely monitor legislative developments in assigned issues and disseminate timely information about those issues throughout the organization
  • Provide timely responses to requests for progress reports, funding proposals, budgets and other information requested by departments including: Government Relations, Communication, Online, Membership, and Development
  • Contribute to the development of Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund’s legislative Report Card through activities by identifying potential votes and drafting vote descriptions
  • Effectively contribute to Defenders’ positive image on Capitol Hill, with outside organizations, and in the media
  • Perform all other related duties as assigned.


  • Education:  Bachelor’s (B.A./B.S.) degree or equivalent in Natural Resources, Public Policy, Law, Biology, Education, or related discipline.  Advanced degree strongly preferred.
  • Experience:  2+ years of Capitol Hill or other legislative experience, preferably involving natural resource issues.  Experience working with wildlife conservation issues and knowledge of federal resource agencies, laws, treaties and policies dealing with use and conservation of natural resources.  Political experience, judgment and sensitivity, including a thorough understanding of lobbying, resource and appropriations committees, budget process and federal legislative procedures and grassroots targeting.  Experience developing, implementing, and managing legislative and advocacy campaigns on a national level.
  • An equivalent combination of education and experience may be accepted as a satisfactory substitute for the specific education and experience listed above.
  • Strong writing, media, and verbal communications skills
  • Ability to conduct research, analyze information, and produce quality work products in a consistent, efficient, and timely manner
  • Ability to effectively lead and/or represent Defenders’ interests in national issue coalitions
  • Other relevant experience with public policy, education, grassroots organizing, communications, editing, and/or development
  • Ability to work effectively as part of Defenders’ legislative and administrative advocacy team

How to Apply

Interested applicants please reference Government Relations Associate in your subject line and submit a letter of interest, along with your resume and salary history (must be included to be considered) to us via e-mail at:

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