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Feb 13 / BARD CEP

Senior Representative, Southwest Program -Washington, DC

Organization: Defenders of Wildlife

Position Title: Senior Representative, Southwest Program

Location: Washington, DC

Hours & Compensation: Full time.

Application Deadline: Not listed



This professional-level senior position is responsible for developing, overseeing and implementing assigned Defenders’ strategic plan conservation objectives and strategies for the Southwest Region, which focus on Southwest public lands conservation and management, Southwest Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed species and key species that occur primarily within this region which may include species such as jaguar, Sonoran pronghorn, desert tortoise, California condor and select amphibians and freshwater fishes. The Senior Representative plays a key leadership role in implementing Defenders’ Southwest conservation priorities including: 1) improving the conservation and management of public lands in the Southwest; 2) advancing Defenders’ renewable energy and conservation goals and objectives in regional planning efforts; 3) restoring and increasing populations of listed regional species, which include species such as jaguar, ocelot, Sonoran pronghorn, desert tortoise and California condor; 4) restoring, protecting, improving and expanding habitats for ESA and key species on public, tribal and private lands; and, 5) coordinating internally and with outside conservation partners to ensure consistent and effective implementation of Defenders’ national policy programs and policies. The Senior Representative pursues conservation objectives through a variety of tools including: public lands and endangered species policy reform; land management planning; facilitating wildlife restorations, relocations and habitat restoration; legislative and regulatory reform; litigation; and, other means. This leadership position requires knowledge and experience in a broad array of natural resource conservation issues, such as federal lands management and endangered species policy; land-use planning; conservation biology; environmental and administrative law and procedures, advocacy in the private, public and governmental sectors; administration; public outreach; media relations; and, fundraising, with strong ties to the larger conservation community. The position requires minimal supervision.


  • Assist with the development and implementation of strategic plans and annual work plans relevant to the Southwest Program, contributing to the achievement of the goals and benchmarks under those plans.
  • Monitor and strategically engage on significant state and federal activities on southwest public lands, including energy corridors, border infrastructure and operations, and other developments and prepare comments on proposed land-use activities in coordination with other programs in Defenders.
  • Work closely with conservation partners, federal land and wildlife managers, state-level decision makers and other stakeholders, and lead Defenders’ efforts in the Southwest to promote “smart from the start” renewable energy and transmission siting, and coordinate these efforts with Defenders’ national renewables program and goals and objectives.
  • Provide a regional perspective on the development and implementation of national renewable energy policy, to ensure consistency in internal policy and organizational advocacy.
  • Work with landowners, state agencies, tribes and international and federal managers to advance the conservation and restoration of ESA-listed species such as jaguar, Sonoran pronghorn, desert tortoise, and California condors, as well as for select amphibians and freshwater fishes.
  • Monitor and where appropriate participate in the development of regional habitat conservation planning efforts.
  • Influence and enhance federal, state, and local wildlife policies and management for listed and key species in administrative, legislative, judicial, and other forums, using a range of strategies including:
    • Seeking policy and programmatic changes by relevant state and federal agencies
    • Recommending litigation where appropriate and providing technical support
    • Recommending and facilitating species restoration and reintroduction projects as appropriate
    • Participating in direct and grassroots lobbying of the U.S. Congress and appropriate state legislatures and agencies
    • Establish and maintain effective relationships and partnerships with relevant conservation partners and stakeholders
    • Serve as spokesperson for Defenders; Represent Defenders and Defenders’ interests to the public, the media, and key decision-makers, and in working groups, committees, and processes.
    • Inform the public and Defenders’ members on key issues through mailings, e-mail alerts, social media, dissemination of educational materials, and Defenders magazine.
    • Work with Defenders’ national headquarters staff to provide information to members, foundations, and other donors, and help identify and develop potential sources of funding to support work activities and Defenders’ priorities.
    • Develop a network of experts and grassroots activists to assist Defenders in accomplishing its objectives.
    • Identify key information relating to policy, strategy, and decision-making, and communicate it as appropriate and in a timely manner to the immediate supervisor and other relevant staff members.
    • As needed, assist and advise the Director of the Southwest Program in problem-solving in regards to regional and national programs.
    • Perform all other related duties as assigned.



  • Education: Bachelor’s degree (B.A./B.S.) or equivalent in conservation biology, ecology, political science, environmental planning, land or natural resource management policy, law, or other related discipline; Advanced degree preferred.
  • Experience: 10+ years of experience in either natural resource law or policy, conservation biology and wildlife conservation, ecology, political science, environmental planning, or federal or state natural resources management. Demonstrated knowledge of natural resource issues and policy.
  • Other:
    • Ability to engage with senior leaders in the conservation community, federal and state agencies and other organizations.
    • Ability to negotiate with senior level staff across organizations to reach agreements on complex broad policy issues; demonstrated ability to work productively in a lead role in coalitions of environmental organizations
    • Ability to lead diverse stakeholders in collaborative activities; to anticipate policy issues impacting wildlife and make recommendations to senior managers within Defenders and other organizations.
    • Ability to elevate public awareness of issues and build a constituency for solutions.
    • Excellent verbal communications skills with the ability to conduct presentations for large and diverse audiences
    • Ability to work independently to initiate project ideas as well as to manage them through to completion; track record and professional judgment to work independently and with minimal supervision
    • Ability to work constructively as a member of a team; excellent interpersonal skills and judgment with the ability to work productively with both colleagues and opponents
    • Strong research and writing skills with attention to detail; excellent strategic thinking and problem-solving abilities
    • Ability to respond constructively to unexpected change; to exercise appropriate judgment in complex situations
    • Ability to work occasional evenings and weekends; some travel required
    • Personal interest in and commitment to conservation


  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to use a computer and communicate with others while doing so.


  • ·General office and field working conditions, the noise level in the work environment is usually quiet.


Interested applicants please reference Senior Southwest Representative in your subject line and submit a letter of interest, resume, salary history, and writing sample :

It is the policy of Defenders of Wildlife to provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified individuals without regard to their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law, in all personnel actions.


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