The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1951 whose mission is to alleviate the suffering of animals caused by people. Approximately 30 staff and consultants work from AWI headquarters in the Eastern Market district of Washington, DC, as well as in other locations around North America. More than 90 percent of AWI’s budget supports our programs to protect terrestrial and marine wildlife, farm animals, animals in research, and companion animals via strategically crafted campaigns, political advocacy, educational programs, litigation, and engagement with industry, policymakers, scientists, other NGOs, and the public.
AWI seeks a full-time Science and Policy Advisor to join our Terrestrial Wildlife Program team. The Advisor’s role will be to use science and the law to develop and implement policy strategies to protect terrestrial wildlife. The Advisor will work closely with the Program’s attorneys and wildlife biologist, as well as with other advocacy groups, to advance the Program’s efforts at local, state, national, and international levels. The Program’s top priorities are protecting threatened and endangered species and their habitats, opposing cruel methods of wildlife management that are not based on sound science, advocating for humane solutions to human-wildlife conflicts, and addressing unsustainable global wildlife trade and other activities that harm wildlife.
Duties and Responsibilities
- Identify and engage in opportunities to protect terrestrial wildlife through federal and state regulatory mechanisms, legislation, and litigation.
- Research and draft a variety of documents, including comments on agency rulemaking notices, rulemaking petitions, federal and state listing petitions, reports and other informational materials, public records requests, environmental and other technical analyses, coalition letters, and other policy-related documents.
- Conduct scientific literature reviews and analyze published scientific studies, identify and assess scientific issues, and use scientific data to support program goals and to write persuasively about scientific concepts.
- Participate in some tasks involved in complex litigation, including issue identification, factual investigation, and other pre-litigation work, and engage in discovery and coordination of expert reports and testimony.
- Support AWI’s government affairs staff by drafting and reviewing state and federal legislation, engaging with policymakers, and providing expert testimony before the US Congress, state legislatures, and administrative agencies.
- Represent AWI at meetings, hearings, conferences, and other events. Some travel will be necessary to fulfill this responsibility.
- Engage in a wide range of activities related to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
- Draft action alerts, press releases, op-eds, educational materials, social media posts, website content, donor updates, and AWI Quarterly magazine articles highlighting AWI’s wildlife protection campaigns.
- Along with other members of the Terrestrial Wildlife Program team, act as a media contact for wildlife issues.
- Communicate and collaborate with AWI’s Scientific and International Committees.
- Develop contacts and communicate with government officials, NGOs, scientists, and other experts.
- A bachelor’s degree in conservation biology, wildlife biology, ecology, or a related field is required. An advanced degree in one of these fields is preferred.
- An advanced degree in policy, law, or a related field is preferred.
Skills and Experience
- A minimum of three years of relevant experience.
- Experience using a broad suite of advocacy tools, including drafting federal and state administrative rulemakings and petitions, developing legislative policy, and engaging in various stages of litigation.
- Experience analyzing complex scientific and technical documents and researching, synthesizing, and presenting scientific information and policy issues to a wide range of audiences.
- Exceptional research, writing, and communication skills.
- Excellent oral advocacy skills, including public speaking experience.
- Strong working knowledge of the Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Administrative Procedures Act, Freedom of Information Act, and other federal and state laws that protect terrestrial wildlife.
- Demonstrated commitment to AWI’s mission and to public interest work, including the preservation of wildlife and prevention of animal suffering.
- Knowledge of CITES issues and processes.
- Knowledge of issues impacting terrestrial wildlife in the United States and globally.
- Working knowledge of scientific concepts relevant to the conservation and protection of wildlife, such as trophic cascades, predator-prey dynamics, the impacts of climate change, and the physiological effects of traps and poisons.
- Demonstrated ability to take initiative and think creatively to develop new projects and campaigns.
- Demonstrated ability to prioritize a heavy workload, work independently as well as part of a team, and work under pressure in a fast-paced environment.
- Demonstrated ability to cultivate and maintain relationships and communicate effectively with a wide range of stakeholders and policymakers influencing wildlife conservation, including other NGOs, state and federal government officials and staff, and legislators and their staff.
- Ability to multitask and manage short- and long-term deadlines.
- Strong work ethic and sound judgment.
- Strong attention to detail, as well as problem-solving skills.
- Strong computer skills, including proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint.
- Ability to work effectively with a diversity of people, cultures, and constituencies.
Please submit the following materials to firstname.lastname@example.org, “Attn: Science and Policy Advisor”: (1) cover letter, including an explanation of your interests in wildlife protection and your motivation to work in this position and the public interest field; (2) resume; (3) two writing samples that are predominantly your own work (rulemaking comments, petitions, and reports are preferred writing samples); and (4) three to five professional references.
Deadline for Applications and Application Process
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted. The position will remain posted and open until filled. No telephone calls, please.
AWI is an equal employment opportunity employer. We are committed to employment practices that provide equal opportunities for all persons without regard to race, color, creed, sex, religion, age, national origin, sexual orientation, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, personal appearance, marital or family status, or other status as protected by applicable state, local, and federal laws. We are committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within our organization.