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Senior Policy Advisor, Wildfire, Forest Resilience and Workforce

State of Washington
Olympia, Washington, US
Closing date
Dec 4, 2021

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Academic / Research, Government
Policy / Legal
Ecosystem Services
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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Senior Policy Advisor, Wildfire, Forest Resilience and Workforce

Recruitment #2021-08-7930

This is a Full-time, Exempt, Non-represented position.

This recruitment will remain open until filled. Review of applications will begin on 11/8/2021. The hiring authority reserves the right to make a hiring decision at any time. It is in the applicant's best interest to submit material as soon as possible.

Want to join something GREAT and make a difference?

Work for Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to develop policies that will lift up all Washingtonians. This includes advancing bold, forward-thinking initiatives that boost rural and urban economies, tackle the biggest challenges facing our forests and public lands, and build stronger, more connected, healthier, and more equitable communities.

Our public lands provide a wide array of benefits to our state and communities, including hundreds of millions of dollars for schools, hospitals, and libraries; ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration and flood mitigation; and special places to support human health and enjoy the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Under the leadership of Commissioner Franz, the agency is expanding opportunities that protect our lands and benefit our communities.

The successful candidate will be motivated, creative, hardworking, and have a successful track record of solving complex policy issues. Expertise with forestry, wildland fire management, ecology, workforce development and training, economics, and climate resilience, as well as excellent verbal, written and graphic communications, researching, analytical thinking, and project management experience is highly desirable. Experience with policy development is preferred.

As a Senior Policy Advisor, you will provide strategic guidance to agency leadership, including the Policy Director/Chief Resilience Officer and Commissioner Franz. Expect to bring big, ambitious ideas to life. Expect a fast-paced work environment. Expect to be challenged, but know you will have a team to support you.

The Policy and Resilience team at DNR supports Commissioner Franz by advancing solutions to complex challenges. Recent successes include:

* Launching and securing critical on-going funding for a 20-year plan to restore the health of 1.25 million acres of forests and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires.
* Incorporating environmental justice into significant agency request legislation, including our landmark Forest Health and Reduction of Wildfire Dangers bill (2SHB 1168) and the Evergreen Communities Act update (E2HB 1216).
* Advancing 21st century wind and solar energy projects to generate revenue for schools and counties, and help Washington transition to a clean energy future.

The Senior Policy Advisor serves at the pleasure of the Commissioner and reports directly to the Policy Director/Chief Resilience Officer. They support the agency with expertise, advice and project leadership on major strategic policy issues. The Senior Policy Advisor will be responsible for developing policy and project solutions to meet agency goals and to address challenges facing the agency.

The Senior Policy Advisor, Forest Resilience, Wildfire, and Workforce will help advance the implementation of Forest Health and Reduction of Wildfire Dangers bill (2SHB 1168) and related forest health, wildfire and workforce development opportunities. Initial topics for the may include:

* Implementing specific initiatives to develop a forest health workforce and work with partners to expand existing education and workforce programs to provide additional wildfire, forest health, and silviculture workforce capacity.
* Support forest health through economic strategies, including policies to increase mass timber and biomass on state and private lands and support new and existing mill infrastructure.
* Launch new strategies to increase the pace and scale of forest health work under the 20-Year Forest Health Strategic Plan
* Creating new, innovative economic opportunities for carbon sequestration around natural and working lands.
* Develop policy solutions to increase the resilience of our forests, improve water quantity and quality, and the restoration of habitat across local, state, federal, tribal and private lands.
* The successful candidate will demonstrate an ability to achieve these outcomes by coordinating with subject matter experts from internal, external and interagency groups, ultimately leading to the development and implementation of plans, policies and strategies that support DNR's mission.


As a Senior Policy Advisor, your colleagues will entrust you to:

* Bring creative thinking to the development and implementation of long-range strategic policy initiatives and issues, and translate long-range goals into short-term actionable projects.
* Consult with and advise members of executive management on key issues.
* Provide internal and external communications to accomplish agency policy objectives and provide consultation and research on policy issues.
* Work with programs to identify information required for policy development and legislation.
* Sponsor, coordinate, and lead work groups on subjects of agency-wide strategic importance.
* Incorporate key information about external organizations, interests, and issues into the on-going development and implementation of strategic policy priorities.
* Build coalitions and work with diverse and competing interest groups to develop solutions and resolve conflicts surrounding high-profile issues.
* In partnership with the Legislative Affairs team, write, justify, and support agency request legislation.
* Conduct research on the environmental, economic and political impacts of legislation.

Who are we looking for?

You share our vision for addressing systemic oppression and inequality. You know the importance of achieving a more equitable and robust approach to protecting and restoring our environment. You recognize and understand when we successfully address traditionally overburdened and underserved communities, we amplify the impact of our work for the benefit of all. You believe that championing this work with other communities is critical. You are a relationship builder. You are a great communicator, listener, and facilitator who draws people into collaboration, ensuring all voices are heard and valued. You demonstrate sensitivity in relationships, conflicts, and emotionally charged situations. You appreciate that individual journeys vary in this work and you value accountability.

Desired Qualifications:

The ideal candidate has:

* A Bachelor's Degree or higher in political science, public policy, business administration, environmental science or another field relevant to the position's responsibilities OR four years of relevant experience may substitute for a degree.
* Policy experience with forest issues, which may include forest health and wildfire prevention, habitat protection, water quality, natural climate solutions, and forest management regulations.
* Experience working with education, training, and workforce development initiatives.
* Demonstrated experience successfully moving a high-priority, high profile project involving multiple, competing interests from start to completion.
* Demonstrated experience successfully working alongside, building and managing relationships with internal and external stakeholders, including business and private industry partners, government officials, agency staff, senior managers, and the public in the pursuit of broad public policy goals.
* Ability to apply a racial equity and justice lens to your work.
* Ability to understand larger historical, social, economic, and political context of forestry issues in Washington.
* Active listening skills as demonstrated by the ability to resolve conflicts; receive and convey ideas, thoughts and information.
* Demonstrated ability to write for targeted audiences effectively and to communicate persuasively at all levels of the organization and externally.
* Ability to set priorities and manage multiple short-term and long-term projects simultaneously.
* Ability to work as part of a team as well as coordinate, facilitate, and manage the work of ad hoc teams formed from cross-agency resources.
* DNR Core Competencies:
* Personal Accountability
* Value Others
* Compassionate Communication
* Inspire Others
* Commitment to Excellence

* IMPORTANT NOTE: The Commissioner of Public Lands has instituted a requirement that all employees of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 18, 2021, as a condition of employment. Vaccination status will be verified at the time an offer of employment is made. An accommodation may be available for individuals who have a sincerely held religious belief or a medical reason for not receiving the COVID-19 vaccination.


One of the world's most scenic places, Washington State offers breathtaking discoveries for people who love natural beauty and outdoor recreation, from the Pacific Coast shores to the rugged Cascade Mountains to the rolling hills of the Palouse. Your office will be located in Olympia on the state capital campus and minutes from downtown and the South Puget Sound. The Policy and Resilience team is currently working a hybrid model, with two days in the office weekly. For more information on this area visit,

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, telework (mobile-work) is expected for most office activities. When approved to return, staff are expected to report to their assigned duty station for work activities or may be approved for telework based on DNR's telework policy.

About the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Our mission is to manage, sustain, and protect the health and productivity of Washington's lands and waters to meet the needs economically and socially for current and future generations. At DNR we approach our work through the lens of making Washington a better place environmentally and are dedicated to serving Washington's lands and communities through diversity, equity and inclusion. With nearly 1,500 employees in locations throughout Washington, we manage and protect more than 5 million acres of state-owned forest, range, commercial, agricultural and aquatic lands.

DNR provides excellent benefits, a few of those include:

* Commitment to organizational health and wellness
* Work/life balance
* DNR Employee Resource Groups (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council, Women's Employee Resource Group, Veterans Employee Resource Group, etc.)
* Statewide Employee Business Resource Groups, visit here to learn more
* Leadership that empowers and supports employees
* Professional development opportunities
* Educational and career development aid
* Public Service Loan Forgiveness Eligibility
* Opportunities to participate in wildland fire suppression assignments
* A comprehensive benefit package that includes employer contributions toward health insurance, paid holidays, retirement plans, sick leave and vacation days. Visit for more information.

How to Apply:

To be considered you must apply online at (Click on the APPLY button above). You must complete the entire online application to be considered for the position.

Application Requirements:

* Attach a letter of interest describing how your experience and qualifications relate to the position profile and the position required, desired and special requirements.
* Attach a resume describing your experience and qualifications.
* Provide three to five professional references - you may attach a document, use the References text field in the online application, or include with resume.
* Complete all supplemental questions.

Additional Information:

This recruitment may be extended and may also be used to fill future similar vacancies for up to sixty (60) days.

Veterans wishing to claim Veteran's preference please attach a copy of your DD-214, NGB-22 or other verification of military service. Please black out your social security number prior to attaching. We thank you and are grateful for your service!

Persons needing accommodation during the screening process or this announcement in an alternative format may contact DNR Recruiting staff at (360) 522-2500 or (360) 522-0143 or by email at Those with a hearing impairment in need of accommodation are encouraged to contact the Washington State Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) at 1-800-833-6388 or

DNR is an Equal Opportunity Employer and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any kind.

Check us out on: DNR's website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | WordPress

Questions? Please contact Kristine Graham at or e-mail us at

Once you submit your online application, you can check your status by logging into your account. If you experience technical difficulties creating, accessing or completing your application call NEOGOV toll-free at (855)524-5627 or email
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