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Policy Specialist, Resilient Coasts and Floodplains

Washington, Dist. of Columbia, US
Closing date
Dec 8, 2021

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Academic / Research
Policy / Legal
Climate Change
Salary Type
Employment Type
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Founded in 1936, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF or Federation) is America's largest and most trusted grassroots conservation organization with 52 state/territorial affiliates and more than six million members and supporters, including hunters, anglers, gardeners, birders, hikers, campers, paddlers, and outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes. The Federation's mission is to unite all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in our rapidly changing world through programming focused on conserving wildlife, restoring habitats and waterways, expanding outdoor opportunities, connecting children with nature, and addressing the causes and consequences of climate change.

To support our mission, we are seeking a Policy Specialist to join our National Advocacy Center in Washington, DC.In this role you will advise and assist the director in implementing the efforts of NWF's Water and Coasts federal policy campaigns. Primary responsibilities will include: helping to lead NWF's federal policy work to achieve the organization's Water for Wildlife and Coasts strategic plan goal and strategies; serving as a NWF policy representative on key coalitions; conducting policy research and providing support and coordination assistance for other NWF Water and Coasts team priorities as needed; and collaborating with and supporting lobby team and NWF policy staff to further key legislative goals and priorities.

You will also represent NWF's water and coastal resilience work and positions in both internal and external campaign team meetings, contribute to development and maintenance of relationships with partner organizations, conduct Congressional and Administrative tracking and outreach, and develop educational and advocacy materials for activists, agency & congressional staff. Other responsibilities include policy research and development of blogs, social media and action alerts on relevant topics, fact sheet and report preparation, organizing workshops, lobby days, and other events as needed. You will cultivate and leverage knowledge of relevant aspects of administrative and legislative policy on topics including but not limited to: national flood insurance and disaster policy, natural infrastructure and resilience policy, coastal and watershed restoration activities, and marine conservation policy. At times you will be asked to assist with team coordination activities, including scheduling and facilitating meetings.

You will be part of a federally-focused team based out of NWF's National Advocacy Center (NAC), but will collaborate frequently with staff at other NWF regional offices working on related issues, and will at times be asked to do state-specific research and outreach in addition to federal advocacy.

Your major areas of responsibility:

Flood and Disaster Policy: Play a leadership role in NWF's campaign development and implementation related to flood and disaster policy and hazard risk reduction for communities. Conduct related policy research and legislative tracking of relevant developments at both the federal and state level, advise on identification of federal policy priorities, coordinate with partner organizations, and develop relationships with strategic offices on Capitol Hill and with key agencies including Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This includes developing a detailed understanding of legislative and administrative issues related to federal disaster policy including the National Flood Insurance Program and Stafford Act, pre-disaster mitigation efforts and post-disaster recovery as administered by relevant Federal and state agencies, as well as other related resilience-building efforts, with an emphasis on natural infrastructure and promoting equitable and just outcomes for communities pre- and post-disaster.

Natural Infrastructure and Coastal Resilience: Assist program director with efforts to track, analyze, and develop federal policies and legislation related to natural infrastructure and coastal resilience, including annual appropriations. Participate in Congressional and Administrative outreach on related topics.

Marine Conservation: Advise the program director on the development of policy positions related to marine conservation, including potentially the creation or expansion of marine protected areas, ecosystem-based fisheries management, and plastics/marine debris. Conduct related policy research to inform NWF positioning on above issues, track legislative and Administrative developments, participate in coalition calls with NGO partners, help to coordinate marine policy work internally, and cultivate relationships with relevant Congressional offices.

Lobby Team Support: Expand Water and Coasts Team capacity to track and engage with Congress. This includes tracking relevant hearings and team priorities in the budget and appropriations process, designing and sending Hill blasts, scheduling and participating in visits to Hill and Administration offices, as well as researching, developing and updating fact sheets and other advocacy materials for activists and Congress. This position also includes educating Congressional and agency staff on organizational priorities, including natural infrastructure, national flood insurance reform, disaster policy, and marine conservation priorities.

Management: Potential to assist with the cultivation and management of team fellows and/or interns, and help promote cohesion and coordination among NWF regional offices and among National Advocacy Center teams.


  • Bachelor's Degree

Experience working with coalitions or NGO partnerships.
Experience working with or for Congress and/or conducting Congressional outreach
Ability to manage a multitude of projects and meet deadlines
Fast and detail-oriented learner
Ability to communicate positions clearly both verbally and in writing
Self Starter
Strategic thinker
Literacy in coastal and floodplain resilience/disaster policy and/or marine conservation policy issues preferred
Five years or more of work or equivalent experience in natural resource policy, advocacy campaigns, or other relevant field preferred. A Master's or other advanced degree in a relevant field can count towards experience.

NWF Values:

Your actions are expected to reflect the staff values of the National Wildlife Federation: collaboration, mindfulness, empowerment, inclusivity, and mission focus. Your competencies should include:

  • Being motivated by values of equity and responsibility to those most marginalized;

Consistently bringing a high level of empathy and social skills to work and interpersonal interactions;
Being committed to deepening an environmental justice approach in policy priorities, program development and partner engagement;
Actively seeks feedback, direction, and guidance from all team members and keeps staff informed of decisions that impact them;
Being dedicated to advancing NWF's internal equity transformation and compelling partners and allies to incorporate equity into their work; and
Passion for and commitment to NWF's mission


There will likely be 3-4 trips per year when deemed safe and appropriate.

Compensation and benefits:

This position pays between $60,000 - $70,000 annually, dependent upon qualifications and experience.

We are proud of our designation by Mogul as a Top 100 Workplace with the Best Benefits in 2021! We value work-life balance and a family-friendly atmosphere with flexible scheduling. We want you to be able to integrate work and personal life with attention to your self-care, so that your work schedule is not depleting. We offer benefits so you feel restored and fueled through the day and week.

We offer these supports to help manage your mental, emotional, and physical health:

  • Paid time off: Vacation that starts off at three weeks accrual, unlimited wellbeing (this time can be used for physical, spiritual, emotional, cultural, religious or financial wellbeing for yourself, a partner, or family member - including pets), 10 holidays, and 3 floating holidays

We close down for a paid winter break between December 25 to January 1 to recognize end of-year stress, and time for reflection, rejuvenation, and spending time with family.
Up to 16 weeks of fully paid Family and Medical Leave
Low cost health, dental, and vision insurance options - all outpatient mental health is covered at in-network rates
Therapist available at no cost
Pet insurance and discount perk program
Annual wellbeing allowance

In addition to your salary, we offer the following supports to your personal finances:

  • Retirement plan with immediate match and vesting

Annual year end retirement contribution
Tuition Reimbursement
Adoption and Surrogacy assistance
Pet adoption stipend
Student Loan management

Applicants are invited to learn more about National Wildlife Federation's benefits package at

COVID Consideration:

The National Wildlife Federation closely follows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease and has implemented processes that promote the safety of our employees, candidates, and communities. Because the health of our employees and candidates is a top priority, we conduct our hiring process virtually via phone or video until further notice. We are currently starting our positions as remote, but will transition to onsite work when our offices re-open, expected to be in early 2022. Proof of vaccination will be required as a condition to join the National Wildlife Federation.


Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.Candidates must submit a cover letter and resume.

We strive to increase diversity, equity, inclusion and justice (DEIJ) in all elements of our work and with our partners to support the interdependent needs of wildlife and people in a rapidly changing world. We recruit, employ, train compensate, and promote regardless of race, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity (including gender nonconformity and status as a transgender individual), age, physical or mental disability, citizenship, genetic information, past, current, or prospective service in the uniformed services, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal, state, or local law. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Applicants are invited to learn more about National Wildlife Federation's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion

We recognize that people come with a wealth of experience and talent beyond just the technical requirements of a job, therefore our job descriptions are guidelines, not hard and fast rules. Your experience, which may include paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work, helps build the competencies and knowledge that translates to our openings. Diversity of experience and skills combined with passion is a key to innovation and a culture of excellence. Therefore, we encourage people from all backgrounds to apply to our positions.

Please let us know if you require accommodations during the application or interview process by reaching us at or 703-438-6244.

If selected for this position, a background check will be conducted.
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