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Senior Associate, U.S. Public Lands and Rivers Conservation

Pew Charitible Trusts
Portland, Oregon, US
Closing date
Jul 26, 2022

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Academic / Research
Conservation science
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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The Environment Program at The Pew Charitable Trusts

For more than 30 years, Pew has been a major force in engaging the public and policy makers about the causes, consequences, and solutions to some of the world's most pressing environmental challenges. Our environment work spans all seven continents with more than 250 professionals working at the local, national, and international levels to reduce the scope and severity of global environmental problems, such as the erosion of large natural ecosystems that contain a great part of the world's remaining biodiversity, and the destruction of the marine environment. Pew's global environmental program focuses on science-based, nonpartisan, and sustainable solutions to help protect the planet and people. We work in partnership with governments, Indigenous rights holders, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, local stakeholders, scientists, and other researchers to advance public policy so that nature and communities can thrive.

Since 1990, Pew has worked in North America, South America and Australia to protect large and critically important terrestrial ecosystems, including rivers and other freshwater resources, coastal temperate rainforests, interior mountain ranges, the northern boreal forests, Australia's Outback, and Chilean Patagonia. We work to ensure these natural systems remain bountiful, functioning, and resilient, providing essential ecological services such as clean air and clean water, sustenance and food security for local communities and more broadly for the welfare of current and future generations. Our work relies on the sciences of conservation, sociology, biology, and economics to advocate for practical and durable solutions to the loss of biodiversity.

In the sea, reforms to how our oceans are managed are essential to address overfishing, pollution, and loss of habitat. Pew began its oceans program in the United States, focusing on ending overfishing and protecting fragile marine habitat. Starting in 2005, Pew's ocean conservation program expanded around the world and played a significant role in reforming marine fisheries management in the European Union and on the high seas and creating large scale marine reserves around the world. Our work is grounded in the best available science and pursues domestic and international conservation measures that are long-term and provide permanent, durable protections for marine ecosystems. We also work to address systemic threats to the ocean, including from plastics, over-and-illegal fishing, seabed mining, and climate change.

U.S. Public Lands and Rivers Conservation Project

Pew's U.S. public lands and rivers conservation project seeks to conserve biodiversity by protecting and restoring ecologically and culturally significant U.S. lands and rivers. To achieve this landscape level conservation, Pew works collaboratively with policy makers, Indigenous communities, local businesses, scientists, hunters, anglers, and others to implement federal and state laws or agency actions that safeguard landscapes and sustain local communities.

The protection and restoration of free-flowing waterways, wildlife habitat, and public land is central to our work. Development and fragmentation of intact landscapes threatens the myriad of benefits our lands and freshwater provide including climate adaptation, clean water, carbon sequestration, food stability, recreation and more.

The U.S. public lands and rivers conservation project is committed to promoting inclusion, diversity, and equity, identifying and addressing existing and emerging issues that can affect our workplace, and sharing best practices throughout the organization. You will see the requirements for this job posting below. We understand that pertinent skills are derived from professional and personal experiences and encourage you to apply. Pew recognizes that when we include a diverse range of perspectives and backgrounds, we can get better at asking the right questions and crafting innovative solutions.

Position Overview

The senior associate helps develop and implement plans and campaigns to achieve the project's river conservation objectives. The position engages with state and federal agencies and policy makers, non-governmental organizations, diverse interests, and key stakeholders to protect and restore ecologically and culturally significant rivers and freshwater in the United States. The senior associate works closely with project team members in Portland, OR, Washington, D.C. and other locations, as well as with Pew's communications, science, government relations, and field staff.

The senior associate reports to the senior manager, U.S. public lands and rivers conservation, and may be based in Pew's Portland OR or Washington, DC offices and is eligible for up to 60% telework from home.

As with all program positions at Pew, the position has a set time frame that could be extended based on the success of the program, funding, and Pew Board decisions.


* Contribute to the development and implementation of comprehensive campaigns and plans to accomplish project objectives, focusing on river protections and reconnections.
* Grow and maintain relationships with a wide variety of relevant interests including federal and state agency staff, key stakeholders, business leaders, diverse communities, and decision makers, in order to achieve project objectives.
* Partner with other teams within the U.S. public lands and rivers conservation project as well as Pew operations staff including communications, conservation science, government relations, and overlapping programs from other departments to achieve project objectives.
* Develop relationships with potential partners and experts who will further Pew's U.S. lands and rivers conservation objectives at the state and federal level, and assist in the development of funding agreements as relevant.
* Develop and maintain a broad knowledge base regarding river and freshwater conservation, including the latest research and policy developments, to inform and advance project priorities.
* Research and develop policy recommendations, issue briefs, presentations, testimony, public comment letters, white papers, or other outputs that advance river conservation and reconnection.
* Contribute to the development of project materials such as issue briefs, web features and newsletters, and ensure communication products meet the highest standard for factual accuracy.
* Contribute to other work of the U.S. public lands and rivers conservation project, as well as broader Pew-related projects and activities, as assigned by manager.
* Represent Pew in key government meetings, coalition meetings, conferences, and events as needed.

Minimum Qualifications

* Bachelor's degree or equivalent experience required; advanced degree preferred.
* Minimum of four years experience in campaign management, community organizing, or public policy work.
* Expertise in or willingness to learn freshwater conservation issues and advocating at the federal and/or state level. Knowledge of freshwater and river protection policies preferred.
* Prior to commencing employment with Pew, candidates for this position who were registered to lobby in any jurisdiction must certify termination of previous registration(s) and provide copies of termination notices with said jurisdiction(s) to Pew.
* Ability to set and achieve short and long-term goals in line with program strategy. A creative and collaborative style, with focus on achieving project goals.
* Able to work both independently and as part of a team to develop and move existing and new projects forward with autonomy, dedication, and strong campaign judgment.
* Commitment to meeting multiple deadlines by maintaining a high level of organization and engagement.
* Excellent written and oral communications skills or desire to develop these skills in order to review detailed information and summarize the substance of an issue and how to address it. Ability to translate information into communications that can influence decision makers and the public.
* Experience in presenting one's own ideas and diplomatically persuading others as appropriate.
* Ability to communicate with decision makers, key stakeholders, diverse audiences, and the general public.
* Strong interpersonal skills, ability to develop and manage relationships with consultants, partners and others who contribute to the advancement of a project.
* Able to work productively and collaboratively with a diverse range of people, or with an array of interests that may disagree with or are in competition with one another.
* Ability to make decisions, justify recommendations, and be responsive, honest, clear, and firm with colleagues and partners.
* Strong analytic and problem-solving skills.


The position may require a moderate amount domestic travel for meetings and conferences.

Total Rewards

We offer a competitive salary and benefit program, including: comprehensive, affordable health care through medical, dental, and vision coverage; financial security with life and disability insurance; opportunities to save using health savings and flexible spending accounts; retirement benefits to help prepare for the future; and work/life benefits to maintain a good balance.

The Pew Charitable Trusts is an equal opportunity employer, committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. Pew considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to age, sex, ethnicity, religion, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity, military/veteran status, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.
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