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Director of Government Affairs

Union of Concerned Scientists, Inc.
Washington, Dist. of Columbia, US
Closing date
Dec 19, 2022

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Director of Government Affairs

Climate & Energy Program

Union of Concerned Scientists

Washington, DC

Bargaining Unit Position: No

The Position

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is an independent national nonprofit that uses science to protect our health, safety, and environment. We are scientists, engineers, economists, activists, and everyday people who develop and advocate for innovative, practical solutions to some of our planet's most pressing problems-from combating global warming and developing sustainable ways to feed, power, and transport ourselves, to fighting misinformation, advancing racial equity, and reducing the threat of nuclear war.

The Climate & Energy program at UCS seeks a Director of Government Affairs to lead a team of advocates and leverage their skills and experience to advocate for federal climate and clean energy policies in Congress and the administration. The Director of Government Affairs will design and implement strategies and tactics to articulate and advance the program's federal goals. They will also represent UCS to the media, funders, and the public.

The ideal candidate has 10 or more years of the campaign, legislative, and lobbying experience at the national or state level, with expertise or strong familiarity with issues related to climate change and energy, especially renewable energy, climate resilience, or holding fossil fuel companies accountable. They will support organizational learning on issues of justice, equity, inclusion, and diversity, and advocate for policies externally that reflect these values.

As a leader in the Climate and Energy Program, the Director of Government Affairs also contributes to setting and shaping organization-wide policies and practices. In this role, the Director will source and share best practices with and from other UCS programs and external partners, and proactively seek opportunities to scale up and deepen our impact.

Lead the Climate and Energy Program's efforts to advance policy priorities in Congress and the administration, under the supervision of the Director of the Climate and Energy Program and in close coordination with the Policy Director Working with the federal team and campaign leads, identifying guiding principles, defining analytic and other resource needs to achieve policy objectives, developing legislative/administrative proposals, and determining federal targets Ensure that equity and justice are firmly embedded in legislative and administrative strategies Write testimony, fact sheets, briefing papers, op-eds, blogs, and other advocacy materials to effectively influence policymakers and neutralize the efforts of opponents Working with campaign and outreach staff, help develop and implement grassroots legislative outreach strategies by mobilizing scientists and community leaders at the local level and attracting new voices from a range of key constituencies Provide strategic input to ensure coordination and synergy between state, regional, and federal policy goals, strategies, and activities Coordinate with cross-programmatic legislative and policy teams on shared goals Represent UCS in coalitions and with the media and the public Participate in the development of UCS policy positions and strategy Supervise legislative staff, interns, and direct support staff
Qualifications and Experience
Strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion A bachelor's degree is required and a master's degree in a related field is preferred. At least ten years of experience and a proven track record in the application of advocacy and lobbying techniques at the national level is necessary with experience working either in Congress, in government implementing programs and policies, or for NGOs working to influence governmental decision-making. Expertise or strong familiarity with climate and energy issues, especially renewable energy and/or climate adaptation Clear understanding of advocacy campaigns and the legislative process, including advocacy and lobbying techniques and strategies, legislative strategy, and policy-making process at relevant committees and agencies Familiarity with the relevant Congressional committees, federal agencies, and the decision-making process of the executive branch of the federal government Ability to successfully implement strategic government affairs campaigns, including focusing, directing, and prioritizing resources Experience in supervision and project management Excellent oral and written communications skills Collaborative, team-centered work style Strong organizational skills
May spend extended periods at a computer. Occasional overnight travel is required.

UCS is an equal-opportunity employer actively seeking to diversify its staff. In particular, we're dedicated to broadening opportunities for individuals from demographic groups that are historically underrepresented in the sciences and in environmental advocacy. We're also committed to building an inclusive workplace culture where talented people of widely diverse backgrounds can thrive. We believe the inclusion of culturally diverse perspectives will improve our work and produce better societal and environmental outcomes for all, including historically disenfranchised communities.


This is a full-time position based in our Washington, DC office with the flexibility for hybrid/remote work for those close to the DC office. For those who meet all position requirements, the salary range is $148,361-$166,900. UCS offers excellent benefits and a rewarding work environment.

Information about the organization is available at

Comparable training and/or experience can be substituted for degrees when appropriate.

More about the team:

Our team is made up of a dedicated group of researchers, scientists, communicators, campaigners, and advocates from wide-ranging backgrounds and experiences. We are committed to building a diverse and inclusive team and a collaborative and supportive work environment where all staff can thrive. We continually strive to create an environment that is a welcoming place for the LGBTQ+ community, people of color, parents, empty-nesters, and people with a wide variety of interests and backgrounds.

To Apply: We know there are great candidates who won't check all of these boxes, and we also know you might bring important skills that we haven't considered. If that's you, don't hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself. Please upload a cover letter and resume. In the cover letter, please confirm that the listed salary meets your expectations. Upload materials in Word or PDF format only. No phone calls, please.

This position is not in the bargaining unit.

Covid Mandate for New Hires:

For in-office roles, UCS employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Employees are considered fully vaccinated as defined by the CDC. All new hires who will be reporting to an office location must provide notice of their vaccination status and vaccination documentation, on or before their first day of work. For all others, UCS strongly encourages full vaccinations among its employees, up to and including booster shots, even if working remotely.

All new employees must comply with the mandatory vaccination requirements outlined in UCS policies as soon as practicable. Union of Concerned Scientists will notify candidates for employment of the requirements of this policy before the start of employment.

Deadline: Until filled

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