Skip to main content

This job has expired

Senior Conservation Policy Analyst

Defenders of Wildlife
Washington, District of Columbia, US
Closing date
Sep 24, 2023

View more

Academic / Research
Conservation science
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time


JOB TITLE: Senior Conservation Policy Analyst

CLASSIFICATION: Professional 5

SALARY: $92,000 - $101,000


DEPARTMENT:Center for Conservation Innovation

LOCATION:Washington, D.C.

REPORTS TO:Director of Conservation Policy


LAST REVISED: November2022


The Senior Conservation Policy Analyst(Senior Analyst) is an integral part Defenders of Wildlife's Center for Conservation Innovation (CCI). At CCI, we work at the intersection of science,technology, andpolicyto pioneer creative, pragmatic conservation solutions for addressing threats to wildlife and habitats. As part of this innovation, we lead and collaborate on original conservation policy, conduct policy-related research, and identify new applications for strengthening existing policyto improve conservation outcomes.

Reporting to the Director of Conservation Policy, the Senior Analyst plays a key role in ensuring wildlife policy and its key components (e.g., recovery planning, listings, permitting, land governance, and state-federal partnerships) are integrated with and informed by emerging science and technology. He/she is an expert in wildlife conservation policy with either (or both) strong scientific skills and/or technology development skills. He/she will manage a team of policy analysts toanalyze laws, policies and programs and innovate ways to improve their effectiveness in conserving imperiled species and habitats.

We are particularly interested in candidates who have strong training or experience with the Endangered Species Act and other bedrock environmental laws that are wildlife-focused (e.g., Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act) or have a significant impact on wildlife (e.g., Clean Water Act, National Environmental Policy Act).Experience overseeing, contributing to, or implementing key components of endangered species or other wildlife programs in a state or federal wildlife agency, federal departments, other offices within the Executive Branch, or Congress is especially useful.

  • Manage junior policy analysts and interns, including providing guidance and support on team priorities.
  • Assist CCI and Defenders staff with their policy-related data research and analysis questions.
  • Critically review proposed conservation policies, and develop new policies, in collaboration with others across CCI and Defenders;
  • Gather and analyze data for making policy recommendations and, as warranted, publishing in peer-reviewed journals and other outlets;
  • Lead or carry out projectsthat identify combinations of policies, science, and technology that enable or accelerate among other things:
    • recovery planning and implementation for imperiled species;
    • monitoring the effectiveness and efficiency of wildlife conservation programs at a broad scale;
    • compliance monitoring for wildlife laws and policies at federal, state, and other levels;
    • developing incentive programs for private landowners, states, and federal agencies to carry out needed conservation; and
    • broadening the wildlife conservation constituency through community science, engagement with nontraditional partners, and other forms of engagement.
  • Ensure that projects and regular job requirements, such as weekly reporting, are completed in a timely fashion.
  • Perform all other related duties as assigned.


Education:Master's degreein conservation biology, environmental science, environmental policy, public policy,or another relevant field.J.D. preferred.

Experience:8 years of relevant experience; 3 years supervisory experience.

An equivalent combination of education and experience may be accepted as a satisfactory substitute for the specific education and experience listed above.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities for All Defenders

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities for Professional 5

  • Ability to accurately maintain electronic and physical records
  • Anticipate and meet the needs of internal and/or external stakeholders delivering excellent service

  • Communication
  • Ability to clearly and accurately communicate with internal and external stakeholders
  • Ability to articulate complex ideas clearly, accurately and concisely
  • Ability to convey effective messages to broad and diverse constituencies
  • Ability and willingness to effectively represent Defenders' interests in external environments
  • Ability to exert influence and build consensus with internal and external stakeholders

  • Critical Thinking
  • Ability to handle sensitive and confidential matters with discretion
  • Strong research and data analysis skills, including ability to gather and synthesize information from multiple sources to produce high quality work products in a consistent, efficient, accurate, and timely manner
  • Creative problem-solving and troubleshooting skills with willingness to experiment and innovate new methods.
  • Facilitate and promote the integration of diversity, equity and inclusion strategies into Defenders' work
  • Ability to independently exercise appropriate judgment in response to complex and/or fluid environments
  • Strategic thinker with the ability to take high-level strategy and translate into relatable points and action steps.

  • Project Management
  • Ability to work well under pressure and tight deadlines while balancing competing assignments
  • Ability to remain flexible and adaptable to shifting priorities while remaining responsive to urgent requests
  • Ability to take ownership of a project or process and to use problem solving skills to resolve issues
  • Ability to manage deadlines on multiple cross-functional projects in a dynamic environment
  • Demonstrated ability in managing competing interests on complex issues
  • Ability to independently initiate project and initiative ideas; managing projects and initiatives through to completion

  • Coalition and Community Engagement
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to form effective working relationships with diverse constituencies including federal/state agencies; elected officials and their staff; Defenders' members and donors; private landowners; hunters and anglers; community leaders; religious, scientific, and academic communities; and /or the general public.
  • Ability to lead diverse stakeholders in collaborative activities, to anticipate policy issues impacting wildlife and make recommendations within Defenders, other organizations, and coalitions.
  • Networking skills to engage with leaders in the conservation community, federal and state agencies, NGOs, and other organizations.

  • Conservation Knowledge
  • Expert-level knowledge of Defenders' legal, scientific, and/or political issues
  • Expert-level knowledge of national and regional social, political, and ecological landscapes

  • Leadership and Management
  • Ability to foster a team culture which models the tenets of the Commitment Statement
  • Ability to connect employees and their work to Defenders' mission
  • Ability to set and maintain clear expectations, ensuring clarity of roles, accountabilities, and responsibilities
  • Ability to ensure that staff have the skills and support required to perform at the highest level
  • Working knowledge of Defenders' business and people systems and processes

  • Knowledge, Skills, Abilities for Senior Conservation Policy Analyst
  • Significant knowledge of and experience with implementation of conservation laws, such as the Endangered Species Act, and related policies and procedures.
  • Significant knowledge of Federal administrative laws, including procedures, regulations, guidelines, and precedents related to rulemaking processes.
  • Knowledge of conservation science, including topics of relevance and methodologies to carry out research.
  • Ability to develop innovative policy proposals, analyses, and critiques relating to conservation and Defenders' mission.
  • Ability to lead and collaborate in original research and produce reports, articles, and other written products publicizing that research.
  • Ability to stay up-to-date on developments in conservation science, law and policy and identify opportunities for Defenders' engagement with those developments.
  • Familiarity with policy development processes and theory and ability to apply that knowledge into Defenders' policy work.


    Physical Activities

    Check all that apply


    (N)Never, (O)Occasionally or (C)Constantly

    Ascending or descending ladders, stairs, scaffolding, ramps, poles and the like.


    Moving self in different positions to accomplish tasks in various environments including tight and confined spaces.


    Remaining in a stationary position, often standing or sitting for prolonged periods.


    Moving about to accomplish tasks or moving from one worksite to another.


    Adjusting or moving objects up to 10 pounds in all directions.


    Communicating with others to exchange information.


    Repeating motions that may include the wrists, hands and/or fingers.


    Operating machinery and/or power tools.


    Operating motor vehicles or heavy equipment.


    Assessing the accuracy, neatness and thoroughness of the work assigned.


    Environmental Conditions

    Check all that apply


    (N)Never, (O)Occasionally or (C)Constantly

    Low temperatures.

    High temperatures.

    Outdoor elements such as precipitation and wind.

    Noisy environments.

    Hazardous conditions.

    Poor ventilation.

    Small and/or enclosed spaces.

    No adverse environmental conditions expected.


    Physical Demands

    Check only one

    Sedentary work that primarily involves sitting/standing.


    Light work that includes moving objects up to 10 pounds.

    Medium work that includes moving objects up to 50 pounds.

    Heavy work that includes moving objects up to 100 pounds or more.

    Visit to apply.

    All employees are required to satisfactorily perform the essential duties and responsibilities of their positions. The essential duties and responsibilities listed above are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

    Defenders of Wildlife requires employees who engage in in-person work activities, including business travel or onsite work, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. An applicant (i) who is disabled or pregnant or who has a qualifying medical condition that contraindicates a COVID-19 vaccination or (ii) who objects to being vaccinated on the basis of a sincerely held religious belief, observance or practice may request an exemption from this vaccination policy. This determination will be made on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with applicable law. Any medical information concerning an applicant's disability will be treated as a confidential medical record in compliance with applicable federal, state and local laws.

    Defenders of Wildlife provides equal employment opportunity to all qualified individuals without regard to their race, color, creed, religion, sex national origin, ethnicity, age, physical or mental disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, personal appearance, family/parental status, matriculation, political affiliation, genetic information, or any other legally protected characteristic in all personnel actions.

    Please be advised this position is non union-eligible.

    Get job alerts

    Create a job alert and receive personalized job recommendations straight to your inbox.

    Create alert