Senior Policy Advisor for Oceans and Coasts

Nature Conservancy
  • Location
    Arlington, Virginia
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Jan 27

Position description


The Senior Oceans and Coasts Policy Advisor develops, coordinates and/or implements U.S. ocean, marine and fisheries policy strategies to achieve the Conservancy’s goals through interaction with Congress, U.S. federal agencies, multilateral agencies, partner NGOs, and/or the corporate sector.


The Senior Oceans and Coasts Policy Advisor develops, coordinates and implements a strategy to further the work of the Conservancy and its conservation partners through direct interaction with U.S. government, national, and multi- and bi-lateral agencies focusing on policy and funding initiatives that provide conservation opportunities and/or impact our conservation programs. S/he identifies conservation policy and funding opportunities, evaluates the potential for TNC, NGO, and private sector partner involvement, and develops and implements strategies to influence policy and public funding for conservation at the national and/or global level. The Senior Oceans and Coasts Policy Advisor reports to the Director of U.S. Climate Resilience and Water Policy and liaises with counterparts in the Conservancy’s U.S. Government Relations, Operating Units, and North American Oceans and Coasts and Sustainable Fisheries Program to provide and extract useful lessons and experience and to coordinate on joint policy approaches. S/he is responsible for cultivating a broad set of relationships with Congressional members and staff of both parties and both chambers, and advocate for TNC fisheries, oceans and coastal policy agenda on Capitol Hill. S/he also serves as contact with the external professional community in the policy arena to keep abreast of new developments and opportunities that may be useful to the Conservancy and to report on and share the Conservancy’s experiences with others. The Senior Policy Advisor provides expert policy analysis and contributes directly to the Conservancy’s public funding strategies by providing input for proposal writing, negotiating with bilateral and multilateral agencies, influencing federal appropriations, and donor cultivation as needed.


  • Cultivate a broad set of relationships with Congressional members and staff of both parties and both chambers, and advocate for TNC oceans, fisheries and coastal policy agenda on Capitol Hill;
  • Develop and advance a policy and funding agenda for the Conservancy with respect to the authorities, programs and management decisions of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (including both the National Marine Fisheries Service & the National Ocean Service), Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and other agencies as appropriate;
  • Support engagement of the Conservancy’s field offices in planning and management decisions made by relevant federal agencies to advance large-scale coastal restoration, and ocean resource and fisheries management;
  • Work with diverse staff to facilitate TNC participation in coastal restoration, ocean and fisheries management policies and programs;
  • Generate public funding for the protection, sustainable management and restoration of ocean, fisheries and coastal areas by influencing agency budget requests and congressional appropriations;
  • Track legislative and rulemaking activities that may impact ocean, coastal and fisheries health and protection, and coordinate the Conservancy’s response across interested field offices and business units;
  • Maintain and strengthen partnerships with applicable ocean and coastal management agencies at the federal, state and regional levels;
  • Work with other organizations in the private sector and ocean and coastal conservation organizations to create partnerships to advance critical ocean, coastal and fisheries policy;
  • Provide policy and lobbying support on issues determined to be a national priority for the Conservancy’s North American Oceans and Coasts Program and staff located in state and regional operating units.



  • Bachelor’s degree in political science, environmental policy, business or related field and 6 years of senior government relations experience, or related field is preferred;
  • Fluency in English;
  • Experience working with U.S. Federal agencies that manage oceans, coasts and fisheries and familiarity with relevant ocean, coastal and fisheries laws, policy, and programs;
  • Experience communicating and working with U.S. Congressional members and staff;
  • Project management experience including coordinating the work of other professionals inside and outside an organization;
  • Experience with strong communication and presentation skills.


  • Master’s degree is preferred. Study area in political science, public policy, ecology, or related field is preferred;
  • Experience working and communicating with Congress and/or at least one if not all of the following Federal agencies that manage ocean and coastal and fisheries resources: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (including the National Marine Fisheries Service and National Ocean Service) and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management;
  • Knowledge of current policy and politics related to coastal, marine and fisheries management, restoration and conservation trends;
  • Experience with U.S. federal budget and appropriations process;
  • Experience conceiving and implementing strategic initiatives, building and leading coalitions of partner organizations, and managing teams, whose team members do not report to you, to deliver outcomes;
  • Experience with federal lobbying and related laws and regulations;
  • Experience preparing and presenting project proposals and negotiating complex high profile or sensitive agreements;
  • Supervisory experience;
  • Excellent time management skills with demonstrated ability to simultaneously manage many projects with tight timelines;
  • Entrepreneurial approach to work with ability to exercise independent judgment, recognize opportunities and take the initiative to advance the mission and goals of the organization.
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