Local recruitment: Water Policy Manager

Alliance for the Great Lakes

Great Lakes region, USA



The Water Policy Manager (Manager) works with the Vice President of Policy and Strategic Engagement (VP of Policy), program staff and communications staff to support the Alliance’s policy and advocacy campaigns across the Great Lakes region. The Manager understands how our policy priorities help improve the Great Lakes and the lives of people who depend on them. They bring strength in both independent policy analysis and written communication skills, and work regularly with program staff to analyze policy and legislation, and develop external communications to support ongoing policy campaigns across all levels of government. The Manager will work closely with the Alliance’s Communication and Engagement Team (C&E) to ensure that C&E staff is abreast of policy and advocacy developments, needs and opportunities. The Manager works collaboratively with program and communications staff to ensure timely and high-quality creation of written and oral communications including presentations, fact sheets, briefing, blogs and comment letters directed to diverse audiences of stakeholders and government officials.  This is primarily an internal role at the Alliance that ensures that we have clear, compelling and consistent stories to tell across our highest priority policy campaigns.

A typical week for the Water Policy Manager might look like this –

  • Reviewing state legislation and drafting an analysis that will inform the Alliance’s position and actions
  • Meeting with internal policy staff to learn about new developments and identify coordination opportunities
  • Meeting with C&E staff to alert them of campaign updates and communications needs and opportunities
  • Campaign planning that helps to align policy and advocacy efforts at all levels of government

Impact: Within the first three years of this position’s work, candidates should expect to:

  • Improve our capacity to quickly analyze legislative and policy proposals, identifying alignment or misalignment with organizational goals and values, and provide clear recommendations for action
  • Increase the likelihood of complex policy priorities advancing by ensuring the communications of external program staff are relevant to the needs and motivations of various audiences, including elected officials, community members impacted by water pollution, businesses, and more
  • Play a key role in supporting future Alliance policy campaign planning from conception to execution, with an emphasis on how effective communication can move specific audiences necessary for achieving policy goals


  • Analyzes state legislation and policy materials to identify critical provisions related to the Alliance’s agenda and prepares briefs for program staff, legislators and C&E staff that help educate them on the issues and inform advocacy strategies
  • Responsible for creating timely written and oral communications materials including PowerPoint presentations and legislative briefs
  • Serves as a liaison between programs and C&E staff to ensure that compelling stories about our campaigns across local, state and federal work are ready to support the Alliance’s constituent engagement 
  • Works with program staff responsible for local, state and federal policy to connect advocacy efforts to campaigns
  • Drafts and delivers public presentations and other program communications as needed in coordination with C&E staff
  • Supports staff in relationship management with external partners
  • Works with program and C&E staff to develop, support and track the Alliance’s local, state and federal policy priorities and help bridge the work across levels of government and with communications staff
  • Provides information to Development staff for grant proposals and grant reports    
  • Supports advancement of the Alliance’s diversity, equity and inclusion priorities as they align with policy goals


  • 5+ years of experience in public policy work, communications, political organizing, grassroots organizing, civic engagement or related field
  • The ability to conduct independent legislative and policy analysis, and translate analysis into concise briefs that clearly describe impacts on Alliance policy priorities 
  • Demonstrated experience working as an analyst working on short deadlines for multiple issues and/or colleagues at the same time
  • Basic understanding of relevant federal and state water policies such as the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the Farm Bill, State Revolving Funds, and similar policies
  • Resilient and flexible when making recommendations to staff leading external policy advocacy 
  • Fundamental commitment to socioeconomic and racial equity in Great Lakes issues and demonstrated skills in identifying policy options that advance equity
  • Impeccable listening, written and oral communication skills — the ability to explain the reasons behind a particular strategic or creative approach, connect the short-term work to the long-term vision and to guide colleagues through campaign decision making 
  • Ability to manage multiple pieces of work in a fast-paced environment and shift focus quickly from one priority to another
  • Ability to manage complicated logistics and multiple details for meetings and events
  • Ability to collaboratively work with a staff team located in different offices with varying types of expertise and priorities
  • Satisfaction with a largely behind-the-scenes role focused on research and recommendation
  • The Alliance for the Great Lakes values community, relationships, courage, integrity, optimism and the principles of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in all our work.

Job Parameters

  • This position is full-time and consistent with Alliance employment policy. Salary range is $60,000-70,000, commensurate with experience.
  • Excellent benefits, including health and vacation are included.
  • Eligibility to enroll in a retirement plan after 1 year of employment.
  • This position can work remotely based within the Great Lakes region. Occasional travel within the region is required, in keeping with anticipated COVID-19 safety protocols.

Application Process

Please e-mail a cover letter, resume, references and writing sample to: [email protected].

Include job title in the subject line.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled – we are looking to fill immediately. Materials should be compatible with Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat. Applicants will receive confirmation of receipt of their materials and further guidance and updates about the hiring process by e-mail, with interviews provided for finalists. No phone inquiries please.

About the Alliance for the Great Lakes

The Alliance for the Great Lakes is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The search process will reinforce the Alliance’s belief that achieving diversity requires an enduring commitment to inclusion that must find full expression in our organizational culture, values, norms, and behaviors.

Our mission is to protect, conserve and restore the Great Lakes ensuring healthy water in the lakes and in our communities for all generations of people and wildlife. We advance our mission as advocates for policies that support the lakes and communities, by building the research, analysis and partnerships that motivate action, and by educating and uniting people as a voice for the Great Lakes. Learn more about the Alliance at www.greatlakes.org

Apply By: ASAP