Local recruitment: Lead Policy Advocate

James River Association (JRA)

Richmond, VA, USA 🇺🇸

The James River Association is seeking a full time position based out of its office in Richmond, Virginia, to lead its advocacy efforts on public policy.

Position Summary:

This position will play a key role in JRA’s work to influence public policy that promotes conservation, restoration, and responsible stewardship of the James River. The selected candidate will serve as advocate, liaison, and informational contact between JRA, local, state, and federal elected officials and agency staff, and policy representatives for business and conservation groups.

Duties and Responsibilities:

The Lead Policy Advocate  will develop and implement advocacy plans and strategies in support of JRA’s policy priorities. They will provide research and policy analysis and track legislation, regulations and decisions that directly affect JRA’s conservation goals. They will build and facilitate relationships with policy makers and external networks, coordinating meetings, agendas and presentations. They will work to influence policy initiatives at the local, state and federal levels. They will engage JRA constituents in advocacy initiatives and develop strategic partnerships with policy makers, relevant agencies, conservation organizations, and industry to advance the JRA’s conservation agenda.


  1. At least 3 years related experience with legislative and regulatory processes.
  2. Demonstrated success in developing strategies and executing tactics to achieve policy goals 
  3. Experience building coalitions, facilitating informational sessions, increasing internal knowledge and capacity, and identifying key stakeholders.
  4. Experience presenting to and communicating with government, private industry and program leadership.
  5. Experience researching information from divergent sources and compiling findings into a cohesive reporting structure.
  6. Experience in writing formal correspondence, drafting policy analysis memos, and interpreting legislative language and reports.
  7. Must have strong skills in communicating difficult technical issues to lay audiences, including elected officials and the general public. Must be able to professionally and effectively communicate and advocate for positions even when controversial.
  8. Must have strong initiative and be able to manage multiple projects concurrently, including schedules, budgets and reports. Must be able to effectively work independently with little supervision.
  9. Demonstrated ability to build and maintain strong credibility, both personally and organizational, with partners, stakeholders and policy makers, as well as aptitude to develop positive relationships and trust with potential adversaries.
  10. Personal experience with legislative processes, politics and government operations is preferred, particularly within Virginia.. 
  11. Working knowledge of federal, Virginia and local environmental and water quality laws is a plus.


JRA offers a dynamic and flexible work environment.  This is a full-time, exempt position. A generous and comprehensive benefits package is provided, including 4 weeks of PTO, 12 paid holidays, 4% 401(k) match, fully paid employee only health and dental coverage, Life and LTD insurance. Salary will be commensurate with experience; expected salary range $50-70k.  JRA is an equal opportunity employer.  To apply for this position, please submit your resume and cover letter by email to admin@thejamesriver.org.

Resumes will be reviewed as they are received.  The position will remain open until filled. Interviews will be scheduled with qualified candidates starting March 24, 2023. Otherwise, no calls or visits, please.




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