Local recruitment: State Relations Advocate

Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)

Sacramento, CA, USA 🇺🇸


Sacramento, CA




See filing instructions below

The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) invites applications for a dynamic and experienced State Relations Advocate. ACWA is the largest statewide association of public water agencies in the nation, representing more than 460 public agency members. Since its inception in 1910, ACWA has served as a guiding force in California water policy, advancing comprehensive statewide strategies to meet the state’s future water needs, a leader on California water issues, and a respected voice for its members in both Sacramento and Washington, D.C. ACWA is headquartered in the heart of Sacramento, just a few blocks from the State Capitol.

ACWA’s member agencies are responsible for 90% of the water delivered to California communities, farms, and businesses. Together, members play an active role in managing the state’s water resources and creating progress in groundwater management, safe drinking water, water use efficiency, water recycling and desalination.

Position Summary:

This is an exciting opportunity for an established professional to join a successful association, advocating on the regulatory front, for over 460 member agencies. This State Relations Advocate position is a full-time, exempt position responsible for reaching out to and maintaining state agency contacts, analyzing regulatory proposals, testifying on behalf of the Association at state agency hearings, writing formal comment letters regarding regulatory proposals, serving as a liaison to internal policy issue committees, and creating and executing multiple Fall and Spring ACWA Conference programs, among other duties. Issue portfolio will cover a broad range of water management, energy policy, and water quality issues. The selected candidate will implement programs associated with water quality, safe drinking water, surface, and groundwater management. This position reports to the Regulatory Manager.

State Relations Advocate (Level I) entry-level class in the State Relations Advocate series. Incumbents are expected to demonstrate increased proficiency during the training period and are gradually given more difficult and responsible assignments and may assist experienced advocates in charge of more difficult projects.

State Relations Advocate (Level II) is the journey level class in the professional State Relations Advocate series. Incumbents at this level receive only occasional instruction or assistance as new or unusual situations arise, and they are fully aware of the operating procedures and policies within the work unit. This position is flexibly staffed and may be filled by advancement from the I level.

State Relations Advocate (Senior) is the advanced journey-level class in the State Relations Advocate series. This class is distinguished from other classes within the series by the level of independence, the degree of responsibility assumed, level of complexity in assigned tasks, and the expertise required as it relates to ACWA and the issues ACWA advocates for and against and may provide direct supervision to less-experienced advocates.

The duties, knowledge and abilities are the same except the work is originally done under close supervision; as experience is gained, greater independence of action is increased, and less detailed supervision is received until the incumbent is functioning at the first working level.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Formulate strategy, analyze, and advocate regarding new and ongoing regulations on issues assigned within the regulatory portfolio for impact on member agencies.
  • Assist with the creation and refinement of state legislative language.
  • Independently write and submit regulatory comment letters and provide oral testimony on regulatory issues.
  • Develop and implement effective regulatory lobbying strategies.
  • Interact with state and federal regulatory agencies.
  • Serve as independent liaison to ACWA’s policy committees and subcommittees as assigned which includes planning meetings; taking meeting minutes; providing oral and written reports; facilitating committee decision-making and policy development; updating committee website; regularly communicating with committee; managing workgroups connected to the committee; managing committee budget; implementing committee action plans; and following up on committee action items.
  • Serve as subject matter expert and collaborate with Federal Relations Department, Communications Department, and Member Outreach and Engagement Department on regulatory issues as requested.
  • Create ideas and write articles for ACWA News, E-News, and other ACWA social media and communications products regarding regulatory issues.
  • Write regulatory updates and status updates on policy issues and programs for Board of Directors’ Reports.
  • Create, plan, and independently execute programs for the annual Regulatory Summit.
  • Serve as ACWA’s representative on specific boards and task forces as assigned.
  • Serve as ACWA technical subject matter expert in conjunction with the Communications Department to speak with reporters and provide materials as requested.
  • Provide technical assistance to Executive Management on presentations or research relating to assigned regulatory portfolio as required.
  • Contribute technical documents and collaborate with Member Outreach and Engagement Department with member retention and recruitment activities as requested.
  • Independently represent ACWA as a presenter at professional meetings, conferences symposia and other events upon invitation or as assigned.
  • Respond to ACWA member requests regarding regulatory issues within portfolio.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree with major course work in political science or a scientific/technical field that is related to water resources or natural resources management. (A law degree, Master’s degree or Juris Doctor is not required but is desirable).
  • An outgoing personality along with the ability to immediately grasp issues and articulate well-reasoned positions is essential.
  • A demonstrated capacity to successfully negotiate measured outcomes with diverse interest groups is a must.
  • The ability to manage competing deadlines while balancing time in and outside the office is a key attribute.
  • Ability to multi-task, meet deadlines and work in a fast-paced and political environment.
  • Experience in agency processes for promulgating regulations.
  • A demonstrated strong organization, oral and written communication skills, and advocacy skills.
  • Nonprofit membership association experience is a plus.

Special Requirements:

Moderate statewide travel required. Possession and continued maintenance of a valid California Driver’s License is required at time of appointment. Individuals who do not meet this requirement due to a disability will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Compensation and Benefits:

Competitive salary commensurate with skills and experience. Placement to level I, II  or Senior will depend on experience and qualifications, and outstanding benefits offered, including comprehensive family health & dental plan, vision insurance, and CalPERS retirement.

Level I: $95,093.00 to $123,621.00/year

Level II: $104,840.00 to $136,292.00/year

Senior : $127,433.00 to $165,663.00 /year

Filing Instructions:

Qualified applicants must submit a completed ACWA Application Form, Resume, and a Cover Letter. Employment applications and all documentation requested in this announcement must be submitted to Jane Odhiambo, ACWA Human Resources at 980 9th Street, Suite 1000, Sacramento, CA 95814 or via e-mail to Janeo@acwa.com.

Equal Opportunity Employer:

ACWA is an Equal Opportunity Employer to all. Should you need a special accommodation due to a qualifying disability, please contact Human Resources at (916)441-4545.





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development