The Mississippi River Network: Headwaters to Gulf (MRN) is seeking applicants for full-time salaried position to work on the coalition’s policy agenda. The MRN is a coalition of 57 organizations who have joined together to protect and restore the Mississippi River. The MRN has several initiatives: 1) a public communications program 2) improved and amended state and federal policies that restore and protect the River and 3) promoting communication and collaboration among the MRN members and partner organizations.
The Policy Manager will provide key analysis and proactive policy development in issues relating to water quality, restoration, and conservation of the Mississippi River, analyze proposed legislative or administrative changes to federal and state policies, appropriations and laws related to the River, educate members of MRN, the public, and the media on such policies and proposals, and cultivate support for those policies and proposals among policymakers and other stakeholder organizations. The Policy Manager will accomplish this by, among other means, coordinating policy work among the MRN members, educating MRN members, the public and decision makers, and planning and attending briefings and meetings locally along the Mississippi River and in Washington, DC. The Policy Manager will work with the MRN Director and Engagement Manager on engaging interested members of the public (River Citizens) and building capacity of MRN members. With guidance and direction from the MRN Policy Committee, the Policy Manager determines what policy information and advocacy opportunities are relevant and appropriate for MRN Members and the public.
The successful candidate will be a self-starter with a solid understanding of environmental policy and have experience working with coalitions and in grassroots organizing. We are searching for someone with at least three years professional work experience in the environmental policy arena, and demonstrated organizational, communications, research, and writing skills. The ability to work well with diverse interest groups and within a team is a must. An understanding of and experience with Capitol Hill and the federal policy process is highly desirable. She, he, or they will be supervised by MRN Executive Director
Roles and Responsibilities:
● Create detailed annual strategy and workplans to meet the MRN’s policy goals
● Partner with Mississippi River stakeholders with an emphasis on grassroots supporters on policy solutions
● Analyze federal and state legislation and communicate potential impacts to MRN member organizations and River Citizens
● Create annual targeted list of decision makers
● Communicate with MRN members, and River Citizens on Mississippi River related issues, including legislative updates and other pertinent activities or media coverage via newsletters, social media, webinars, print materials, webinars, action alerts, tool kits etc.
● Educate decision makers, MRN members, and River Citizens on MRN policy priorities including related to nutrient pollution from agriculture and the protection and restoration of floodplains and wetlands by conducting in-person meetings, events, writing fact sheets and tool kits, blog posts, etc.
● Coordinate state level policy work among MRN members and decision-makers
● Develop metrics to measure impact of policy work and provide tracking of all policy activities
● Travel throughout the ten-state MR region and Washington, DC, to meet with partners and other stakeholders
● Represent the MRN in relevant policy meetings and workgroups
● Identify advocacy opportunities to educate River Citizens and MRN members about MRN policy goals and related issues
● Work with other MRN staff to support the integration of the policy work with the public campaigns and inform and communicate effectively
● Experience with and understating of how policy is made and changed at federal and state levels
● Familiarity with issues related to the Mississippi River, specifically the current status of federal legislation and appropriations (Farm Bill, Water Resources Development Act, FEMA’s Flood Insurance Program, Clean Water Act) and federal programs (EPA’s NPDES program, targeted USDA River Basin initiatives and US Army Corps of Engineers programs)
● Experience with managing several projects at the same time
● Excellent written and oral communication skills and attention to detail
● Computer skills, including proficiency in Microsoft and Google software suites, Salsa Engage experience a plus
● Creativity and the ability to quickly adapt to new situations
● Passion for and a belief in the legislative process
● Bachelor’s degree is a must, preferably an advanced degree, but appropriate experience is equally important
This position can be located in one of the ten mainstem states the Mississippi River flows through, close to a large airport, as travel to and from Chicago (where the MRN Executive Director is located), Washington, DC, and the ten main-stem Mississippi River states is expected. Depending on location, this is a remote working position.