Policy Specialist

Massachusetts Rivers Alliance

Cambridge, MA, US

The Massachusetts Rivers Alliance seeks a candidate for the position of Policy Specialist. The position is based in Cambridge but includes some travel, primarily within Massachusetts. We are currently working remotely.

Founded in 2007, Mass Rivers is a nonprofit conservation organization working to protect and restore rivers across the Commonwealth. The organization currently has 75 organizational members and is supported by a growing group of individuals, families, and foundations. We pursue our mission through advocacy, education, and by strengthening and connecting our member organizations.

Position Description

The Policy Specialist is responsible for tracking and understanding issues that face rivers across the Commonwealth. The Policy Specialist develops and implement strategies to advance legislative and other policy initiatives that support the organization’s goals: to protect and restore streamflow, water quality, and wildlife habitat; and to increase public investment in environmentally sound, climate-resilient water infrastructure.

The Policy Specialist must have the ability to quickly and strategically respond to changing opportunities and to advance the mission of the organization. Current projects include:

• With partner organizations, tracking, developing, and supporting/opposing state legislation that helps or harms the state’s rivers.

• Research, organizing and advocacy on a variety of issues that affect river protection in Massachusetts, including climate change, stormwater, wastewater, hydropower, water allocation and other topics

• With partner organizations, advocating for increased state funding for environmental agencies tasked with protecting and restoring rivers and streams.

• Organizing a biennial Lobby for the Rivers Day for member organizations and individuals.

• Researching and applying for relevant grant opportunities for the organization.

Our work is very collaborative and the scope of work is comprehensive. In addition to projects such as the above, there are many others where the Policy Specialist will represent river interests in a working group, committee or other policy-making process. The Policy Specialist will also develop and coordinate workshops for member organizations, municipalities and other audiences.


A successful candidate will have a strong interest in river protection and public policy, and relevant prior legal, science, policy, regulatory agency experience, or a combination of these. A bachelor’s degree in a relevant field plus one to three years of relevant work experience is required, but a master’s degree and/or additional work experience is preferred.

The candidate should be enthusiastic about the mission of the organization, self-motivated and must have excellent writing, communication and interpersonal skills, including group facilitation skills, and a facility with social media. They must be able to articulate the importance of policy and regulatory implications of scientific data, and have an ability to connect effectively with both technical and non-technical audiences. They should also enjoy working in a small organization.

The candidate should have a working familiarity with: federal Clean Water Act programs (wastewater and stormwater), major state laws affecting rivers: Water Management Act, Interbasin Transfer Act, Wetland Protection Act, an understanding of watershed science, and an understanding of municipal, state, and federal government responsibilities in Massachusetts. An ideal candidate will also have experience with the legislative process in Massachusetts. The ideal candidate will be interested in a wide range of river-related topics (climate change, hydropower, dam removal, integrated water management) and bring creative ideas to the table.

Starting date is July 1. Compensation is commensurate with experience and includes paid time off, a monthly retirement contribution, and health insurance. The Massachusetts Rivers Alliance is an equal opportunity employer.

Application Procedure

To apply, email a resume, along with a cover letter explaining how your talents and experience could help the Massachusetts Rivers Alliance achieve its goals. Resumes will be accepted until the position is filled. The most recent posting will be maintained at www.massriversalliance.org and a notice will be posted at that location once the position has been filled. Please put “Policy Specialist Position” in the subject line.





IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development