Policy Specialist (Resilient Coasts and Floodplains)

National Wildlife Federation

Washington, DC, US



Founded in 1936, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF or Federation) is America’s largest and most trusted grassroots conservation organization with 52 state/territorial affiliates and more than six million members and supporters, including hunters, anglers, gardeners, birders, hikers, campers, paddlers, and outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes. The Federation’s mission is to unite all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in our rapidly changing world through programming focused on conserving wildlife, restoring habitats and waterways, expanding outdoor opportunities, connecting children with nature, and addressing the causes and consequences of climate change.

To support our mission, we are seeking a Policy Specialist to join our National Advocacy Center in Washington, DC.  (Due to COVID-19 all employees are working remotely until we make return to work decisions.)

In this role you will advise and assist the director in implementing the efforts of NWF’s Water and Coasts federal policy campaigns.  Primary responsibilities will include: helping to lead NWF’s federal policy work to achieve the organization’s Water for Wildlife and Coasts strategic plan goal and strategies; serving as a NWF policy representative on key coalitions; conducting policy research and providing support and coordination assistance for other NWF Water and Coasts team priorities as needed; and collaborating with and supporting lobby team and NWF policy staff to further key legislative goals and priorities.

In this role you will also represent NWF’s water and coastal resilience work and positions in both internal and external campaign team meetings, contribute to development and maintenance of relationships with partner organizations, conduct Congressional and Administrative tracking and outreach, and develop educational and advocacy materials for activists, agency & congressional staff.  Other responsibilities include policy research and development of blogs, social media and action alerts on relevant topics, outreach to grassroots, fact sheet and report preparation, organizing workshops, lobby days, and other events as needed.  You will cultivate and leverage knowledge of relevant aspects of administrative and legislative policy on topics including but not limited to: national flood insurance and disaster policy, natural infrastructure and resilience policy, coastal and watershed restoration activities, and marine conservation policy. At times you will be asked to assist with team coordination activities, including scheduling and facilitating meetings.

You will be part of a federally-focused team based out of NWF’s National Advocacy Center (NAC), but will collaborate frequently with staff at other NWF regional offices working on related issues, and will at times be asked to do state-specific research and outreach in addition to federal advocacy.

Principal Duties (major areas of responsibility):

Flood and Disaster Policy: Play a leadership role in NWF’s campaign development and implementation related to flood and disaster policy and hazard risk reduction. Conduct related policy research and legislative tracking of relevant developments at both the federal and state level, advise on identification of federal policy priorities, coordinate with partner organizations, and develop relationships with strategic offices on Capitol Hill and with key agencies including Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This includes developing a detailed understanding of legislative and administrative issues related to federal disaster policy including the National Flood Insurance Program and Stafford Act, pre-disaster mitigation efforts and post-disaster recovery as administered by relevant Federal and state agencies, as well as other related resilience-building efforts with an emphasis on natural infrastructure.

Natural Infrastructure and Coastal Resilience: Assist program director with efforts to track, analyze, and develop federal policies and legislation related to natural infrastructure and coastal resilience, including annual appropriations and any future Congressional infrastructure packages.  Assist with Congressional and Administrative outreach on related topics.

Marine Conservation: Advise the program director on the development of policy positions related to marine conservation, including the creation or expansion of marine protected areas, ecosystem-based fisheries management, and plastics/marine debris. Conduct related policy research to inform NWF positioning on above issues, track legislative and Administrative developments, participate in coalition calls with NGO partners, help to coordinate marine policy work internally, and cultivate relationships with relevant Congressional offices.     

Lobby Team Support: Expand Water and Coasts Team capacity to track and engage with Congress. This includes tracking relevant hearings and team priorities in the budget and appropriations process, designing and sending Hill blasts, scheduling and participating in visits to Hill and Administration offices, as well as researching, developing and updating fact sheets and other advocacy materials for activists and Congress. This position also includes educating Congressional and agency staff on organizational priorities, including natural infrastructure, national flood insurance reform, disaster policy, and marine conservation priorities.

Management: Potential to assist with the cultivation and management of team fellows and/or interns, and help promote cohesion and coordination among NWF regional offices an among NAC teams.


  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • At least five years of work or equivalent experience in natural resource policy, advocacy campaigns, or other relevant field
  • Experience working with coalitions or NGO partnerships.
  • Experience working with or for Congress and/or conducting Congressional outreach
  • Ability to manage a multitude of projects and meet deadlines
  • Fast and detail-oriented learner
  • Ability to communicate positions clearly both verbally and in writing
  • Self Starter
  • Strategic thinker
  • Literacy in coastal and floodplain resilience/disaster policy and/or marine conservation policy issues preferred
  • The employee’s actions are expected to reflect the staff values of the National Wildlife Federation: collaboration, mindfulness, empowerment, inclusivity, and mission focus.

Travel Requirements:

  • Travel likely 3-4 times per year


Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

The salary range for this position is 60k – 70k.

The National Wildlife Federation values work-life balance and a family-friendly atmosphere. Our paid time-off includes 3 weeks of vacation leave, 10 days of wellbeing leave, 10 paid holidays, 3 floating holidays, a week-long winter break, and additional leave options, per year. In addition, our benefits package includes medical, dental, and vision insurance, company paid life insurance, AD&D, short- and long-term disability, 16 weeks of paid FMLA leave, 403b retirement plan with employer matching and annual contribution, adoption benefits, and flexible work options including telecommuting, non-traditional work hours, and compressed work weeks. Applicants are invited to learn more about National Wildlife Federation’s benefits package at https://www.nwf.org/About-Us/Careers.

We strive to increase diversity, equity, inclusion and justice (DEIJ) in all elements of our work and with our partners to support the interdependent needs of wildlife and people in a rapidly changing world. We recruit, employ, train compensate, and promote regardless of race, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity (including gender nonconformity and status as a transgender or transsexual individual), age, physical or mental disability, citizenship, genetic information, past, current, or prospective service in the uniformed services, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal, state, or local law. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Applicants are invited to learn more about National Wildlife Federation’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion at nwf.org/equity.

If you have a disability and require an accommodation or assistance with our online application process, please tell us how we can help by calling us at 703-438-6244.

If you meet more than 75% of the qualifications of this description, we support your application. If selected, a background check will be conducted.

Candidates should submit a cover letter and resume.






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