Agriculture & Water Policy Manager

Michigan Environmental Council

Lansing, MI, United States 🇺🇸


Created in 1980 to lead Michigan’s environmental movement, the Michigan Environmental Council (MEC) is a coalition of more than 70 organizations with offices in Lansing and Detroit. MEC combines deep environmental policy expertise, close connection to state and federal decision-makers and relationships with broad alliances to achieve positive public policy solutions to our most challenging environmental issues. 


Michigan Environmental Council seeks an Agriculture & Water Policy Manager to coordinate and support MEC efforts to defend Michigan’s environment by shaping policy decisions made in the State Capitol. The position will have a primary focus on water policy. The position will report directly to the Policy Director, but will work under daily supervision of the Program Director for Groundwater, Surface Water and Agriculture. The position will also occasionally work with the Program Director for Drinking Water. 

This position conducts research; analyzes policy proposals; educates decision makers on policy priorities and organizational positions; develops and executes issue strategy campaigns; and advocates for MEC’s water priority policies in the legislature and with the administration and executive agencies. An ideal candidate will utilize a range of skills and relationships to strengthen Michigan’s environmental resilience in the face of weakened environmental standards, unsustainable land use practices and a changing climate. The position will be based in MEC’s Lansing headquarters, and a significant portion of this position involves directly interfacing with elected officials and government staff.


General Duties

– Provide written and oral advocacy to further MEC’s water priorities at the Michigan Legislature, the executive branch and state agencies

– Analyze environmental policy proposals (in both legislative and executive branches) and monitor their progress through state decision-making processes

– Educate policymakers and staff about environmental concerns and priorities

– Work with external consultants and partners to align strategies and goals

– Represent MEC at various workgroup and stakeholder tables

– Generate research and advocacy reports

– Strengthen, develop and nurture relationships with state decision makers and elected officials, and sustain durable partnerships with a network of allies 

Agriculture, Groundwater, Surface Water, and Drinking Water Program

– Support the Program Director for Groundwater, Surface Water and Agriculture in efforts to advance policies that improve water quality and expand sustainable land use practices throughout Michigan

– Oversee MEC’s policy development and advocacy related to Michigan’s contaminated site remediation programs

– Spearhead decision-maker education and advocacy on PFAS 

– Assists with work on developing and championing policies that improve watershed management, address high water, and help mitigate flooding 

– Assist the Program Director for Drinking Water with policy development and advocacy related to clean drinking water accessibility and affordability, including innovative water rate design, drinking water regulatory structures and safe drinking water programs 

– Assist Program Directors in the design and implementation of program goals and campaigns

– Monitor and engage on other policy areas as needed

– Attend legislative committees and, as needed, public hearings 


– A bachelor’s degree in public policy, environmental policy, political science or a related program 

– Three years of experience related to environmental, toxics, or water policy (a record of cultivating relationships at the governmental, regulatory, or legislative levels, as well as demonstrated success managing projects and engaging in public advocacy may substitute for issue-specific policy experience)

– Strong written and oral communications advocacy, interpersonal relationship and teamwork skills

– A proven strong work-ethic and willingness to go the extra mile

– Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite and Google (GSuite)

– Ability to work well independently and as part of a team, to meet deadlines, and to balance multiple tasks

– Experience or aptitude working in diverse coalitions, alliances or other groups

– Professional demeanor, sense of humor and positive attitude


– A masters degree in public policy, political science or physical science

– Four-to-5 years of experience in legislative analysis, policy or political advocacy

– Understanding of and familiarity with Michigan’s legislative and political landscape

– Understanding and familiarity with water policy, including Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, and/or Michigan’s contaminated site rules and regulations 

– Aptitude for and interest in politics and environmental public policy

– Solid grasp of current issues related to agriculture and water policy and familiarity with environmental issues and expertise in one or more of MEC’s core program areas 


– The successful candidate for this position will be required to register as a lobbyist

– This position is based in Lansing and requires occasional travel to other locations in Michigan and nationally. Due to COVID-19, the position will be remote until such time as it is safe to resume in-office work. 

– This position requires occasional work outside of normal hours including evenings and weekends.


MEC provides staff with an industry-leading compensation package. The Policy Manager position includes a salary of $45,000 to $60,000 commensurate with experience, full medical, dental, and vision benefits: organizational matching to a 403(b) retirement program and unlimited paid time off.


Submit a single PDF with 1) a strong, detailed cover letter, 2) a resume, and 3) at least three references to [email protected] Include “ Water Policy Manager” in the subject line. Incomplete submissions will not be reviewed. Please direct questions about the job description to Program Director Tom Zimnicki ([email protected]). Application review will begin May 24 and continue until the position is filled.

Michigan Environmental Council is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our goal is to be a diverse workforce that is representative of the Michigan citizens we serve. MEC does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, national origin, veteran status or any other basis covered by appropriate law.