Government Relations Director

Land Trust Alliance

Washington, DC, US

The Land Trust Alliance is a national conservation organization whose mission is to save the places people love by strengthening land conservation throughout America. The Alliance represents the voice of the land trust community in Washington, D.C., and advances policy objectives to help provide resources to land trusts and address threats to their work. Through its Advocacy Ambassadors program, the Alliance trains and mobilizes a network of land trust staff and supporters across the country to persuade Congress and other policymakers to make policy choices that support the land trust community. 

Position Summary

The government relations director (GRD) is both a strategic thinker and a hands-on manager. The GRD unifies her or his excellent skills in communications, public affairs and policy to enhance the Alliance’s reputation as a nonpartisan champion of land conservation. The GRD is responsible for supervising an interdisciplinary team consisting of subject matter experts, an advocacy and campaigns manager, and an administrative assistant. S/he must demonstrate a history of accomplished leadership and exemplary team-building skills. S/he is responsible for management of relevant third-party vendors and ensures cross-functional coordination and alignment with other Alliance departments and staff. The GRD is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the government relations department; ensures that the Alliance’s advocacy work remains nonpartisan and adheres to all applicable laws; and is responsible for program budget management.

The GRD understands the central role of federal tax policy, Farm Bill conservation programs, the Land and Water Conservation Fund and other federal conservation programs to the land trust community. Additionally, the GRD exhibits familiarity and creativity in securing non-traditional sources of public resources to support land conservation, including through government programs focused on human health, water, energy and climate change. S/he is also capable of evaluating where the Alliance may want to become more involved at the state level to advance key conservation policy objectives.

S/he maintains strong and collaborative relationships between Alliance members and elected officials via the Alliance’s Advocacy Ambassadors program and through the supervision of an advocacy and campaigns manager. The GRD cultivates and grows relationships with federal administrative agencies, serving as the Alliance’s primary liaison with these important partners.

Position Responsibilities

Formulating Policy Positions

The GRD stays apprised of trends, issues and challenges affecting land conservation across the U.S. and develops relationships with policymakers and his or her counterparts in other organizations to advance a bold conservation policy agenda. The GRD drives the development of political strategies that support the Alliance’s government relations objectives, anticipates and responds to related challenges and identifies public policy opportunities to advance land conservation. S/he routinely engages other departments of the Alliance to refine and communicate policy positions to various internal and external audiences. The GRD works with the board and executive management to establish the annual government relations agenda and to establish long-range policy goals. 

Growing an Advocacy Network

The GRD leads strategies that educate Alliance members about the importance of policy advocacy activities. The GRD supervises an advocacy and campaigns manager, which is tasked with inspiring, motivating and training land trust staff and supporters to actively engage in federal policy development and lobbying activities. S/he oversees Land Trust Alliance Advocacy Days (an annual fly-in event), serves as a policy expert to the Alliance’s Leadership Council (an advisory group of prominent land trusts), and acts as the primary liaison with land trust leaders on policy issues. The GRD is responsible for developing, executing and assessing advocacy strategies that include meeting with members of Congress and their staff, engaging federal agency representatives, and, as needed, testifying before Congress on critical issues.

Engaging in Effective Communications

The GRD works closely with the Alliance’s communications department to create detailed communication strategies, including media campaigns, to foster public support for land conservation. Additionally, the GRD is responsible for maintaining efficient and regular communications with the executive vice president and providing detailed briefings, public speaking materials, and other communication tools for the president and executive vice president. The GRD is the staff liaison to the policy committee of the Alliance’s board of directors, and is responsible for providing professional and regular communications with board members. S/he assists and communicates with the Alliance’s development department to support successful fundraising campaigns for the government relations department and other Alliance initiatives.


  • Demonstrates a strong passion for land conservation
  • Ten or more years of increasinngly accomplished experience in land conservation or environmental policy work, public relations, management, including leading successful teams
  • Strong Capitol Hill experience with experience cultivating and managing an advocacy network
  • Experience leading successful federal legislative campaigns
  • Familiarity with and knowledge of land trusts, public funding for land conservation, and relevant tax issues is highly desirable, but not essential
  • Proven examples of managing complex initiatives that involved problem solving, strategic thinking and creative skills
  • Experience developing and successfully implementing long-range strategic work plans for teams
  • Strong writing skills that include attention to detail and an ability to produce reports and track progress (individually and at the team level)
  • Proven ability to work well in a collegial environment while managing disparate work styles and personalities
  • Ability to travel and work long hours as needed
  • Candidates should have an advanced degree in economics, public policy, political science, or other similar fields


Competitive salary and benefits provided.


Send resume and cover letter via email to [email protected] (link sends e-mail) with “Government Relations Director” in the Subject Line no later than Friday, June 9, 2017 to be considered.

The Land Trust Alliance’s mission is to save the places people love by strengthening land conservation across America. The Land Trust Alliance is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate because of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, or marital status.