Senior Policy Advisor (Healthy Rivers Program (Arizona))

Western Resource Advocates

, AZ, US

About Western Resource Advocates

Founded in 1989, Western Resource Advocates (WRA) is dedicated to protecting the West’s land, air, and water to ensure that vibrant communities exist in balance with nature. We use law, science, and economics to craft innovative solutions to the most pressing conservation issues in the region within three core program areas: Clean Energy, Healthy Rivers, and Western Lands.

Our Healthy Rivers Program envisions a future where rivers and lakes have abundant clean water to support habitat for fish and wildlife, communities and agriculture, and world class recreational opportunities; and where the Colorado River flows to the sea. Our program promotes policies and initiatives that prioritize water conservation, water recycling, and urban-agricultural cooperation. We work to move away from building new dams and diversions that drain the life from our rivers, and instead to usher in a new era of water management focused on innovation, efficiency, and sharing resources.

Position Summary

WRA seeks a passionate Senior Policy Advisor with knowledge of water issues in Arizona to join our Healthy Rivers Team to strengthen current State and local efforts aimed at implementing drought contingency policies, demonstrating water conservation practices, and increasing water management flexibility. This position provides a unique opportunity to build local partnerships and programs that can be leveraged into statewide policy change. Reporting to WRA’s Water Policy Manager, the Senior Policy Advisor will collaborate with program staff and conservation community partners, cultivate pro-conservation decision makers, and cooperate with municipal water providers and state agencies to advance the next phase of water management in Arizona.


The position is based remotely in Arizona, with a strong preference for the Phoenix metropolitan area.

Job Responsibilities

  • Advocate for policies in multiple forums that expand Colorado River conservation programs, facilitate innovative water transactions, and protect the state’s groundwater resources;
  • Develop water sharing transactions between water users that implement conservation strategies and result in decreased Colorado River water demand;
  • Evaluate benefits and concerns of increasing water conservation efforts, including economic, social, regulatory, and environmental aspects;
  • Build, sustain, and enhance relationships with current and future municipal water provider leaders, state agency staff, and elected officials;
  • Build partnerships with key water stakeholders and influencers to support shared policy objectives;
  • Collaborate with a team of conservation community partners to promote state and Colorado River water supply sustainability;
  • Coordinate with WRA’s Communications Team on public relations efforts; and
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Job Qualifications

  • A bachelor’s degree in the natural sciences, political science, public policy or equivalent work experience;
  • At least five to seven years of professional experience in the Western water policy field;
  • Extensive knowledge and understanding of Arizona water policy, players, and conservation issues;
  • History of working directly with relevant water-related decision-making bodies in Arizona a plus;
  • Experience building work plans and leading efforts to secure measurable results;
  • Ability to apply communications skills to persuade, influence, or lead others on complex subjects;
  • Self-motivated, work well independently from a remote office, and enjoy collaborating with a team;
  • Strong organizational skills, with attention to detail and follow‐through;
  • Excellent writing, presentation, and interpersonal skills;
  • Creativity, curiosity, patience, and a sense of humor; and
  • Genuine passion for the mission and work of WRA.

Salary and Benefits

Competitive salary based on relative experience. WRA’s excellent benefits package includes health, dental, and vision coverage, a 401(k) retirement plan, life & disability insurance, 3-weeks paid vacation leave, sabbatical leave after five years. Position is full-time exempt.

How to Apply

Applications will only be accepted through WRA’s online portal at You will need to upload the following in PDF format through the online portal:

  • Compelling cover letter to the attention of Richard Trilsch, Vice President of Finance and Administration, explaining how your qualifications match the needs of the position and your interest in WRA;
  • Resume;
  • Complete salary history and salary request; and
  • Three references with contact information and a brief description of your relationship. (WRA will not contact references without first checking with the applicant.)

Please be sure to mention in your cover letter where you saw the job advertised.  

Deadline to Apply: October 31, 2017

Start Date

Start date for this position is no earlier than January 2, 2018.

Western Resource Advocates is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, marital status, amnesty, or veteran status.