Senior Director of Federal Affairs

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

Washington, DC, United States 🇺🇸

More information about this job


Senior Director of Federal Affairs

Washington, DC

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is the nation’s most effective environmental action group, combining the grassroots power of more than 3 million members and online activists with the courtroom clout and expertise of more than 600 lawyers, scientists and other professionals to fight for the planet and its people in the halls of Congress, communities across the country, and nations around the globe.  NRDC was founded in 1970 and our staff helped write some of America’s bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act, and many of the implementing regulations; our water enforcement cases played a major role shaping current water policy throughout the country. Today, our staff work out of offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Bozeman, Montana and Beijing.

Position Summary:

NRDC is seeking a Senior Director of Federal Affairs reporting to the Managing Director of Government Affairs to direct the Federal Affairs team in our Washington, DC office.  This is a very senior level and externally visible role formulating NRDC’s federal governmental advocacy strategies and representing NRDC to federal policymakers, the media, and to partner organizations and coalitions


  • Manage Government Affairs’ Federal Affairs team and organize and coordinate federal lobbying activities with substantive experts and advocates in Programs and with federal Campaigns.
  • Work closely with Program substantive experts and advocates to develop and advocate for federal policies.
  • Serve as a senior representative and spokesperson for NRDC, working to build NRDC’s influence with members and staff of Congress, partner organizations and coalitions, and the media.
  • Proactively plan and organize federal governmental strategies and tactics to create policymaking opportunities and to mitigate probable legislative threats.
  • Develop and manage implementation of federal rapid response in close collaboration with policy, communications, and campaign colleagues.
  • Advise on legislative scorecards and federal PAC contributions made to members of Congress.
  • Formulate and execute senior leadership engagement on the Hill, including briefings and preparation of materials.
  • Oversee the preparation and execution of membership and grasstop lobby trips.


  • Experienced knowledge of federal legislative, regulatory, and political processes.
  • Contemporary working relationships with congressional members and staff, especially those on Senate and House committees related to environment, energy, transportation, foreign relations, budget, appropriations, finance, and taxes. Working relationships inside federal agencies related to NRDC’s policy goals also desirable.
  • Successful track record of managing high performing teams and juggling multiple priorities.
  • Deep experience in formulating environmental policies, external communications, and managing coalitions.
  • Persuasive oral and written communication.
  • Experience in conducting media interviews.
  • Good judgment, strong work ethic, empathy.
  • A minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree. Advanced degree is desirable. 

NRDC is committed to workplace diversity and inclusion.  We are equal opportunity employers and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.  We offer competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a pleasant working environment.  Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and commensurate with experience.

To apply, please visit and upload your resume and cover letter through our online portal. Please no phone calls, emails, faxes or in-person resume drop-offs. Please reference where you saw this posting. NRDC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

If you are having technical difficulty while applying, please reach out to Customer Care by dialing 1-866-803-9663.

For further information about NRDC, please visit