Senior Policy Advisor (Oceans and Coasts)

The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
Arlington, VA, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


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Arlington, Virginia, USA


The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore, we are committed to a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.

The Nature Conservancy offers competitive compensation, 401k or savings-plan matching for eligible employees, excellent benefits, flexible work policies and a collaborative work environment. We also provide professional development opportunities and promote from within. As a result, you will find a culture that supports and inspires conservation achievement and personal development, both within the workplace and beyond.



The Senior Oceans and Coasts Policy Advisor develops, coordinates and/or implements U.S. ocean, marine and fisheries policy strategies to achieve the Conservancy’s goals through interaction with Congress, U.S. federal agencies, multilateral agencies, partner NGOs, and/or the corporate sector.



The Senior Oceans and Coasts Policy Advisor develops, coordinates and implements a strategy to further the work of the Conservancy and its conservation partners through direct interaction with U.S. government, national, and multi- and bi-lateral agencies focusing on policy and funding initiatives that provide conservation opportunities and/or impact our conservation programs.  S/he identifies conservation policy and funding opportunities, evaluates the potential for TNC, NGO, and private sector partner involvement, and develops and implements strategies to influence policy and public funding for conservation at the national and/or global level. The Senior Oceans and Coasts Policy Advisor reports to the Director of U.S. Climate Resilience and Water Policy and liaises with counterparts in the Conservancy’s U.S. Government Relations, Operating Units, and North American Oceans and Coasts Program to provide and extract useful lessons and experience and to coordinate on joint policy approaches. S/he is responsible for cultivating a broad set of relationships with Congressional members and staff of both parties and both chambers, and advocate for TNC oceans and coastal policy agenda on Capitol Hill. S/he also serves as contact with the external professional community in the policy arena to keep abreast of new developments and opportunities that may be useful to the Conservancy and to report on and share the Conservancy’s experiences with others.  The Senior Policy Advisor provides expert policy analysis and contributes directly to the Conservancy’s public funding strategies by providing input for proposal writing, negotiating with bilateral and multilateral agencies, influencing federal appropriations, and donor cultivation as needed.



  • Cultivate a broad set of relationships with Congressional members and staff of both parties and both chambers, and advocate for TNC oceans, fisheries and coastal policy agenda on Capitol Hill.
  • Develop and advance a policy and funding agenda for the Conservancy with respect to the authorities, programs and management decisions of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (including both the National Marine Fisheries Service & the National Ocean Service), Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
  • Support engagement of the Conservancy’s field offices in planning and management decisions made by relevant federal agencies to advance large-scale coastal restoration, and ocean resource and fisheries management.
  • Work with diverse staff to facilitate TNC participation in coastal restoration, ocean and fisheries management policies and programs.
  • Generate public funding for the protection, sustainable management and restoration of ocean, fisheries and coastal areas by influencing agency budget requests and congressional appropriations.
  • Track legislative and rulemaking activities that may impact ocean, coastal and fisheries health and protection, and coordinate the Conservancy’s response across interested field offices and business units.
  • Maintain and strengthen partnerships with applicable ocean and coastal management agencies at the federal, state and regional levels.
  • Work with other organizations in the private sector and ocean and coastal conservation organizations to create partnerships to advance critical ocean, coastal and fisheries policy.
  • Fournir un soutien en matière de politique et de lobbying sur les questions jugées prioritaires par le Programme des océans et des côtes de l'Amérique du Nord de Conservancy et par le personnel des unités opérationnelles des États et des régions.


  • Bachelor’s degree in political science, environmental policy, business or related field and 6 years of senior government relations experience, or related field is preferred. 
  • Fluency in English
  • Experience working with U.S. Federal agencies that manage oceans, coasts and fisheries and familiarity with relevant ocean, coastal and fisheries laws, policy, and programs.
  • Project management experience including coordinating the work of other professionals inside and outside an organization.
  • Strong communication and presentation skills.


  • Master’s degree is preferred.  Study area in political science, public policy, ecology, or related field is preferred.
  • Experience working and communicating with Congress and/or at least one if not all of the following Federal agencies that manage ocean and coastal and fisheries resources: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (including the National Marine Fisheries Service and National Ocean Service) and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
  • Knowledge of current policy and politics related to coastal, marine and fisheries management, restoration and conservation trends.
  • Experience with U.S. federal budget and appropriations process.
  • Experience conceiving and implementing strategic initiatives, building and leading coalitions of partner organizations, and managing teams, whose team members do not report to you, to deliver outcomes.
  • Experience with federal lobbying and related laws and regulations.
  • Experience preparing and presenting project proposals and negotiating complex high profile or sensitive agreements.
  • Supervisory experience.
  • Excellent time management skills with demonstrated ability to simultaneously manage many projects with tight timelines.
  • Entrepreneurial approach to work with ability to exercise independent judgment, recognize opportunities and take the initiative to advance the mission and goals of the organization.


To apply to position number 46217, submit resume (required) and cover letter separately using the upload buttons. All applications must be submitted in the system prior to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on March 11, 2018.

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The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of men and women of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and culture. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.

The successful applicant must meet the requirements of The Nature Conservancy’s background screening process.