This professional-level position is responsible for developing, overseeing, and implementing assigned Defenders’ strategic plan conservation goals and objectives in the Northwest, with a focus on implementing the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and improving various state and federal lands management and environmental laws, policies and plans to protect and recover imperiled species andthreats impacting them. As such, this position fulfills Defenders’ mission to protect all native wild animals and plants in their natural communities. This is a full-time, nonsupervisory position with potential opportunities to manage contracts and internships.
The Representative will design and lead initiatives to proactively protect and recover imperiled species and mitigate threats using a variety of approaches including advocacy; project review and comment; decision-maker and public outreach; coalition building; project development and implementation; application of best available science; and litigation. Key strategies to achieve these goal(s) involve: engaging with state and federal agencies and decision-makers to advance conservation initiatives; developing and promoting improved wildlife policies; building coalitions and partnerships to establish appropriate prioritization, resourcing and science-led application of conservation initiatives; engaging with communities to empower and equip them with knowledge, skills, and tools to contribute to conservation initiatives. Program objectives are achieved by collaborating with a variety of partners including state and federal agencies and officials, Tribes and other conservation and community organizations. This position requires an ability to maintain productive working relationships with community leaders and decision makers. This position requires knowledge and experience in wildlife biology and conservation; pertinent best practices in the field; strategic plans and their implementation; advocacy in the private, public and governmental sectors; public outreach; media relations, fundraising and project evaluation.
The Representative serves the 3 state Northwest region, though primarily Washington State. The Representative will collaborate closely with the Northwest Director to develop strategy and set priorities, and along with other Northwest staff, to implement and communicate outcomes. The Representative may also collaborate with other Defenders programs and departments (e.g. Landscape Conservation and Climate Adaptation, Center for Conservation Innovation, Conservation Law, Communications, Marketing, Government Relations, and other regional Field Conservation Programs) and lead inter-department and external working groups when the opportunity arises.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Assist with the development of assigned strategic and annual work plans of the Northwest Program, contribute to the achievement of the goals and milestones therein, including implementation of key strategies. The focus will be on species listed under the ESA and state listings, apex predators and keystone species; initiatives related to climate change adaptation, habitat connectivity and restoration; fostering the participation, engagement and decision-making of diverse communities in these conservation issues.
- Identify key information relating to policy, strategy, and decision-making, and communicate it as appropriate and in a timely manner to the Director and other relevant field and headquarters staff members.
- Actively promote and develop Defenders’ work in the Northwest through best available science, field-based projects, presentation of testimony and formal comments on pertinent state and federal proposed policies, direct engagement with decision-makers and community leaders and representatives, and media development. These tasks will be accomplished using a wide range of strategies including:
- Reviewing, recommending and facilitating species recovery, critical habitat restoration projects as appropriate.
- Initiating partnerships and developing and implementing activities with diverse communities to advance conservation goals.
- Participating in direct and grassroots lobbying of the U.S. Congress and Washington State legislature and agencies.
- Recommending litigation where appropriate and providing technical support.
- Recommending reforming or modernizing state wildlife agencies and commissions where appropriate.
- Engage with Northwest Program and other regional program staff to develop and execute conservation initiatives for endangered species, apex predators and keystone species as assigned.
- Work with other Northwest Program staff to mobilize a broader constituency to advance the conservation goals by:
- Facilitating and promoting the integration of diversity, equity and inclusion strategies into Defenders’ programmatic and outreach work in the Northwest.
- Working closely with Communications and Marketing staff to develop relevant local messaging and storytelling (through alerts, blogs, videos, publications, etc.) to promote conservation and coexistence to a wide audience including rural and urban communities, current and prospective members, and decision makers.
- Working closely with Northwest Program staff to engage and grow our regional base of members and supporters – including identifying how our programs can better include communities historically marginalized by the conservation movement.
- Working with Development staff to provide information to funders and help identify and develop potential sources of funding to support local coexistence work.
- Serving as a spokesperson for Defenders on Northwest wildlife and habitat conservation issues and community engagement; represent Defenders and Defenders’ interests to the public, the media, and key decision-makers, and in working groups, committees, and processes.
- Supervise contractors, interns and volunteers as necessary.
- Perform all other related duties as assigned.
Education: Bachelor’s (B.A./B.S.) degree or equivalent
Experience: 4 years of relevant experience
An equivalent combination of education and experience may be accepted as a satisfactory substitute for the specific education and experience listed above.
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities for Professional 2
- Ability to accurately maintain electronic and physical records
- Anticipate and meet the needs of internal and/or external stakeholders delivering excellent service
- Ability to clearly and accurately communicate with internal and external stakeholders
- Ability to articulate complex ideas clearly, accurately and concisely
- Ability to convey effective messages to broad and diverse constituencies
- Ability and willingness to effectively represent Defenders’ interests in external environments
- Ability to exert influence and build consensus with internal and external stakeholders
- Ability to handle sensitive and confidential matters with discretion
- Strong research and data analysis skills, including ability to gather and synthesize information from multiple sources to produce high quality work products in a consistent, efficient, accurate, and timely manner
- Creative problem-solving and troubleshooting skills with willingness to experiment and innovate new methods.
- Facilitate and promote the integration of diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies into Defenders’ work.
- Ability to work well under pressure and tight deadlines while balancing competing assignments
- Ability to remain flexible and adaptable to shifting priorities while remaining responsive to urgent requests
- Ability to take ownership of a project or process and to use problem solving skills to resolve issues
- Ability to manage deadlines on multiple cross-functional projects in a dynamic environment
- Demonstrated ability in managing competing interests on complex issues
Coalition and Community Engagement
- Strong interpersonal skills and ability to form effective working relationships with diverse constituencies including federal/state agencies; elected officials and their staff; Defenders’ members and donors; private landowners; hunters and anglers; community leaders; religious, scientific, and academic communities; and /or the general public.
- Ability to lead diverse stakeholders in collaborative activities, to anticipate issues impacting Defenders’ mission and make recommendations within Defenders, other organizations, and coalitions.
- Networking skills to engage with leaders in the conservation community, federal and state agencies, NGOs, and other organizations.
- Familiarity with Defenders’ legal, scientific, and/or political issues
- Familiarity with national and regional social, political and ecological landscapes
- Valid driver’s license
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities for Northwest Representative
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities specific to the position
- Knowledge and experience in advocacy in the private, public and governmental sectors; public outreach; media relations; and fundraising, with strong ties to the larger conservation community.
- Knowledge and experience in a broad array of natural resource conservation issues, such as endangered species policy, federal land management policy, landscape level planning and conservation biology as well as by staying informed on relevant science and best practices.
- Strong oral advocacy skills, superior writing and research skills with attention to detail to anticipate, share knowledge and make recommendations on practices and policy issues impacting wildlife.
- Experience with coalitions, convening diverse stakeholders in collaborative activities and productively working with opponents on environmental, land management and species- specific issues.
- Experience with community building to elevate public awareness of issues and build a constituency for solutions.
- Ability to exercise appropriate judgment in response to rapid change and complex situations.
- Personal interest in and demonstrated commitment to wildlife conservation as well as the holistic success of the Program Team.
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