Director, Federal Affairs

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Natural Resources Defense Council

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Washington, DC, United States

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18 days ago

NRDC is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization. We use law, science, and the support of 3.1 million members and online activists to protect the planet's wildlife and wild places and to ensure the rights of all people to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities. NRDC was founded in 1970 and our people helped write some of America's bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act and many of the implementing regulations. Today, our team of more than 700 lawyers, scientists, economists, policy advocates, communications experts, and others work across the United States and the globe from our offices in Bozeman, Montana; Chicago; New York; San Francisco; Santa Monica; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.

NRDC is seeking a Director of Federal Affairs to work with the Federal Affairs team in our Washington, DC office.

Position Summary

This position will join NRDC’s Federal Affairs team to help craft and implement federal governmental advocacy strategies, advocate on a range of environmental issues, represent NRDC in Congress and with partner organizations and coalitions and lead staff. This is a mid-senior level position and a strong understanding of Congress and the legislative process are desired.
  • Work closely with Program substantive experts to design effective strategies and federal policies and advocate for that federal policy agenda before Congress.
  • Work with colleagues on the Federal Affairs team to provide strong, strategic guidance to NRDC program experts on a range of legislative and administrative goals.
  • Design and implement strategies to forward positive environmental outcomes on a range of issues. Issue areas will be determined based on experience and team need, and may evolve.
  • Formulate and execute engagement on the Hill, including briefings and preparation of materials.
  • Implement federal rapid response in close collaboration with policy, communications, and campaign colleagues.
  • Strengthen, develop and nurture relationships with policy-makers and elected officials, and build durable partnerships with a network of allies.
  • Provide rapid response to inquiries from Congress or the administration and develop and work with coalitions to enhance advocacy.
  • Manage and/or mentor junior staff.
  • Commitment to NRDC’s mission and values.
  • This is a mid-senior level position. Experienced knowledge of federal legislative and regulatory processes critical.
  • Must possess at least eight years of Hill or association advocacy experience, preferably with strong emphasis on environmental issues, or significant experience in other positions that involve working closely with Congress.
  • Must posses experience building and cultivating relationships at the governmental, regulatory, or legislative levels.
  • Must have the capacity to work efficiently, and independently representing NRDC with strong judgment, and professionalism.
  • 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. An advanced degree is desirable.
NRDC is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, both in our work and in our workplace. We believe that celebrating and actively welcoming diverse voices and perspectives is essential to solving the planet's most pressing environmental problems, and we encourage applications from candidates whose identities have been historically under-represented in the environmental movement.

We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

We offer competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a supportive working environment. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and is commensurate with skills and experience. For this position, the salary is $125,000 to $130,000. Internal equity considerations will be reviewed before making a final offer.

Since March 2020, NRDC’s offices have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You will be associated with one of our offices, but until circumstances allow us to re-open, we will continue to support NRDCers with remote working arrangements.

As a science-based organization, NRDC aims to do our part to help contain the COVID-19 public health crisis. For the sake of health, safety, and equity, we ask that people be vaccinated unless they have an approved medical or religious accommodation or other exemption in accordance with state and local law. We consider a person to be vaccinated two weeks after receiving one full course of a CDC-approved vaccine. In accordance with state or local law, new hires will be asked to attest to vaccination, those wishing to do so may request medical or religious accommodations or other exemptions via NRDC Employee Relations. NRDC treats all vaccine-related data confidentially, in keeping with local, state, and federal laws.

To apply, visit and upload your résumé and cover letter. Please mention where you saw this posting and upload any additional materials that showcase your abilities. Due to the high volume of applications, we will contact only those candidates we would like to interview. Please no phone calls, emails, or in-person résumé drop-offs.

If you experience technical problems while applying or if you are a person with a disability and need assistance applying online, please reach out to iCIMS Customer Care at 1-800-889-4422.

For more about NRDC, visit