Director of Policy and Government Relations

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The Nature Conservancy

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Dublin, OH, United States

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4 days ago


Dublin, Ohio, USA

The location for this position is flexible within Ohio. Must be willing to travel frequently to Columbus, Ohio.


The mission of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is to conserve the lands and waters upon which all life depends. As a science-based organization, we develop innovative, on-the-ground solutions to the world’s toughest environmental challenges so that people and nature can thrive. Our work is guided by our values, which include a commitment to diversity and respect for people, communities, and cultures. From a rewarding mission to career development and flexible schedules, there are many reasons to love life #insideTNC. Want to know more? Check out our TNC Talent playlist on YouTube to hear stories from staff or visit Glassdoor.

One of TNC’s primary goals is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that employees around the globe have a sense of belonging and feel that their unique contributions are valued. We know we’ll only achieve our mission by hiring and engaging a diverse staff that reflects the communities in which we work. Recognizing that people bring talent and skills that have been developed outside the scope of a job, we take a holistic approach to recruitment that considers life experience in addition to the professional requirements listed in our postings. Please apply – we’d love to hear from you. To quote a popular saying at TNC, “you’ll join for the mission, and you’ll stay for the people.”


The Ohio Director of Policy and Government Relations leads and implements a comprehensive state program to proactively develop, lead and influence conservation and public policy outcomes that advance the Conservancy’s mission. They direct, manage, and support the Ohio Government Relations team, identifying and helping to create conservation funding and policy opportunities across multiple jurisdictions. They work with staff across The Nature Conservancy to advance TNC’s national and multi-state policy priorities related to waters, lands, and climate change, ensuring program compliance with local, state, and federal lobbying laws and regulations. They work with a diverse range of stakeholders, non-profit organizations, coalitions, elected officials, agencies, and business interests to build support for the organization’s conservation agenda and to advance key climate change and freshwater policy initiatives.


Are you looking for work you can believe in? At TNC we strive to embody a philosophy of Work that You Can Believe in where you can feel like you are making a difference every day. This is an exciting opportunity to contribute to the ongoing mission of conservation by directing and shaping public policy in Ohio! Come join us and apply today!

Responsibilities include:

  • Builds and manages relationships in a bipartisan manner with key elected officials, including members of the Ohio Congressional delegation and staff, state, regional, and federal agency officials, and state and select local public officials;
  • Identifies, initiates, develops, and leads opportunities at the legislative, administrative, and/or executive levels of state and local governments that advance the mission and goals of The Nature Conservancy, engaging in all stages of the policy cycle, including research and development, implementation, and rulemaking with various branches of government and with representatives on both sides of the aisle;
  • Develops and maintains multiple strategic partnerships by serving as a senior representative for The Nature Conservancy with partner organizations, agencies, and other key stakeholders including state agencies, state and federal legislators, and other environmental non-profit organizations;
  • Incorporates principals of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in the state and local government relations program, in coordination with TNC staff across the organization and with local partners;
  • Ensures that the policies advanced by the Ohio Chapter are just and equitable, benefiting the full diversity of people and communities who depend on the environment we seek to protect, and enabling their voices to help shape the ongoing management of lands and waters;
  • Engages and communicates with the Ohio Board of Trustees and key individuals across the organization including development, marketing, and conservation teams to influence the outcome of policy initiatives at local, state, and federal levels;
  • Works collaboratively with the development team to identify and partner on fundraising needs for policy, as well as for the general support of our mission work in the state;
  • Plans, creates, and implements an annual plan and budget for the Ohio government relations program;
  • Manages two staff members, and works to develop and amplify the Ohio Chapter’s climate program as a key priority, along with work on waters and lands;
  • Supervises a high functioning government relations team, adhering to principals of shared leadership and empowering team members to build and maintain relationships;
  • Assures compliance with all TNC’s policies and procedures as well as local, state, and federal lobbying laws and regulations, including responsibility for maintaining, reporting, and tracking all chapter local, state, and federal lobbying activities;
  • Actively collaborates with other programs at The Nature Conservancy, including the North American Policy and Government Relations (NAPGR), global teams, and Midwest Division to allow for adaptive management of strategies at the national, Divisional and Ohio chapter level;
  • Works across The Nature Conservancy to advance TNC’s national and multi-state policy priorities such as freshwater initiatives related to both the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes.


  • Bachelor’s degree in political science, environmental policy, business or related field and six years of experience and success directing legislative and issue campaigns, lobbying elected officials, and directing policy initiatives, building diverse coalitions across political and social divides, or equivalent combination of education/experience.
  • Direct experience working with partners and government agencies.
  • Supervisory experience and experience forming and working within multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Project management experience, including coordinating the work of other professionals inside and outside an organization.
  • Experience developing, directing, and managing multiple projects and implementing strategic program goals while simultaneously communicating and working productively and cooperatively across political, racial, socioeconomic, and other differences to achieve results.
  • Experienced team player with experience working in multi-disciplinary groups, using influence and interpersonal skills, listening, diplomacy and tact to build strong relationships with governments, corporations, partners, donors, volunteers, and all levels of staff.
  • Experience developing a knowledge base to source the requisite information necessary to gain familiarity with the vast range of policies and programs that constitute the conservation portfolio including, but not limited to, land and water conservation, climate change, energy, biodiversity, agriculture, real estate as related to conservation, and land management.
  • Experience preparing and presenting proposals to and/or negotiating with federal, state, county and/or municipal government representatives, as well as agencies, non-profit groups, community organizations, local activists, business representatives, and coalitions.
  • Experience with state and federal lobbying laws and regulations, and the ability to monitor changes in county and local lobbying requirements and to ensure full compliance.
  • Experience working with partners/government agencies without violating any restrictions related to conflicts of interest, lobbying former employers, or influencing decision makers.
  • Commitment to working in a manner consistent with and supportive of The Nature Conservancy’s values, Code of Conduct and the Ohio Chapter’s goals related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.
  • Fluency in English.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Awareness of current political and conservation trends and issues in the State of Ohio and the United States
  • Experience working with a variety of non-profit and advocacy groups, and in finding common ground
  • Technical or policy experience related to climate change and energy

Other Expectations:

Complexity and Problem Solving:

  • Cultivates the creative ideas of others to identify potential solutions. Experiments to find creative solutions – thinks out of the box.
  • Designs, implements, and directs multiple complex projects, setting and meeting deadlines and ensuring program accountability.
  • Work is highly diversified and needed courses of action often do not fall under established practices and guidelines.
  • Coordinates the efforts of multiple parties (both internal and external) on projects.
  • Act as a resource to others to solve problems.

Discretion and Latitude in Decision-Making:

  • Expectation of leadership for original ideas and strategies with significant opportunity to act independently within broad program goals, and in alignment with larger organizational goals.
  • Makes strategic decisions based on analysis, experience, and judgment.
  • Decisions may have program-wide or larger impact.

Responsibility and Oversight, Fiscal, and Supervisory:

  • Manage multi-disciplinary administrative and professional staff, with responsibility for performance management, training, and career development. Establishes clear directions and sets stretch objectives.
  • Responsibility and accountability for meeting departmental strategic goals and objectives.
  • Develops and administers departmental budget.
  • Ensures that program complies with TNC policies and procedures and external lobbying and legal regulations.

Communications and Interpersonal Contacts:

  • Work and communicate with a wide range of people – government officials, board of trustees, community leaders, partner organizations, program leadership, volunteers, the public and other staff to develop, negotiate and/or implement programs and projects.
  • Consistently demonstrate professional, positive, and approachable attitude/demeanor and discretion.
  • Function productively as a member of a work team.

Working Conditions and Physical Efforts:

  • Work requires only minor physical exertion and/or strain. Work environment involves only infrequent exposure to disagreeable elements.
  • Work may require regular travel, including overnight travel.
  • Ability to work intensively on campaigns and legislative sessions at critical times.


Since 1951, TNC has been doing work you can believe in. Through grassroots action, we have grown from a small non-profit into one of the most effective and wide-reaching environmental organizations in the world. Thanks to more than 1 million members, over 400 scientists, and the dedicated efforts of our diverse staff and partners, we impact conservation around the world!

TNC offers a competitive, comprehensive benefits package including health care benefits, flexible spending accounts, a 401(k) plan with an 8% employer match, parental leave, accrued paid time off, life insurance, disability coverage, employee assistance program, other life and work well-being benefits. Learn more about our benefits on our Culture Tab on

We’re proud to offer a flexible work environment that supports of the health and well-being of the people we employ.


This position requires a valid driver's license and compliance with TNC’s Auto Safety Program. Employees may not drive Conservancy-owned/leased vehicles, rental cars, or personal vehicles on behalf of the Conservancy if considered "high risk drivers." To learn more about the Auto Safety Program, visit under the FAQ section.

Employment in this position will be contingent upon completion of a Vehicle Use Agreement, which may include a review of the prospective employee's motor vehicle record.


The salary for this position is dependent on candidate's location and experience - the starting salary range for this position is $103,520 - $109,990.


To apply for job ID 52073, submit your materials online by using the Apply Now button at by 11:59 PM EST on September 25, 2022. Need help applying? Visit our recruitment page or contact

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 people 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.

Do you have military experience? Visit our U.S. Military Skills Translator to match your military experience with our current job openings!

TNC is committed to offering accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application process. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, please send a note to with Request for Accommodation in the subject line.

Where legally permissible, TNC requires all new employees to be fully vaccinated and willing to keep up to date with vaccines that protect against COVID-19. By accepting an offer of employment, you agree to comply with this requirement, unless you are entitled to a legally mandated exemption.