State Policy Research Associate (External Affairs Associate III)

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The Nature Conservancy

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Washington, DC, United States

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27 days ago


United States

Flexible within the United States, remote option available, preference Midwest.



The Nature Conservancy’s mission is to protect the lands and waters upon which all life depends. As a science-based organization, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that we can create a world in which people and nature thrive. We’re rooted in our Mission and guided by our Values, which includes a Commitment to Diversity and Respect for People, Communities, and Cultures. Whether it’s career development, flexible schedules, or a rewarding mission, there’s lots of reasons to love life #insideTNC. Want a better insight to TNC? Check out our TNC Talent playlist on YouTube on Glassdoor.

Our goal is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that all our colleagues around the globe feel a sense of belonging, and that their unique contributions to our mission are valued. We’ll only achieve our Mission by hiring and engaging a diverse workforce that reflects the communities in which we work. In addition to the requirements in our postings, we recognize that people come with talent and experiences outside of a job. Diversity of experience and skills combined with passion is a key to innovation and a culture of inclusion! Please apply – we’d love to hear from you. To quote myriad TNC staff members, “you’ll join for our mission, and you’ll stay for our people.”


The State Policy Research Associate will play a vital role in the development and support of replicable policy interventions at the state and local level to advance the climate, water, and lands outcomes of the North America Agriculture Program. A priority area for this work will be to research and design policy interventions to expand the implementation of Edge of Field practices, such as vegetative buffers and wetlands, as well as scaling up soil health practices. This position will report into the North America Agriculture Program, working closely with an interdisciplinary team from North America Policy and Government Relations, Global Conservation Campaigns, numerous state Business Units, and external stakeholders. The State Policy Research Associate will have strong analytical skills, experience in policy analysis, and an understanding of law and the legislative process.


  • Ensures program compliance with internal policies and external requirements.
  • Prepare program materials including presentations, memos, and other communications.
  • Develops strategic partnerships with relevant agencies, conservation organizations, and/or industry.
  • May provide assistance with preparation of program materials including presentations, memos, and other communications.
  • Work independently, working with supervisor as needed.
  • Work within scope of program’s strategic goals; act independently on assigned tasks and exercise judgment based on experience, referring difficult questions to rest of the team.


  • Bachelor’s degree and 4 years related experience or equivalent combination.
  • Experience researching legal, economic and policy information from divergent sources and compiling it into a cohesive reporting structure.
  • Experience with legislative and policy initiatives at the state level.
  • Experience presenting to and communicating with governments, external partners and/or program leadership.
  • Experience working with partners and government agencies.
  • Fluency in English and (list language(s) of the countries of the relevant geography).


  • Master’s or Juris Doctor Degree appreciated
  • Experience coordinating complex projects in a decentralized organization, working across teams, operating units and functions to achieve optimal results.
  • Experience building networks or organizational capacity, facilitating informational sessions, increasing internal knowledge and capacity, and identifying key stakeholders.
  • Self-starting, independent worker who can thrive in a decentralized organization with minimal oversight.
  • Experience working directly with state agency officials, legislators, and their staff, including researching, developing, and presenting materials on complex environmental issues.
  • An understanding of agriculture in the U.S.
  • A demonstrated commitment to Diversity Equity Inclusion and Justice.
  • Experience with programs, laws and stakeholders who engage on agriculture, water and land-use policy related work in the United States.
  • Experience developing and implementing federal policies, including federal funding/grant programs.
  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural experience appreciated.


Since 1951, The Nature Conservancy has been doing work you can believe in protecting the lands and waters that all life depends on. Through grassroots action, TNC has grown to become 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, we impact conservation throughout the world!

The Nature Conservancy offers a competitive, comprehensive benefits package including health care benefits, flexible spending accounts, 401(k) plan to include 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 in the Culture Tab on

We’re proud to offer a work environment that is supportive of the health, well-being, and flexibility needs of the people we employ!


Salary Range: $73,200 to $98,800 depending on geographic location


To apply for job ID 51644, submit your materials online by using the Apply Now button at 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.