National Audubon Society – Vice President, Government Affairs
The National Audubon Society is a nonprofit conservation organization that protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. We work throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon’s state, regional, national, and international programs, nature centers, and chapters have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. As a sentinel species, we recognize that the fate of birds is inextricably tied to the fate of us all.
Audubon has more than 700 staff working across the United States and seven countries in 17 state and regional offices, 41 nature centers, and 23 wildlife sanctuaries. Together as one Audubon, we aspire to alter the course of climate change and habitat loss, leading to healthier bird populations and reversing current trends in biodiversity loss.
Audubon is committed to a culture of workplace excellence, where our talented and diverse staff are deeply engaged, with a strong sense of belonging. The birds Audubon pledges to protect differ in color, size, behavior, geographical preference, and countless other ways. By honoring and celebrating the equally remarkable diversity of the human species, Audubon will bring new creativity, effectiveness, and leadership to our work throughout the hemisphere.
The Vice President, Government Affairs serves as the organization’s chief lobbying strategist on federal and regulatory issues and strengthens relationships on both sides of the political aisle to ensure Audubon is a trusted resource to decision makers.
The Vice President oversees the national government relations team and ensures strategic alignment with state-based policy and government relations professionals and the Audubon Americas international program. This position partners with the Conservation Strategy Vice Presidents, the leader of the Audubon Americas program, the Audubon Action Fund, the Vice Presidents overseeing state and regional offices, and state-based leadership to achieving policy outcomes that protect birds and the places they need.
The Vice President is a senior leader at Audubon and a key representative of the organization’s policy priorities with elected decision makers, agency officials, external partners and coalitions, policy thought leaders, and the public.
The Vice President will facilitate the annual process of prioritizing Audubon’s conservation policy goals and objectives. Working with stakeholders, the Vice President will help ensure organizational alignment on Audubon’s role on issue priorities, including when to lean into leading on opportunities and advocacy efforts and when to work as part of broader efforts.
The Vice President is expected to champion and implement strategies that nurture an inclusive, healthy work culture while upholding organizational values.
Reporting to the Deputy Chief Conservation Officer and working as a critical thought partner with the Chief Conservation Officer, this position will serve as a standing member of Audubon’s Senior Leadership Team and Conservation Leadership Team. The Vice President will also serve as a Senior Advisor to the Audubon Action Fund.
The Vice President will be based in Washington, DC.
- Lead lobbying efforts and strategies to advance policy efforts that support Audubon’s conservation goals and priorities
- Lead integration of equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging values into Audubon’s policy strategies and partner collaboratively across the organization to actively support policies that mitigate environmental impacts for communities of color
- Oversee an inclusive process for developing a robust federal policy agenda that impacts both domestic and international conservation efforts, including federal funding that will support on-the-ground work
- Coordinate strategic efforts regarding Audubon’s Congressional appropriations priorities
- Collaborate with state-based policy teams and provide strategic guidance and input on key state policy opportunities that align with organizational priorities while facilitating a community of practice among state-based policy leaders
- Develop relationships with key federal agency and elected officials, and oversee Audubon’s government relations efforts to build and maintain intentional relationships at the federal level
- Lead through influence as much as through formal authority in a complex, matrixed organization
- Ensure Audubon’s policy interests are well-represented by staff with external stakeholders
- Support Audubon’s fundraising goals by providing strategic and substantive guidance for efforts to secure federal funding for conservation efforts and collaborate closely with the Development team to steward current and potential funders
Qualifications and Experience
- 12 years+ of experience of Hill, lobbying, policy, government affairs, or campaigns; expertise in conservation strongly preferred
- Demonstrated success in large, geographically distributed NGOs, preferably with an affiliate or chapter structure
- Professional relationships with federal decision makers and their staff with a willingness to work on both sides of the political aisle
- Superb interpersonal skills, with an impressive history of forging strong relationships with multiple stakeholders
- Proven experience building successful legislative and/or administrative strategies to support securing federal funding for policy priorities or on-the-ground projects
- Collaborative and inclusive leadership style
- Demonstrated personal and professional commitment to and experience in advancing equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging
- Commitment to working in partnership with BIPOC communities on environmental justice
- Strong experience hiring, managing and supporting staff
- Outstanding policy development, analysis and research skills
- Deep commitment to building a culture of workplace excellence and experience leading through organizational change
- Bachelor’s degree in policy, political science, or government affairs (or equivalent experience.)
- Occasional travel required.
The National Audubon Society is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE). All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. We are committed to a policy of nondiscrimination, inclusion and equal opportunity and actively seek a diverse pool of candidates in this search.
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