Policy Director, Advocacy and Outreach

Regular, Full-Time
Job Category
Government Relations/Public Policy


Now in its second century, Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Audubon’s mission is engaging people in bird conservation on a hemispheric scale through science, policy, education and on-the-ground conservation action.  By mobilizing and aligning its network of Chapters, Centers, State and Important Bird Area programs in the four major migratory flyways in the Americas, the organization will bring the full power of Audubon to bear on protecting common and threatened bird species and the critical habitat they need to survive.  And as part of BirdLife International, Audubon will join people in over 100 in-country organizations all working to protect a network of Important Bird Areas around the world, leveraging the impact of actions they take at a local level.  What defines Audubon’s unique value is a powerful grassroots network of nearly 500 local chapters, 23 state offices, 41 Audubon Centers, Important Bird Area Programs in 50 states, and 700 staff across the country.  Audubon is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).


Position Summary

Audubon South Carolina (ASC) is the state arm of National Audubon Society (NAS) with a membership base of approximately 15,000 people, with 75% identifying as conservative and the other 25% as liberal.  Based in Charleston, SC and reporting to the ASC Executive Director, the Policy Director, Advocacy and Outreach is responsible for winning policies and building the political power to advance National Audubon Society conservation priorities (Climate, Working Lands, Water, Coasts and Bird-Friendly Communities) in South Carolina. Policy priority projects at the state level currently include the reauthorization of the SC Conservation Bank and Solar Incentive bills, federally the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and locally, promoting Green Infrastructure.    

As part of the ASC staff and working in close communication with the National Policy team, the Director will be responsible for executing statewide grassroots/grasstops campaigns and achieving specific Audubon policy goals. S/he will also work with an Audubon South Carolina team whose daily activities include nature education, engagement of volunteers for key outdoor projects, and mobilization of volunteers to advocate better public policy.  The Director successfully engages the Audubon network which includes 6 chapters, 3 active bird clubs, and a variety of conservation partners, as well as supervises a digital, field/community engagement and communications team.  

The ideal candidate will be a skilled, experienced manager and a strategic thinker, and ideally have a background in conservation, renewable energy, and/or climate related issues.  Those with experience in politics or non-profits, who have worked as either a regional, deputy, or state wide field-director, are encouraged to apply. Candidates should also submit a cover letter when applying to this position.

Essential Functions

  • Lead the development and effective implementation of annual and longer-term campaign goals as directed by the ASC Executive Director, including the effective engagement of internal and external stakeholders.
  • Develop results-driven advocacy, communications, and grassroots outreach strategies to achieve the goals of Audubon South Carolina’s campaigns.
  • Work collaboratively with ASC staff, the NAS Policy and Communications teams, state volunteers, and other contactors (including SC Lobbyist) in order to achieve policy goals; coordinate with Audubon communities including Climate Ambassadors, Chapter Volunteers and Bird-Friendly/climate resilient community members as well.
  • Identify and implement strategies to build Audubon’s advocacy base in SC, including organizing advocacy training in strategic communities.
  • Cultivate and effectively manage outside relationships with coalition partners, vendors, and decision-maker.
  • In consultation with ASC’s communications team, develop campaign messages, communications strategies, and campaign materials, maintaining a working knowledge of related science and policy practices.
  • Other responsibilities as appropriate and necessary to achieve campaign objectives.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Bachelor's degree in political science, economics, or related field and 5-7 years’ professional experience in grassroots advocacy, policy, wildlife conservation, public service or related field, including at least 3 years managing staff and teams, required. Experience in conservation, renewable energy, and/or climate related issues is preferred and an equivalent combination of education and experience will also be considered.
  • Exceptional leadership skills with the proven ability to oversee and mentor professional staff while working effectively in a team-based environment.
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills and the ability build consensus among a wide range of individuals. Comfort with presenting and engaging others in public-speaking events is also necessary.
  • Demonstrated experience overseeing complex or multiple projects through to success, including meeting financial goals, project deadlines, and coordinating the work of key staff and partners.
  • A self-starter, one who is motivated, able to work in a decentralized work environment with minimal supervision, and juggle multiple projects simultaneously while supervising others.
  • Desire and ability to advocate for complex, aggressive conservation positions in both small and large settings.
  • Thorough understanding of how advocacy, communications, and grassroots engagement components effectively work together.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills, judgment, and a demonstrated ability to collaborate and build coalitions.
  • Technically savvy, to include proficiency with Microsoft Office suite applications and comfort using web-based engagement systems. Experience with EveryAction or similar voter/volunteer database desired.
  • Willingness to travel, including some occasional out-of-state travel, and comfort working evenings and weekends as job responsibilities demand.
  • Demonstrated interest in conservation and commitment to the mission of the National Audubon Society.


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