Policy Director

Job Locations
Regular, Full-Time
Job Category
Advocacy/Public Policy/Government Relations
Additional Location : State/Province


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.

Position Summary

The Policy Director, Alaska will lead and define policy efforts and overall governmental affairs functions to advance Audubon’s mission and bird conservation objectives in Alaska. Reporting to the Vice President and Executive Director of Audubon Alaska, they will serve as a part of Alaska’s senior leadership team and work closely with all staff to design strategic conservation campaigns. 


The Policy Director will lead the development and execution of a state and federal policy agenda to advance both state and federal priorities, focusing on public lands, climate conservation priorities, and protection for Important Bird Areas (IBAs) and at-risk species. The Director is responsible for coordinating and implementing policy efforts with staff across National Audubon and Alaska programs. This includes engaging chapters, grassroots networks, partners, proactively communicating issues and positions, and helping attract contributions to execute successful policy campaigns and conservation outcomes. The Policy Director will also be tasked with government affairs activities in coordination with our national policy team leadership, and efficiently organize our membership in Alaska and across the U.S. to take action on issues that impact birds and communities in the state.


The ideal candidate is a skilled, experienced manager and strategic thinker with in-depth experience and  knowledge of Alaska wildlife conservation, environmental, energy and/or climate policy. They will also have experience working across Alaska’s diverse social and ecological geographies.


Willingness to travel, including regular visits to Alaska (if based in Washington DC), and comfort working evenings and weekends as job responsibilities demand.


**Please submit a cover letter with your application for consideration.**

Essential Functions

  • Lead the development and effective implementation of annual and longer-term state and federal policy strategy, advocacy and campaign goals as directed by the Alaska Executive Director and the VP of Conservation Policy, including the effective engagement of internal and external stakeholders.
  • Provide periodic updates and recommendations to state and national board and staff to facilitate more productive integration at all levels of the organization. This may include identifying important issues that need to be addressed across the range of priority conservation programs and highlighting successful case studies.
  • Develop productive relationships with key state-elected and agency officials/leaders, as well as the regional Congressional delegation and federal agencies critical to Audubon goals.
  • Coordinate the efforts of state staff working on federal, state, regional and local policy initiatives.
  • Advance policy priorities through issue campaigns that engage and expand Audubon’s network of individual volunteer advocates, chapters and allies in Alaska with support from Audubon state and national staff.
  • Work with communications and policy staff to plan and implement a communications and digital organizing program in support of Audubon Alaska’s conservation priorities and issue campaigns to include writing public policy position documents, fact sheets, articles, newsletters, and press releases and social media posts.
  • Engage board members to assist in achieving Audubon Alaska’s policy goals.
  • Promote an organizational culture and structure that fosters cooperation, communication, collaboration, teamwork, equity and trust.
  • Collaborate with Audubon’s development team to identify, cultivate, and make requests to donors and foundations. 

Qualifications and Experience

  • Bachelor's degree in political science, economics, or related field and 10+ years’ professional experience in policy, grassroots advocacy, 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. Equivalent combination of education and experience will also be considered.
  • Successful track record working in federal, state, and local governmental processes especially with Governors’ offices, state and federal agencies, and/or legislative committees. 
  • Keen understanding of current policy trends in Alaska related to wildlife management, climate change, land and water conservation, Indigenous law and experience applying this knowledge to policy advocacy and implementation strongly preferred.
  • 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 amongst 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.
  • 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. Salesforce experience a plus.
  • Familiarity with planning, regulatory, and political processes with respect to environmental issues in Alaska.
  • Demonstrated interest in conservation and commitment to the mission of the National Audubon Society.

EEO Statement

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.

Accessibility Statement

The National Audubon Society endeavors to keep our careers site accessible to any and all users.  If you would like to contact us regarding the accessibility of our website or need assistance completing the application process, please contact Accommodations@audubon.org. This contact information is for accommodation requests only and cannot be used to inquire about the status of applications.

COVID Policy

All staff must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no later than January 31, 2022, unless they are approved by Human Resources for a qualified exemption. Those unvaccinated after January 31st will be required to follow a weekly testing protocol.


All unvaccinated staff are required to wear masks or other approved facial coverings while working indoors at all times or outdoors when social distancing cannot be maintained. Further, effective December 13th, any unvaccinated staff person entering an Audubon building must submit a negative Covid-19 test that has been taken within 72 hours. 


This policy is effective through February 27th and may be changed due to changes in the law and/or changes to Audubon policies such as the Return to Work/Hybrid Work policy.


All new hires must be fully vaccinated prior to their start of employment unless they are pre-qualified by HR for exemption.


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