Senior Policy Manager, Water

Job Post Information* : Posted Date 2 months ago(7/31/2023 1:46 PM)
Job Locations
US-CA-Sacramento | US-CA
Regular, Full-Time
Job Category
Program/Project Management
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 towards a future where birds thrive because Audubon is a powerful, diverse, and ever-growing force for conservation. Audubon has more than 700 staff working across the hemisphere and more than 1.5 million active supporters.

North America has lost three billion birds since 1970, and more than 500 bird species are at risk of extinction across Latin America and the Caribbean. Birds act as early warning systems about the health of our environment, and they tell us that birds – and our planet – are in crisis. Together as one Audubon, we are working to alter the course of climate change and habitat loss, leading to healthier bird populations and reversing current trends in biodiversity loss. We do this by implementing on-the-ground conservation, partnering with local communities, influencing public and corporate policy, and building community.

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 brings new creativity, effectiveness, and leadership to our work throughout the hemisphere.

Position Summary

Audubon seeks a motivated, dynamic individual to develop and lead conservation projects and policies related to California water supplies for people, birds, and the environment. The Senior Program Manager reports to Audubon California’s Director of Policy and closely coordinates with staff from Audubon California’s Conservation and Working Lands Programs. They will plan, implement, and achieve Audubon’s goals and objectives for California water, including implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), water supplies for Central Valley wetlands, and improving resilience to climate change through effective water policy for communities and the environment. The Senior Manager will oversee several projects related to California water supply challenges, identify, and engage in strategic policy efforts, and build and maintain Audubon’s presence in diverse coalitions and with external partners. In coordination with the Policy Director, the Senior Manager will serve as Audubon California’s lead on water issues when interacting with external partners, governmental agencies, and elected officials. The Senior Manager will also provide expertise to senior leadership staff, and Audubon chapter leaders on California water challenges, and opportunities and assist in effective external communications regarding water.



$100,000-115,000 / year

Essential Functions

  • Manage implementation of the priority water work laid out by Audubon California’s Policy and Conservation Programs in California, including goals, strategy, targets, tactics, establishing messaging and media needs, work plans and timelines.
  • Manage existing projects and grant deliverables related to California’s Multi-benefit Land Repurposing Program (MLRP) and implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).
  • In coordination with the Policy Director, identify, track, and engage in state water policy by supporting appropriate water legislation, educating stakeholders including policymakers and members, while spurring action and support of those stakeholders to support legislation.
  • Assist the National Audubon policy team with federal level policy work as the spokesperson and state leader on water issues.
  • Work closely with and help expand diverse coalitions that work on Central Valley wetlands and implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) to grow the power of community members and non-governmental organizations.
  • Catalyze coalitions and engaged communities to demand change for water use and ecological management through grassroots engagement activities such as informative water policy webinars, chapter presentations, and legislative education.
  • Provide leadership to integrate and coordinate specific aspects of Audubon’s California water goals into other Audubon California programs, such as Conservation Ranching, Coasts, and Deserts Programs
  • Identify grant opportunities and projects that align with partners as well as Audubon’s water and climate resilience goals. And, when appropriate, apply for those grants.
  • Manage consultants such as lobbyists, restoration, issue experts, and/or communications professionals.
  • Working closely with Audubon communications staff, coordinate and oversee the digital engagement related to the policy and outreach work related to Audubon’s water policy goals.
  • Track and monitor annual, annual conservation goals and outcomes of policy, science and restoration.
  • Prepare and make verbal and written communications regarding Audubon’s water priorities for decision-makers, external stakeholders, Audubon members, and the media.
  • Provide regular updates to California leadership on progress and outputs that advance program goals, such as letters to the editor, outreach activities, in-district meetings, etc.
  • Promote an organizational culture and structure that fosters cooperation, communication, collaboration, teamwork, equity and trust.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in policy, political science, biology or related field preferred. Graduate degree is strongly preferred.
  • Seven years of experience in California water policy; experience working in Central Valley water policies a plus. An equivalent combination of education and experience will also be considered.
  • Project management, including tracking grant progress, reporting on grant deliverables, writing reports, and tracking budgets.
  • Understanding of California water infrastructure, including water sources, conveyance, and management.
  • Understanding of the fundamentals of California water law and regulation, including the Central Valley Project Improvement Act of 1992 and the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014.
  • Familiarity with appropriate state and federal agencies that regulate water rights and management in California.
  • Demonstrated ability to build relationships with a broad diversity of stakeholders from different political and cultural perspectives.

This position is a union eligible position and is represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA).

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 This contact information is for accommodation requests only and cannot be used to inquire about the status of applications.

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