Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Environmental Defense Fund Policy Director for Land, Water, Wildlife Program

Policy Director - Land, Water, Wildlife Program

With world attention focused on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. This leading green group, with programs from Boston to Beijing, has tripled in size over the past decade by focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches. You can be part of a vibrant workplace that welcomes diverse perspectives, talents and contributions, where innovation and a focus on results are a way of life.

Our distinctive approach to environmental protection emphasizes a focus on scientific and economic disciplines and on the use of market mechanisms, where applicable, to reach well-crafted, durable solutions. The organization builds teams of scientists, lawyers, and economists to investigate the scientific causes of environmental problems as well as the market forces and government policies that encourage, subsidize, and prevent environmental damage. In the full range of environmental arenas (air, water, climate, soil, toxic chemicals, and wildlife), Environmental Defense Fund seeks practical solutions, founded on science, that policymakers and industry can be urged to incorporate into practice, law, or regulation.

Overall Function

The Policy Director will play a central role in our work to create a more flexible and dynamic management system for the Colorado River that meets both human and ecological needs. The selected individual will devise and implement a strategy to engage with elected officials and members of the Administration (including the Department of Interior, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of Agriculture and the Natural Resources Conservation Service) and other stakeholders to address the most critical issues facing the Colorado River. The selected individual will work with EDF staff and our allies to identify the largest solvable problems and propose policy advocacy solutions to address them. The selected individual will build durable relationships with key stakeholders in Washington, D.C. and across the country, working closely with staff and allies on the Colorado River Basin Project. The position will be based in Washington, DC, and report to EDF’s Rocky Mountain Regional Director based in Boulder, CO with dotted-line reporting to the Director of Congressional Affairs.

Key Responsibilities

  • Work with Environmental Defense Fund’s team of attorneys, experts and consultants and our allies to achieve Colorado River Basin Project program goals.
  • Become fluent in the goals, objectives, strategies and tactics of EDF and our strategic partners.
  • Collaborate with EDF staff on the project to complete a policy advocacy strategy that includes: (1) building and fostering key relationships with relevant policymakers and staff on the Hill and in the Administration; (2) defining meaningful and achievable policy goals and objectives that will result in progress toward reforming the management of the Colorado River; (3) searching for opportunities to advance our goals; (4) developing specific strategies to achieve such policy goals; and (5) executing such strategies.


The ideal candidate will have:

  • Both a strong network of influential policymakers and staff in Washington, D.C., and significant ties to the Colorado River Basin;
  • Sophisticated understanding of the policymaking process in Washington, D.C. is critical as is a good reputation among water stakeholders, including agriculture groups;
  • Experience either on the Hill or in a relevant agency is important;
  • Ability to think clearly and creatively about technical, scientific and legal issues;
  • Good writing and communications skills;
  • Demonstrated track record of working with diverse interests;
  • Strong strategic sense for influencing public policy;
  • Demonstrated commitment to environmental values;
  • Undergraduate or Master’s degree in environmental science or policy or political science is preferred. A law degree is a plus;
  • Detail oriented, organized, a self-starter, able to adapt to frequent change and prioritize effectively under constant deadline pressure;
  • Excellent strategic thinking skills and judgment;
  • Ability to follow guidance from and consult frequently with senior staff;
  • Ability to work with a diverse range of people, both inside Environmental Defense Fund and externally.

Terms of Employment

This is a one-year term position. However, it may be extended and may expand to include other work related to river and wetland preservation and restoration and water policy.


Commensurate with qualifications and experience


Interested applicants should submit their cover letter, resume and salary requirements Please put job title in the subject line.

Due to the volume of employment applications and queries received, EDF is unable to respond to each application individually. Applicants will be contacted directly if selected as a candidate.

Environmental Defense Fund is an Equal Opportunity Employer