Government Affairs Director

Washington D.C.
$120,000 - $130,000 plus benefits.
Mar 10, 2021
Apr 14, 2021
Executive, Director, Other
Full Time

Position Summary

Note:  During the Coronarvirus pandemic, the Association’s offices are closed, and all staff are working from home.  The Association plans to reopen the offices when it is safe to do so and all DC based staff, including this position, will be expected to work from the DC office.  Please do not apply if you are unable to work out of our Capitol Hill based office.

The Government Affairs Director oversees and directs the legislative work of the Association before the U.S.Congress, and the public policy work of the Association before the federal Executive Branch agencies, including theU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, to name a few. The incumbent works frequently with a variety of Congressional Committees including House NaturalResources, House Transportation and Infrastructure, House Energy and Commerce, House Ways and Means, Senate Environment and Public Works, Senate Energy and Natural Resources, Senate Finance, Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation, and House/Senate Agriculture, Budget, and Appropriations Committees.

Federal policy and legislative focal areas of interest include the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, public lands organic acts, Farm Bills, Transportation Bills, excise tax legislation (e.g., Pittman-Robertson, Dingell-Johnson, Wallop-Breaux), and protection of state fish and wildlife agency management and jurisdictional authorities.   Theincumbent also works extensively with a host of national conservation, land, and environmental non-governmental organizations (NGO). 

This position reports directly to the Executive Director of the Association.

Major Duties

Write, coordinate and lead the implementation the Association’s Government Affairs Strategy and strategic and advocacy strategies for enacting legislative priorities. 

Oversee development of positions on germane legislation or policy on behalf of state fish and wildlife agencies workingthrough the Association’s subject matter Committees. 

Conduct advocacy meetings with congressional staff; write and submit congressional testimony and statements forthe record; develop talking points on legislation and issues; draft and track Senate and House Dear Colleague Letters and community letters of support/opposition on legislation; develop and distribute advocacy messages toCongress on important legislation.  

Direct a review of 14 federal natural resource, land, and agriculture agency funding requests as reflected in thePresident’s annual budget, assemble Association Appropriations Recommendations, in collaboration with four independent regional association of state fish and wildlife agencies, and transmit to Congressional Committees. 

Develop written and verbal communications to state fish and wildlife agency directors, their key staff, and Associationcommittees on Congressional affairs via regularly scheduled conference calls; write content for Association membercommunications; develop Congressional “calls to action” for Association members; collaborate with theAssociation’s Communications Director on management of web content for government affairs issues. Track billsand update members.

Coordinate state and Association review and responses for regulations, rules, manuals, and Directors Orders that affect the states and fish and wildlife, and other natural resource conservation of interest to the states by federal natural resource and public lands agencies.

Communicate and coordinate with NGO conservation partners on priorities of mutual interest  in part through the Angling and Boating Alliance, the American Wildlife Conservation Partners, the Theodore RooseveltConservation Partnership Policy Council, and the Coalition on Natural Resource Adaptation.

Supervise four positions including an Agricultural Conservation Coordinator, a Government Affairs Coordinator, a Government Affairs Manager, and a RAWA Campaign Coordinator.  

Staff the Association’s Committees on Threatened & Endangered Species Policy, Legislative and Federal Budget, and Federal and Tribal Relations. Provide support to a variety of other Committees including Fisheries and WaterResources Policy, Fish and Wildlife Trust Funds, Invasive Species, Legal, and Fish and Wildlife Health. 

Serve on the Association’s internal Leadership Team and ensure a high level of coordination among staff in the development of legislative and policy positions. 

Knowledge and Skills

  • Comprehensive knowledge of Congress and the federal legislative process.
  • Thorough familiarity with federal regulatory and executive branch agencies.
  • Knowledge of associations and how they operate.
  • Familiarity with state fish and wildlife agencies, how they operate and their role in conservation and wildlife management.
  • Familiarity with state governments and their legislative processes.
  • Outstanding political acumen.
  • Outstanding time management and prioritization skills with ability to work on multiple high-level priorities at the same time.
  • Outstanding verbal and written communications skills. 
  • Ability to maintain a positive outlook in the face of multiple challenges.
  • Ability to collaborate and form productive relationships with co-workers, members of congress and their staffs, and government affairs teams within the NGO community.
  • Ability to supervise, motivate, and delegate to multiple staff.
  • A commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Education and Experience


Bachelor’s degree in fish and wildlife management, natural resources management, public policy, or a closely relatedfield and five years’ experience in like disciplines. 


Master’s degree in fish and wildlife management, natural resources management, public policy, or a closely relatedfield and seven years’ experience in like disciplines. 

Preference may be given to applicants who have worked for a state fish and wildlife agency at a responsibleadministrative level.  

How to Apply

Qualified applicants should submit the following items: 

1. A resume detailing your education, relevant experience, training, skills, and other information to support your qualification for the position. 

2. A cover letter that includes a clear, concise description of your qualifications as well as your particular interest in the position. 

3. Three references with their contact information. 

Please submit these materials by April 11, 2021 to Ms. Angela Nelson, at  

Questions should be directed to Ron Regan, Executive Director, at


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