Building on years of clean water advocacy in Maryland, the Senior Director of Policy is a new and foundational position to launch the next phase of Potomac Conservancy’s public policy work. In this key strategic and programmatic role, the Senior Director will have the opportunity to develop a multi-year public policy agenda that prioritizes the nexus of clean water and environmental justice and to build their team to support these goals in Maryland and Virginia.
An experienced strategist, the Senior Director will have significant interaction with elected officials, relevant government agencies and other decision-makers as well as serve as the primary liaison with partner organizations and coalitions in the policy space. The Senior Director is responsible for overseeing staff and efforts that will implement a variety of advocacy tools that empower communities to take action that supports our policy agenda. The Senior Director is one of three program leads and reports to the Vice President of Programs and Operations.
Founded in 1993, Potomac Conservancy believes the foundation of healthy, vibrant, and resilient communities starts with clean water. As the region’s leading clean water advocate, we shape the broader effort to ensure the Potomac River boasts clean drinking water, healthy lands, and connected communities. You will be joining a small but growing team who work every day to fight for clean water through policy and investment leadership among local decision makers as well as through activism in our communities. Potomac Conservancy’s public policy program currently focuses on public policy relating to land use, forest conservation, and public funding that support land restoration and protection.
Direct Advocacy (50%):
- Advocate for legislation and regulations supporting Potomac Conservancy policy priorities, including but not limited to clean water protections, ecological restoration (forest protection and restoration), outdoor recreation and climate change.
- Track, review, analyze, and formulate organizational positions on proposed clean water laws; government funding proposals; and regulations.
- Represent Potomac Conservancy on policy issues primarily at the state and local level in Maryland and Virginia through meetings, written correspondence and public testimony.
- Strengthen organizational capacity for advocacy initiatives through the establishment, leadership and strengthening of partnerships and coalitions.
Grassroots advocacy and communication (20%):
- Contribute to the development and implementation of grassroots advocacy campaigns working with communications team and other staff
- Develop and supervise the development of advocacy-related content for the Conservancy’s website; social media; Calls to Action and other publications and reports in coordination with the Digital Grassroots Director
Organizational support (20%):
- Supervise staff and contractors, with an opportunity to expand team in first year
- Lead public policy program planning
- Develop and lead a 4-year Public Policy strategy and plan in alignment with some or all of the 5 organizational strategies (Protect, Restore, Public Funding, Public Support, and Durable Organization)
- Develop an annual budget
- Actively participate in quarterly program lead strategy sessions
- Actively participate in whole organization Objective and Key Result review
- Oversee Public Policy progress on Key Results
- Lead quarterly Public Policy Committee meetings of the Board of Directors and present at quarterly Board meetings, ad hoc Board committees, and Board cultivation events relevant to the Land Conservation program as necessary.
- Contribute to whole organization Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) work
Fundraising and Grant Management (10%)
- Develop funding proposals and budgets for public policy projects.
- Manage awarded grants, grant reporting, tracking of project deliverables, and expenditures.
- Meet with funders as necessary to secure support for priority projects.
- Support President and Development team in preparing materials for donors.
- Bachelor’s degree in relevant area of study or equivalent experience.
- Minimum 5-years experience managing/directing programming relating to public policy, preferably related to environmental conservation.
- Experience with and demonstrated success working on state and local policy issues and environmental justice.
- Strong writing abilities and skills communicating difficult technical and public policy issues to lay audiences, including elected officials and the general public.
- Demonstrated ability to effectively advocate for and report on policy work in fundraising proposals and reports
- Creative thinker and problem-solver who works to identify innovative yet practical ways to solve conservation challenges.
- Ability to think strategically, establish long- and short-term priorities, and independently manage multiple tasks in a fast-moving environment
- Demonstrated leadership and staff management skills.
- Proven organizational skills and strong attention to and interest in detail. Ability to meet deadlines and juggle multiple and diverse tasks.
- Ability to work well independently and without close supervision.
- Ability to travel regionally and work occasional evenings and weekends
Preferred Skills and Abilities:
- Familiarity with General Assemblies in Maryland and Virginia
- Working knowledge of federal, state and local environmental laws, particularly associated with water quality.
*This position uses a wide variety of skills. We encourage you to apply if you think you would be a good fit, even if you don’t meet 100% of the qualifications.
- Salary range is $70,000-80,000 depending on experience;
- Benefits include medical and dental coverage, with 80% of premiums covered by the Conservancy;
- 18 days paid time off and 11 holidays per year;
- Flexible work schedule;
- 403 (b) matching and flex spending accounts;
- Travel reimbursement;
- Working with bright, fun coworkers; and interacting with a supportive board of directors.
- The Conservancy follows a hybrid remote- in-person work environment, with options to work primarily in our Silver Spring office, primarily remotely, or somewhere in between. Quarterly in-person gatherings are required.
Email a cover letter and resume to Katie Blackman at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Senior Director of
Policy”. Applications are only accepted electronically. Priority consideration will be provided to those who
apply before September 29, 2022. Potomac Conservancy is an equal opportunity employer.
We recognize the environmental movement has not been an inclusive one and has a history of excluding
historically discriminated communities — including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), people
from working class backgrounds, women, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. We believe that these
communities must be centered in the work we do. Because of this, we strongly encourage applications
from people with these identities or who are members of other communities that have been historically
excluded from the environmental movement.
For the health and safety of our employees, their families, and our community, all Potomac Conservancy
staff are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This mandatory vaccine requirement applies to all
staff working remotely, in a hybrid work arrangement, and on-site. Effective June 2, 2022, new hires will
be required to provide proof of full vaccination with a government-approved vaccine as a condition for
employment. Requests for reasonable accommodations or exceptions related to medical or religious
reasons will be considered. Candidates are NOT required to state their COVID-19 vaccine status in their