Senior Policy Advisor

The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
Portland, OR, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.


Founded in 1951, the Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable.  One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore, we strive for a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Working in 72 countries, including all 50 United States, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.

The Nature Conservancy offers competitive compensation, 401k or savings-plan matching for eligible employees, excellent benefits, flexible work policies and a collaborative work environment. We also provide professional development opportunities and promote from within. As a result, you will find a culture that supports and inspires conservation achievement and personal development, both within the workplace and beyond.


The Senior Policy Advisor directly supports The Nature Conservancy (TNC) by developing proactive and reactive strategies in Oregon to achieve the organization’s conservation outcomes. Actions may include: developing strategy and advocacy plans; policy development and implementation; building key relationships at the local, state, federal and tribal levels of government; partner engagement and coalition building; and representing TNC externally and internally. This person will work closely with our conservation, science, and marketing teams to ensure alignment of the policy work. 


The Senior Policy Advisor plans, implements and coordinates policy development, legislative strategies at the state and local levels to further The Nature Conservancy’s mission. Duties include daily contact with state and local officials and agency staff in Oregon, occasional contact with federal officials, and/or other external stakeholders on matters pertaining to administrative, legislative, policy actions related to the mission of The Nature Conservancy. This position represents The Nature Conservancy on public policy matters before relevant stakeholder communities including, businesses, trade associations, non-profits and federal and regional governments. The Sr. Policy Advisor supports and advances the level of financial support from public sources for TNC projects and priorities. The position also develops relationships with tribal governments and identifies areas of mutual interest. 


  • Develop an advocacy plan for the Oregon Chapter that establishes or builds upon existing enabling conditions needed to support scalable conservation outcomes in Oregon. 
  • Execute strategies and actions needed to advance the Oregon advocacy plan and utilize the expertise of The Nature Conservancy’s Board of Trustees, key volunteers and donors to The Nature Conservancy. Key policy areas may include water, transportation and climate change. 
  • Support the implementation of The Nature Conservancy’s U.S. Government Relations annual advocacy plan in Oregon. 
  • Map the potential to create policy change through influential stakeholders and elected officials in the Oregon legislature, in state and local agencies, and tribal governments. Implement a relationship development program and manage influencers to facilitate conservation outcomes. 
  • Represent TNC in meetings with internal and external stakeholders specifically to advance policy, legislative and public funding opportunities for conservation in Oregon. 
  • Ensure program compliance with internal policies and external requirements, such as lobbying disclosures at the state and local levels.
  • Serve on a matrixed team of public policy professionals and support the growth of the Government Relations portfolio within the Oregon Chapter, including with the Board of Trustees. May serve as a team leader for assigned projects and coordinate the work of others.
  • Financial responsibility may include working within/managing a budget to complete projects, negotiating and contracting with external advocacy consultants in Salem, vendors, assisting with budget development, and meeting advocacy targets.
  • May need to gain cooperation from individuals or groups (inside and outside TNC) over whom there is no direct authority to accomplish program goals.
  • Manage the work of administrative staff, temporary staff, and/or volunteers assigned to advocacy and government relations projects.
  • Further TNC’s commitment to diversity, equity & inclusion by advancing these dimensions through advocacy and policy work in Oregon. 


  • Bachelor’s degree in political science, environmental policy, management or other relevant field and 5 years of government relations or corporate sector experience, or equivalent combination education/experience.  
  • Fluency in English.
  • Analytical and project management experience. Demonstrated experience in successfully developing and implementing complex projects in an unstructured environment. 
  • Experience developing, directing and managing multiple projects and implementing strategic program goals.
  • Proven communication and presentation skills.
  • Proven negotiation skills.


  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural experience appreciated.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Master’s degree preferred.
  • Experience with state and/or federal government relations, policy and legislative priorities.
  • Experience in strategy development and execution that results in on-the-ground outcomes. 
  • Experience working with Pacific Northwest Tribal governments.
  • Knowledge in topics such as water quality and quantity, transportation, climate change and/or other natural resource topics.
  • Skills in coalition building and partner relations. Ability to advocate and represent complex ideas in ways that connect with non-technical experts. 
  • Supervisory experience, including ability to set objectives and manage performance.
  • Familiarity with social, economic and political conditions and issues in Oregon and/or the Pacific Northwest.
  • Experience coordinating projects in a decentralized organization, working across teams, operating units and functions to achieve optimal results.
  • Outstanding written and oral communication, negotiating and organizational skills.
  • Experience presenting to and communicating with management-level individuals. 
  • Excellent team player with experience working in mutli-disciplinary groups, using influence and interpersonal skills, listening, diplomacy and tact to build strong relationships with governments, corporations, partners, donors, volunteers, and all levels of staff.


This position requires a valid driver's license and compliance with the Conservancy's Auto Safety Program. Employees may not drive Conservancy-owned/leased vehicles, rental cars, or personal vehicles on behalf of the Conservancy if considered "high risk drivers." Please see further details in the Auto Safety Program document available at

Employment in this position will be contingent upon completion of a Vehicle Use Agreement, which may include a review of the prospective employee's motor vehicle record.


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