Director of Government Relations

Lansing, Michigan
Jan 10, 2019
Feb 09, 2019
Focus Areas
Position Type
Full Time
Degree Level
Experience Level

Director of Government Relations

The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working to make a positive impact around the world in more than 60 countries, all 50 United States, and your backyard. Founded in 1951, the mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. One of our core values is our commitment to diversity therefore we are committed to a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce.  Visit to learn more.

Become a force for nature and a healthy planet by joining the Michigan team!

Over the last 50 years, The Nature Conservancy has worked with the people of the Great Lakes to protect more than one million acres of land, thousands of inland lakes and hundreds of miles of rivers. In Michigan specifically, we are working with a diverse coalition of partners and community stakeholders to improve the health and resilience of one of the country's most storied cities.

The Director of Government Relations will play a key role in the development and implementation of the Conservancy’s conservation strategies, including efforts to protect land and water, tackle climate change, provide food and water sustainably and build healthy cities. S/he will advance natural resource and conservation outcomes by developing strong relationships with state and federal elected officials, state and federal agency leaders and partners organizations, and using those relationships to influence the policy and management choices of those entities.  

A priority focus will be to broaden public and political support for policies that lead to reduced greenhouse gas emissions, energy conservation and clean energy development.  The individual works closely with staff from across The Nature Conservancy to engage external audiences to broaden political support for climate and energy policies that advance climate policy solutions. 

The ideal candidate will have a background and track record that includes:

Minimum Qualifications

  • 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. 
  • Experience with climate and energy issues.
  • Analytical and project management experience. Demonstrated experience in successfully developing and implementing complex projects in an unstructured environment.
  • Supervisory experience (if required).
  • Experience developing, directing and managing multiple projects and implementing strategic program goals.
  • Proven communication and presentation skills.
  • Proven negotiation skills.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural experience appreciated.
  • Experience with the role of nature-based mitigation and adaptation efforts.
  • Master’s degree or equivalent experience working in government relations and strategy development related to conservation, climate,  water quality, agriculture, and natural resources management.
  • Familiarity with social, economic, and political conditions and issues in the country (national and/or regional).
  • 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, with experience presenting to and communicating with management-level individuals within the legislative, elected-officials, agency and corporate sectors. 
  • Excellent team player with experience working in multi-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.

Since its founding in 1951, The Nature Conservancy has protected more than 119 million acres of land and 5,000 miles of rivers worldwide. With the support of more than one million members, the Conservancy addresses the most pressing threats to our natural world.  Through important and strategic partnerships, we are expanding the impact of our work, finding creative ways to fund that bigger vision and building long-term relationships with communities, government agencies and commercial businesses in order to conserve natural resources at a new scale.

If you have a personal passion for conserving and protecting the natural world with a belief in the mission, principles, and values of The Nature Conservancy’s approach to conservation, and want to receive great benefits, then please visit to learn more. Submit your cover letter and resume for position number 47230 by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on January 26, 2019. Please note that the position will be located in Lansing, Michigan.

The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 

Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership

and contributions of people of all genders, diverse backgrounds, beliefs and culture. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create

an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority, and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military,

 protected veteran status or other status protected by law.