California Program Coordinator

Location: California/Sacramento
Department: Field Conservation Programs
Supervisor: Director, California Programs                                                                                                                          Salary: $40,000 - $45,000 Annually  


This professional-level position is responsible for conducting outreach and education to diverse communities, and assisting with wildlife conservation and climate change policy for the California Program of Defenders of Wildlife.  Through constituency building, public education, and strategic communications, the California Program Coordinator will strengthen Defenders’ wildlife conservation and climate change advocacy.  This position also will assist in the development environmental advocacy campaigns, legislative efforts, and policy.

This position also involves a wide variety of responsibilities supporting the program and operations of the California Program field office. This position will serve as the Director’s liaison to other staff, federal and state agency personnel, elected officials and their staff, Defenders’ members and the public.  The California Program Coordinator must possess a general knowledge of all programs and projects within the California Program in order to assist the Director with oversight, implementation of works plans and compliance with procedures and schedules. This position requires substantial discretion in determining how to meet assigned goals and competing deadlines.


  • Coordinate and implement local, state and/or national strategies, campaigns, programs, projects, work plans, publications, educational materials and reports for each assigned program area.

  • Lead outreach efforts to Latino, Asian, and African American communities in California and develop new and ongoing partnerships with local communities and community based organizations. 

  • Develop and grow member and public outreach efforts, including developing a sea otter campaign in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

  • Assist with the development of an effective social and multi-media educational efforts.

  • Influence federal and state wildlife policy through administrative, legislative and judicial forums, using a range of strategies including but not limited to direct and grassroots lobbying in Congress and the California Legislature; seeking policy and programmatic changes in federal and state agencies; and recommending litigation where appropriate and providing technical support.

  • Undertake a wide variety of duties as needed to implement program plans, including drafting letters; negotiating sign-ons to Defenders’ policies and group letters; and writing and editing reports and proposals.

  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with leading conservation biologists, research scientists, state and federal agency personnel, members of Congress and California Legislature and their staff, and leading NGOs; identify new partners as appropriate.

  • Represent Defenders in coalitions, public meetings, hearings, press events, conferences, national and international forums, and in general communications with public officials, the media, members, the donor community and the public.

  • Identify, inform and mobilize citizen activists, including Defenders’ members and supporters, in areas of particular importance, including maintaining a Defenders California Program Facebook page.

  • Respond to information requests from members and other interested parties requiring technical responses, and distribute Defenders’ published reports.

  • Assist all Defenders departments with tasks relating to education, development, publications, and communications.

  • Research specific conservation issues and prepare comprehensive background memos on issues as assigned by the Director.

  • Compile and edit documents; manage and distribute information; process check requests, reimbursement requests, and submit in a timely manner; attend all relevant internal staff meetings; and follow all other administrative procedures.

  • Perform all other related duties as assigned by supervisor and be an energetic, enthusiastic and committed advocate for all Defenders’ programs.


  • Education:  Bachelor’s degree (B.A./B.S.) in Biology, Natural Resources, Environmental Studies, Public Policy or related discipline.

  • Experience: 3+ years of experience working on wildlife conservation, land use planning and/or water issues. Other relevant experience with public policy, legislative procedures, grassroots organizing, communications, administration and/or development.

  • An equivalent combination of education and experience may be accepted as a satisfactory substitute for the specific education and experience listed above.

  • Other: 

  • Demonstrates an awareness and understanding of the concerns and needs of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds and orientations

  • Demonstrated knowledge of federal and state agencies, natural resource policies and laws, and contemporary conservation issues

  • Proficiency in Spanish is preferred

  • Direct experience in community-based social justice and issue-based advocacy and campaigning

  • Experience developing, implementing and managing conservation campaigns

  • Ability to conduct research, analyze information and produce high quality work products in a consistent, efficient and timely manner

  • Strong organizational and communications skills

  • Ability to effectively and efficiently handle many projects and tasks at one time. High level of computer literacy with advanced knowledge of Microsoft Office and information technology systems

  • Willingness to travel throughout California an average of four days per month

  • Personal interest and commitment to environmental issues


  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to use a computer and communicate with others while doing so. 


  • General office working conditions, the noise level in the work environment is usually quiet.


Interested applicants please reference California Programs Coordinator in your subject line and submit a letter of interest, resume, writing sample, and salary history to us via e-mail at:

It is the policy of Defenders of Wildlife to provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified individuals without regard to their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, or any other characteristic protected by law, in all personnel actions.

All employees are required to satisfactorily perform the essential duties and responsibilities of their positions. The essential duties and responsibilities listed above are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.