Federal Lands Policy Analyst

Printer-friendly version

Location: Headquarters, Washington, DC (Preferred)
Department: Landscape Conservation and Climate Adaptation 
Supervisor: Director, Federal Lands Conservation


This professional-level position is responsible for conducting complex policy research and  analysis and develop information to further Defender of Wildlife’s strategic habitat and species conservation goals on federal public lands. The incumbent will be a key member of Defenders’ federal lands policy team advancing science-based conservation policies to protect and restore the ecological integrity and conservation of at-risk species on federal public lands. The position works closely with Defenders’ endangered species conservation, field conservation, legal, government relations, renewable energy and communications teams.


  • In coordination with Defenders’ team of policy, legislative and legal specialists, research and develop policy proposals for shaping federal lands laws, policies, and regulations to achieve strategic objectives. Develop written materials explaining the proposals to policymakers, the public, the media, and other conservation organizations.
  • Analyze proposed legislation, administrative initiatives and federal projects affecting public lands, develop recommended positions for Defenders on such proposals, and prepare summaries, factsheets, technical comments, testimony and other materials explaining the proposals and Defenders’ position on them.
  • Working with Defenders’ government relations staff, educate Members of Congress and congressional staff on federal lands conservation and policy issues and assist in identifying champions, and coordinating messaging and outreach to Members and their staff, and, in general, securing support for Defenders’ goals.
  • Contribute to the effective execution of federal lands initiatives identified in Defenders’ strategic and annual work plans. 
  • Maintain and grow positive working relationships with key federal agency officials, congressional staff, and nongovernmental partners.
  • Research, write, and/or edit Defenders reports, webpages, blogs and publications.
  • Represent Defenders in public meetings, hearings, press events, conferences, coalitions, and in general communications with public officials, legislators, the media, Defenders’ membership, the donor community, and the general public.  
  • Inform and mobilize citizen activists, including Defenders’ members and supporters and Wildlife eNews subscribers, in areas of particular importance.
  • Work with Development staff to raise operating funds for Defenders’ Federal Lands Conservation program.
  • Perform all other related duties as assigned.


  • Education:  Advanced degree in environmental/public policy, conservation biology, natural resources management, natural resources law, or related discipline.
  • Experience:  Three or more years of progressively responsible experience is required in at least one of the following areas: federal lands management planning, developing and implementing programs to conserve biodiversity and/or implementing policy programs for non-profit organizations. Experience working with federal land management agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and knowledge of the laws and regulations for federal land management, is essential for this position. Existing relationships with federal agency and administration staff highly desirable. The position requires interdisciplinary skills and practical experience in translating cutting-edge science and policy into programmatic initiatives to conserve species and ecosystems.
  • Other Qualifications:
  • Leadership skills and demonstrated ability to help guide the implementation of programs and/or initiatives affecting wildlife, natural resources, or related resources.
  • Excellent research, writing and verbal communication skills.  
  • Strong interpersonal skills with ability to work effectively with other staff members in an interdisciplinary team context.
  • Self-starter and entrepreneurial, demonstrated ability to take initiative.


  • 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.


  • Requires some domestic travel.
  • May occasionally require extended work hours or quick response to short deadlines and/or unanticipated requests for information or assistance.


Interested applicants please reference Federal Lands Policy Analyst position in your subject line and submit a letter of interest, along with your resume and salary history to us via e-mail at: HR@defenders.org

It is the policy of Defenders of Wildlife to provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified individuals without regard to their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, 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.