Government Relations and External Affairs Coordinator

Location: Headquarters, Washington, DC
Department: Government Relations and External Affairs
Supervisor: Vice President, Government Relations and External Affairs


This professional-level position involves a broad range of administrative and advocacy responsibilities in support of the Government Relations and External Affairs Department.  The coordinator has lead responsibility for assuring the efficient administrative functioning of a fast paced legislative advocacy department, including the filing of frequent lobby disclosure reports to Congress.  The coordinator regularly functions as the Vice President’s liaison to other staff, other environmental organizations, Defenders' members and the general public.  The position provides administrative and program assistance to other department staff, with priorities determined and assigned by the Vice President.  The coordinator also provides limited administrative support for the Senior Vice President for Conservation Programs.  The position directly implements various aspects of Defenders’ advocacy agenda including: attending congressional hearings and press conferences; tracking legislation and related developments; writing fact sheets, briefing memos and other documents; organizing Hill drops and special events; and assisting with congressional lobbying.  The coordinator must be extremely well organized and have excellent administrative skills; have familiarity with the legislative process; possess strong oral and written communication skills; be capable of  articulating Defenders’ position on complex federal policy issues; and possess a commitment to natural resource conservation. 


  • General Administrative Support: Compile and edit documents; schedule meetings; photocopy and fax documents; and assist department staff in understanding and complying with administrative procedures, including timely submission of check requests, reimbursement requests, and leave forms;
  • General Advocacy: As assigned, undertake a wide variety of duties in support of Defenders’ advocacy efforts including: following congressional hearings and press conferences; tracking legislation and related developments; writing fact sheets, briefing memos and other documents; organizing Hill drops and special events; and conducting congressional lobbying;  
  • Lobby Reports and Definitions: Take the lead in accurately completing, in a timely manner, Defenders’ lobbying disclosure reports to the U.S. House and Senate; understand, utilize and explain lobbying definitions used to complete congressional, IRS reports and internal timesheets and expense forms;
  • Communication Coordination: Assure effective internal communication with other Defenders’ staff and departments and coordinate logistics for responding to letter sign-on requests from other organizations;
  • Budget: Play a leading role in the development of the department's annual budget and closely monitor budget projections throughout the year;
  • Research: Research specific conservation issues and prepare comprehensive background memos on issues as assigned by the Vice President;
  • Information Coordination: Respond to letters from members and other interested parties requiring technical responses; distribute Defenders' advocacy materials and reports on the Hill and to the public;
  • Meetings: Coordinate scheduling and agendas for Department-led teams; attend all relevant internal staff meetings; represent Defenders at requested outside meetings or hearings;
  • Event and Activity Planning: Coordinate educational or organizing events such as, lobbying campaigns, rallies and conferences;
  • Reports and Publications:  Coordinate, edit, and proofread the department’s quarterly reports and forward these to the Assistant to the Executive Vice President on a timely basis.
  • Web and Computer: Monitor Defenders web page and ensure division related materials remain current; carry out desktop publishing projects as needed; trouble-shoot problems with the computer, in conjunction with our in-house computer specialist or outside experts;
  • Conservation Report Card: Coordinate the development of the annual legislative Report Card, including drafting vote descriptions, identifying potential votes and developing and formatting vote data.
  • Perform other program work/projects/tasks as assigned and be an energetic, enthusiastic and committed advocate for all of Defenders’ programs and for expanded Defenders membership.


  • Education: College degree or equivalent in related discipline
  • Experience: 2+ years of administrative experience preferred 
  • An equivalent combination of education and experience may be accepted as a satisfactory substitute for the specific education and experience listed above.
  • Other:
  • Excellent organizational ability
  • Strong writing, editing and oral communication skills
  • Familiarity in the legislative process 
  • Capability of articulating Defenders’ position on complex federal policy issues
  • Commitment to natural resource conservation
  • High level of computer literacy with advanced knowledge of Microsoft Word and willingness to learn new features


  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to use a computer and communicate with others while doing so.
  • Employee needs to be able to travel to Capitol Hill and distribute (lift and carry) boxes of materials. 


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


Interested applicants please reference Government Relations and External Affairs Coordinator position in your subject line and submit a letter of interest, along with your resume 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, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law, in all personnel actions.

Defenders of Wildlife is a national, non-profit membership organization dedicated to the protection of all native wild animals and plants in their natural communities. Our employees work in an environment that is inclusive and honors each of our unique perspectives and backgrounds. We believe that the conservation of biological diversity is best advanced by the contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, experiences, beliefs and cultures.  We strive toward a collective goal of including all people in the conservation of our Nation’s wildlife and wild places. 

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.