Representative, Northwest Program

Location: Seattle, WA
Department: Field Conservation Programs
Supervisor: Director of Northwest Program


This professional-level position is responsible for developing, overseeing, and implementing assigned Defenders’ strategic plan conservation objectives and strategies in the Northwest, with a focus on imperiled and other key species and sustainable public lands management. This position will focus on implementing the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and various public lands management laws, while working collaboratively with other Defenders staff in Washington, Oregon and Idaho and with other Defenders program departments (Landscape Conservation and Climate Adaptation, Conservation Law, Renewable Energy, Endangered Species Conservation, Communications and Government Relations). Program strategies and objectives are achieved by collaborating with a variety of external partners including state and federal agencies and officials, tribal governments and other conservation organizations.The Northwest Representative pursues conservation objectives through a variety of tools including advocacy; project review and comment; project development and implementation;coalition building; public outreach; litigation and other means. This position requires knowledge and experience in a broad array of natural resource conservation issues, such as endangered species policy, federal land management policy, landscape level planning and conservation biology. Additional knowledge and experience is required in advocacy in the private, public and governmental sectors; public outreach; media relations; and fundraising, with strong ties to the larger conservation community.


  • Assist with the development and implementation of assigned strategic plans and annual work plans relevant to conservation work in the Northwest contributing to the achievement of the goals and benchmarks in those plans. The focus will be on, but not limited to, the following issues: the conservation of key imperiled species such as the southern resident orca, grizzly bear, sage grouse and species listed under the ESA; predator coexistence initiatives; and national forest and other public land management planning and actions.

  • Actively promote and expand Defenders’ work in the Northwest through best available science, field-based projects, the development and presentation of testimony and formal comments on select state and federal proposed wildlife and public lands management policies and media development. These tasks will be accomplished using a wide range of strategies including:

  • Recommending and facilitating species restoration and reintroduction projects as appropriate

  • Participating in direct and grassroots lobbying of the U.S. Congress and Washington State legislature and agencies

  • Recommending litigation where appropriate and providing technical support

  • Establish and maintain effective collaborative relationships and partnerships with conservation partners, state and federal agencies and officials, Native American tribes, decision makers and other stakeholders.

  • Work with private landowners and state and federal agencies to advance the conservation of state and federal ESA-listed species and candidate species.

  • Serve as spokesperson for Defenders; represent Defenders and Defenders’ interests to the public, the media, and key decision-makers, and in working groups, committees, and processes.

  • Inform the public and Defenders’ members on key issues through mailings, e-mail alerts, social media, blogs, dissemination of educational materials, and Defenders’ magazine.

  • Work with Defenders’ national headquarters staff to provide information to members, foundations, and other donors, and help identify and develop potential sources of funding to support work activities and Defenders’ priorities.

  • Identify key information relating to policy, strategy, and decision-making, and communicate it as appropriate and in a timely manner to the immediate supervisor and other relevant field and headquarters staff members.

  • As needed, assist and advise the Director of the Northwest Program in problemsolving with regard to regional and national programs.

Perform all other related duties as assigned.


  • Education: A Bachelor’s degree in conservation biology, forest ecology, conservation planning, natural resources management, environmental planning, environmental or public policy, or a related discipline in the natural resources discipline. Advanced degree preferred.

  • Experience: At least 4-5 years of experience with conservation biology, endangered species policy, public land use policy, natural resources management or wildlife conservation policy. Experience in fundraising and grant writing a plus. An equivalent combination of demonstrated education and experience may be accepted as a satisfactory substitute for the specific education and experience listed above.

  • Other:

  • Ability to engage with leaders in the conservation community, federal and state agencies and other organizations.

  • Ability to negotiate with senior level staff across organizations to reach agreements on complex broad policy issues; demonstrated ability to work productively in a lead role in coalitions of environmental organizations

  • Ability to lead diverse stakeholders in collaborative activities; to anticipate policy issues impacting wildlife and make recommendations to senior managers within Defenders and other organizations.

  • Ability to elevate public awareness of issues and build a constituency for solutions.

  • Excellent verbal communications skills with the ability to conduct presentations for large and diverse audiences

  • Ability to work independently to initiate project ideas as well as to manage them through to completion; track record and professional judgment to work independently and with minimal supervision

  • Ability to work constructively as a member of a team; excellent interpersonal skills and judgment with the ability to work productively with both colleagues and opponents

  • Strong research and writing skills with attention to detail; excellent strategic thinking and problem-solving abilities

  • Ability to respond constructively to unexpected change; to exercise appropriate judgment in complex situations

  • Ability to work occasional evenings and weekends; some travel required

  • Personal interest in and commitment to conservation


  • 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.

  • Occasional weekend and evening work required.

  • Travel in the Northwest region is required.


Interested applicants please reference Representative, Northwest Program 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.