Federal Lands Policy Analyst

Location: Headquarters, Washington, DC
Department: Landscape Conservation
Supervisor: Vice President, Landscape Conservation


This professional-level position is responsible for conducting complex policy research and analysis and developing information to further Defender of Wildlife’s strategic habitat and species conservation goals on the National Wildlife Refuge System. The incumbent will join Defenders’ Landscape Conservation team, advancing science-based conservation to protect and restore wildlife and ecological integrity on national wildlife refuges, working closely with Defenders’ Endangered Species Conservation, Field Conservation, Government Relations, Conservation Law and Communications programs.


  • In coordination with Defenders’ policy, legislative and legal specialists, research and develop policy proposals for shaping and implementing refuge law, policies, regulations and plans to achieve strategic objectives. Develop written materials explaining issues and proposals to policymakers, the public, news media, and conservation partners.

  • Analyze proposed legislation, administrative initiatives, draft regulation and federal projects affecting refuges, 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 Congressional offices on refuge conservation and policy issues—and contribute to federal lands defense campaigns. Assist in identifying champions, and coordinating messaging and outreach to Members of Congress and their staff, and securing support for Defenders’ goals.

  • Contribute to the effective execution of federal lands initiatives identified in Defenders’ strategic and annual work plans.

  • Cultivate, maintain and grow positive working relationships with federal agency officials, congressional staff, and nongovernmental partners to further Defenders’ conservation objectives.

  • Research, write, and/or edit Defenders reports, webpages, blogs and other 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, on refuge issues.

  • Work with Development staff to raise operating funds for Defenders’ Landscape 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 public land management policy programs for non-profit organizations. Experience working with federal land management agencies, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Forest 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:

  • 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.


  • 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.

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.