Conservation Colorado is seeking a Government Affairs Director based in Denver! In this role, you’ll lead our organization’s efforts to deliver nationally-leading, equitable policy victories that protect Colorado’s climate, air, lands, water, and communities.
Government Affairs Director
Deadline for submission: September 6, 2022
Work Schedule: Exempt, Full-time
About Conservation Colorado
As the largest statewide environmental organization in Colorado, we work to protect our state’s climate, air, land, water, and communities. We play a unique role in Colorado as our work focuses on organizing communities, influencing decision-makers, and electing conservation-minded leaders. We believe that achieving racial, social, and environmental justice are critical to our mission.
Conservation Colorado is part of a family of organizations focused on advocacy, organizing, elections and education. That work includes Protégete (“protect yourself” in Spanish) a program focused on building Latinx leadership and engagement on environmental issues. You can learn more about our mission by clicking here.
What You’ll Do
The Government Affairs Director is Conservation Colorado’s lead for developing and winning our policy objectives, both legislative and regulatory. This position reports to the Vice President of Programs and oversees a team of seven to run strategic and effective policy campaigns including leading and building coalitions, lobbying, leadership development and leveraging our organizing and communications capacities. This role can evolve over time, but you will have these areas of responsibility:
Winning Policy Campaigns
- Lead a team of staff, contract lobbyists, and coalition partners to design and implement policy campaigns.
- Lobby decision makers to achieve policy victories.
- Work with internal Conservation Colorado teams and external partners to create the imperative for nationally-leading environmental and justice-focused policies.
- Maintain a sophisticated understanding of our issue areas and the political and policy landscape, especially as they relate to racial justice and equity.
- Lead and support the team in leading, building and supporting coalitions and relationships with partners to influence decision makers, with an emphasis on diversifying and growing coalitions to share power and engage a variety of voices and interests.
- Identify and cultivate relationships with key partners, elected officials, administration staff, appointees, and others to deliver policy wins and be a trusted partner to decision makers.
Staff Management & Leadership
- Hire and manage a team to support the development and execution of the government affairs team’s strategy.
- Promote a culture of high performance and continuous improvement that values learning and a commitment to quality; mentor and develop staff using a supportive and collaborative approach that matches our organizational values on a consistent basis.
- Oversee the selection & management of the contract lobbyists and other vendors.
- Serve as a member of the organization’s program leadership and management teams.
- Play a lead role in our coordinated electoral work to defend and develop pro-conservation majorities, elect pro-conservation candidates, and cultivate and develop conservation champions, with a priority placed on supporting leaders of color and women.
- Work to educate candidates and build champions by developing smart and strategic candidate education campaigns.
- Work with our Political Department to develop elections strategies at the local, state, and federal level, leveraging elections to support long term policy victories.
In addition to your regular responsibilities, all staff are expected to participate at some level in organizational priorities including helping in certain fundraising efforts, taking part in our election-related activities, and committing to our organizational efforts around equity & inclusivity.
To be successful in this job, you will need to be an experienced campaign and political strategist, with the leadership, management, and collaborative skills to work well with partners and our team. Fundamentally, we are looking for a political or campaign strategist who has the skills to deliver nationally-leading and equitable policy victories for Colorado. More specifically, you will have or be most or all of the following:
- 8+ years of relevant advocacy experience working as a lobbyist and/or in passing policies through various governmental venues, preferably in issue advocacy (this doesn’t have to be working on environmental issues).
- Relationship builder: Excellent at building the trust and respect necessary to build and maintain relationships with decision makers, partners, and colleagues, especially those who have competing priorities or might disagree; experience building, managing, and mobilizing coalitions.
- Management experience in a spirit of learning, collaboration, transparency, accountability, inclusion, and equity. Experience leading a racially diverse team is a plus.
- Sophisticated understanding of how power and racial dynamics impact our work and successful experience looking at policy through a racial justice lens as a requirement for this work. Cultural competency is a must, as we are focused on changing the face of the environmental movement by expanding our base and partnerships to reach communities who have been traditionally excluded, particularly Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and other communities of color.
- Agility and teamwork, as this is a fast-paced and constantly changing environment. The ability to stay nimble and organized while managing multiple projects and competing priorities is critical as well as the ability to effectively work with a large team, both your own and across the organization, to achieve our goals.
- Commitment to our mission and theory of change, with an appreciation for an organizational culture that is oriented to an advocacy-based and politically-focused environmental mission that centers equity and justice and a theory of change that focuses on elections, policy and organizing. To do this job you have to love a good fight and the work it takes to win on our issues.
This position does not have an undergraduate education requirement. Spanish/English bilingual is a skill we value, but it is not a requirement. This is a full-time job but there can be some flexibility in the exact schedule.
Compensation and Benefits:
The full-time salary range for this role is between $80,000 to $95,000, based on a wage analysis across the organization and new staff rarely starting at the top of the range. For candidates with higher-level experience and expertise than those stipulated in the qualifications, we would consider a Senior-Director-level position, with an accompanying higher salary range.
We provide high-quality, zero-deductible health insurance and a strong benefits package that includes a SIMPLE IRA retirement plan with a match, at least 35 days of vacation & holidays as well as six physical & mental wellness days in your first year, and parental leave and a sabbatical program. Please note that as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization, Conservation Colorado employees are not eligible to participate in the Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.
This job offers an opportunity to play a leadership role in one of the region’s largest state-based advocacy organizations in finding solutions to some of the most important environmental issues in Colorado and work with a successful team that is committed to a better, more equitable future. It will be challenging, inspiring, and sometimes frustrating, but you’ll be making a real difference.
We are committed to building a more diverse and inclusive organization and conservation movement to fully represent and engage all Coloradans and to build as powerful a movement as we can. Recruiting staff that better reflects Colorado is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, race, ethnicity, geographies, political affiliation, sexual orientations, gender identities, and all other identities represented in Colorado or protected by law. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer.
If this job truly speaks to you, please click here to submit an application, including a cover letter addressed to Jessica Goad, a résumé, and your answers answer a few short questions. If you need accommodation or assistance with our online application process, please tell us how we can help by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling us at 303.333.7846.