Associate Director, Regulatory Affairs and Policy

The Nature Conservancy

Sacramento, California

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details Competitive


Sacramento, California, USA.


The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Grounded in science, we develop innovative solutions to the world’s toughest environmental challenges so that people and nature can thrive. Our work is guided by our values, which include a commitment to diversity; respect for people, communities, and cultures; and a collaborative, nonpartisan approach. Thanks to more than 1 million members, over 400 scientists, and the dedicated efforts of our staff and partners, we impact conservation around the world. 

The California Chapter is TNC’s largest state program and one of the largest, most dynamic conservation organizations in the country. With approximately 275 employees, from financial analysts and fundraisers to ecologists and economists, we are currently invested in 14 strategies to address the biggest challenges facing California and the world, including numerous community-based projects designed to increase the pace, scale, and effectiveness of conservation. Over the past six decades, we have protected 1.4 million acres, 5,000 miles of streams, and 3.8 million acres of ocean habitat in California and off the coast. 

The California Chapter believes that we are most effective when we are embedded in our state’s communities, politics, media, and environmental issues. For this reason, and to reduce our carbon footprint when meeting in person, all staff live in California, including those in a home office.

Finally, we are passionate about the middle ground in American politics and life. The hallmark of The Nature Conservancy is its “big tent” approach, engaging people across the political and ideological spectrum to find solutions that last. We ask all employees to embrace this critical strategic position of our organization.


The Associate Director, Regulatory Affairs and Policy leads the development and implementation of strategies to achieve the Conservancy’s goals through interaction with government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and/or the corporate sector. The Associate Director leads a team that serves as policy experts and advisors on complex and strategic conservation issues. They liaise with TNC’s strategy teams, Science and Conservation staff, and with other TNC business units to draft policies that further our conservation goals. The Associate Director is responsible for:

  • Providing deep expertise on state environmental laws and policies, such as the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), state climate programs, and water laws.
  • Managing TNC’s relationships with California state agencies. 
  • Supervising staff with responsibility for performance management, training, and development.
  • Leading a team that develops and executes public policy objectives.
  • Negotiating with governmental entities to achieve program goals.
  • Meeting departmental strategic goals and objectives.
  • Communicating professionally with a wide variety of people from different cultures.
  • Working in partnership with other organizations in a collaborative and consultative capacity. 


Are you looking for work you can believe in? At TNC we strive to make a difference every day. We’re looking for someone with strong experience in leading a diverse, multi-disciplinary team. 

The ideal candidate has a strong legal background and deep understanding of CA’s environmental policy. They have exceptional communication and collaboration skills and experience designing, organizing, and directing policy campaigns. This is an exciting opportunity to contribute to conservation by directing and shaping the work of our team!


  • Bachelor’s degree in political science, environmental policy, management or other relevant field and 5 years of government relations, or equivalent combination of education/experience. 
  • Fluency in English.
  • Analytical and project management experience. Experience in successfully developing and implementing complex projects in an unstructured environment. 
  • Supervisory experience.
  • Experience developing, directing, and managing multiple projects and implementing strategic public policy campaigns.
  • Experience working with California environmental laws and policies.
  • Written and verbal communication and presentation skills.
  • Experience negotiating complex agreements.


  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural experience appreciated.
  • Master’s or law degree appreciated.
  • Experience presenting to and communicating with management-level individuals.  
  • Excellent team player with experience working in multi-disciplinary groups, using influence and interpersonal skills, listening, diplomacy and tact to build strong relationships with governments, corporations, partners, donors, volunteers, and all levels of staff.


Each person who works at TNC contributes to our goal of protecting nature for future generations. Another one of TNC’s primary goals is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that employees around the globe feel that their unique contributions are valued. To quote a popular saying at TNC, “You’ll join for the mission, and you’ll stay for the people.” To learn more, head to YouTube to hear stories from staff or visit Glassdoor.  

We’re proud to support the health and wellbeing of the people we employ. We offer a competitive, comprehensive benefits package that includes healthcare coverage, flexible spending accounts, 401(k) plan with an 8% employer match, parental leave, accrued paid time off, life insurance, disability coverage, employee assistance program, and other benefits that support work-life balance. 

If you’re interested in working with us, please apply—we’d love to hear from you.


The starting pay for this position is generally within the range of $93,750 – $126,250 annually. This range only applies to candidates whose country of employment is the USA and state of employment is California. Where a successful candidate’s actual pay will fall within this range will be based on a variety of factors, including location, qualifications, skills, and experience. Your geographic location will be confirmed during the recruitment.


To apply for job ID 54925, submit your materials (resume and cover letter) online by using the Apply Now button at https://careers.nature.org/ by 8:59 PM PST on Sunday, April 21, 2024. Need help applying? Visit our recruitment page or contact applyhelp@tnc.org.

Do you have military experience? Visit our U.S. Military Skills Translator to match your military experience with our current job openings.

TNC is committed to offering accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application process. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, please send a note to applyhelp@tnc.org  with Request for Accommodation in the subject line.

The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of people with diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and cultures. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority, and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientations, gender identities, military or veteran status or other status protected by law. 

The successful applicant must meet the requirements of The Nature Conservancy's background screening process.

Category Admin & Leadership , General / Stewardship , Land Trust , Policy And Law