Manager of Policy Research and Development

Tennessee Wildlife Federation

Nashville, Tennessee

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details Starting at $ 50,000 commensurate with experience
Required Experience 2 - 6 years

The Tennessee Wildlife Federation Manager of Policy Research and Development works as a part of the Federation’s conservation law and policy team to research and develop conservation law and policy, including the day-to-day management of our conservation policy program affairs and related duties.

Job Type: Full-time, Onsite

Reports to: Director of Conservation Policy (DOCP)

Responsibilities:  The Manager is responsible for working in the following areas to move the Tennessee Wildlife Federation’s mission forward on all fronts in Tennessee. Specifically, this position works in the following areas:


  • Compile research on relevant policy topics, to include procuring the best science available on topics, and organizing research in usable ways for the policy team and other key audiences
  • Provide organizational and logistical support for the Federation’s fellows program

Monitoring, reviewing and reporting

  • Local, state, and federal policy/legislation to determine potential impacts on Federation interests
  • Legislation and policies directly and indirectly related to the Federation’s work

Development of conservation policy

  • Work with the DOCP and CEO to develop Federation conservation policy which requires:
    • Collecting, organizing, and disseminating significant amounts of information pertinent to conservation, natural resources, and policy development
    • Research, analyze, and report on legislation and policies directly and indirectly related to the Federation’s work
    • Providing written copy of these work products for both print and digital use
    • Work directly with U.S. Congressional staff, especially staff of the Tennessee delegation, to communicate and move forward Federation positions and policies at the federal level

Assist in conservation policy communications

    • Work alongside the Federation’s communications team to utilize media and communications to promote policies and messages that reflect mission accomplishment for the Federation
    • Assist with creating earned media/press opportunities and a high level of proactive engagement with social media
    • On an as-needed basis, assist communications team with the creation of magazine, newspaper and other media articles to campaign for issues and other purposes


  • Assist with the day-to-day operations of the Federation’s conservation policy efforts, including but not limited to:
    • Identifying and prioritizing of issues
    • Research issues and topics from both a policy and science perspective
    • Bringing problems and solutions to the notice of the DOCP, and cooperatively work with DOCP to ensure law and policy makers recognize these issues
  • Serve as the primary day to day contact with congressional staff offices for conservation policy
    • Work on individual pieces of legislation, as well as work on specific processes at the federal level
    • Also work with federal natural resource and conservation agencies
  • Other duties as required by the DOCP

Key Qualifications: As a prerequisite, must believe in the core values of Tennessee Wildlife Federation and be driven by its mission. The Policy Manager will have the following experience and attributes:

Knowledge Requirements:

  • A strong working knowledge of natural resource conservation, and the science which underlies it
  • An understanding of how policy is developed and implemented
  • A working knowledge of the following processes and topics:
    • How state and federal legislation is formulated and passed
    • How state and federal policies are formulated and implemented
    • National and state level natural resource and conservation laws and policies
  • Knowledge about current news and events, and an understanding of legislative activities
  • Existing knowledge and experience in the area of water quality, streams, rivers and wetlands is a plus

 Skills and Abilities Requirements

  • Research & Analysis - A strong ability to research policy issues and topics efficiently and effectively, and communicate said research in written and oral capacities
  • Writing - A strong ability to write for multiple audiences, and ability to convey complex and sometime scientific principles in concise and clear language for multiple stakeholders
  • Observation - Ability to read fluid situations when engaging law and policy makers, and other people critical to the conservation policy workspace, in a manner that accomplishes the Federation’s policies and initiative
  • Critical Thinking - Ability to think, plan, and execute strategically and tactically with regards to legislative and policy product development
  • Communication - Strong analytical skills and strong communication skills. Ability to communicate effectively with co-workers (internal) and partners and policy makers (external). A strong ability to write effectively and persuasively
  • Efficiency - Ability to sustain a highly organized work atmosphere and demonstrate good organizational and administrative skills. This includes the ability to manage time, organize workload, and meet deadlines
  • Interpersonal - Proven ability to develop and sustain relationships critical to Federation policy interests. Ability to be influential, convincing, and at the same time assertive
  • Demeanor - Ability to handle high levels of stress and beat serious deadlines. Good judgment and creativity are also important qualifications
  • Flexibility – Willingness to travel, work some weekends, and manage a variable schedule that will require work after hours, as well as, early in the morning. Willingness to endure inclement weather and conditions in the outdoors when necessary

TWF uses the following software packages, so familiarity with these packages is a positive

  • Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher)
  • Google Suite (Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Messaging, Google Meet)
  • Zoom
  • EveryAction Software


  • Minimum of a bachelor’s degree.  A degree in public policy, political science, environmental science, wildlife management, or a related field is preferred.
  • Minimum of two years of experience in public policy development, governmental affairs, conservation, or experience at a state or federal natural resource agency. A master’s degree in a relevant field can be substituted for two years of experience 
  • Experience in the following areas are considered important to this success of this position:
    • Issue related campaigns
    • Proven research and policy analysis experience
    • Developing, writing, introducing, and passing state and/or federal policies or legislation
    • Existing relationships with relevant policy makers
    • Grassroots advocacy work
    • Proven effectiveness in written and oral communications

Personal Characteristics:

  • Must have a passion for the Federation’s mission
  • Must be able to articulate the benefits and values of mission-driven work
  • Professional and friendly, able to handle the day-to-day ups and downs with efficiency, attention to detail, and a sense of humor
  • Strong work ethic with ability to reject setbacks and enthusiastically persist until goals are achieved
  • Resourceful and innovative at tackling challenges in a timely manner
  • Results oriented team-player who leads by example, is accountable for their performance, takes absolute ownership, champions all aspects of administration, and applauds the success of fellow employees
  • Approaches work from the Federation’s point of view rather than personal

Performance Standards:

  • Conducts tasks accurately and in a timely manner
  • Practices planning work on a weekly basis utilizing tasks and deadlines
  • Communicates changes in schedule with supervisor in a timely manner; including giving adequate notice prior to changes occurring
  • Keeps supervisor informed and up to date on all matters pertaining to their work
  • Participates in all staff meetings
  • Treats all superiors, peers, and subordinates with respect
  • Work through concerns or issues for a sound and concise resolution within the Federation’s operation policies
  • Follows all procedures and policies contained within the Federation’s Employee Manual

Ethical Hunting Practices:  Federation staff know and respect fish and wildlife pursued in the field. We require staff to follow all related laws, familiarize themselves with wildlife in the area and behave accordingly.  As an employee of the Federation, all employees are expected to follow all state and federal hunting and fishing guidelines and practice ethical and fair chase practices while executing or assisting with program events or in your personal outings afield.

Tennessee Wildlife Federation offers a competitive benefits package and is an equal opportunity employer committed to workplace diversity.


Application Instructions:

  • To apply, send a cover letter, resume, and three professional references to jobs@tnwf.org. (References will not be contacted unless a tentative offer of employment has been extended and accepted.)
  • Candidates who auto-send LinkedIn or other automated replies using existing profiles or forms may be considered for the position. However, if you are applying out of state there is no relocation stipend for this position.
  • Phone calls regarding the position will not be accepted.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category Policy And Law
Tags Outreach