Senior Policy Advisor, Forests and Fire

The Nature Conservancy

Arlington, Remote

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details The starting pay range for a candidate selected for this position is generally within the range between $88,000 - $144,000 for an annual base salary.


This position is negotiable anywhere The Nature Conservancy is authorized to conduct business, with a preference for the DC metropolitan area. Arlington, VA is TNC's headquarters.


The mission of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is to conserve the lands and waters upon which all life depends. As a science-based organization, we develop innovative, on-the-ground 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 and respect for people, communities, and cultures. From a rewarding mission to career development and flexible schedules, there are many reasons to love life #insideTNC. Want to know more? Check out our TNC Talent playlist on YouTube   to hear stories from staff or visit  Glassdoor.

One of TNC’s primary goals is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that employees around the globe have a sense of belonging and feel that their unique contributions are valued. We know we’ll only achieve our mission by hiring and engaging a diverse staff that reflects the communities in which we work. Recognizing that people bring talent and skills that have been developed outside the scope of a job, we take a holistic approach to recruitment that considers life experience in addition to the professional requirements listed in our postings. Please apply – we’d love to hear from you. To quote a popular saying at TNC, “you’ll join for the mission, and you’ll stay for the people.”


The Senior Policy Advisor for Forests & Fire leads and implements The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC’s) federal forest and fire policy strategies in service of TNC’s 2030 goals of addressing the biodiversity and climate crises. They work primarily with U.S. federal agencies and partners to develop, modify and advance strategies to shape forest and fire policy in the United States.

The Senior Policy Advisor for Forests & Fire furthers the work of The Nature Conservancy and its conservation partners through direct interaction with governments, multilateral agencies, and/or businesses focusing on policy, practice, and funding initiatives that provide conservation opportunities and/or impact conservation and restoration of America’s forests.  They serve as a leader for TNC in developing, analyzing and implementing forest and fire policy at the federal level in the United States and as a conduit between TNC’s programs and state chapters to key leaders in federal agencies. They will serve as a relationship manager and policy contact for senior officials at the USDA Forest Service across the National Forest System, Research, and State, Private and Tribal Forestry programs.  They will serve as a leader and collaborator with other business units across TNC to develop and present clear and consistent messaging on forest and fire priorities. They will possess a deep appreciation and respect for people and a desire to learn from others with varied perspectives and experiences. They liaise with counterparts within the organization to provide and extract useful lessons and experience and to coordinate on joint policy/practice approaches.  

Responsibilities and Scope

  • Responsible for meeting departmental strategic goals and objectives.
  • Communicates professionally with a wide variety of people from different cultures.
  • Prepares and presents project proposals and negotiates with federal, bilateral and multilateral agencies and/or the business and corporate sector, to achieve program goals.  
  • Accountable to persuasively convey the mission of The Nature Conservancy to diverse groups including key legislators, government officials and others who are critical to the Conservancy’s overall public funding strategies.
  • Works in partnership with other organizations in a collaborative and consultative or advisory capacity.
  • Works collaboratively across The Nature Conservancy to ensure relevant experts are engaged in development and implementation of policy strategies,
  • Supervises administrative and/or professional staff with responsibility for performance management, training and development. 
  • Financial responsibility may include working within/managing a budget to complete projects, negotiating and contracting with vendors, assisting with budget development, and meeting fundraising targets.
  • Ensures program compliance with internal policies and external requirements.
  • Ensures that the program complies with federal lobbying laws and regulations.
  • Develops and implements multi-year fundraising strategies, and goals. 
  • Effectively directs and or participates in complex negotiations.
  • Develops constructive and effective working relationships inside and outside the Conservancy.  


The challenges facing our planet today require comprehensive solutions that address the well-being of people and nature and lay the foundation for future conservation efforts. Promoting policies that provide benefits to both people and nature is critical to securing lasting conservation outcomes. The work and expertise of The Nature Conservancy’s External Affairs programs are integral to this effort. External Affairs is helping to shape the government policies that help make possible achievement of transformative conservation outcomes to address climate change, enhance protection of lands, waters, and the ocean, and provide food and water sustainably. We have an awesome task at hand, and the work that you do here will have a direct impact on our success.

The ideal candidate should have exceptional communication and collaboration skills and experience designing, organizing, and directing complex projects. This is an exciting opportunity to contribute to the ongoing mission of conservation by directing and shaping the work of our team!


  • Bachelor’s degree in political science, environmental policy, business or related field and 6 years of senior management level experience in policy analysis and government relations, or equivalent combination of education/experience.  
  • Federal agency or congressional staff experience.
  • Experience with federal programs and authorities for managing national forests and grasslands and providing technical and financial assistance to state, private, and tribal forestry agencies.
  • Fluency in English.
  • Direct experience working with partners and government agencies to design, implement and/or advocate for policies and practices to support resilient forests.
  • Project management experience including coordinating the work of other professionals inside and outside an organization. 
  • Proven experience in strategy development and implementation.
  • Demonstrated relationship building skills.
  • Experience negotiating complex high profile or sensitive agreements. 
  • Proven written and verbal communication and presentation skills. 
  • Supervisory experience.

Desired Qualifications

  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural experience appreciated.
  • Master’s or professional degree appreciated. 
  • Experience presenting to and communicating with senior pollical appointees within the Administration.  
  • 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.
  • Experience conceiving and implementing strategic initiatives.


The starting pay range for a candidate selected for this position is generally within the range between $88,000 - $144,000 for an annual base salary. This range only applies to the U.S. Where a successful candidate's actual pay will fall within this range will be based on a variety of factors, including, for example, the candidate's location, qualifications, specific skills, and experience.

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 of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and culture. 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 orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.

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


To apply for job ID 54181, submit your materials online by using the Apply Now button at https://careers.nature.org/. Need help applying? Visit our recruitment page or contact applyhelp@tnc.org.

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

Category Forestry, General / Stewardship, Land Trust, Policy And Law
Tags Wildland Firefighter