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27 Jan 2021

Full-Time Federal Government Relations Director

Alliance for the Great Lakes – Posted by lgomez Washington, District of Columbia, United States

Job Description


The overall responsibility of the Federal Government Relations Director is to provide leadership and analysis to achieve the Alliance’s legislative and regulatory objectives across our program areas. Specific objectives will include: ensuring satisfactory federal funding and implementation of clean water and drinking water programs and policies; advancing policies to protect the Great Lakes from invasive species; defending attacks on foundational water laws and policies; and creating new opportunities for bipartisan support in areas such as water infrastructure investment, water services affordability, and agricultural pollution reduction. This position is based in the Washington DC area. This position reports to the COO and serves on the management team.

In a given week, this position might meet with congressional staff about Alliance’s policy and funding priorities, network and collaborate with national environmental organizations on shared goals, work with the Alliance’s communications team to highlight opportunities for sharing our policy work with the public, read and analyze legislation and regulations and provide summaries to inform the Alliance’s strategic role, and participate in several internal team meetings to identify opportunities and obstacles to achieving programmatic objectives while navigating competing priorities.

The Alliance for the Great Lakes sets a protection agenda for the Great Lakes, a resource of global significance and the world’s largest source of surface freshwater. The Alliance seeks to protect the Great Lakes from their greatest threats, build a resilient future for communities and instill the value of clean water throughout the region. The Alliance is a four-star Charity Navigator organization. Learn more about the Alliance at


  • Analyze and track pending legislation, executive orders, and regulations related to the Alliance’s federal priorities; follow Congressional committee hearings and mark-ups, on funding and other issues; and provide support in monitoring the federal budget and appropriations process to identify current funding issues that relate to or may impact the Alliance’s priorities.
  • Ensure that the Alliance weighs in at appropriate times during the legislative and appropriations processes.
  • Drafting letters to congressional members, working to educate offices about Alliance positions on key water policy issues and getting them to express public support for our positions
  • Providing input to leadership level staff at relevant agencies on implementation of key statutes and regulations
  • Participation in national water and environmental coalitions to leverage strength of partners and explore opportunities for joint advocacy
  • Providing quick analysis of the budget, appropriations bills and other legislation we care about so the Alliance can create timely public communications about our legislative work
  • Positioning the Alliance as a leader on particular issues as reflected by reference of our support in member communications, requests for assistance in drafting legislation, asking for our opinion on issues, etc.
  • Identifying when to elevate issues and opportunities up to organizational leadership for further action
  • Identify opportunities for federal policies and programs to shift to address the needs of communities disproportionately impacted by water problems
  • Ensure that policymakers consider the Alliance as a resource in the development of policies and messaging on issues in which the Alliance has expertise.
  • Actively identify and pursue opportunities to promote the Alliance’s staff  as expert witnesses for congressional hearings, briefings, and meetings.
  • Assist the Alliance’s campaign teams in creating policy reports and rapid-response documents that are relevant to policymakers.
  • Advise the Alliance’s program staff on how to most effectively address local and state needs through federal policy initiatives
  • Support, develop ideas, and organize Congressional briefings, meetings, and events involving high-level federal and non-governmental participants and stakeholders to highlight the Alliance’s work.


  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree and 5 years’ related experience
  • Able to independently analyze legislation, propose changes and determine when additional technical and legal resources are needed
  • Strong relationships with Great Lakes House and Senate offices
  • Strong relationships with relevant committee staff
  • Solid existing relationships among environmental NGOs
  • Understanding of and ability to communicate about how pollution and environmental injustice disproportionately impacts Black and Brown communities and low-income communities.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate and engage authentically across cultures, identities, races, life experiences, and knowledge systems.
  • Experience navigating and advocating on administrative processes with key agencies including U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Office of Management and Budget
  • Positive relationships with other relevant sectors including agriculture, labor and health
  • Social and outgoing mindset, with an interest and passion for network building through events, receptions and similar activities
  • Ability to work independently and enjoy job satisfaction working with a remote team outside of a traditional office environment

Job Parameters

  • This position is full-time and consistent with Alliance employment policy.
  • Excellent benefits including health, dental, and vacation, along with a retirement plan after 1 year of service.
  • This position will occasionally work outside of normal business hours, possibly on nights or weekends, to support communications needs for breaking news situations or fundraising events.
  • The Federal Government Affairs Director will travel approximately 6-8 times per year to the Chicago headquarters and other places in the Great Lakes region to attend meetings and events.

About the Alliance for the Great Lakes

The Alliance for the Great Lakes is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The search process will reinforce the Alliance’s belief that achieving diversity requires an enduring commitment to inclusion that must find full expression in our organizational culture, values, norms, and behaviors.

The Alliance’s vision is a healthy Great Lakes for people and wildlife, forever. Its mission is to conserve and restore the world’s largest freshwater resource using policy, education and local efforts, ensuring a healthy Great Lakes and clean water for generations of people and wildlife. For more information about the Alliance’s programs and work, please visit us online at

How to Apply

Please e-mail a cover letter, resume and references to: [email protected]. Include job title in the subject line. 


Applications will be accepted in a rolling basis until the position is filled. Materials should be compatible with Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat. Applicants will receive confirmation of receipt of their materials and further guidance and updates about the hiring process by e-mail, with interviews provided for finalists. No phone inquiries please. 

Job Categories: Environmental. Job Types: Full-Time.

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