Government Relations Specialist

POSTED Oct 03 2017

The Nature Conservancy
Boston, MA


The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working to make a positive impact for people and nature around the world in more than 69 countries, all 50 United States, major US cities and in your neighborhood. Founded in 1951, the mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore we are committed to a globally diverse and interculturally competent workforce.  Visit to learn more.


The Government Relations Specialist plays a dynamic and catalytic role in the development and implementation of strategies to achieve the Conservancy’s public policy and funding goals through influencing government/elected officials and agencies, conservation partners and diverse stakeholders.


The Government Relations Specialist plans, implements, and coordinates projects and programs to influence the outcomes of federal and state public policy initiatives to further the Conservancy’s mission.  S/he develops strategic partnerships with the Massachusetts Congressional delegation and state legislature, agencies, conservation organizations, and associations to advance the organization’s conservation agenda.  Duties may include daily contact with local, state and/or federal officials and external partners and contacts on matters pertaining to administrative, legislative, and/or other policy action related to the mission of The Nature Conservancy. S/he works with an interdisciplinary team to advise on complex and strategic issues.  S/he liaises with TNC’s conservation staff, other external affairs staff, and TNC’s Operating Units to further conservation goals and strategy.  

This description is not designed to be a complete list of all duties and responsibilities required for this job.  In addition, there may be expectations for work outside the local business unit.



  • Represents The Nature Conservancy before federal and state elected and executive agency officials, partners, special interest groups, and assists with building support for statewide and regional policy objectives.

  • Coordinates with Massachusetts staff, regional staff, World Office staff, and work in partnership with TNC staff in neighboring states to support conservation in the region.

  • Sets conservation public policy and funding objectives; fosters opportunities, including conflict resolution and strategic and dynamic approaches. Experiments to find creative solutions. Influences the outcome of public policy and funding at federal and state levels.

  • Evaluates complex political situations and make sound, adaptive and creative decisions based on analysis, experience and judgment.

  • Provides research and policy analysis in support of legislative, corporate and/or policy priorities and tracks policies and decisions that directly affect conservation goals. Reviews and comments and provides testimony on draft legislation and regulations and policies. Prepares program materials including presentations, memos, and other communications.

  • Convenes and lead constructive alliances and coalitions to achieve collaborative outcomes. Develops strategic partnerships with relevant agencies, conservation organizations, and/or diverse partners.

  • Works independently, and in collaboration with supervisor.

  • Periodic travel throughout the state or region, and to Washington, D.C. or elsewhere for advocacy/coordination with TNC Worldwide Office staff.



  • Bachelor’s degree and 3 years related experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience.

  • Experience researching information from divergent sources and compiling it into a cohesive reporting structure.

  • Experience with legislative, planning, policy or corporate initiatives at federal and state levels.

  • Experience presenting to and communicating with government or corporate staff and/or program leadership.

  • Experience working with partners/government agencies and the corporate sector.

  • Fluency in English.

  • Ability to travel throughout the state or region, and to Washington, D.C. or elsewhere for advocacy/coordination with TNC Worldwide Office staff.




  • Knowledge of current political, socio-economic and conservation trends and issues in the state; excellent working knowledge of Congress and Federal Administration and knowledge of Massachusetts Legislature as it relates to conservation issues. Ability to develop and implement long term strategies for legislative, policy and funding success.

  • Knowledge/familiarity of innovative and traditional strategies for legislative and agency environmental conservation and protection at the state, federal and local levels.

  • Ability to interpret complex science and communicate a compelling message to support public policy and funding for conservation in an understandable fashion to policy makers.

  • 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, diverse stakeholders, donors, volunteers, and all levels of staff.

  • Experience building networks or organizational capacity, collaborating with diverse stakeholders, facilitating informational sessions, increasing internal knowledge and capacity, and identifying key stakeholders.  

  • Self-starting, independent worker who can thrive in a decentralized organization with minimal oversight.



Accountability for Outcomes

Pushes for excellence.  Establishes challenging goals for self and others to drive performance in support of the Conservancy’s mission.  Rewards behavior that achieves these standards and is aligned with the organization’s mission/ values.  Takes action to address performance problems in a timely and appropriate manner.

Builds Organizational Capability

Builds or adapts organizational structures to accomplish the mission and to improve performance.  This includes reorganizing organizational systems, structures, processes, procedures, communication channels or reporting relationships.  With the Conservancy’s strategic filter in mind, determines who can contribute, gets the right people involved, and builds bench strength for the future.

Collaboration & Teamwork

Shows a willingness to put the needs and goals of a global organization before personal/local/departmental needs.  Works with others across organizational boundaries. Makes decisions, sets priorities, and allocates resources to help the organization as a whole achieve results.


Effectively expresses messages verbally and in writing.  Actively listens to others.  Fosters open exchange of issues.  Is timely with information.

Courage & Decisiveness

Makes decisions and stands by them.  Makes timely decisions even under pressure and when lacking complete information. Has the courage to modify decisions and admit why and how they were wrong.

Flexibility & Innovation

Flexible to changing circumstances. Takes innovative approaches towards work.  Takes calculated risks and makes dependable decisions in the face of uncertainty.

Influences for Results

Achieves results by persuading, convincing, or influencing others. Adapts approach to the individual or group and knows how and when to use complex influence strategies. Uses success stories and passion for the mission to generate enthusiasm and support.

Open to Learning

Versatile learner and committed to self-improvement.  Employs strengths effectively.  Willingly shares knowledge with others.  Seeks coaching on areas needing improvement.  Adjusts behavior/performance as needed.  Views mistakes as learning opportunities.

Organizational Awareness

Understands the basics of our business.  Knows how local job relates to the big picture & contributes to the overall strategy.  Knows how/why things work inside TNC.  Easily moves through internal networks and channels for success.

This description is not designed to be a complete list of all duties and responsibilities required for this job.


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