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Representative, Texas

Location: Austin, TX
Department: Field Conservation
Supervisor: Director Southwest Program
Salary: Up to $60,000


This professional-level position is responsible for working with the Texas Senior Representative to implement assigned Defenders’ strategic plan conservation objectives and strategies in Texas, with a focus on conserving both state and federally listed threatened and endangered species and ensuring the sustainable management and conservation of habitats, while working collaboratively with other Defenders’ staff, programs, and departments.

The Representative position will require knowledge of natural resource conservation issues, such as endangered species policy, federal land management policy, state wildlife management, renewable energy, landscape level planning, and conservation biology. This position will also require familiarity with key stakeholders and organizations engaged in conserving Texas’ natural resources, and the ability to quickly establish ties with decision makers and conservation partners.
Program strategies and objectives are achieved by collaborating with a variety of external partners including state and federal agencies and officials, elected representatives, tribal governments, private landowners, and other conservation organizations. The Representative will pursue conservation objectives through a variety of tools including policy advocacy, project review and comment, coalition building, public outreach, and other means.

This position will collaborate closely with Southwest program staff in New Mexico and Arizona but will chiefly work in Austin, TX.


  • Influence federal, state, and local wildlife policies and management for listed and key species through administrative, legislative, judicial, and other forums, using a range of strategies including:

  • Seeking policy and programmatic changes by relevant state and federal agencies;

  • Developing and pursuing legislation in the Texas legislature;

  • Recommending litigation where appropriate and providing technical support; and

  • Participating in direct and grassroots lobbying of the U.S. Congress, state legislature, and state agencies as appropriate.

  • Assist senior staff with the development and successful implementation of priority lands and wildlife conservation work in Texas, including:

  • Conservation of key imperiled species such as the ocelot, golden-cheeked warbler, dunes sagebrush lizard, freshwater mollusks and fishes, sea turtles and other species listed under the ESA;

  • On-the-ground restoration projects that benefit species while also engaging the general public;

  • Monitor and where appropriate participate in the development of regional habitat conservation planning efforts and cultivating stakeholder groups.

  • Protection and conservation of priority habitats; and

  • Advancement of responsible and wildlife-friendly renewable energy development, including;

  • Ensuring that large-scale, renewable energy projects are sited to minimize impacts on sensitive species

  • Working with environmental and industry partners to promote sound, scientific policies for wind and solar energy.

  • Facilitate and promote the integration of diversity, equity and inclusion strategies into Defenders’ programmatic and outreach work in the Southwest;

  • Organize and implement outreach events that raise Defenders’ profile in Texas by engaging membership along with partner organizations and agencies;

  • Serve as a spokesperson for Defenders; represent Defenders and Defenders’ interests to the public, the media, and key decision-makers, and in working groups, committees, and processes.

  • Work with the Texas Senior Representative, Southwest Program Coordinator and Defenders’ national headquarters staff to ensure lands and wildlife campaigns engage and grow our state and regional membership and inform the public and Defenders’ members on key issues through mailings, e-mail alerts, social media, dissemination of educational materials, and Defenders magazine.

  • Work with Defenders’ national headquarters staff to provide information to members, foundations, and other donors, and help identify and develop potential sources of funding to support work activities and Defenders’ priorities.

  • Identify key information relating to policy, strategy, and decision-making, and communicate it as appropriate and in a timely manner to the Texas Senior Representative and other relevant field and headquarters staff members.

  • Supervise contractors and volunteers as necessary.

  • As needed, assist and advise the Texas Senior Representative and Director of the Southwest Program in problem-solving regarding regional and national programs.

  • Perform all other related duties as assigned.


An equivalent combination of demonstrated education and experience may be accepted as a satisfactory substitute for the specific education and experience listed below:

  • Education:  A Bachelor’s degree in conservation biology, ecology, political science, natural resources management, environmental planning, environmental or public policy, or a related natural resources discipline. An advanced degree is advantageous but not required.

  • Experience:  3+ years of conservation advocacy, community engagement, coalition building, or other non-profit experience. 


  • Demonstrated awareness of and experience with the concerns and needs of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds and orientations.

  • Strong oral advocacy and verbal communications skills.

  • Superior writing and research skills with attention to detail.

  • Excellent strategic thinking and problem-solving abilities.

  • Ability to work constructively as a member of the Southwest team and to independently initiate project ideas and manage them through to completion.

  • Experience participating in coalitions and/or convening diverse stakeholders in collaborative activities.

  • Excellent interpersonal skills to work productively with both colleagues and opponents.

  • Networking skills to engage with leaders in the conservation community, federal and state agencies and other organizations.

  • Analytical skills to anticipate and make recommendations on policy issues impacting wildlife.

  • Experience with community building to elevate public awareness of issues and build a constituency for solutions.

  • Ability to exercise appropriate judgment in response to unexpected change and complex situations.

  • Personal interest in and commitment to wildlife conservation.


  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to use a computer and communicate with others while doing so. 


  • Occasional weekend and evening work required.

  • Regular travel within Texas and periodic travel to other Southwest states is required.


  • Defenders of Wildlife is a national, non-profit membership organization dedicated to the protection of all native wild animals and plants in their natural communities. Our employees work in an environment that is inclusive and honors each of our unique perspectives and backgrounds. We believe that the conservation of biological diversity is best advanced by the contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, experiences, beliefs and cultures.  We strive toward a collective goal of including all people in the conservation of our Nation’s wildlife and wild places.

  • Visit Our Values and Diversity page to learn more about who we are and how we operate.


Interested applicants please reference Representative Texas position in your subject line and submit a letter of interest, along with your resume to us via e-mail at:

It is the policy of Defenders of Wildlife to provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified individuals without regard to their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, or any other characteristic protected by law, in all personnel actions.

All employees are required to satisfactorily perform the essential duties and responsibilities of their positions. The essential duties and responsibilities listed above are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.