Senior Representative, Northwest Program

Location: Portland, OR
Department: Field Conservation 
Supervisor: Director, Northwest Program
Salary: $58,000 - $63,000   


This senior-level position is responsible for developing, overseeing, and implementing assigned Defenders’ strategic plan conservation objectives and strategies in Oregon, with a focus on conserving state and federally listed threatened and endangered species, ensuring the sustainable management and conservation of our public lands – including promoting habitat connectivity and advancing responsible renewable energy development in the state – while working collaboratively with other Defenders staff in the region and with other Defenders programs or departments (Renewable Energy, Endangered Species Conservation, Landscape Conservation and Climate Adaptation, Conservation Law, Communications, Government Relations and Marketing). 

Program strategies and objectives are achieved by collaborating with a variety of external partners including state and federal agencies and officials, tribal governments, private landowners, renewable energy developers, and other conservation organizations. The Senior Representative pursues conservation objectives through a variety of tools including policy advocacy; project review and comment; project development and implementation; coalition building; public outreach, and other means. 

This position requires advanced knowledge and experience in a broad array of Oregon conservation issues, including conservation biology, state and federal endangered species policy, state and federal land management policy, private land conservation, and landscape level planning. The Senior Representative may oversee contractors working for Defenders on some of these issues. Advanced knowledge of and familiarity with key stakeholders, agencies and organizations engaged in conserving Oregon’s wildlife and habitat is required, as well as demonstrated established ties to the larger conservation community. 

This position requires working independently with minimal oversight.


  • Develop and successfully implement priority public lands and wildlife conservation work in the Northwest, focusing on Oregon. The focus will be on, but not limited to, the following issues:

    o Conservation of key imperiled species such as the gray wolf, marbled murrelet, sage grouse, Southern Resident orca, and other species listed under the ESA;

    o Protection and conservation of priority habitats with a focus on statewide habitat connectivity initiatives; 

    o Advancement of responsible and wildlife-friendly renewable energy development;

    o Identifying and implementing predator coexistence projects; and

    o Management of a volunteer community science project to monitor rare carnivores.

  • 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:

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

    o Recommending litigation where appropriate and providing technical support; and

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

  • Continue Defenders’ leadership role in selected working groups, committees, and processes.

  • Engage with the state fish and wildlife commission and agencies to develop and implement sound wildlife management strategies.

  • Maintain effective collaborative relationships and partnerships with conservation partners, state and federal agencies and officials, Native American tribes and decision makers and other stakeholders.

  • Work with private landowners and state and federal agencies to advance the conservation of state and federal ESA-listed species and candidate species and their habitats.

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

  • Serve as 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 Northwest Program outreach staff person to ensure public 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 immediate supervisor and other relevant field and headquarters staff members.

  • Supervise contractors and volunteers as necessary.

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

  • Perform all other related duties as assigned.


Education: A bachelor’s degree in conservation biology, forest ecology, political science, law, natural resources management, environmental planning, environmental or public policy, or a related natural resources discipline. Advanced degree preferred.

Experience: 10+ years of direct experience in conservation advocacy, environmental law, federal land use management and policy, conservation biology, endangered species policy, natural resources management or wildlife conservation policy. Experience with state legislative procedures, wildlife and conservation programs, state agencies, media relations, and coalition building. Fundraising and grant writing experience a plus.


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

  • Ability to analyze and interpret complex scientific data for a broad audience.

  • 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.

  • Demonstrated ability to work constructively as a remote member of the Northwest team and to independently initiate project ideas and manage them through to completion with minimal supervision.

  • Experience leading and participating in coalitions, and 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.

  • 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. 


  • This position will work from a home office, with the possibility of a co-working space.

  • Occasional weekend and evening work required.

  • Regular travel within Oregon and periodic travel to other Northwest states is required.


Interested applicants please reference Senior Representative, Northwest Program (OR) 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, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law, in all personnel actions.

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. 


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.