Senior Representative, Southwest Program

Location: Austin, Texas
Department: Field Conservation 
Supervisor: Director, Southwest Program
Salary: $58,000 - $63,000   

BASIC SUMMARY:

This professional-level, senior position is responsible for developing, overseeing and implementing assigned Defenders’ strategic plan conservation objectives and strategies for Texas, which focus on Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed species and key species, identified in Defenders’ 10-year strategic plan, that occur primarily within this region which may include species such as ocelot, golden-cheeked warbler, sea turtles, shorebirds and select amphibians and freshwater fishes. The Senior Representative plays a key leadership role in implementing Defenders’ Texas conservation priorities including: 1) protecting wildlife and their habitat from the effects of border infrastructure and operations in Texas; 2) advancing Defenders’ conservation goals and objectives in regional planning efforts including renewable energy; 3) restoring and increasing populations of listed regional species; 4) restoring, protecting, improving and expanding habitats for ESA and key species on public and private lands; and, 5) coordinating internally and with outside conservation partners to ensure consistent and effective implementation of Defenders’ national policy programs and policies. The Senior Representative pursues conservation objectives through a variety of tools including: public lands and endangered species policy reform; land management planning; facilitating wildlife restorations, relocations and habitat restoration; legislative and regulatory reform; litigation; and, other means.  This leadership position requires demonstrated knowledge and experience in a broad array of natural resource conservation issues, such as federal lands management and endangered species policy; land-use planning; conservation biology; environmental and administrative law and procedures, advocacy in the private, public and governmental sectors; administration; public outreach; media relations; and, fundraising, with strong ties to the larger conservation community. The position requires minimal supervision. Spanish proficiency strongly preferred.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Lead the development and implementation of strategic plans and annual work plans relevant to the Southwest Program, contributing to the achievement of the goals and benchmarks under those plans in Texas.

  • Strategically engage on significant state and federal activities, including energy corridors, border infrastructure and operations, and other developments and prepare comments on proposed land-use activities in coordination with other programs in Defenders.

  • Work closely with Director of the Southwest Program and lead in Texas on borderlands conservation issues including the effects of border infrastructure and operations on imperiled wildlife and habitats.

  • Work closely with conservation partners, federal land and wildlife managers, state-level decision makers and other stakeholders, and lead Defenders’ efforts in Texas to promote “smart from the start” renewable energy and transmission siting, and coordinate these efforts with Defenders’ national renewables program and goals and objectives. 

  • Provide a regional perspective on the development and implementation of national renewable energy policy, to ensure consistency in internal policy and organizational advocacy.

  • Work with landowners, state agencies, tribes and international and federal managers to advance the conservation and restoration of ESA-listed species such as ocelot, golden-cheeked warbler, sea turtles, shorebirds and select amphibians and freshwater fishes.

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

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

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

  • Recommending litigation where appropriate and providing technical support

  • Recommending and facilitating species restoration and reintroduction projects as appropriate 

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

  • Establish and maintain effective relationships and partnerships with relevant conservation partners and stakeholders.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Develop a network of experts and grassroots activists to assist Defenders in accomplishing its objectives.

  • 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 staff members.

  • As needed, assist and advise the Director of the Southwest Program in problem-solving in regard to regional and national programs.

  • Perform all other related duties as assigned.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Education:  Bachelor’s degree (B.A./B.S.) or equivalent in conservation biology, ecology, political science, environmental planning, land or natural resource management policy, law, or other related discipline; Advanced degree preferred.

  • Experience:  10+ years of experience in either natural resource law or policy, conservation biology and wildlife conservation, ecology, political science, environmental planning, or federal or state natural resources management.  Demonstrated knowledge of natural resource issues and policy.

Other: 

  • Demonstrated ability to engage with senior leaders in the conservation community, federal and state agencies and other organizations.
  • Demonstrated ability to negotiate with senior level staff across organizations to reach agreements on complex broad policy issues; demonstrated ability to work productively in a lead role in coalitions of environmental organizations

  • Demonstrated ability to lead diverse stakeholders in collaborative activities; to anticipate policy issues impacting wildlife and make recommendations to senior managers within Defenders and other organizations.

  • Demonstrated ability to elevate public awareness of issues and build a constituency for solutions.

  • Excellent verbal communications skills with the ability to conduct presentations for large and diverse audiences

  • Demonstrated ability to work independently to initiate project ideas as well as to manage them through to completion; track record and professional judgment to work independently and with minimal supervision

  • Ability to work constructively as a member of a team; excellent interpersonal skills and judgment with the ability to work productively with both colleagues and opponents

  • Strong research and writing skills with attention to detail; excellent strategic thinking and problem-solving abilities

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

  • Ability to respond constructively to unexpected change; to exercise appropriate judgment in complex situations

  • Ability to work occasional evenings and weekends; some travel required

  • Personal interest in and commitment to conservation

  • Spanish language proficiency strongly preferred

PHYSICAL DEMANDS:

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

WORK ENVIRONMENT:

  • General office and field working conditions, the noise level in the work environment is usually quiet.
  •  Office location in Texas is negotiable.

HOW TO APPLY

Interested applicants please reference Texas Senior Representative in your subject line and submit a letter of interest, resume and writing sample to us via e-mail at: HR@defenders.org

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. 

COMMENTS:

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.