The External Affairs Advisor develops, leads and implements strategies to achieve The Nature Conservancy’s goals in the Central Appalachians primarily through interaction with governments, regional entities, and NGOs. The Central Appalachians is one of TNC’s four new global focus areas for conservation of biodiversity and natural climate solutions. The Advisor will focus primarily on achieving goals to advance land protection and climate solutions. Scientists at The Nature Conservancy have mapped a climate resilient and connected network of lands that nature needs conserved to ensure a safe future for biodiversity as the climate changes. The Appalachians are a centerpiece of this network in North America. The seven state Central Appalachian region offers land protection and natural climate solution opportunities at a scale found in very few other places in North America. The socioeconomic and political context of the region present opportunities for innovative conservation solutions that also benefit local communities and economies. Existing external affairs and communications staff in each state chapter – and at the North America level – work on public policy, public funding, strategic engagement of elected officials and of other key stakeholders, strategic communications, and campaigns to contribute to the fulfilling the overall vision and to specific projects. The External Affairs Advisor will identify strategic external opportunities and an understanding of the socioeconomic and political context to lead on advancing the overall vision and individual complex projects that are often years in the making.
The External Affairs Advisor develops and implements the strategy to use public policy, public funding, strategic stakeholder engagement, coalition-building, lobbying and advocacy to advance TNC’s protection and climate goals in the region. They will collaborate closely with TNC’s internal external affairs team (state, region, North America) and directly engage regional leadership of federal agencies and other stakeholders to execute this strategy. They identify conservation and climate policy and funding opportunities, evaluate the potential for strategic partnerships, and develop and implement strategies to influence public policy and public funding for conservation and climate action at a large scale. The Advisor will use innovative approaches to influence and support protection and climate solutions that incorporate regional and local community benefit into account to contribute to outcomes for people. This person will also contribute to renewable energy siting as part of the Central Appalachian climate and protection goals. While the Central Appalachians is the primary focus of this position, they will, on an ad hoc basis, support efforts elsewhere across the 16 state Appalachian region. As one of a handful of full time Central Appalachians staff, this position will work very closely with the Central Appalachians Director, Director of Philanthropy, Sponsor, Coordinator and other team leads to ensure the whole of our conservation work in this region is much greater than the parts. They will work closely with this team to inspire partner organizations, TNC leadership, and other key stakeholders to support an ambitious vision for one of the most important conservation landscapes in the world.
RESPONSIBILITIES AND SCOPE
- Prepares and presents project proposals and negotiates with federal and state agencies and/or the business and corporate sector, to achieve program goals.
- Accountable to persuasively convey the mission of The Nature Conservancy in the Appalachians to diverse groups including key legislators, federal and state agencies, government officials and others who are critical to the Conservancy’s overall public funding strategies.
- Works in partnership with other organizations in a collaborative and consultative or advisory capacity.
- Collaborates and builds networks with state chapter and US government relations leads to ensure integration and leverage from state chapter to global conservation goals.
- Leads efforts to secure public funding, such as through the Land and Water Conservation Fund, for priority projects.
- Ensures program compliance with internal policies and external requirements.
- Ensures that the program complies with federal lobbying laws and regulations.
- Develops and implements multi-year fundraising strategies, and goals.
- Effectively directs and or participates in complex negotiations.
- Develops constructive and effective working relationships inside and outside the Conservancy.
- May supervise administrative and/or professional staff with responsibility for performance management, training and development.
- Financial responsibility may include working within/managing a budget to complete projects, negotiating and contracting with vendors, assisting with budget development, and meeting fundraising targets.