Legislative Director

Job Type

Full Time



Application Deadline:



District of Columbia
United States


Founded in 1936, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF or Federation) is America's largest and most trusted grassroots conservation organization with 51 state/territorial affiliates and more than six million members and supporters, including hunters, anglers, gardeners, birders, hikers, campers, paddlers, and outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes. The Federation's mission is to unite all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in our rapidly changing world through programming focused on conserving wildlife, restoring habitats and waterways, expanding outdoor opportunities, connecting children with nature, and addressing the causes and consequences of climate change.

The Legislative Director for the National Wildlife Federation takes the lead in planning, overseeing and executing communications with Congressional and Executive branch offices to educate, advise, and advocate for NWF's interests and policy priorities. Communication of NWF's interests will be guided by the goals and milestones laid out in the Strategic Plan, and the recommendations of NWF program, regional, and senior staff as to the key policy priorities associated with accomplishing those objectives.

The LD is expected to broadly build and maintain bipartisan relationships with key Congressional and Executive branch offices, remaining aware of timely developments related to issues, staffing, and new or ongoing challenges in realizing NWF's policy goals. Working with NWF senior staff, the LD will further NWF's interests by preparing and wisely deploying staff in both ongoing and urgent conversations with Congressional and executive officials as needed, being sure to collaborate strategically and on priority campaigns with other program staff, regional offices and NWF state affiliate groups. The LD will look for opportunities to develop new tools, alliances and tactics to broaden and enhance NWF's influence. In particular the LD is expected to continually assess and evaluate the ability to include and spotlight the work of affiliates in his/her work.

The LD will be skilled at juggling and prioritizing competing program interests and needs, and implementing efficient approaches to allow for specific and focused successes in the midst of broader political undertakings. The LD will regularly and effectively communicate across the organization regarding the status of NWF policy priorities and other issues of interest to staff at NWF's Headquarters, National Advocacy Center (NAC), seven Regional Centers, and to its NWF state affiliate groups. The nature of the work is intense and fast-paced, as NWF is frequently a leader or a participant in important and urgent campaigns.

In this role you will:

  • Build and sustain bipartisan relationships with key Congressional and Executive branch offices.
  • Maintain awareness of status of basic and/or strategic NWF policy and legislative priorities, and opportunities for advancement of same, at all times.
  • Clearly advocate NWF's interests to Congressional and Executive branch decision makers, and, as appropriate and in collaboration with the NWF communications team, to the media.
  • Directly supervise federal lobbying staffer. Guide and assist NWF program staff in developing effective political strategies to meet program goals. Coordinate Congressional and Executive outreach and activities of NWF lobbyists, program staff, and NWF state affiliate groups.
  • Prepare briefing materials for NWF's President (and senior staff as appropriate) for meetings and events, including strategic and/or tactical presentations for Board and Annual meetings.
  • Prepare and distribute weekly legislative and agency updates for the NAC and senior NWF leadership.
  • Conduct trainings, several times a year, on the basics of lobbying and effective techniques for Congressional office visits for groups of NWF members and activists participating in "fly-ins".
  • Be responsive to addressing requests, questions, problems from regional offices and affiliates on legislative matters.
  • Lead or assist as appropriate in coalition tasks, such as serving as a lead point of contact or liaison with other conservation and sportsmen groups.
  • Maintain an in-house Congressional targeting system that includes updated and timely status of priority and non-priority items.
  • Compile and organize essential political data for NWF needs (e.g., seats up in an election year).

Actions are at all times expected to reflect the staff values of the National Wildlife Federation: collaboration, mindfulness, empowerment, inclusivity, and mission focus.


  • A Bachelor's degree is required. An advanced degree (Master's or J.D.) is favored.
  • A candidate must have 7 - 10 years of experience in advocacy and lobbying, with at least 5 years of experience in federal legislative lobbying, which can include specific service as congressional staff and/or federal lobbying experience.
  • The candidate must possess excellent communication skills, be a strong and quick writer, and have good political instincts.
  • He or she will be a self-starter who works well with others, and a capable leader and negotiator. The candidate must have a proven capability to reach out to members of Congress from both political parties, and to work collaboratively with a broad set of internal and external coalition partners and interests.
  • He or she must be patient, comfortable playing the "long game" and accepting setbacks with an eye toward the next opportunity for success.
  • He or she must also have a sense of humor, prioritize collegiality, and function in an exemplary manner in the servant-leader tradition of NWF's mission.

There will be some travel in this role, approximately six times a year, 12-14 nights per year.

We aspire to be an inclusive multicultural organization that celebrates the rich dimensions of diversity such as race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical ability, and religious and political belief. Diversity at the National Wildlife Federation translates into understanding and valuing each other's perspectives.

The National Wildlife Federation offers excellent benefits, competitive compensation, and a family-friendly, flexible work environment. We are committed to building a diverse team and strongly encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply. If you meet more than 75% of the qualifications of this description, we encourage you to submit an application. A background check will be conducted on the selected candidate.

Interested candidates should submit both a cover letter and resume.   

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply


For more information, or to apply now, you must go to the website. Please DO NOT email your resume to us as we only accept applications through our website.