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Senior Policy Advocate - Michigan

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Nature Conservation, Ecology, GIS
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Senior Level
Company Name NRDC
Contact Name
Telephone 3127807434
Website Further Details / Applications
NRDC logo
Directory Entry : The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a non-profit global environmental organization with more than 1.3 million members and online activists.
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Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is the nation's most effective environmental action group, combining the power of more than two million members and online activists with the expertise of nearly 500 scientists, lawyers, policy advocates, and other professionals across the globe ensure the rights of all people to the air, the water, and the wild.  NRDC was founded in 1970 and our staff helped write some of America's bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act, and many of the implementing regulations; our water enforcement cases played a major role shaping current water policy throughout the country. Today, our staff – a force for nature - work out of offices in New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Bozeman, Montana and Beijing.



NRDC is seeking a full-time Senior Policy Advocate to be based in the state of Michigan and reporting to the Midwest Program, whose office is in Chicago.  The position will work on both safe water and climate and clean energy issues through NRDC’s Safe Water and the Climate and Clean Energy Initiatives, respectively, to implement safe water and clean energy policy and legislation in Michigan.


NRDC’s Safe Water initiative is a multi-faceted, cross institutional campaign that seeks to make safe, sufficient and affordable water from source to tap an enforceable human right.  The effort is centered on addressing the legal, health, environmental justice, and governmental failures that compromise the safety of our water and created the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan. We know these problems are not unique to Flint and this person will work across the state of Michigan to help tackle the roots of these problems.


NRDC’s Climate and Clean Energy Initiative addresses the impacts of climate change and supports the development of a clean energy economy.  The Midwest Program advances state-based policy on clean energy and energy efficiency in four priority states, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio, with more limited work in Iowa and Minneapolis.  Our key strategies include intervention in utility regulatory proceedings across the nation, coupled with direct negotiations involving utilities and other stakeholders, as well as pursuing legislation at the state level.  To achieve our goals, we develop precedent-setting policies and build diverse coalitions with energy companies, small and large consumer groups, low income organizations, clean tech, businesses, housing groups, labor and other environmental advocates, to help us strengthen public support, and effectively implement the policies.


Both initiatives bring together and focus multiple programs and departments within NRDC, including Litigation, Health, Water, Environmental Justice, Government Affairs, Communications, Center for Policy Action and Development.  The position will report to both the Deputy Director of the Safe Water Initiative and the Deputy Director of Policy of the Midwest Program.


For the Safe Water Initiative:

  • Assist the deputy director in developing statewide strategy to build NRDC’s advocacy, brand and reputation in the state.
  • Work in tandem with the litigation team to implement settlement agreement as outlined byConcerned Pastors for Social Action V. Khouri. If necessary, assist litigation team in developing and executing legal action.
  • Under the direction of the deputy director, obtain relevant information from a variety of NRDC staff to help coordinate state efforts on advocacy and development activities, and infusing a comprehensive campaign focus on behalf of citizens, justice, democratic values and the environment is essential for success of the campaign.
  • Under the direction of the deputy director and working jointly with key staff, help develop and coordinate activities of the Campaign regarding communications, lobbying, negotiation, policy advocacy, partnership alliances and public engagement, and ensure ongoing litigation activities are coordinated with all other aspects of the campaign;
  • Participate in productive working relationships with traditional partners, environmental organizations and non-traditional allies, including leveraging the Campaign to establish new relationships with social justice, civil rights, health and infrastructure interests and organizations.

For Climate and Clean Energy:

  • Work with the Michigan state advocate to advance clean energy policy and legislation:
    • Develop and provide written and oral advocacy in furtherance of NRDC’s utility reform, clean energy and energy efficiency priorities at the state legislature, before state agencies, the executive branch, and regulatory proceedings at the Michigan Public Service Commission.
    • Develop state-level support to defend, and to the extent possible, further, federal energy and environmental policy; build local partnerships and provide leadership at the Michigan Climate Table.
    • Conduct policy research and analysis to develop and support positions.
    • Coordinate and represent NRDC in coalitions on specific issue-areas.
    • Respond to media requests and develop advocacy material to spread NRDC’s message.
  • Provide strong expertise and experience to inform strategy, campaign activities, and stakeholder engagement.
  • Work with the Deputy Director, the Michigan state advocate and other members of the team, as appropriate, to set priorities, budgets and timelines and effectively deploy consultants and partners to meet project timelines and objectives.
  • Be part of a strong and collegial team that is both focused on meeting project expectations and using the full range of expertise at NRDC and among its partners to support effective change.


  • 15 or more years of significant and documented experience working with Michigan decision-makers and local and state-based organizations on a combination of water, drinking water and clean energy policies and issues.
  • Preference for extensive work history in the nonprofit arena, with demonstrated knowledge of and experience working in Flint, Michigan.
  • A passion for protecting the environment and advancing NRDC’s policy priorities.
  • Ability to represent NRDC with maturity, judgment and professionalism.
  • Track record of cultivating high-level relationships with non-profit, political and philanthropic leaders in Michigan and the Great Lakes’ region.
  • Strong quantitative and analytical skills.
  • Significant project management experience.
  • Willingness to travel.
  • Masters Degree in relevant field preferred.

NRDC is committed to workplace diversity and inclusion.  We are equal opportunity employers and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.  We offer competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a pleasant working environment.  Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and commensurate with experience.


To apply, please visit www.nrdc.org/jobs and upload your resume and cover letter through our online portal. Please no phone calls, emails, faxes or in-person resume drop-offs. Please reference where you saw this posting. NRDC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 


If you are having technical difficulty while applying, please reach out to iCIMS Customer Care at 1-866-803-9663.


For further information about NRDC, please visit www.nrdc.org

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