Senior Policy Analyst, Offshore Wind and Wildlife

Policy Washington, District Of Columbia Sacramento, California





JOB TITLE:  Senior Policy Analyst, Offshore Wind and Wildlife

GRADE: Professional 5
SALARY: $78,000 - $83,000 per year
FLSA:  Exempt

DEPARTMENT:  Landscape Conservation

LOCATION:  Sacramento, CA or Washington, DC

REPORTS TO:  Director, Renewable Energy and Wildlife


LAST REVISED:  April 2021


This professional-level position will contribute to Defenders of Wildlife’s renewable energy development and wildlife conservation efforts, with a focus on offshore wind energy development (with a primary focus on the Pacific Ocean). The senior analyst will focus on offshore wind energy development risk to sensitive species, particularly those protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and will engage in federal and state policies and permitting processes for offshore development. The incumbent will coordinate with Defenders’ renewable energy and wildlife team on our cross-cutting land-based and offshore wind energy portfolio to ensure consistent implementation of national programs and policies. The Offshore Wind and Wildlife Policy Analyst will also ensure integration with Defenders’ other policy program priorities and work closely with the Field Conservation department, particularly our California Program Office, as well as with Government Relations, Conservation Law, Communications, and other departments. 

Responsibilities of this position include providing leadership on development and implementation of effective offshore renewable energy regulations, policies, and programs to advance wildlife-responsible renewable energy at the pace and scale needed to mitigate climate change consistent with Defenders’ strategic conservation goals. The Analyst will work closely and collaboratively with conservation partners, state and federal agencies, industry, and other stakeholders to further our objectives; coordinate and/or assist Defenders’ advocacy efforts to influence legislation, regulations, policies, and conservation/mitigation strategies; support Defenders’ staff across the organization’s renewable energy work and other relevant issues; and represent Defenders in public fora, including the news media. 


Primary and essential functions in which the position is the primary owner and driver. 

  • Identify and engage in priority federal and state policy efforts (legislative and administrative) critical to advancing wildlife-responsible offshore wind energy development.
  • Assess and comment on project-level development plans (e.g., reviewing environmental risk assessment documents completed under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), ESA, MMPA, etc.; draft recommendations to minimize wildlife impacts from renewable energy development; and meet with stakeholders on priority policy and environmental risk issues) to advance Defenders’ renewable energy and wildlife conservation goals offshore.
  • Closely coordinate engagement on renewable energy and wildlife conservation issues with relevant Field Conservation offices, Government Relations, and other key staff.
  • Regularly share regional and national perspectives on legislation, development trends and policy implementation related to wildlife-responsible offshore wind energy development with the Director of Renewable Energy and Wildlife.
  • Represent Defenders in collaborative efforts related to renewable energy development both at the project-scale and in larger planning, policy and regulatory processes (including, e.g., outreach to conservation partners, states, regulatory agencies, utilities, developers and other entities) to further Defenders’ departmental and organizational objectives.
  • Represent Defenders in public meetings, hearings, press events, conferences, coalitions, and in general communications with public officials, legislators, the media, Defenders’ membership, donors, and the general public.
  • Work with the Director of Renewable Energy and Wildlife, the Vice President of Landscape Conservation, Field Conservation, and Development staff on reporting requirements for existing grants and identify and pursue opportunities to raise additional funds to support the program.
  • Research, write, and/or review and edit Defenders’ reports, articles, factsheets, news releases, webpages, and other publications.
  • Support activities across Defenders’ Renewable Energy and Wildlife program (whether onshore or offshore) as well as Field Conservation to ensure consistency within the program and to advance cohesive, strategic renewable energy development policies across the United States.
  • Perform all other related duties as assigned.


Education: Bachelor’s (B.A./B.S.) degree or equivalent

Experience: 8 years of relevant experience

An equivalent combination of education and experience may be accepted as a satisfactory substitute for the specific education and experience listed above.  

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities  


  1. Ability to accurately maintain electronic and physical records
  2. Anticipate and meet the needs of internal and/or external stakeholders delivering excellent service


  1. Ability to clearly and accurately communicate with internal and external stakeholders
  2. Ability to articulate complex ideas clearly, accurately and concisely
  3. Ability to convey effective messages to broad and diverse constituencies
  4. Ability and willingness to effectively represent Defenders’ interests in external environments
  5. Ability to exert influence and build consensus with internal and external stakeholders

Critical Thinking

  1. Ability to handle sensitive and confidential matters with discretion
  2. Strong research and data analysis skills, including ability to gather and synthesize information from multiple sources to produce high quality work products in a consistent, efficient, accurate, and timely manner
  3. Creative problem-solving and troubleshooting skills with willingness to experiment and innovate new methods.
  4. Facilitate and promote the integration of diversity, equity and inclusion strategies into Defenders’ work
  5. Ability to independently exercise appropriate judgment in response to complex and/or fluid environments
  6. Strategic thinker with the ability to take high-level strategy and translate into relatable points and action steps.

Project Management

  1. Ability to work well under pressure and tight deadlines while balancing competing assignments
  2. Ability to remain flexible and adaptable to shifting priorities while remaining responsive to urgent requests
  3. Ability to take ownership of a project or process and to use problem solving skills to resolve issues
  4. Ability to manage deadlines on multiple cross-functional projects in a dynamic environment
  5. Demonstrated ability in managing competing interests on complex issues
  6. Ability to independently initiate project and initiative ideas; managing projects and initiatives through to completion

Coalition and Community Engagement

  1. Strong interpersonal skills and ability to form effective working relationships with diverse constituencies including federal/state agencies; elected officials and their staff; Defenders’ members and donors; private landowners; hunters and anglers; community leaders; religious, scientific, and academic communities; and /or the general public.
  2. Ability to lead diverse stakeholders in collaborative activities, to anticipate policy issues impacting wildlife and make recommendations within Defenders, other organizations, and coalitions.
  3. Networking skills to engage with leaders in the conservation community, federal and state agencies, NGOs, and other organizations.

Conservation Knowledge

  1. Familiarity with Defenders’ legal, scientific, and/or political issues
  2. Familiarity with national and regional social, political and ecological landscapes

Visit to apply.


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.