Representative, Texas

Field Conservation Austin, Texas


JOB TITLE:  Representative, Texas

CLASSIFICATION: Professional 2

SALARY: $55,000 - $58,000

FLSA:  Exempt

DEPARTMENT:  Field Conservation

LOCATION: Austin, TX (home office)

REPORTS TO:  Southwest Program Director

LAST REVISED:  June 2021


This professional-level position is responsible for implementing assigned Defenders’ strategic plan conservation objectives and strategies in Texas, with a focus on conserving both state and federally listed threatened and endangered species and ensuring the sustainable management and conservation of habitats, while working collaboratively with other Defenders’ staff, programs, and departments.

The Representative position will require knowledge of natural resource conservation issues, such as endangered species policy, federal land management policy, state wildlife management, renewable energy, landscape level planning, and conservation biology. This position will also require familiarity with key stakeholders and organizations engaged in conserving Texas’ natural resources, and the ability to quickly establish ties with decision makers and conservation partners.

Program strategies and objectives are achieved by collaborating with a variety of external partners including state and federal agencies and officials, elected representatives, tribal governments, private landowners, and other conservation organizations. The Representative will pursue conservation objectives through a variety of tools including policy advocacy, project review and comment, coalition building, public outreach, and other means.

This position will collaborate closely with Southwest program staff in New Mexico and Arizona but will chiefly work in Austin, TX.


  • Influence federal, state, and local wildlife policies and management for listed and key species through administrative, legislative, judicial, and other forums, using a range of strategies including:
    • Seeking policy and programmatic changes by relevant state and federal agencies;
    • Developing and pursuing legislation in the Texas legislature;
    • Recommending litigation where appropriate and providing technical support; and
    • Participating in direct and grassroots lobbying of the U.S. Congress, state legislature, and state agencies as appropriate.
  • Develop and successfully implement priority lands and wildlife conservation work in Texas, including:
    • Conservation of imperiled species such as the ocelot, golden-cheeked warbler, dunes sagebrush lizard, freshwater mollusks and fishes, sea turtles and other species listed under the ESA;
    • On-the-ground restoration projects that benefit species while also engaging the general public;
    • Monitor and where appropriate participate in the development of regional habitat conservation planning efforts and cultivating stakeholder groups.
    • Protection and conservation of priority habitats with a focus on statewide habitat connectivity initiatives; and
  • Manage, implement, and expand priority coexistence and community outreach work in Texas, including:
    • Coordinating with Defender’s coexistence staff to expand the reach of Defenders’ presence in Texas;
    • Finding opportunities to partner with private landowners, agriculture organizations and local governments to increase acceptance for species like ocelot;
    • Identifying and implementing coexistence projects, and
    • Promoting Defenders’ message and strategy within the Southwest environmental community.
  • Advancement of responsible and wildlife-friendly renewable energy development, including;
    • Ensuring that large-scale, renewable energy projects are sited to minimize impacts on sensitive species
    • Working with environmental and industry partners to promote sound, scientific policies for wind and solar energy.
  • Facilitate and promote the integration of diversity, equity and inclusion strategies into Defenders’ programmatic and outreach work in the Southwest;
  • Organize and implement outreach events that raise Defenders’ profile in Texas by engaging membership along with partner organizations and agencies;
  • Serve as a spokesperson for Defenders; represent Defenders and Defenders’ interests to the public, the media, and key decision-makers, and in working groups, committees, and processes.
  • Work with the Southwest Program Director, Texas Senior Representative, Southwest Program Coordinator and Defenders’ national headquarters staff to ensure lands and wildlife campaigns engage and grow our state and regional membership and inform the public and Defenders’ members on key issues through mailings, e-mail alerts, social media, dissemination of educational materials, and Defenders magazine.
  • Publish in the peer-reviewed and other science publications, where the opportunity exists.
  • 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.
  • Identify key information relating to policy, strategy, and decision-making, and communicate it as appropriate and in a timely manner to the Southwest Program Director, and other relevant field and headquarters staff members.
  • Supervise contractors and volunteers as necessary.
  • As needed, assist and advise Director of the Southwest Program in problem-solving regarding regional and national programs.
  • Perform all other related duties as assigned.


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

Experience: 4 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 for All Defenders

  1. Personal interest in and commitment to conservation;
  2. Ability and willingness to model the tenets of Defenders’ Commitment Statement: Mission, Transparency, Respect & Trust, Appreciation, Empowerment & Accountability, Professional Growth, Fairness, Diversity, Safety, Work/Life Balance, and Pride;
  3. Ability to approach work in a collaborative and inclusive style, with a solutions-oriented manner;
  4. Ability to work independently as needed, problem solve, and exercise sound decision- making skills in fluid environments to meet job expectations and achieve goals in an accurate and timely manner;
  5. Ability to represent Defenders to external entities and the public in a professional manner while exercising tact, diplomacy, and discretion;
  6. Demonstrates a willingness and ability to productively engage and collaborate with internal and external stakeholders from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives;
  7. Ability to clearly and accurately communicate with internal and external stakeholders, in both verbal and written forms;
  8. Ability to effectively navigate through change and maintain flexibility;
  9. Ability to effectively address and manage conflict;
  10. Working knowledge of Microsoft Outlook and Word.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities for Professional 2


  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.

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

Conservation Knowledge

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

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities for Representative, Texas

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 issues impacting Defenders’ mission 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 legal, scientific, and/or political issues particular to Texas
  2. Familiarity with social, political and ecological landscapes particular to Texas


  1. Spanish proficiency preferred

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.

Defenders requires employees who engage in in-person work activities, including business travel or onsite work, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.  An applicant (i) who is disabled or pregnant or who has a qualifying medical condition that contraindicates a COVID-19 vaccination or (ii) who objects to being vaccinated on the basis of a sincerely held religious belief, observance or practice may request an exemption from this vaccination policy. This determination will be made on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with applicable law. Any medical information concerning an applicant's disability will be treated as a confidential medical record in compliance with applicable federal, state and local laws.

Please be advised this position is union-eligible.