Representative, New Mexico

Field Conservation Sante Fe, New Mexico





JOB TITLE:  Representative, New Mexico

CLASSIFICATION: Professional 2

SALARY: $48,000 - $54,000

FLSA:  Exempt

DEPARTMENT: Field Conservation


REPORTS TO: Southwest Program Director

LAST REVISED:  June 2022



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


The Representative position will require basic knowledge of 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 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 development and advocacy, project review and comment, coalition building, public outreach, on-the-ground conservation, and other means.


This position will collaborate closely with Southwest program staff in Texas and Arizona but will work in the regional office in Santa Fe, NM.



  • Influence federal, state, and local wildlife policies and management for listed and imperiled 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;
    • Ensuring New Mexico’s natural resource agencies have the statutory authority and resources to meet current challenges of protecting wildlife and ecosystems;
    • Developing and pursuing legislation in the New Mexico legislature;
    • Recommending litigation to the Director 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 New Mexico, including:
    • Conservation of federally protected species such as the Mexican gray wolf, Pinyon Jay, New Mexico Meadow Jumping Mouse, Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, Mexican Spotted Owl, freshwater fishes and other species listed under the ESA;
    • Conservation of imperiled species, such as the Pinyon Jay;
    • On the ground restoration projects that benefit species while also engaging the 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
  • Promote the identification, protection and reestablishment of wildlife movement corridors across jurisdiction boundaries, including:
    • Working with federal and state agencies to develop policies that reduce obstacles hindering the free movement of wildlife;
    • Advocating for state and federal legislation that will elevate importance of wildlife corridors as a priority within the state and Southwest;
    • Positioning Defenders to be a leader in the Southwest on corridor and connectivity policy; and
    • Educating the public as well as local, state and federal leaders on the importance of connected landscapes.
  • Promote protection and conservation of imperiled ecosystems essential to preserving biodiversity including but not limited to aquatic and riparian systems
    • Develop campaigns and policies that ensure aquatic and riparian systems can function properly and support native wildlife including fish, amphibian, bird and mammal species
    • Conduct restoration activities that promote habitat elements required by imperiled riparian and aquatic obligate species
    • Where appropriate, pursue designations including Outstanding National Resource Waters or Wild and Scenic Rivers
  • Manage, implement, and expand priority coexistence and community outreach work in New Mexico, including:
    • Coordinating with senior Southwest staff working on coexistence projects to expand the reach of Defenders’ presence in New Mexico;
    • Finding opportunities to partner with private landowners, agriculture organizations and local governments to increase acceptance for highly interactive species like Mexican gray wolf and beaver;
    • 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 effects on sensitive species
    • Working with environmental and industry partners to promote sound, science-based 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 the state 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 Southwest Program Coordinator and Defenders’ national headquarters staff to ensure public 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 peer-reviewed and other science publications, where and when 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 the Director of the Southwest Program in problem-solving regarding regional and national programs.
  • Perform all other related duties as assigned.



Education: Bachelors (B.A./B.S.) degree or equivalent

Experience: 4 years of relevant experience. At least 2 years of experience with biology, natural resources and/or outreach and legislative experience, preferred.


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


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, New Mexico

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.

Policy Knowledge

1.   Understanding of the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, federal and state regulatory processes.

2.   Ability to meaningfully engage with agencies on proposed actions through public oral and written comments.



  1. Spanish proficiency preferred



Physical Activities

Check all that apply


(N)Never, (O)Occasionally or (C)Constantly

Ascending or descending ladders, stairs, scaffolding, ramps, poles and the like.


Moving self in different positions to accomplish tasks in various environments including tight and confined spaces.


Remaining in a stationary position, often standing or sitting for prolonged periods.


Moving about to accomplish tasks or moving from one worksite to another.


Adjusting or moving objects up to 25 pounds in all directions.


Communicating with others to exchange information.


Repeating motions that may include the wrists, hands and/or fingers.


Operating machinery and/or power tools.


Operating motor vehicles or heavy equipment.


Assessing the accuracy, neatness and thoroughness of the work assigned.



Environmental Conditions

Check all that apply


(N)Never, (O)Occasionally or (C)Constantly

Low temperatures.


High temperatures.


Outdoor elements such as precipitation and wind.


Noisy environments.


Hazardous conditions.


Poor ventilation.


Small and/or enclosed spaces.


No adverse environmental conditions expected.



Physical Demands

Check only one


Sedentary work that primarily involves sitting/standing.


Light work that includes moving objects up to 20 pounds.


Medium work that includes moving objects up to 50 pounds.


Heavy work that includes moving objects up to 100 pounds or more.



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. 

It is the policy of Defenders of Wildlife to provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified individuals without regard to their race, color, creed, religion, sex national origin, ethnicity, age, physical or mental disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, personal appearance, family/parental status, matriculation, political affiliation, genetic information, or any other legally protected characteristic in all personnel actions.

Please be advised this position is union-eligible.