Representative, Alaska

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Anchorage, AK
United States


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The Alaska representative position is responsible for contributing to the development and implementation of Defenders’ Alaska strategic conservation work plan, with a focus on at risk marine areas, public lands, and listed and imperiled species and their habitats. Conservation priorities include to:

  1. Ensure that Alaska’s federal waters and  lands remain intact and well-managed by federal land and marine management agencies
  2. Protect, restore, improve and expand habitats for at-risk species within priority public waters and lands, such as coastal and marine environments, and national wildlife refuges and forests
  3. Integrate best available science, including climate science and wildlife adaptation considerations, into landscape-scale planning and project-level decision-making in Defenders’ priority areas
  4. Improve conservation and management of public waters and lands in priority marine areas and conservation system units established by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.

The Alaska representative pursues conservation objectives through a variety of tools including: wildlife management and planning activities, coexistence efforts and, where applicable, habitat restoration; policy advocacy; review and comment on federal and state agency projects; partner and coalition building; public outreach; litigation; and other means. This position requires knowledge and experience in a broad array of Alaska conservation issues, such as federal and state endangered species policy, federal and state water and/or land management policy, and/or landscape level planning and conservation biology. 

The representative will work collaboratively with other Alaska program staff and throughout Defenders in implementing the overall mission and goals of Defenders.


  • Contribute to the development and implementation of Defenders’ Alaska work plan to achieve work plan goals and benchmarks in collaboration with other organization staff
  • 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 federal agencies primarily, and with state agencies and in local communities when appropriate
  • Engaging in federal and, when appropriate, state agency land and wildlife management processes by reviewing plans, attending and speaking publicly at meetings, developing technical comments and/or participating in inter-agency committees tasked with overseeing monitoring, management and/or restoration of imperiled species
  • Recommending and facilitating species restoration and reintroduction projects as appropriate
  • Coordinating with other Defenders staff regarding litigation where appropriate and providing technical support
  • Participating in direct and grassroots lobbying of the U.S. Congress, state legislature, and state agencies as necessary and appropriate
  • Monitor and strategically engage in significant federal and state activities and prepare comments on proposed water and land-use and imperiled species actions in coordination with other Defenders’ staff
  • Coordinate with Alaska and national Defenders staff on the development and successful implementation of priority Alaska program goals, including:
    • Conservation of key imperiled species such as polar bears, ringed and bearded seals, pacific walrus, Cook Inlet belugas, sea otters and other ESA listed species
    • On the ground restoration projects that benefit species while also engaging the public
    • Protection and conservation of priority habitats in Alaska, including migratory corridors
    • Identify key information relating to policy, strategy, and decision-making, and communicate it as appropriate and in a timely manner to immediate supervisor and other relevant staff members
  • Manage, implement, and expand priority coexistence and community outreach work in coastal areas, including:
    • Coordinating with Alaska and national staff working on human-wildlife coexistence projects to expand the reach of Defenders’ presence in key Alaska communities
    • Finding opportunities to partner with federal and state agencies, coastal communities, tribal and other local governments, and Alaska Native corporations to improve coexistence with marine mammals, such as polar bears
    • Serve as spokesperson for Defenders, and represent the organization’s interests to the public, the media, and key decision-makers, and in working groups, committees, and processes
    • Facilitate and promote the integration of diversity, equity and inclusion strategies into Defenders’ programmatic and outreach work in Alaska
  • Assist and advise the Director in Alaska program plan development and conservation problem-solving
  • Assist Defenders’ staff to inform the public and organizational members on key issues through Defenders’ mailings, e-mail alerts, social media, and Defenders magazine
  • Work with Alaska outreach staff to ensure that public water, lands, and wildlife campaigns engage and grow our state and regional membership
  • Establish, maintain and expand the number of effective relationships and partnerships with relevant conservation and Alaska Native partners and other stakeholders to achieve Alaska conservation plan and goals
  • Work with Defenders’ national headquarters staff to provide information to donors to help identify and develop potential sources of funding to support Defenders’ priorities
  • Maintain a well-organized collection of relevant wildlife and conservation information
  • Supervise volunteers and possibly contractors as necessary
  • Submit timely and complete accounting of activities and expenses
  • Perform all other related duties as assigned.


  • Education:  A Bachelor’s degree in wildlife or marine ecology, political science, natural resources management, environmental planning, environmental or public policy, or a related discipline. Science and/or advanced degree preferred.
  • Experience:  3+ years of experience working on marine, coastal or public lands conservation efforts for non-profits, government agencies, tribes or local governments, or conservation advocacy, federal land use management and policy, endangered species policy, natural resources management or wildlife conservation policy.  Experience with legislative procedures, wildlife and conservation programs, media relations, and coalition building preferred.  Fundraising, grant writing and experience with private landowners and state agencies a plus.
  • An equivalent combination of demonstrated education and experience may be accepted as a satisfactory substitute for the specific education and experience listed above.
  • Other:
    • Ability to engage with leaders in the conservation community, federal and state agencies, Alaska Native or other organizations
    • Ability to negotiate with staff across organizations to reach agreements on complex broad policy issues;
    • Ability to work productively in coalitions of environmental organizations
    • Demonstrated awareness of and experience with the concerns and needs of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds and orientations.
    • Ability to lead diverse stakeholders in collaborative activities, to anticipate policy issues impacting wildlife and make recommendations within Defenders and/or other organizations
    • Ability to elevate public awareness of issues and build a constituency for solutions
    • Excellent verbal communications skills with the ability to conduct presentations for large and diverse audiences
    • Ability to work independently to initiate effective project ideas as well as to manage them through to completion;
    • Ability to work constructively as a member of the Alaska team: excellent interpersonal skills and judgment with the ability to work productively with both colleagues and opponents
    • Strong research and writing skills with attention to detail; excellent strategic thinking and problem-solving abilities
    • Ability to respond constructively to unexpected change, and to exercise appropriate judgment in complex situations
    • Personal interest in and commitment to conservation



  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to use a computer and communicate with others while doing so.
  • Ability to walk in natural areas including rugged terrain to perform field work on occasion is helpful.


  • Employee will be working in a work environment that is usually quiet.
  • Occasional weekend and evening work required.
  • Possible occasional field working conditions involving walking in rugged terrain.
  • Travel within Alaska is required, including potential travel to remote regions not accessible by road.

Job Duration:


How to Apply:


Please submit a letter of interest and resume through our jobs portal at

It is the policy of Defenders of Wildlife to provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified individuals without regard to their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law, in all personnel actions.

Defenders of Wildlife is a national, non-profit membership organization dedicated to the protection of all native wild animals and plants in their natural communities. Our employees work in an environment that is inclusive and honors each of our unique perspectives and backgrounds. We believe that the conservation of biological diversity is best advanced by the contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, experiences, beliefs and cultures.  We strive toward a collective goal of including all people in the conservation of our Nation’s wildlife and wild places.


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.