Wildfire Policy Specialist
By September 2023, the Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commision, will deliver a comprehensive set of new policy recommendations on wildfire to Congress. In this “make-or-break” year for wildland fire, Federation of American Scientists, together with key partners, executed a Wildland Fire Policy Accelerator to source and develop actionable policy ideas aimed at improving how we live with fire. More than 20 participants from academia, Indigenous communities, the private sector, nonprofits, and national labs, brought their expertise across fire ecology, forestry, modeling, climate change, fire intelligence, cultural burning, and more to develop policy ideas.
Now FAS has partnered with Megafire Action, an advocacy organization solely focused on ending the megafire crisis within the next decade, to implement these policy recommendations and elevate the subject matter experts behind them. To accomplish this goal, we are seeking to hire a Wildfire Policy Specialist, with deep knowledge of both Congress and wildfire, to develop, implement and advance a policy agenda based on the actionable ideas in those recommendations. The ideal candidate will be skilled in engaging across a diverse array of stakeholders, will work to actively engage and educate Members of Congress and their staff and work with experts and organizations to build coalitions around legislative goals.
The individual in this role will be employed by FAS, but will receive significant guidance and direction from the CEO of Megafire Action. To be successful in this role, the Specialist will need to be nimble and savvy on how to work with both subject matter experts and Congressional staff and should have a nuanced understanding of the difference between issue education and lobbying roles that characterize different types of interactions with Congress.
What you’ll do (Core responsibilities)
- Identify and execute opportunities to advance policy priorities tied to those generated in the FAS Wildland Fire Policy Accelerator. Work closely with Congressional offices to identify opportunities in the appropriations process and draft programmatic request letters, report language, and amendments.
- Engage with internal and external stakeholders to build support for proposals in Congress by arranging support letters, stakeholder meetings, and briefings for Congressional staff.
Skills and Experience (Requirements)
- At least five years experience working on federal legislative matters, preferably related to environmental policy or wildfire prevention.
- Strong knowledge of the legislative process and familiarity with key Members of Congress and federal agencies involved in wildfire prevention.
- Excellent research, analytical, and critical thinking skills to assess policy proposals and identify potential implications.
- Demonstrated ability to develop and execute advocacy strategies, including building relationships with policymakers and stakeholders.
- Exceptional written and verbal communication skills to effectively convey complex policy issues to diverse audiences.
- Ability to work collaboratively in a team environment and manage multiple priorities with strong attention to detail.
Nice to haves
- Existing knowledge of, relationships with, relevant federal agency and/or Congressional staff.
- Experience navigating the difference between issue education and lobbying roles that characterize different types of interactions with Congress.
This position will be a hybrid role, meaning that both remote and in-person work can be accommodated, generally two to three days per week on-site, and two to three days per week remote. To be successful, we prefer the position be located in the Washington, D.C. area to responsively accommodate frequent meetings on Capitol Hill.