Legislative Advocate

Washington, DC, USA
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Job Description


Title: Legislative Advocate

Location: Washington, DC Office

Reports to: DC Director

Status: Full-time, Exempt

Salary:  $59,000 plus $2,500 retention bonus plus benefits

Start Date: May 1, 2023

The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA), Utah’s largest conservation organization, has an immediate opening for a Legislative Advocate based in its Washington DC office. Interested applicants should send a cover letter, resume including 3 references, and a 2-page writing sample (original work) to Travis Hammill, DC Director, at travis@suwa.org. The deadline to submit your application is March 17, 2023. Please include your name and the words “Legislative Advocate” in the subject line.

About the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA)

SUWA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the outstanding wilderness at the heart of the Colorado Plateau, and the management of these lands in their natural state for the benefit of all Americans. SUWA promotes local and national recognition of the region’s unique character through research and public education; supports both administrative and legislative initiatives to permanently protect the Colorado Plateau wild places within the National Park and National Wilderness Preservation Systems, or by other protective designations where appropriate; builds support for such initiatives on both the local and national level; and provides leadership within the conservation movement through tireless advocacy for wilderness preservation.


The Legislative Advocate works closely with the DC Director to advance SUWA’s goal of protecting Utah wilderness. This person also plays a critical role in the success of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance’s congressional efforts. The Legislative Advocate will regularly educate Congress on behalf of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, analyze legislation, develop educational materials for Congress and the public, and coordinate with SUWA staff in Utah and other wilderness advocacy organizations.   


To effectively perform this role, this person must possess strong communication and writing skills, the ability to work in teams, and should be self-motivated and committed to the preservation of wilderness. Experience in environmental/wilderness advocacy and/or the legislative process is a plus, but not required.  

We are looking for someone who is motivated to get Congress to move on issues pertaining to wilderness protection, public lands, and environmental justice. If you think you would enjoy working with us at SUWA, PLEASE APPLY! WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!


•      Assist DC Director in daily tasks as well as implementing SUWA’s broader legislative strategies.

•      Schedule meetings with congressional members with a focus on the House of Representatives to gather cosponsors for Utah wilderness legislation and defend against harmful legislation.

•      Attend hearings and markups on Capitol Hill in relevant committees and subcommittees.

•      Help organize activist trainings and lobby days in Washington, one or more times per year, collaborating with SUWA grassroots staff.

•      Coordinate closely with SUWA staff on wilderness legislation, public land reform measures, and relevant administrative actions through the Quorum legislative intelligence platform.

•      Coordinate with other wilderness advocacy and environmental groups in Washington to elevate the Utah wilderness issue nationally and defend against administrative or legislative action harmful to Utah’s wild lands.

•      Prepare and deliver materials to Congress.

•      Assist with other tasks as needed.

Salary and Benefits

This is an entry-level legislative advocacy position, ideal for newer environmental advocates or recent college graduates. Salary is $59,000/year, plus a potential $2,500 pro-rated retention bonus, paid on the 15th and last day of every month via direct deposit. There is a 60-day review period for all new employees at SUWA, contract or permanent.

A competitive benefits package includes health care coverage, 15 paid vacation and accrued sick days, 14 paid holidays, cell phone subsidy, 2-month paid sabbatical after 5 years of employment, and access to outdoor gear discounts. Quarterly travel from DC to Utah for board meetings and staff retreat is required. Opportunities for additional training are available.

SUWA DC Office Information

This position is located in SUWA’s Washington, D.C. office, in close proximity to Capitol Hill. The Legislative Advocate is expected to be in the office at least 3-days per week to be able to meet with lawmakers and their offices and attend in-person functions. Our standard work day is between 9am and 5pm, aligning with Congress. Attendance of occasional evening receptions or activist events on weekends may be required.

SUWA’s DC office is approximately a 15-minute walk from the House of Representatives offices and a 10minute walk from the Senate offices. The office is also conveniently located within a 10-minute walk of Red (Union Station or Judiciary Square) and Yellow/Green (Archives/Navy Memorial) Metro stations. The office building includes shower rooms and key-access bike storage with lockers and is fully ADA compliant. 

SUWA provides a desk, office chair, a laptop computer, and all necessary items/software to accomplish the goals of the position. Comfort with or ability to learn online tools such as collaborative word processing, spreadsheets, and congressional tracking software a must. The position requires working mostly at a desk and meeting in person with congressional staff on Capitol Hill, but may also occasionally require bending, stretching, and lifting up to 25 pounds. The SUWA DC office suite is ADA compliant and SUWA will make accommodations to address any differing abilities.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at SUWA

The mission of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance is to defend and protect the wilderness at the heart of the Colorado Plateau and in Utah’s West Desert.

We are committed to the idea that our commonalities greatly outweigh our differences, and that the redrock is for everyone. Our mission is to protect the redrock for the wonder and enjoyment of all future generations, both human and non-human alike.

The lands we work to protect are the ancestral homelands of many Tribes, including those that were forcibly removed at the hands of the U.S. government in an effort to exterminate their cultures, languages, and ways of life. These injustices are still felt today, but the quest to erase the Tribes failed: indigenous communities continue their traditions and remain an integral part of the landscape and our community. We are committed to working toward understanding this history; to expanding present-day common ground, collaboration, and reconciliation with our Tribal neighbors; and to advocating that Tribes receive a seat at the table when others would exclude them.

The environmental movement has a regrettable history of excluding and oppressing marginalized people. We know that the redrock, humanity, and the future of the planet itself depend on working together to solve our greatest common threat: the climate crisis. As we face the challenges of the 21st century head on, we recognize we can only do so by including, involving, and elevating Tribes, communities of color, people of diverse economic backgrounds, faith communities, the LGBTQ+ community, and the tapestry of experience that weaves together our common humanity. We are committed to doing this both within our staff and through our daily work to protect the redrock.


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