Senior Policy Advisor

1 Central Wharf, Boston, MA 02110, USA
Posted on  

Job Description

The leader of the Conservation Policy and Advocacy Department oversees ongoing efforts to advance New England Aquarium's (NEAq) federal, state, and local legislative, administrative, political, and grassroots/grasstops advocacy strategy, by developing and advancing priority policies, building and maintaining strong government relationships, identifying and pursuing government funding, ensuring compliance with lobbying requirements, advising on C-suite policy/political engagement, and continually demonstrating political acumen.

This is a full-time regular position offering a comprehensive benefits package. The typical schedule will be Monday-Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. However, the position will require attendance at events that often fall outside of typical work hours. The position allows for a hybrid work schedule, working some days on-site and some days remotely. Remote days are only available for residents of MA, RI, NH, ME, NY and VT.

The position will require travel of up to 25% of the year throughout Massachusetts, other New England states, and Washington, D.C. to fulfill the essential functions, as well as travel elsewhere in the U.S. for professional conferences or other relevant meetings and activities.


Policy and Advocacy Strategy

  • In conjunction with the Chief of Conservation and Stewardship and other NEAq leaders, co-develop the Aquarium's federal, state, and local legislative, administrative, political and grassroots/grasstops advocacy priorities and strategy.
  • Shape, lead, and manage efforts to advance NEAq's legislative and administrative priorities and ensure alignment with our mission and institutional priorities.
  • Oversee the analysis and research on policy and legislative approaches; draft bills and legislative text; and vet new proposals with policymakers, agencies, and coalition partners.
  • Develop and oversee strong working relationships with federal, state, and local government officials and their staff.
  • Oversee institutional efforts to track the actions of and engage with federal, state, and local regulatory agencies on programmatic and operational regulations and permits.
  • Maintain expertise and stay informed about key advocacy issues and help position NEAq as a leader on ocean conservation in policy/political venues.
  • Manage a team of staff, lobbyists, and political consultants.

Government Funding

  • Shape, lead, and manage NEAq's government funding strategy (e.g., prospect research, landscape analysis, appropriation/earmark efforts), ensuring alignment with institutional priorities and adherence to gift reporting procedures.
  • Maintain knowledge of strategic priority areas and needs that can be financially supported with government funding; initiatives, programs, and other funding opportunities from government sources; and governmental funding and related trends.

Internal Collaboration and Support

  • Oversee NEAq lobbying policy, including tracking staff and institutional compliance, and conducting learning sessions.
  • Develop, oversee, and maintain internal communications and inter-departmental collaboration regarding policy work, including leading relevant internal working group(s) and/or committee(s).
  • Develop, guide, and review external communications and campaign materials and content (legislative fact sheets, web and social media content, press communications, bill testimony, newsletters, blogs) in service of our policy goals and strategy, and in conjunction with Marketing/Communications.
  • Guide and contribute to other relevant institutional activities and initiatives, including ad-hoc groups, exhibit and conservation learning content development, budgeting, team building, fundraising, and professional development.

Representation and Engagement

  • Oversee NEAq's representation at public and agency meetings, Capitol Hill, and the State House to promote NEAq's mission and institutional policy agenda.
  • Represent NEAq on the Association of Zoos and Aquarium Government Affairs Committee and other relevant professional groups.
  • Oversee NEAq engagement with non-governmental and coalition partners to advance the institutional policy and government relations priorities.
  • Advise and support C-suite policy/political engagement, as appropriate, such as by identifying priority meetings or events to attend, recommending strategic actions, developing briefing materials, flagging lobbying hours, and other such needs.


Minimum Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree in public policy, economics, law, science, political science, or a related field.
  • 10-15 years of experience working on local, state, and/or federal legislation, policy, and programs, including direct experience working with city councilors, state legislators, and/or members of Congress and their staff; local, state, and/or federal agencies; and local, state, and/or federal administration officials.
  • Demonstrated political acumen and ability to establish and maintain strong working relationships with senior and junior staff, legislators, legislative and agency staff, and coalition partners.
  • Strong knowledge of the inner workings of local, state, and/or federal government, policymaking, and budgetary processes.
  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain strong relationships with government officials and staff, NGO partners, industry leaders, and other decision-makers and influencers.
  • Strong understanding of and familiarity with the current City of Boston, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and/or federal political and policy context.
  • Willingness to register as a lobbyist.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master's degree in public policy, economics, law, science, political science, or a related field.
  • Strong expertise in and passion for policy and advocacy on ocean health and sustainability, climate resilience, protection of marine species and habitats, equitable and inclusive access to the ocean and coasts, environmental justice, and/or other priority aspects of NEAq's mission and work.
  • Experience supervising and effectively managing others and an ability to collaborate as a leader and member of an interdisciplinary team and organization.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated record of accomplishment with sustained high-quality work in fast-paced environments.
  • Strong time and project management skills, ability to stay organized, establish and stick to key priorities, and deliver strong follow-up across multiple competing demands and timelines.
  • Strong record of accomplishment and comfort with public speaking and presentations.
  • Experience engaging with professional board members and philanthropic/private donors.

For more information and to apply online please visit:

New England Aquarium is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer as defined by the EEOC. Here we foster a culture of respect, diversity, and inclusion. We strive to engage and inspire a broad audience with our efforts to protect the blue planet, and we believe a diverse workforce provides experiences, skills, and perspectives that enrich our programs, strengthen problem-solving, add creativity, and enhance our work environment.

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