Job Opportunity

Policy Associate

Policy Associate position PDF

At Conservation Minnesota, we are committed to building an inclusive workplace and environmental movement. We are an equal opportunity employer and welcome individuals with a variety of experiences, perspectives, and abilities. Applicants from non-traditional backgrounds, underrepresented groups, or historically marginalized communities are strongly encouraged to apply.

  • Our preferred candidate will have a working knowledge of the legislative process in Minnesota and an interest in working with lawmakers to shape the state statutes and policies that govern Minnesota’s environment and natural resources.
  • Full-time, with co-defined flexible scheduling available, subject to the schedule of the Minnesota state legislature
  • Reports to Conservation Minnesota’s Policy Director
  • Paid Time Off (PTO) available
  • 401k Savings Plan with 4% company match
  • Medical, dental, disability, and health and dependent care savings account available
  • $58,000 annual salary
  • Our office is located near the light rail and Gold Medal Park in Downtown Minneapolis, but many job duties will be executed at the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul
  • Remote office hours during COVID-19 pandemic conditions
  • Other benefits include: transportation/parking stipend for in-office work, remote office set up and support, and technology stipend

Why this job is important

In Minnesota, our 10,000 lakes, natural resources, and four distinct seasons define our lives. The Great Outdoors is where many of our most cherished memories with family and friends are created. Passing our experiences and traditions to the next generation and being good stewards of our lakes and land are values we all share. At Conservation Minnesota, we protect the Minnesota you love by solving our state’s most important conservation problems.

Understanding the unique interests of individual Minnesotans helps us have a greater impact. In addition to focusing the efforts of each member on issues that motivate them, it allows us to demonstrate how different issues are interconnected, just like nature itself. Our members learn that other seemingly unrelated conservation priorities connect naturally to their concerns and provide new opportunities to make a difference. This unique approach to public engagement has made us the state’s fastest growing conservation organization, expanding our network from 5,000 to over 100,000 people since 2012.

We’re looking for a Policy Associate to help us cover legislative hearings; read, write and track relevant bills during the legislative session; and to develop working relationships with state legislators and partner organizations doing similar work at the state capitol. Due the pandemic, the 2021 legislative session will largely take place virtually and most work will likely be from home. The position will encompass a variety of activities, including, but not limited to legislative monitoring, maintaining and tracking files and databases, and preparing policy briefs or memo writing, and working with legislators to advance the goals of Conservation Minnesota. The Policy Associate is responsible for scheduling and preparing for meetings, policy research, preparing briefings for CM staff, facilitating advocacy communications with relevant team members, and coordinating scheduling logistics across the team. The Policy Associate may serve as a point of contact to inform CM partners and elected and appointed officials of policies and positions. The work will be focused on Minnesota state policy, but the scope may grow to include support for work at the federal level.   

How You Will Be Spending Your Time

  • You will be performing government relations support and administrative duties under general supervision of the Policy Director.
  • You will provide policy research and legislative analysis in support of Conservation Minnesota’s legislative priorities. During the state’s legislative session, hearings and meetings can begin early in the morning and run late into the evening.
  • You will provide assistance with the preparation of program materials including memos, presentations, and other communications.
  • You will be working largely independently and with a supervisor as needed.
  • You will help to support direct lobbying work through the legislative session and coordinate with the Policy Director and other team members to create various communications about legislation.

What You’re Good At

Listening First & Building Trust

  • You start your relationships by trying to understand the goals and concerns of team members and external partners.
  • By both listening and reflecting what you learn in your actions, you build trusting relationships that power long term and successful partnerships with all those you work with, both internally and externally, and particularly with those who may not identify as part of the traditional environmental community.

Common Ground

  • You actively work to bring people and processes together to find equitable solutions and build community across diverse populations.
  • You are an optimistic and effective communicator, open to sharing ideas to bridge differences.

Collaborative Innovation

  • You are not trapped by past practice. Instead, you work with others across departments and with key external partners in a constant state of creativity, experimentation, challenging assumptions, learning, and growth.
  • You are nimble, highly effective, and open to change.

Equity & Democracy in Action

  • You believe in the inherent value and potential of every person and are committed to equity. You have passion for using the tools of democracy to make lasting and systemic change to improve people’s lives.
  • You are dedicated to fostering civic engagement and your lived values reflect working toward a healthy environment for future generations.

Lifelong Leadership

  • You know leadership can come from any position in the organization and are committed to sharing both leadership and credit with others.
  • You seek to ignite and cultivate that spark of leadership, first in yourself, and then in Minnesotans of every age, ethnicity and community through a shared love for the people and places that define our home state.

What you have done

The best candidate for this position is someone who has progressive experience with:

  • Researching environmental and natural resource policy to compile into a cohesive communicable form with proven attention to detail
  • Outreach experience with diverse populations and communities across different ethnicities, identities, abilities, religions and ideologies
  • Preparing written materials like memos, research documents, policy summaries, and official correspondence
  • Working with government agencies and public-private partnerships, building networks and identifying key stakeholders
  • Coursework or other training in public policy, government relations, business and/or sustainability
  • Self-starting and independent work, and can thrive in a decentralized organization with minimal oversight

A Little More About You

The Conservation Minnesota team is small but mighty, working collaboratively and energetically to advance multiple priorities simultaneously. The best fit for Conservation Minnesota is someone who might describe themselves as:

  • Passionate, hardworking, and self-motivated
  • Easygoing, always taking the mission more seriously than themselves
  • Interested in making state level environmental and natural resource policies better for all Minnesotans
  • Focused, thriving on deadline-driven work in a relaxed environment
  • Flexible, comfortable navigating uncertainty and adapting to change
  • Strategic, identifying and balancing short- and long-term risks and benefits
  • Risk tolerant, open to trying new ideas, able to learn from mistakes, and continuously improving your work
  • Confident, yet humble, comfortable inspiring others and leading a team, as you are presenting to large audiences and influential leaders
  • Curious, never satisfied until you have explored numerous possibilities and perspectives

Applying For This Job

To apply for this job, email a digital file of your resume and an introductory letter to Anne Saffert, Director of Finance & Operations, at

Applications will begin being reviewed on a rolling basis starting on January 15, 2021 and applications will no longer be accepted after February 1, 2021. Your introduction letter should be no longer than two pages and should address the following questions:

  • Why are you passionate about Conservation Minnesota’s mission to protect the Minnesota you love?
  • What are some Minnesota-specific environmental and natural resource issues where you think improvement in state policy can be beneficial?
  • In what ways does your background and experience influence how you approach your work?
  • How have you previously demonstrated the courage to take calculated risks in pursuing results, while learning from both your successes and failures?

Application deadline: February 1, 2021

You may email questions to if necessary.