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Delaware Nature Society

P.O. Box 700
Hockessin, DE 19707


Director of Advocacy and External Affairs

Opportunity Type: Full-Time, Exempt


Ashland Nature Center, Hockessin, DE

Organization Description

Delaware Nature Society has spent over 50 years connecting people to nature with diverse environmental programs and services. As one of the most well respected environmental organizations in the region, we envision a healthy and sustainable environment for all plants, animals, and people living in our region. Our mission is to connect people with the natural world to improve our environment through education, advocacy, and conservation. Working state-wide in Delaware and the surrounding region, we operate four sites where people experience nature in unique hands-on ways reaching thousands of visitors each year.

Delaware Nature Society aspires to be inclusive multicultural organization that celebrates the rich dimensions of diversity such as race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious and political beliefs.  Diversity creates an awareness of and acknowledges respect for differences and translates into understanding and valuing each other’s perspective.  We are committed to building a diverse team and strongly encourage all qualified professionals to apply.

Job Description

The Director of Advocacy & External Affairs is a strategic leadership position that ensures that our messaging to our partners and constituents is integrated through advocacy, marketing and external affairs.   Within the Development, External Affairs and Advocacy Department, the Director of Advocacy & External Affairs directs the development, implementation, and evaluation of Delaware Nature Society’s environmental advocacy efforts. This includes establishing and maintaining effective relationships with elected and appointed officials, local and regional reporters and other news media, industry, local/national environmental groups, and other collaborating organizations, in a collaborative effort to advocate and promote the protection and improvement our environment.

The Director of Advocacy & External Affairs also oversees the development and implementation of an effective communications and marketing strategy to raise the organization’s visibility while advancing our mission and strategic vision. Effective strategies aim to build strong relationships with the people we serve to grow grassroots advocacy campaigns, program participation and financial support. As a member of the Leadership Team, he/she will collaborate with other Directors in the development of the organization’s annual operating plan, as well as benchmarking progress on our strategic priorities:  Healthy Waters; Working & Natural Lands; and, Protecting Critical Habitat & Wildlife.


  • Direct development and implementation of environmental policy and legislative priorities in collaboration with Advocacy Committee and other DNS departments
  • Direct development and implementation of DNS organization-wide communications strategies in support of our advocacy campaigns, legislative priorities and overall advancement of our mission to improve the environment
  • Lead advocacy before State and federal decision makers
  • Lead collaboration with partners including coalition members, state-wide advocacy campaigns, and regional campaigns/coalitions including Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed; Clean Water, Delaware’s Clear Choice; and, others
  • Act as the spokesperson for DNS on environmental issues impacting the state and our legislative priorities, working closely with the Outreach Coordinator and Environmental Advocate on engaging key-stakeholders, including elected officials, media representatives and the public to raise awareness and support of our environmental priorities
  • Collaborate with Leadership Team and Management on strategic priorities, and benchmark progress on the advancement of: Healthy Waters; Working & Natural Lands; and, Protecting Critical Habitats & Wildlife
  • Work with Chief Development Officer to seek, secure and maintain funding through grants, contract and individual giving
  • Work with the Director of Business and Finance to direct budgeting and oversee financial management for the advocacy and external affairs budgets
  • Participate in DNS donor cultivation events, global, and site events, as needed, to support the cultivation and stewardship of our member, donors and supporters
  • Manage department staff to ensure programmatic delivery and fulfilment of our mission
  • Represent DNS at public events to expand the awareness of our organization
  • Assume additional responsibilities as requested

Minimum Qualifications

  • Strong background in conservation or environmental policy work preferred
  • Degree in environmental policy, law, sciences, related fields or relevant experience working in environmental non-profits
  • Minimum 5 years of experience in management and supervisory experiences
  • Legislative and grassroots advocacy and media experience required
  • Experience working with diverse audiences and communities is a plus
  • Demonstrated fundraising experience (including grants solicitation and management), budgeting, and finance experience required
  • Excellent written, verbal and communication skills required; a knowledge of environmental / water/ conservation issues locally and regionally is a plus
  • Excellent interpersonal and leadership skills, and an aptitude for working in a highly changeable, dynamic, and fast-paced environment
  • Motivated, self-starter able to work independently, while guiding and leading others in their team to ensure legislative priorities are advanced
  • Flexibility to adjust hours as needed to meet deadlines including availability to work evenings, weekends as needed; statewide and regional travel required

Salary and Benefits

Salary commensurate with experience.

Applicants Must Submit