Government Relations Director

  • Full-Time
  • Madison, WI
  • Application deadline: 2021-08-02

Clean Wisconsin

Clean Wisconsin is seeking an experienced and committed individual to become our Government Relations Director (Director). The Director must advocate effectively for the organization’s legislative and policy priorities. Clean Wisconsin is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to protect and preserve Wisconsin’s clean water, clean air, and natural heritage.

Specifically, the Director engages with legislators and their staff, administrative agencies, and other government officials. The Director often serves a spokesperson for the organization, providing oral and written testimony and comments at appropriate times and working with reporters and media outlets with the support of Clean Wisconsin’s communications department. The Director must also advise program staff on paths to achieving key policy goals, work with program staff to mobilize on-the-ground support, and execute on advocacy plans to win key victories.

The successful candidate will also serve as the political director of the Clean Wisconsin Action Fund 501(c)(4)—a separate organization—for an average of two hours per week. The political director has primary responsibility for Clean Wisconsin Action Fund’s political program, including organizing its member voter-contact programs, coordinating endorsement processes, liaising with relevant electoral coalitions and organizations, and helping to raise funds. Work performed for the Clean Wisconsin Action Fund will be compensated separately by that organization.


  • Report to and collaborate with the Vice President of Program & Government Relations to develop a legislative and policy agenda.
  • Collaborate with other staff to advance the organization’s legislative and policy priorities and campaigns at the state level and sometimes at the local and federal levels.
  • Cultivate strategic relationships with members of relevant legislative committees and legislative leadership, with administrative officials, and in the governor’s office.
  • Cultivate relationships with key local leaders to further campaign goals in coordination with program staff.
  • Communicate Clean Wisconsin’s policy interests to legislators prior to and during the session.
    Prepare and deliver testimony at hearings before the legislature, administrative agencies, and other relevant bodies.
  • Develop relationships with reporters and media outlets to increase Clean Wisconsin’s opportunities for earned media.
  • Manage all reporting to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission and Campaign Finance Information System.
  • Ensure proper recording of Clean Wisconsin’s federal lobby time and expenses for reporting on IRS Form 990 if necessary.
  • Work closely with Clean Wisconsin’s communications department to engage and educate Clean Wisconsin’s members, the media, and the public to advance policy goals, including lobby days, action alerts, and social media.
  • Promote the organization at speaking engagements, fundraising events, and other venues.
  • Maintain open and effective communication with other environmental organizations—especially with their government-relations staff.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Experience as a registered lobbyist in the State of Wisconsin or equivalent experience.
  • Demonstrated ability to achieve legislative and policy victories and to use legislative and administrative processes to build power for issues and movements.
  • Intimate knowledge of policy campaigns and how to achieve success. Knowledge of advocacy campaigns in the nonprofit context is a plus.
  • Demonstrated skills in working with people from a diverse range of backgrounds, especially communities most affected by environmental injustices.
  • Demonstrated ability to forge strong relationships of trust with legislators and other government officials.
  • Demonstrated ability to be a spokesperson to the media, to other advocates, and within the Wisconsin State Capitol.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Knowledge of, or willingness to learn, election law governing 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), conduits and PACs.
  • Experience with and understanding of the principles of organizing for legislative and policy victories.
  • Superb oral communication and listening skills paired with strong desire to grow writing skills.
  • Ability to perform in a multi-task environment and to prioritize work requirements; ability to manage competing priorities while maintaining a long-term vision.
  • Ability to interact effectively, appropriately, and compassionately with staff and colleagues.
  • Proficiency and comfort with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook (or equivalents).

Required Traits

  • Passionate commitment to the protection of Wisconsin’s air, water, and natural heritage, to serving the public interest and the communities most affected by environmental injustice, and to a strong role for government in effecting these goals.
  • Discretion and sound judgment.
  • Flexibility and creativity.
  • Sense of humor.
  • Commitment to help create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences.

Required Education

  • An undergraduate degree or equivalent experience.

Salary range for the position is $70,000 – $90,000 (inclusive of total compensation from both Clean Wisconsin and the Clean Wisconsin Action Fund) commensurate with skills and experience. Benefits package includes health and dental insurance, a 403(b) retirement plan with a 6% employer match, and paid vacation.

To Apply
Please submit a cover letter and resume describing and demonstrating your qualifications to by August 2, 2021. Be sure to include “Government Relations Director” as the subject line of your email.

Clean Wisconsin is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in our work and in our hiring practices. We value a team with different perspectives, educational backgrounds, and life experiences, and we prioritize diversity within our team. We encourage people from underrepresented backgrounds to apply. Please also see our statement on diversity, equity and inclusion at:

To apply for this job email your details to