Manager of Governmental Affairs



The Manager of Governmental Affairs cultivates relationships with elected officials and agency leadership at all levels for Openlands staff to advance policy and programmatic goals, providing staff with the expertise necessary to carry out legislative and advocacy strategies to advance the mission of the organization. In addition to the role of legislative liaison, the Manager will manage specific policy initiatives and respond to requests for assistance with policy issues, pursuant to the organization’s agenda. This position reports to the Chief of Staff and will work closely with the CEO and Executive Vice President.

Essential Functions

Track legislation and public policies that impact Openlands’ work, keeping staff informed.
Collaborates systematically with executive management and program staff to identify their governmental and legislative needs that advance Openlands’ programs and mission.
Advances the organization’s annual legislative agenda that has been developed and vetted with executive management and program staff.
Identifies opportunities to advance Openlands’ mission and informs and collaborates with executive management and program staff to determine appropriate actions.
Works consistently with program staff to assist in shaping their initiatives that advance Openlands’ programs and mission to be successful in a legislative or governmental setting. When requested, assist staff in formulating position statements and action plans regarding changes in policies.
Engages with Illinois Environmental Council and subject matter experts to organize partnerships and participate in coalitions that communicate and advance Openlands priorities.
Empowers Openlands’ members to advocate for our priorities by conducting organizational advocacy initiatives and collaboratively working with program staff to develop advocacy alerts, disseminate information on policy campaigns, and lead advocacy trainings.
Builds and sustains relationships with elected and public officials by familiarizing them with Openlands work and priorities. Educates and lobbies public officials at all levels to advance Openlands’ priorities.
Publicly supports Openlands’ policy priorities by speaking at conferences, giving media interviews, and testifying at public hearings.
Participates and provides leadership in local, regional, state, and national conservation communities to advance mutual goals and elevate Openlands’ interests and standing.
Develops annual work plans to carry out legislative and governmental initiatives.
Advances assigned projects, develops project scopes, and meets budget and deadline goals.
Other duties as assigned.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Bachelor’s degree in political science, public policy, planning, law, or related field required: Master’s degree or JD desirable
5 years of experience working in the public policy field, preferably in a legislative setting
Excellent relationships and experience interacting with elected and public officials
Successful track record managing multiple projects
In-depth understanding and experience in public affairs, government, and legislative processes
Persuasive public speaking and excellent written communications skills
Coalition building and team management skills
Proficiency in Microsoft Office as well as advocacy and power-mapping applications
Travel will be required and a valid Illinois drivers license must be maintained during the duration of employment
To Apply:

This position is open until filled. Interested applicants should send a resume and cover letter explaining why your skills and experience would complement this position to Please include “Manager of Governmental Affairs” in the subject line.

Work Environment:

Loop office is ADA accessible. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, and scanners. The employee is regularly required to talk, hear, see, and communicate effectively via computer. Smoke and drug-free environment.


Salary range is market competitive. Benefits include health, life, and disability coverage, a 403(b)-retirement plan, paid holidays and vacation time. This is a full-time, exempt position. Openlands is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Openlands is an equal opportunity employer and seeks to employ qualified individuals based on individual merit. Openlands does not discriminate against any individual with respect to the terms and conditions of employment based on that individual’s race, sex, age, religion, color, national origin, disability, genetic information, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, housing status, or any other non-merit factor protected under state, local or federal laws. Equal Employment Opportunity applies to all personnel actions such as recruiting, hiring, compensation, benefits, promotions, training, transfer, termination, and opportunities for training. Openlands is committed to a fair and equitable workplace where everyone is a respected and valued member of the team.

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