Friends of the Chicago River seeks a policy specialist to support Friends’ mission to improve and protect the Chicago River system and advance our water quality goals of a fishable swimmable Chicago River.
A key member of the policy team, the policy specialist will support Friends’ executive director and director of policy and conservation through advocacy, research, writing, and by becoming expert on all of the water quality issues facing the river. The policy specialist is responsible for identifying and tracking policy and legislative initiatives that impact the Chicago River system, including issues involving water pollution; water quality standards, permits and trends; stormwater management; and aquatic invasive species at the local, state and federal level.
As the only organization exclusively dedicated to improving the Chicago River, Friends seeks an individual who is committed to the environment and views the river as an important part of the history, culture, and future of the Chicago region.
Become expert in all of the water quality issues facing the Chicago River system
Provide regular detailed written updates on standards, hearings, and legal matters
Attend Metropolitan Water Reclamation District board meetings, relevant Illinois Pollution Control Board, and other public agency meetings as requested; provide written highlights
Interface with government staff and elected officials and their staff
Schedule and participate in the multi-organizational Water Quality Task Force Team meetings
Work with the director of policy and conservation to develop and manage the Chicago River Summit, Friends’ annual policy event
Provide Friends’ testimony at public meetings including at night and on weekends
Develop educational/informational materials such as flyers, factsheets, and action alerts; provide content and statistics in support of all programs and Friends’ communications efforts
Develop content and update the policy pages on Friends’ website
Review Illinois EPA, Illinois DNR, 404 or any other publically noticed permits regarding the river
Develop and implement a system to track local, state, and federal initiatives that impact the Chicago River system
Represent Friends at meetings, on task forces, and in working groups
Research and report on best practices and technological improvements across all issues
Provide assistance in grant writing and other fundraising activities
Perform miscellaneous duties as assigned
Serve with alacrity
This position requires occasional night and weekend hours to represent Friends at meetings, work days, and special events.
The right candidate will be a goal-driven and results-oriented individual who has enthusiasm for the work and possesses:
A degree in law, environmental science, watershed planning, water resources or related field
Five or more years with increasingly responsible experience in relevant fields
A basic understanding of the Clean Water Act and its local implications
Knowledge about combined sewer overflows, stormwater runoff, dissolved oxygen, and other water quality issues
Ability to analyze and interpret data and complicated water quality issues and communicate that information to a broad range of audiences
Excellent oral, verbal, and written communication, computer, and organizational skills
Ability to speak persuasively
Ability to work efficiently and prioritize tasks to meet program and organizational goals
Proven ability to work well with a diverse group of people
Valid driver's license and access to an automobile
Interest and enthusiasm for the environment and the Chicago River in particular.
Desire to commit to three years in the role
Please send your resume and cover letter as PDFs files describing: 1) your interest in this position, 2) the ways in which you satisfy the qualifications specified above, 3) salary requirements, and 4) two project samples to the attention of John Quail, director of policy and conservation, via email to email@example.com, subject line: Policy Specialist or mail to Friends of the Chicago River, 411 S. Wells, #800, Chicago, IL 60607.
No applications will be considered without a personalized cover letter detailing the applicant's specific interest in this position. NO CALLS, PLEASE.
Additional Salary Information: Friends offer excellent benefits including generous paid leave (three weeks to start), medical and dental insurance, and a retirement match after two years of employment. Salary commensurate with experience. Friends of the Chicago River is an equal opportunity employer.
Internal Number: 400-5550
About Friends of the Chicago River
Founded in 1979, Friends of the Chicago River is an award winning nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve and protect the Chicago River for people, plants, and animals. With over 10,000 members, volunteers, and online advocates, Friends works to make the river greener and more accessible, while building awareness of the benefits that a clean, healthy river can bring to communities across the watershed. Friends of the Chicago River is working to make the Chicago River one of the world’s great metropolitan rivers. For more information on Friends of the Chicago River, please visit our website www.chicagoriver.org.