fbpx Job opening: Water Program Specialist | Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy

Position: Water Program Specialist

Reports To: Water Program Director

Location: 1919 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55104

Full Time Exempt

Closing Date:  Open until filled, with a preference for applications received before May 15th.


We seek an energetic and self-motivated Water Program Specialist who is committed to justice, equity, and the environment to join our team of advocates. The Water Program Specialist will work closely with the Water Program Director and other staff to advance the Water Program’s goals to reduce agricultural and industrial sources of water pollution in Minnesota’s lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater and ensure that all people have access to water resources that are fishable, swimmable, and drinkable.


About MCEA

The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy uses law and science to protect Minnesota’s environment, its natural resources, and the health of its people. We work at the legislature, in the courts, and with public agencies to enact, strengthen, and enforce smart environmental laws. We currently work across different program areas: Water, Climate, Northeastern Minnesota, and Healthy Communities.

At MCEA we respect the individual strength, views, and experiences of all employees and understand that we thrive in our differences. We are committed to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in our culture, policy, and practice.


Position Summary:

The Water Program Specialist will provide project management, research, and analysis in support of MCEA’s Water Program.  This includes assistance and responsibility over individual projects, preparing comments and other written analyses, working closely with the legislative and communications team to draft and deliver testimony and talking points, and supporting project teams with research, writing, and analysis. The Program Specialist reports to and works closely with the Water Program Director to accomplish MCEA’s organizational and program goals.

Also, assist in being a liaison to outside consultants, experts, and advocacy groups, and actively reach out to and develop relationships with disproportionately impacted communities; research and analyze water-related issues, draft comments, and gain expertise in groundwater and surface-water policies; and assist, as appropriate, MCEA’s Legislative Team and Communications Team.

The Program Specialist reports to and works closely with the Water Program Director to accomplish MCEA’s organizational and program goals.


Major Areas of Responsibility

  • Provide policy, scientific, and technical research to support MCEA’s programs.
  • Assist in the development and management of new program projects, identified in conjunction with the program director and team, to successful completion.
  • Participate as an active team member on projects, providing research and analysis and other assistance as appropriate.
  • With the Director, maintain the Water Program team’s project management systems including the use of Trello, Egnyte, Slack, Google Workspace, and others as it relates to the Water Program. (Training available)
  • With leadership from the Director, develop and maintain institutional relationships with government agencies, other NGOs, academics and other existing or potential experts, and a variety of stakeholders (industry, unions, consumers, etc.) to advance MCEA’s positions.
  • Collaboratively work within various MCEA teams and programs to effectively communicate and progress water program goals, projects, and updates. (Ex: fact sheet development)
  • Contribute and assist in water policy projects and initiatives, including defensive items, in preparation for and throughout the legislative session.
  • Contribute as an active member in MCEA’s legislative work to advance program goals, including contributing to the development of legislative strategies, reviewing and commenting on agency actions, writing fact sheets, and meeting with legislators and constituents.
  • Participate in communications efforts to advance MCEA’s program goals, including assistance with press releases, social media posts and other publications and speaking with media as appropriate.
  • Participate as appropriate in fundraising to support MCEA’s work.


Required Experience and Qualifications

  • Minimum 3 years of experience in a water-related field and/or water policy advocacy.
  • Ability to contribute positively to the creation of a diverse, equitable, inclusive team-oriented work environment that celebrates differences.
  • Subject-matter knowledge in water resources, water quality, and/or water quantity issues, in particular agricultural water quality issues
  • Clear, logical, and focused analysis of issues; ability to clearly communicate complex issues to various audiences.
  • Experience translating technical information for various audiences into public written communications.
  • Commitment to excellence in work product.
  • Strong research, writing and analytical skills.
  • Highly organized and good at follow-through.
  • Familiarity and some practice with Project Management or Program Management techniques, strategies, tools, and processes.
  • Ability to take independent action while maintaining adequate communication with appropriate MCEA staff and partners.
  • Ability to develop and maintain good working relationships with other MCEA staff, partners, government officials, adversaries, donors and other constituents.
  • A growth mindset and ability to grow from training, coaching, and feedback.


Preferred Experience and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree or Master’s Degree within the fields of water science and/or policy.
  • Experience leading the communication of project and research updates to stakeholders.
  • Commitment to public interest environmental advocacy and environmental justice.
  • Project management training or mentorship.
  • Experience with supervising an Intern.
  • Collaborative culture, emotional intelligence, or similar mentoring and training.
  • Experience working on policy and/or within the systems of the legislature.
  • Strong oral presentation skills.


Salary & Benefits:

MCEA strives to create a mission-focused work environment that is equitable and inclusive. MCEA highly values diversity and is an equal opportunity employer. We are proud to support our employees through a range of strategies, including generous benefits for employees and dependents, paid family leave, and support from an executive coach. The annual salary range for this position is $49,000-$56,000.

MCEA currently has a hybrid work agreement with all employees. Each month there are required in-person meetings. All in-person requests for meetings are also required internally and externally with our partners and stakeholders.

We believe everyone deserves consideration, regardless of where you went to school, where you grew up, and what opportunities you’ve had in the past. MCEA is an equal opportunity employer.


To Apply: Please send your resume and cover letter to hr@mncenter.org by May 15th, 2023 for priority consideration. The position will remain open until filled.

You must submit all materials directly to this email address – no applications via third party websites (such as Indeed) will be accepted.