Job Openings at Coastal States Organization


Position Announcement: Federal Affairs Associate

(PDF Version)

Overview: The Coastal States Organization (CSO) seeks an energetic, proactive, team oriented leader to educate Congress about coastal, ocean, and Great Lakes issues. Primary duties will center on legislative strategy implementation. The Associate will also lead CSO’s communications effort. CSO is a small, 501(c)4 not-for-profit, non-partisan organization founded in 1970 to represent the interests of the Governors of the nation’s coastal states and territories on legislative, regulatory, policy, and program matters related to coastal, ocean, and Great Lakes resources. 


Position Responsibilities: Serve as point person for congressional policy, outreach, and strategy development/implementation. Coordinate CSO’s comprehensive messaging strategy. Responsibilities include:

  • Education and outreach about CSO priorities and state coastal programs; work with members of Congress, agencies, and other partners regarding appropriations process and other legislative and policy items.
  • Work with CSO Membership to identify policy and appropriations priorities, and support membership to appropriately engage with the legislative process.
  • Develop and implement a strategy to create new coastal and oceans champions in Congress.
  • Lead CSO’s legislative operations:
    • Track legislation, hearings, & markups.
    • Schedule and take personal office and Committee meetings.
    • Prepare Outside Witness Testimony and draft witness testimony for members.
    • Develop and coordinate Dear Colleagues and letters of support.
  • Coordinate Hill briefings with partners, annual reception, and site visits.
  • Develop compelling messages on member priorities and timely ocean and coastal issues through written and online materials.
  • Implement CSO’s Strategic Communications Plan, including:
    • Serve as staff lead for CSO’s Communications Work Group.
    • Develop fact sheets and other materials.
    • Lead Social Media channels – including campaign development/support.
    • Coordinate CSO’s bi-weekly newsletter (with support from staff).
    • Possibly serve as lead for CSO website development.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • Two years of government relations experience – Hill and appropriations experience preferred.
  • Substantive knowledge of some/all of the following issue areas: the Coastal Zone Management Act and its implementation, National Ocean Policy and its implementation, coastal/ocean ecosystem restoration, beach nourishment, ports and harbors, other relevant specialization.
  • Excellent written and oral communications and interpersonal skills.
  • Effective personal management style compatible with small office environment, including ability to work proactively and independently, meet deadlines, and participate as member of a team.
  • Enthusiasm for the CSO mission and the strategic goals of the organization.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Legislative background paramount, additional communications background preferred.
  • Master’s degree or higher in relevant field.
  • Expertise in marine/coastal science, policy, and/or law.
  • Experience working with congressional members and their staffs.
  • Experience working on coastal issues with federal or state governments and programs.
  • Proficiency with graphic design software such as Adobe Design Suite or similar.
  • A sense of humor, a commitment to public service, a high-energy level, strong persuasive skills, facilitation capabilities, and excellent organizational and time management skills.


Compensation & Benefits: Salary will be based upon qualifications and experience.  Excellent benefits package includes 401(k), health, dental care, and disability.


The Coastal States Organization is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified candidates will receive consideration without regard to age, color, race, national origin, gender, disability, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, or other characteristic protected by law.


To Apply: Applications accepted until 5 PM COB on June 10, 2019 and reviewed on a rolling basis. Please email cover letter, resume and salary expectations to:


Location: Washington, DC