Senior Policy Advisor, Healthy Rivers

Western Resources
Denver, CO
United States
$86,500.00 to $121,000.00 Per Year
Job Description

Western Resource Advocates (WRA) is hiring a Senior Policy Advisor to join our team. The Senior Policy Advisor, Healthy Rivers, will take a lead role in developing, advocating, and bringing into being equitable policies in regulatory, legislative, and other policy forums to protect rivers and accelerate water conservation in the Interior West. The Senior Policy Advisory will be a thought leader and tireless advocate working to influence decision makers and others to achieve programmatic objectives.

About Western Resource Advocates

WRA fights climate change and its impacts to sustain the environment, economy, and people of the West. We respect the different needs of diverse people and partner with them to develop a shared vision for progress—one that advances communities while protecting biodiversity.

Our team of policy experts, scientists, economists, and attorneys has a 30-year history of working where decisions are made, sweating the details, creating evidence-based solutions, and holding decision makers accountable. This on the ground work with policymakers and other advocates advances clean energy, protects air, land, water, and wildlife—and sustains the lives and livelihoods of the West.


This position may work remotely in one of the states in which the Healthy Rivers is active (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah), in one of our five offices, or a hybrid of the two. WRA has offices located in Boulder and Denver, CO; Phoenix, AZ; Salt Lake City, UT; and Santa Fe, NM.


  • Develop and advocate for equitable policies in regulatory, legislative, and other policy forums that protect rivers and/or accelerate water conservation in the Interior West with limited direction or guidance.
  • Develop, maintain, and strengthen relationships with state, regional, and federal water and Colorado River policy makers and other river stakeholders. 
  • Develop, maintain, and strengthen relationships with other NGOs working on water and Colorado River policy in the region. 
  • Advocate with state, regional, and federal officials on innovative water management practices. 
  • Effectively communicate the objectives of WRA’s regional river work and objectives to decision-makers, partners, and funders. 
  • Oversee the compilation research and analysis into clear and concise reports. 
  • Prepare comments, expert witness testimony, and/or discovery in formal or informal processes in which the Healthy Rivers Program is involved with limited direction or guidance.
  • Assist in developing WRA positions for complex settlement agreements and drafting those agreements.
  • Monitor relevant local, state, and federal policy developments.
  • Along with WRA’s other staff, works with water providers, the business community, the environmental community, and other stakeholders to advance healthy rivers solutions.
  • Collaborate with WRA’s policy, Government Affairs, and Communications staff to craft outreach strategies and messaging that accurately and persuasively convey WRA’s positions to stakeholders and decision makers.
  • Assist with guidance of outside consultants.
  • Keep abreast of emerging water and river topics to inform policy development, with an eye for equitable and inclusive policies and mechanisms.
  • In coordination with other program staff, read and analyze the potential impact of proposed legislation, local ordinances or programs, and administrative or regulatory policies.


  • None

Required Qualifications

Any equivalent combination of education, training, and experience, which provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the essential functions of this position, will be considered.  

For example, the requisite experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities would include:

Minimum Qualifications

  • At least 5 years of relevant experience.
  • Superior quantitative and analytical skills.
  • Substantial experience and familiarity with water policy, water management, hydrology, or related work.
  • Background in public policy, water management, economics, engineering, or related disciplines. Knowledge of or willingness to understand complex regulatory processes and policy pathways.
  • Substantial experience with strategic planning and direct advocacy to drive policy change.
  • Exceptional ability to write and communicate clearly, and explain complex concepts to a variety of audiences, including non-experts.
  • Ability to build relationships and collaborate effectively with a variety of stakeholders.
  • Strong organizational and time-management skills, with attention to detail and follow‐through.
  • Commitment to WRA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion goals.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Advanced degree in economics, engineering, environmental policy, or other relevant field.

Physical Requirements

The work environment and physical demands described here are representative of those required by an employee to perform the essential functions of this job with or without reasonable accommodations:

  • A typical office environment with minimal exposure to excessive noise or adverse environmental issues.
  • This position requires prolonged periods of time at a desk and working on a computer.
  • This position requires some travel by automobile, airplane, etc.  



  • Travel to meetings, conferences, proceedings, and other work-related events is required within the relevant state. This is in addition to travel required for retreats, and other internal organizational meetings within WRA’s region.  This is approximately 10-15% of the time depending on the location of work. 

Salary And Benefits

The salary range is $86,500-$121,000 annually; salary depends on relevant experience and new staff rarely start at the top of the range. WRA’s excellent benefits package includes a 401(k)-retirement plan with up to 5% matching and health, dental, vision, and life & disability insurance with 100% of premiums paid by WRA. Annually, staff receive seventeen days paid vacation leave to start, twelve paid sick days, one paid volunteer day, twelve paid holidays, and WRA is closed for Winter Break between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day for additional paid time off. Employees are eligible for up to twelve weeks of parental leave, and after five years, staff are eligible for up to twelve weeks of paid sabbatical leave. Position is full-time exempt.


Deadline To Apply: Open Until Filled with priority review beginning on Monday, April 22, 2024.

Diversity and inclusion are a critical component of our business strategy, mission and vision. We welcome candidates from an array of backgrounds and experiences to join our team. Learn more about our commitment here:

Western Resource Advocates is an equal opportunity employer (EOE) and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, marital status, amnesty, or veteran status.


Apply To Be WRA’s Senior Policy Advisor, Healthy Rivers!

Thank you for your interest in the Senior Policy Advisor, Healthy Rivers position with Western Resource Advocates. You will need to upload the following in PDF format:

  • Cover letter describing your relevant qualifications and the reason for your interest in WRA and this position
  • Resume.