Policy and Engagement Manager (Washington, DC Metro Region)

Remote (Washington D.C., DC, USA)
about 2 months ago
Contract position


Ecosystem Services Market Consortium

Falls Church, VA, USA

ESMC is a non-profit that works to compensate farmers and ranchers who improve the environment through their agricultural practices. Our ...

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Job Description

Position Location: Washington, DC Metro Region 

Position Term: Annual Contract Basis 

Required for Consideration: Interested applicants should send a tailored cover letter and resume, along with annual compensation requirements and possible start date to info@ecosystemservicesmarket.org 

Position Posting Close Date: Position posting will remain open until filled. Applicants will be considered on a rolling basis. 


  • The ESMC/ESMRC Policy and Member Engagement Manager will work as part of a professional team in a virtual office environment, serving as ESMC/ESMRC’s lead on public policy issues that are relevant to ESMC/ESMRC’s mission and vision and the success of our agricultural ecosystem services market program.  
  • The Policy and Member Engagement Manager will identify public policy opportunities, obstacles, and barriers to a fully optimized ecosystem services market program and work to achieve beneficial outcomes for each. ESMC’s program incentivizes, quantifies, tracks and delivers credits for increased soil carbon, reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, enhanced water quality and water use conservation, and biodiversity outcomes within agricultural supply chains. The credits help meet the commitments and objectives of agricultural supply chain and value chain buyers and other actors seeking to increase regenerative, climate smart, and sustainable agricultural outcomes. Our program supports resilient agricultural production systems based on the adoption of optimized agro-ecosystem management. The outcomes of our program help to protect and improve our nation’s supply of food, feed, and fiber and ecosystem services outcomes while delivering financial and other benefits to the farmers, ranchers, and their communities on whom the stewardship of working agricultural lands rests.  
  • The Policy and Member Engagement Manager is responsible for creating and implementing a strategic policy plan to track national and federal level policy issues important to the success of ESMC/ESMRC; meaningfully engaging ESMC/ESMRC’s collaborative membership, stakeholders and the ESMC team to get input into and to execute the strategic plan; and for engaging stakeholders and policymakers to educate them about ESMC/ESMRC and inform them of ESMC/ESMRC issues, priorities and outcomes.  



The successful candidate will: 

  • Develop and implement an ESMC/ESMRC Strategic Policy Plan that supports ESMC/ESMRC’s mission and vision, the success of ESMC’s Eco-Harvest market program, and the goals and outcomes of ESMRC’s innovation and R&D program. The plan should describe short- (12-month), mid- (3-year) and long-term (5-10 year) policy actions and recommendations and demonstrate how they support ESMC/ESMRC’s mission, vision and operations. 
  • Form and lead an ESMC/ESMRC Policy Committee to regularly engage ESMC/ESMRC Consortium members, stakeholders and team members to keep them informed of timely policy developments relevant to ESMC/ESMRC’s programs, operations and activities, including through regular updates and the development of summary documents, white papers, and other educational materials; 
  • Solicit policy input and share policy updates as appropriate and necessary to support ESMC’s mission, vision, and program buildout. 
  • Solicit member, stakeholder and team input on developing or existing federal and national level policies programs as appropriate to ESMC/ESMRC’s mission, vision and programs.
  • When appropriate, align ESMC policy priorities and other organizations’ policy priorities at a high level to achieve areas of collaboration and common support to aid in constructive and supportive policy and program development.
  • Convene quarterly ESMC/ESMRC seminars for national level agricultural commodity groups and farm membership organizations (including but not limited to, for example, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), the National Farmers Union (NFU), the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), the American Soybean Association (ASA), the US Soy Board (USB), the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG), and the National Sorghum Growers) to provide specific updates relevant to ESMC/ESMRC and private voluntary market programs that are of interest or concern to these organizations and their members and to solicit timely and relevant feedback from these organizations on these topics and additional topics that are important to them. 
  • Develop ESMC/ESMRC position papers, white papers, case studies and relevant informational and educational materials to share as appropriate with policymakers, members, key constituencies and ESMC/ESMRC team. 
  • Interface with and constructively engage with the administrative and legislative branches of the US Government to support achievement of ESMC’s mission, vision, and the success of its national ecosystem services market program and innovation and R&D programs, including via collaborative opportunities with ESMC/ESMRC Consortium members.
  • Within the US administrative branch the US Department and Agriculture (USDA) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are high priorities for ESMC federal level engagement, although engagement should include all relevant federal agencies as needed to ensure success.
  • Within the US legislative branch engagement with relevant committees and lawmakers and their staff in the US Senate and the US House of Representatives is required to track legislation of relevance to ESMC, spread awareness of ESMC’s work, and engage ESMC members and stakeholders to help educate and inform the legislative branch of ESMC’s programs and activities.
  • Monitor the US Federal Register for relevant notices and open comment periods. Develop appropriate submissions for ESMC/ESMRC by drafting responses and convening ESMC/ESMRC stakeholder meetings to solicit and incorporate feedback on proposed and active policy and rulemakings.
  • Engage state and regional level policymakers in high priority states or regions (as identified by ESMC/ESMRC’s team) and maintain active communications between ESMC staff, contractors, and local stakeholders as necessary to support ESMC program operations and priorities in these localities.
  • Participate in related national level policy forums such as Meridian Institute’s Climate, Food and Ag Dialogue (CFAD), the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance (FACA), and others that may be deemed appropriate to ESMC/ESMRC’s activities and programs.
  • Engage in relevant conferences, workshops and policy forums to present ESMC/ESMRC policy positions, analyses and findings to professional society and/or legislative audiences. 



The following are outcomes and deliverables for the contracted role: 

Within 1 month: 

  • Reconvene ESMC/ESMRC Policy Committee and establish meeting schedule 
  • Join relevant external policy forums as ESMC/ESMRC representative 

Within 3 months: 

  • Draft ESMC/ESMRC Strategic Policy Plan 
  • Establish recurring quarterly ESMC/ESMRC agricultural stakeholder seminar schedule and hold first seminar 

Within 6 months: 

  • Refine ESMC/ESMRC Strategic Policy Plan based on team, member and stakeholder input 

Within 12 months: 

  • Publish a minimum of 6 white papers/policy papers, 3 case studies, and additional relevant educational materials  

ESMC Policy Priorities and Sphere of Influence 

For purposes of this role, ESMC’s focus is privately held working lands defined as agricultural production systems which include commodity crops, tree/nut/vine orchards, range land and pasture and silvopasture. Commercial forestry and urban agriculture landscapes are not included in ESMC’s work to date. The geographic scope of ESMC’s program is currently limited to the agricultural working lands of the lower 48 US states. Policy and program focus and assessments and recommendations shall include, but not be limited to, voluntary markets for carbon and GHGs, as well as voluntary and compliance markets for water quality, water quantity and biodiversity. The policy strategy should anticipate opportunities to stack assets and credits or to segregate and sell them individually. 

ESMC/ESMRC’s 501(c)3 non-profit status prohibits our organization The Policy Director from undertaking any direct lobbying or lobbying activities. 


  • The contractor role will report to the ESMC/ESMRC Director of Engagement and Project Development. Alignment and engagement with the ESMC/ESMRC Executive Director and Leadership Team will also be required to ensure the ESMC leadership is apprised of appropriate updates and issues that impact ESMC/ESMRC in a manner that best serves the organization and the ESMC team. 



  • Occasional travel to in-person meetings, conferences, workshops or trainings is expected, likely on average 2-6 times per year, but contingent on ongoing COVID circumstances. 



  • At least 5 years professional experience in public policy role including relevant experience in the US Senate, US House of Representatives and/or US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Some knowledge/experience with US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) policies and programs impacting US agriculture is desirable. 
  • Working knowledge of USDA agricultural programs and policies, with strong background and experience working with agricultural conservation programs of Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Farm Services Agency (FSA).  
  • The role requires good time management, writing and analytical skills; a self-starter with ability to execute necessary actions and to prioritize workload accordingly and to meet program deadlines; strong interpersonal and communication skills for leadership and team-building and coordination across ESMC/ESMRC team members, members and stakeholders. Excellent writing and organizational skills are required for document development and development of outreach and educational materials to achieve position goals and objectives.  


For more information on ESMC/ESMRC: www.ecosystemservicesmarket.org 


Ecosystem Services Market Consortium

Falls Church, VA, USA

ESMC is a non-profit that works to compensate farmers and ranchers who improve the environment through their agricultural practices. Our ...

View Company Profile