Director of Public Policy and Funding

Western Reserve Land Conservancy has an immediate opening for a Director of Public Policy and Funding. This full-time position will be located at the organization’s Conservation Center at 3850 Chagrin River Road, Moreland Hills, Ohio 44022.


Western Reserve Land Conservancy provides the people of northeast Ohio with essential natural assets through land conservation and restoration. Headquartered in Moreland Hills, Ohio, we are the largest land conservancy in Ohio, employing over 40 people in offices throughout northern and eastern portions of the state. Our land conservation team has conserved more than 56,000 acres of natural area and working farms in 23 Ohio counties. Thriving Communities, our urban revitalization program, is nationally recognized for thought leadership on removing blight; creating land banks to find productive uses for vacant properties; and revitalizing communities through greening strategies. Our mission is funded through a combination of program revenue, government grants, consulting fees and philanthropic gifts from individuals, foundations and corporations.

Position Summary

Reporting to the Senior Vice President for Conservation Transactions, the Director of Public Policy and Funding (“Director”) will work on a variety of tasks related to developing and implementing the Land Conservancy’s federal and state public policy platform, as well as leading the effort to secure funding for strategic land acquisitions and conservation easement purchases.

Public policy addresses governmental actions such as legislation, appropriations and rulemaking taken by the administrative or executive branches at federal, state and local levels. This role encompasses tasks including researching and analyzing existing and proposed public programs related to the Land Conservancy’s mission, coordinating and helping to develop positions on public policy, and developing a strategy to educate elected and agency officials on public policy.

Public funding includes identifying grant opportunities at the federal, state and local level plus private sources, and leading a team of grant writing professionals in writing and submitting grants. In addition, the Director oversees grant management for funded projects, including tracking grant requirements and maintaining accurate records.


  • Public Policy
    • Lead the process to establish and implement an annual public policy platform to advance the mission of the Land Conservancy
    • Originate and maintain relationships with elected officials and their staff, and agency officials as required and at least annually
    • Build institutional knowledge on elected officials through Raisers Edge
    • Research, analyze and track federal public policy through legislation, current law, appropriations, and regulations that pertain to the Land Conservancy’s mission
    • Collaborate with other partnerships/coalitions and the Land Conservancy’s external lobbying group to advance public policy agenda and increase public funding to advance the Land Conservancy’s mission
    • Create new collateral materials, outreach and internal materials, as well as educational and advocacy materials such as memos, public testimony, and letters
    • Serve as liaison to affiliated 501(c)4 organization and political action committee (PAC)
  • Public Funding
    • Lead the process of obtaining conservation funding for all land conservation projects, including grant identification, submission and administration
    • Provide direction to internal grant writing team, including assigning specific grant writing projects, editing grant applications and ensuring all applications are timely filed
    • Coordinate research on potential sources of funding from a wide array of public entities
    • Ensure all public funding is correctly tracked and reported to appropriate management and the Board of Trustees
    • Manage a staff of grant writers and, if needed, independent grant writing contractors
    • As required, prepare grant applications and administer them once awarded

Required Education, Experience, Capabilities

  • At least 5 years of experience in public policy or working for a branch of government, preferably in conservation or urban renewal
  • At least 2 years of direct grant writing experience, preferably with federal or state grants and/or in the conservation field
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college is required
  • Must be able to convey a strong passion for the Land Conservancy’s mission and knowledge of its strategies and activities in order to build engagement and support
  • Prior direct people management experience strongly preferred
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills
  • An ability to work independently and in a fast-paced work environment
  • Able to be collegial, flexible and creative
  • Must have good writing skills and ability to communicate policy needs
  • Able to travel as needed

Application Process

Interested individuals should send a resume and cover letter to Bob Kissling, Director of Human Resources, at 

Western Reserve Land Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to hiring staff members who represent the rich diversity of our community. All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment and not be discriminated against based on race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, color, religion, national origin, disability, genetic information, protected veteran’s status, or other legally protected classification in the State of Ohio. 

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