Public Affairs and Advocacy Manager (2676)

Organization: Woodland Park Zoo (AZA Member)
Location: Seattle, WA, United States
Job or Internship: Job

DEPARTMENT: Public Affairs

REPORTS TO: Director, Communications and Public Affairs


PAY RATE: Compensation based on experience


Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, award-winning Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle is famed for pioneering naturalistic exhibits and setting a standard for zoos all over the world. The zoo is helping to save endangered species in Washington State and around the world. By inspiring visitors and others to learn, care and act, Woodland Park Zoo is making a difference in our planet’s future.

This is your opportunity to join the dynamic External Relations team at Woodland Park Zoo. Applications are now being accepted for Public Affairs and Advocacy Manager in the Public Affairs department. There is one full-time, regularly benefited position to be filled at this time.


Advances Woodland Park Zoo’s mission through activities that educate the community and mobilize support. Responsible for managing advocacy campaigns/groups and supporting legislative outreach; communicating public policy and information; collaborating with zoo staff and volunteers to implement community outreach activities; building connections to community groups and overseeing community events; and making connections for zoo senior staff with external audiences.


- At the direction of the Director of Communications and Public Affairs, develop and manage external outreach projects in support of the zoo’s mission and business plan to create support and advocacy for Woodland Park Zoo, and to reinforce the value the zoo brings to the community.

- Support strategic relationships with various community members, organizations and key populations in the Puget Sound and surrounding areas so as to collaborate in advocacy and coalition work supporting zoo priorities.

- Manage Neighborhood Liaison Committee and collaborate with other departments to educate and engage the neighborhood in both short- and long-range plans; ensure timely communication with the zoo’s many stakeholders on ongoing and future zoo events and activities.

- Develop, plan and oversee community relations efforts to build grass-roots support, including initiatives to enhance outreach opportunities.

- Work with Communications staff to develop content for a coordinated and innovative zoo-wide strategy of online supporter engagement, consulting with departments including Education, Conservation and Marketing; provide original content and support for zoo publications and electronic media.

- Manage ZooAction advocacy project, maximizing the use of ZooAction and other online tools in a coordinated advocacy engagement strategy.

- Maintain the zoo’s strong lines of communication that engage and inform key audiences, build important relationships and bring vital information back to the zoo for analysis and action.

- Collaborate with the Marketing department to build relationships with the neighborhood business community and local organizations.

- Enhance and manage tracking and reporting system for grassroots efforts and supporter base engagement and growth.

- Actively seek external audiences for zoo’s CEO, executive team and senior staff at community meetings and events.

- Provide direction and train grassroots volunteers in advocacy efforts.

- Perform other duties as assigned.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

- Proven advocacy campaign experience with a minimum of five years’ public affairs experience, project management experience and advocacy outreach activities.

- Strong understanding of, and appreciation for, conservation issues/zoo mission and vision; comfortable working in a very mission- and values-driven environment.

- Articulate and well-spoken, capable of effectively representing the organization and making strong, compelling presentations to diverse audiences, both within and outside the organization.

- Strategic thinking and orientation abilities, including solid planning and organizational skills; proactive with respect to public affairs and government relations requirements, both short term and long term.

- Ability to establish strong working relationships, both internally and externally, and work effectively with others throughout the institution; understanding and sensitivity to public and private partnerships.

- Ability to work effectively under pressure and effectively manage critical government relations issues.

- Proven management of digital media tools.

- Strong interpersonal, verbal and written communication, and listening skills.

- Ability to excel in external situations, facilitating and manage meetings, and dialogue and community conversations.

- Enjoys a challenge, is passionate about the position, and committed to excellence.

- Confident with a high energy level; self-motivated, and also thrive in a team environment.

- Commitment to the mission of the zoo and the institution’s Core Values.


Bachelor’s degree (B.S. or B.A.) in political science, public affairs or a relevant business-related field from an accredited college or university; five to seven years’ public affairs experience; or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Public affairs experience must be directly relevant and include demonstrated success in developing and maintaining relationships with external stake-holders as well as public officials on a local, regional, and/or national level, including an established network of contacts.


Valid Washington State Driver’s License


Proficient in Microsoft Office applications (e.g. Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint) and database management software packages. Knowledge of online media required.


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit and use hands to finger, handle, or feel. The position requires an ability to walk or transit across the 92-acre facility in variable weather conditions as well as perform a rigorous schedule of on and off-site meetings with groups and individuals that may include some evening and weekend meetings.

The employee is occasionally required to reach with hands and arms; stoop, kneel and crouch. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 15 pounds. The employee is frequently required to talk or hear. Specific vision abilities required include close vision, color vision, and ability to adjust focus.


The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee works in a typical office environment with moderate noise levels.


Applications are only accepted online through our Jobs page at; no other forms of application will be accepted. Cover letter, resume and writing samples are REQUIRED when applying for this position. Please upload work samples in Step Four (Profile Attachments) of the application process. NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE.


Woodland Park Zoo is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, dedicated to a policy of non-discrimination in employment on any basis including race, color, age, sex, religion, national origin, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, or gender identity/expression.

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