RAY Conservation Diversity Fellow/Government Relations

POSITION TITLE: RAY Conservation Diversity Fellow/ Government Relations

DEPARTMENT/PROGRAM: Government Relations                

REPORTS TO: Associate Director, Government Relations    

STATUS: Regular, Full-Time                             

LOCATION: Washington, DC                             


Inspired by efforts to increase racial diversity in conservation and clean energy, the Roger Arliner Young (RAY) Diversity Fellowship Program aims to increase and facilitate environmentally-related career pathways for emerging leaders of color. The RAY Fellowship Program is a paid fellowship designed to equip recent college graduates with the tools, experiences, support, and community they need to become leaders in the conservation and clean energy sectors—one that, in our visions of the future, fully represents, includes, and is led by the diverse communities, perspectives, and experiences of the United States.


Ocean Conservancy works to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together with our partners, we create evidence-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it.


Ocean Conservancy’s Government Relations team is looking for an individual with an interest in politics, public policy, and advocacy to join our team as a RAY Conservation Diversity Fellow to help increase the organization’s visibility and influence in Congress and with the administration. Our team’s mission is to create an environment where we can work with decision-makers to enact conservation policy that benefits the health of the ocean, the climate, and the communities and wildlife that depend on it.

We would welcome a RAY Fellow with strong interpersonal skills and a passion for affecting positive change for our ocean. The individual will have the opportunity to work with other GR and program staff to conduct background research and develop and push for policy solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing the ocean. The individual will have the opportunity to work with all of our major conservation program areas, including climate policy, fisheries, Arctic, ocean planning, marine debris, Florida, and would have the ability to work on a signature long-term advocacy project in a specific area of interest. Additionally, the individual will have the opportunity to work on election outcome planning across programs. The Fellow would gain immense knowledge of the political and policy process and would have the opportunity to interact with individuals across the organization, in external coalitions with other NGOs, and with Congressional, agency, and administration staff. There would be an opportunity for the Fellow to work with programs that most directly overlap with the Fellows’ interests.


  • Conducts background research on specific conservation policy areas
  • Prepares biographical background materials on Members of Congress
  • Helps the GR team track meetings and identify outreach gaps.
  • Attends congressional hearings and markups and provides updates to the Government Relations team and program staff
  • Attends program team meetings to provide project support to GR team members and gain exposure to ocean conservation policy areas
  • Monitors developments during electoral cycles and works with Government Relations team members to prepare OC programs for electoral transitions
  • Tracks legislative proposals of interest to OC programs
  • Works with Government Relations team and program staff to coordinate stakeholder advocacy fly-ins (virtual or in-person)
  • Manages “Ocean Conversation” events to increase OC visibility with members of Congress and the environmental community
  • Drafts a variety of written communications products for use in direct lobbying (such as op-eds, letters, fact sheets, etc.)
  • Attends congressional and administration meetings with GR team members and coordinates follow-up needs
  • Writes blogs and develops sample social media posts for use by allies in advocacy pushes


In addition to the responsibilities at the host institution outlined above, RAY Fellows will spend, on average, 2-4 hours per week (5-10% of work time) on the following:

  • Actively communicating and building community with their RAY Fellow cohort and previous RAY Fellows.
  • Attending monthly check-ins calls (including 1-on-1 check-ins with RAY program staff and group calls with their RAY Fellow cohort).
  • Meeting regularly with mentors both inside and outside the host institution.
  • Attending monthly professional development webinars, trainings, and other opportunities to build knowledge and skills.
  • Developing a Personal Leadership Plan (PLP) in their 2nd year with the support of supervisor(s), mentors, RAY program staff, and their RAY Fellow cohort. The PLP will serve as a tool for self-reflection, planning, and assessing progress towards professional, personal, and leadership goals.
  • Preparing and leading an hour-long end-of-fellowship webinar highlighting their Fellowship experience.

RAY Fellows will also attend:

  • A 3-day Orientation Retreat in November 2022.
  • A 3-day Mid-Fellowship Leadership Retreat in September 2023.


Eligible RAY Fellow applicants will:

  • Come from a racial/ethnic background underrepresented in conservation and clean energy and demonstrate a commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Be no more than 1 year out of college and have a Bachelor's Degree by September 2022 (we are not considering individuals with graduate degrees at this time).
  • Have not had a full-time job in conservation or clean energy.
  • Have the ability to work in the United States and commit to the entire fellowship.


  • A college degree by the time of employment; preference for applicants with a degree in marine science, communications, political science or public administration
  • An interest in the field of conservation
  • Interest in politics and the public policy process
  • Demonstrated intellect and leadership.
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills.
  • An eagerness to learn.
  • Strong interpersonal, oral, written communication, and project management skills


This is a two-year, full-time fellowship (one year with a one year renewal) starting on or after September 12, 2022.


The Fellowship is compensated and sponsored by Ocean Conservancy, who offers a competitive benefits package as well as training and professional development opportunities. This full time, non-exempt position is paid at $25/per hour (approximately $52,000 per year).


To apply for the RAY Fellowship Program, applicants must:

  • Complete the online application survey on the RAY Fellowship Program website: https://rayfellowship.org/apply
  • Follow the instructions on the linked application webpage to submit a resume or curriculum vitae, one essay response, one visioning response, one short answer response, and a letter of support.
  • Applications must be submitted to the RAY Fellowship Program no later than June 26, 2022. Transcripts and additional writing samples are not required. If you have questions please see our FAQ page, attend an informational webinar or watch a recording, and any further questions about the application process can be submitted to the RAY Program Manager, Charlie Espedido, via email at charlie@elpnet.org.

Ocean Conservancy is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, sex, handicap, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran status. Ocean Conservancy is continually seeking to diversify its staff, particularly to broaden opportunities for individuals from demographic groups that are historically underrepresented in the sciences and in environmental advocacy.