Website Washington DNR

Location: Olympia, WA

Salary: $100,000 – $120,000 annually


Work for Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to develop policies that will lift up all Washingtonians. This includes advancing bold, forward-thinking initiatives that boost rural and urban economies, tackle the biggest challenges facing our forests and public lands, and build stronger, more connected, healthier and more equitable communities. Our public lands provide a wide array of benefits to our state and communities, including hundreds of millions of dollars for schools, hospitals, and libraries, ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration and flood mitigation, and special places to support human health and enjoy the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Under the leadership of Commissioner Franz, the agency is expanding opportunities that protect our lands and waterways and benefit our communities.

DNR is working to further advance our work in relation to equity and environmental justice. Powerful new guidance from recent legislative sessions helped to chart a course for Washington State agencies including DNR to tackle these issues in a coordinated way; these include the Healthy Environments for All (HEAL) Act (SSB 5141) and ESSB 1781 establishing the Office of Equity. These and other policies will help contribute to achieving environmental justice and eliminating systemic barriers for historically and currently marginalized groups. There is much critical work to be done, and DNR is up for the challenge.

We recognize that numerous fundamental inequities exist in Washington state and across the country, including, but not limited to, structural racism, significant wealth and resource disparities, and disparate health impacts for certain communities and regions. We stand ready to address these issues in clear and strategic ways that will help us to better serve all Washington communities while fulfilling our mandates and reducing risk to the trusts, boards and resources.

At the helm of this work will be DNR’s Director of Equity and Environmental Justice. This critical new position will lead our work to develop and implement an equity and environmental justice strategic plan, a community engagement plan, establish and implement equity-based targets in program implementation and budgeting, and much more. This role will represent DNR on the new statewide EJ Council to incorporate recommendations and support coordination across agencies.

Our Director of Equity and Engagement will be part of DNR’s senior leadership team, and will be relied on to provide guidance in principled, transparent, constructive ways to ensure DNR’s work holds equity and inclusion in its core. However you will not be a lone voice, but rather will guide and participate in strategic teams and processes to incorporate a diverse array of voices across the agency. Expect to be challenged, but know you will have a team to support you. This position will require working closely with DNR’s Office of Workplace Culture and Development and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion director and Council, as well as working across all DNR programs and with key partners including Tribes, trust beneficiaries, community organizations, and other stakeholders.

Recent successes that this position will build upon include:

  • DNR’s recent Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion organizational assessment.
  • Incorporating environmental justice into significant agency request legislation, including our landmark Forest Health and Reduction of Wildfire Dangers bill (2SHB 1168) and the Evergreen Communities Act update (E2HB 1216)
  • Building environmental justice into new agency tools and analyses including our online salmon recovery mapping tool, SalmonLink, and rural broadband needs assessments.

The Director of Equity and Environmental Justice serves at the pleasure of the Commissioner and reports directly to the Policy Director/Chief Resilience Officer.

Duties and Responsibilities

As the Director of Equity and Environmental Justice, your colleagues will entrust you to:

  • Support agency to review program policies, practices (including budget), and engagement efforts on issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and environmental justice.
  • Recommend, elevate and/or lead changes at the organizational, state and federal policy levels where DNR has delegated authority.
  • Identify gaps and voices not at the table. Make recommendations and connections to community organizations, agencies, and leaders.
  • Represent DNR for legislative efforts related to Equity and/or Environmental Justice through reviewing bills, working with legislators and Governor’s staff, and influencing policy positions.
  • Build on DNR’s DEI and Environmental Justice Organizational Assessments and recommend changes to agency policies, processes, and practices to support the development of an equity and environmental justice strategic plan and future equity and workforce goals.
  • Use community engagement best practices; establish and manage clear communication channels with communities to course correct, as needed.
  • Partner with DNR’s Workplace Culture and Development office and Human Resources to integrate agency best practices to address biases in recruitment and hiring processes and retention; promote a workforce that reflects the diversity of Washington State.
  • Partner with DNR’s Workplace Culture and Development office and Human Resources to develop, deliver, and coordinate training and other educational opportunities/learning pathways that advance the agency’s goals of diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect.
  • Contribute to development of related programs such as an education program, bringing an equity lens to program design and partnership development.
  • Mentor and advise staff-level employees and leaders on community engagement efforts in alignment with the agency’s Community Engagement Guide.
  • Ensure representation on the Environmental Justice Council.
  • Lead the development of DNR’s environmental justice assessment plans for significant agency actions.
  • Engage with overburdened communities and vulnerable populations to complete environmental justice assessment obligations.
  • Coordinate with DNR’s Director of Tribal Relations and Tribal governments to develop a consultation framework on the environmental justice implementation, community engagement plan, and significant agency actions that affect federally recognized Tribal rights and Tribal land interests.
  • Build climate resilience and increase climate justice with communities and populations that are disproportionally affected by climate change.
  • Bring creative thinking to the development and implementation of long-range strategic policy initiatives and issues, and translate long-range goals into short-term actionable projects.


Who are we looking for?
You share our vision for addressing systemic oppression and inequality. You know the importance of achieving a more equitable and robust approach to protecting and restoring our environment. You recognize and understand when we successfully address traditionally overburdened and underserved communities, we amplify the impact of our work for the benefit of all. You believe that championing this work with other communities is critical. You are a relationship builder. You are a great communicator, listener, and facilitator who draws people into collaboration, ensuring all voices are heard and valued. You demonstrate sensitivity in relationships, conflicts, and emotionally charged situations. You appreciate that individual journeys vary in this work and you value accountability.

Desired Qualifications

  • A Bachelor’s Degree or higher in political science, public policy, business administration, environmental science or another field relevant to the position’s responsibilities OR four years of relevant experience may substitute for a degree.
  • Strategic planning experience, including development of annual and biannual plans with demonstrated ability to conceptualize and articulate future direction and measurable goals.
  • Policy development or program implementation related to natural resources or environment.
  • Experience managing relationships with high-level, influential, elected and appointed officials with a proven track record of consensus building, collaboration, and negotiations that reflect a strong understanding of legislative processes and inter-government relations.
  • A strong history of engaging with disproportionately impacted and historically marginalized communities to also include Tribal governments on natural resource management or environmental issues.
  • Demonstrated ability to build relationships and collaborate with internal and external partners and stakeholders to cultivate an environment of engagement, belonging, respect, empathy, active listening and trust.
  • Demonstrated ability to create a workplace where differences are embraced; fosters strong sense of team through diverse points of view, talents, and capabilities.
  • A successful track record working with state agencies, city, county, and federal governments, and tribal and public entities.
  • Strong problem solving skills, creative thinking ability, and innovative mindset and approach.
  • Active listening skills as demonstrated by the ability to resolve conflicts; receive and convey ideas, thoughts and information.
  • Experience working for an elected official or high-level executive.
  • Experience working with or applying policy decisions from the Washington Health Disparities Map or other data-driven equity tool.
  • Experience leading policy and system change or managing in a large agency or organization to advance equity initiatives.
  • DNR Core Competencies:
    • Personal Accountability
    • Value Others
    • Compassionate Communication
    • Inspire Others
    • Commitment to Excellence
  • IMPORTANT NOTE:The Commissioner of Public Lands has instituted a requirement that all employees of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 18, 2021, as a condition of employment.   Vaccination status will be verified at the time an offer of employment is made.  An accommodation may be available for individuals who have a sincerely held religious belief or a medical reason for not receiving the COVID-19 vaccination.

We highly encourage you to apply even if you do not have all of the desired qualifications.

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