Government Relations Specialist 

The Island Institute Published: November 8, 2022
Rockland, Maine
Skill Level
Mid Level
Job Type
(Number of Job Posting Views: 1)

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Island Institute was founded in 1983 and throughout its history, the organization has addressed a variety of needs in Maine’s island and coastal communities and focuses on helping them tackle the most pressing environmental and socioeconomic issues they face. Right now, our primary focus is on climate solutions, resilient economies, and strong leadership. 

There’s a lot more to our fascinating story.  Learn more at

Position Overview

Island Institute has a new opportunity for a Government Relations Specialist who will be an essential member of our team in helping the organization fulfill its mission.  We are seeking an individual who is a mission-driven leader capable of deploying significant skill in navigating government institutions and connecting meaningful community-based work to these institutions.

This significant opportunity will deliver real world outcomes concerning government policy, funding, and regulatory changes that positively impact Maine’s island and coastal communities and will help the Island Institute achieve our desired impact in the world.  The Government Relations Specialist will work across project teams both strategically and responsively to connect Island Institute work, staff, and partners to governmental processes.  In addition, the Government Relations Specialist enhances the Island Institute’s effectiveness at influencing state and national government officials on behalf of the organization, our constituents, and our partners.


The responsibilities of this position include but are not limited to the following:

  • Designing and executing effective, pro-active policy strategies working with both project teams and community partners
  • Providing response, guidance and action to urgent policy needs as they arise in communities. Identifying policy agendas that may work against the best interests of island and coastal communities and develop effective responses to these challenges
  • Representing the Island Institute in statewide or national coalitions
  • Participating in and actively contributing to key state-level advisory committees or other stakeholder groups
  • Implementing relationship building work that strengthens the connections to key legislative or agency officials and the Island Institute and our partners
  • Managing projects, budgets, and constituent records for the team
  • Tracking issues of importance to both projects and communities through the legislative process
  • Working closely with Island Institute staff and teams to create and implement effective strategies to maximize public funding available to directly support community initiatives and the work of the Island Institute
  • Building and maintaining a diverse professional network of organizations and policy makers across Maine
  • Working collaboratively with Island Institute teams to create synergies between policy work and project work across strategic priority areas


We are eager to talk to if your professional interests align strongly with the goals of the Island Institute and you are skilled in the following areas:

  • Have an advanced degree, preferably in policy, political science, law, or a related field
  • Five years’ experience working in policy, advocacy, or a related field
  • Experience working with networks and coalitions to influence policymaking
  • Skilled in working with local leaders in natural resource-dependent communities
  • Proven success with policy initiatives that have brought funding to rural communities
  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills. Specifically, the ability to effectively convey the organization’s mission, priorities, and programs to diverse audiences in a variety of formats. Can speak about the organization’s work in an articulate, professional, and compelling manner (one-on-one and with groups)
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills and ability to build relationships and interact effectively with a variety of audiences and in various settings
  • The ability to listen in communities and in partnerships to inform, develop and implement responsive programming
  • The ability and willingness to travel both locally and nationally


  • For the well-qualified candidate, we offer a competitive salary of $65,000 annually. $65,000 (depending on experience).


  • Island Institute has an attractive benefits program to include health, dental, vision, company provided life insurance, a retirement plan with an employer match of up to 6% of the employee contribution. 
  • We offer membership benefits to all employees, a 20% discount at our Archipelago retail store, generous paid time off policy and 13 paid holidays!  

Island Institute is committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals. In keeping with our commitment, Island Institute will take the steps to assure that people with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations. Accordingly, if reasonable accommodation is required to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform the essential functions of the position, and/or to receive all other benefits and privileges of employment, please contact Deb Bartol at

Island Institute is a nonprofit organization and an equal opportunity "at-will" employer committed to providing equal employment opportunities based upon an individual's ability and qualifications. We do not discriminate against people based on race, citizenship, ancestry, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, mental or physical disability. For more information about the Island Institute, please visit

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