Policy Specialist

Michigan Environmental Council Published: July 8, 2021
Lansing, MI
Job Type
Policy /

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Created in 1980 to lead Michigan’s environmental movement, the Michigan Environmental Council (MEC) is a coalition of more than 70 organizations with offices in Lansing and Detroit.

MEC combines deep environmental policy expertise, close connection to state and federal decision-makers and relationships with broad alliances to achieve positive public policy solutions to our most challenging environmental issues. 

Position Overview

Michigan Environmental Council seeks a Policy Specialist to coordinate and support MEC efforts to defend Michigan’s environment by shaping policy decisions made in the State Capitol. The position will have a primary focus on policy related to the City of Detroit. In addition this position will serve to cover new issues areas that arise from time to time. 

This position conducts research; analyzes policy proposals; educates decision makers on policy priorities and organizational positions; develops and executes issue strategy campaigns; and advocates for MEC’s water priority policies in the legislature and with the administration and executive agencies. An ideal candidate will utilize a range of skills and relationships to strengthen Michigan’s environmental resilience in the face of weakened environmental standards, unsustainable land use practices and a changing climate. The position requires regular work in MEC’s Lansing headquarters and in the city of Detroit. A significant portion of this position involves directly interfacing with elected officials and government staff.

This is an entry level position where the employee will work collaboratively with the Policy staff and reports to the Policy Director.


General Duties:

  • Provide written and oral advocacy to further MEC’s public health, climate, mobility, appropriations, and land use priorities at the Michigan Legislature, the executive branch, and state agencies. 
  • Analyze environmental policy proposals (both legislative and executive branch) and monitor their progress through state decision-making processes.
  • Educate policymakers and staff about environmental concerns and priorities.
  • Work with external consultants and partners to align strategies and goals.
  • Represent MEC at various workgroup and stakeholder tables
  • Generate research and advocacy reports.
  • Strengthen, develop and nurture relationships with state decision makers and elected officials, and sustain durable partnerships with a network of allies 

Detroit Program:

  • Actively support the Detroit Environmental Agenda in collaboration with Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, including:
    • Recruiting and supporting members
    • Supporting an effective coalition committee structure
    • Tracking and focusing attention on the DEA strategic plan
  • Ensure synergy between MEC’s policy agenda and Detroiter priorities, including:
    • Reviewing and reporting on state and local policy proposals  
    • Tracking bills in Lansing
    • Evaluating MEC policy priorities for environmental justice implications
    • Identifying, recruiting and supporting Detroit leaders of color for state-level appointments and nonprofit environmental and conservation boards
    • Creating opportunities for Detroiters to engage and comment on state policy issues
  • Strengthen MEC’s authentic presence in Detroit by:
    • Hosting quarterly state policy briefings with Detroit neighborhood and issue leaders
    • Ensuring MEC’s participation and representation on key city organizations and coalitions
  • Advise MEC’s development staff on opportunities with foundations and donors 

  • Attend and support various coalitions, including:
    • Michigan  Environmental Justice Coalition
    • Center for Urban Responses to  Environmental Stressors
    • WECR (Policy Link water table)
    • Motion Coalition
    • Asthma Alliance



  • Familiarity with the principles of environmental justice and the impact and relevance of race in environmental policy and projects 
  • Comfort advocating to public officials and coalition partners to advance key environmental issues
  • Strong written and oral communications advocacy, interpersonal relationship and teamwork skills
  • A proven strong work-ethic and willingness to go the extra mile
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite and Google (GSuite)
  • Ability to work well independently and as part of a team, meet deadlines and balance multiple tasks
  • Experience or aptitude working in diverse coalitions, alliances or other groups 


  • One to three years’ experience in legislative analysis, policy or political advocacy or other nonprofit work 
  • Experience with and understanding of city of Detroit environmental issues and organizations
  • Understanding and familiarity with Michigan state appropriations process
  • Aptitude for and interest in politics and environmental public policy
  • Professional demeanor, sense of humor and positive attitude
  • Solid grasp of current issues related to agriculture and water policy and familiarity with environmental issues and expertise in one or more of MEC’s core program areas 

Other Position Notes

  • The successful candidate for this position will be required to register as a lobbyist.
  • This position works in both Lansing and Detroit. Due to COVID-19, the position will be remote until such time as it is safe to resume in-office work. 
  • This position requires occasional work outside of normal hours including evenings and weekends.

Compensation Package

  • MEC provides staff with an industry-leading compensation package. T
  • he Policy Specialist position includes a salary of $30,000 to $42,000 commensurate with experience, full medical, dental, and vision benefits: organizational matching to a 403(b) retirement program and unlimited paid time off.

Application Process

  • Please click "Apply" below to email a single PDF with 1) a strong, detailed cover letter, 2) a resume, and #) at least three references.
  • Type “Policy Specialist” in the subject line.
  • Incomplete submissions will not be reviewed.
  • Please direct questions about the job description to Policy Director Sean Hammond (sean@environmentalcouncil.org).
  • Application review will begin now and continue until the position is filled.

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