Policy Analyst – Planning & Natural Resources Management

Policy Analyst – Planning & Natural Resources Management

The Washington State Association of Counties (WSAC) is a private, not-for-profit corporation that provides legislative advocacy, education and training, business programs, and professional services to elected and appointed officials in Washington State’s 39 Counties.

Position Overview

This Policy Analyst position provides research, analysis, and technical assistance primarily related to a wide and diverse set of policy issues related to planning and natural resource management including climate change, environment, timber, land use, water, housing, growth management, and coastal ecosystems as well as other topics that are aligned with and supported by state contracts and dues assessments.

The Policy Analyst is part of the Policy and Government Relations. This position is responsible for ensuring professional, timely and excellent customer service is provided internally and externally by delivering in depth research and analysis on issues affecting Washington’s Counties. This position works with various teams throughout the organization, including WSAC members. The Policy Analyst may also represent the Association and our members with various statewide or regional committees, advisory groups, and other work groups.


  • Conduct research and objective analysis in subject areas under review or consideration by the Association, legislature, and state agencies within the assigned policy areas.
  • Write and edit articles, fact sheets, research reports, and technical information for print and electronic publications.
  • Respond to inquiries from Association members, Association staff and supervisors, and state agency and legislative staff regarding subject matter issues.
  • Collaborate as an effective team member or team leader to plan, organize, and implement projects.
  • Establish and maintain assigned policy subject area relationships with members, affiliate groups, and state agency and legislative staff.
  • Complete other duties as assigned or self-initiated with supervisor approval.

Our Ideal Candidate

The Policy Analyst is driven to provide excellent customer service in a fast-paced environment. The successful candidate supports staff, members, and related parties by providing reliable, timely, and accurate data, analysis, and policy information. The Analyst must be able to organize large amounts of data, analyze, and create meaningful reports and visualizations that enhance the Association’s ability to communicate complex information to support policy development, lobbying, and funding. The Policy Analyst must also be able to succinctly synthesize information, provide options and alternatives, and develop concise and well thought out recommendations.  The successful candidate must have excellent written and oral communication skills. An understanding of the state’s growth management framework, local planning and permitting processes, natural resource management issues, and how they relate to and impact county government’s role and responsibilities will serve as a solid foundation for success. High ethical values are critical to becoming a key player in policy activities, to work effectively with staff and members, and work independently. Exemplary applicants will have proven experience to match the responsibilities. The analyst will not work as a lobbyist but will work in support of WSAC’s lobbyists with quick results often required.

Desired Qualifications and Demonstrated Abilities

  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in political science, public administration, natural resource management, planning, environmental science, or a related field.
  • Four or more years of professional related research and analysis experience and familiarity with Washington local government, the state Legislature or intergovernmental relations, County specific knowledge preferred OR any equivalent combination of education, experience, and training that provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities.
  • Three or more years of experience related to the policy focus areas of responsibility.
  • Positive, professional, and inherent capacity to be a team player with a small, but highly effective and respected organization.
  • Ability to problem solve, manage competing deadlines, work independently, and exercise autonomous decision making.
  • Ability to think analytically and to present information creatively and meaningfully.
  • Strong communication skills that are adaptable to fit a variety of audiences.
  • Proactive in interpreting quantitative data, staying informed and ahead of upcoming issues and policy matters.
  • Excellent computer and technical skills. Must be able to work with Microsoft Office applications, including advanced Microsoft Excel skills and the use of pivot tables, advanced charting, formulas, and scripts. Ability to use Microsoft Access for developing relational databases to manage data. Data presentation software.
  • Exceptional attention to detail, quality, and accuracy.

Salary and Employment Information

The salary range for this position is $75,000 – $97,500 and will be directly dependent on the successful applicant’s qualifications and experience. The Washington State Association of Counties also offers an excellent employee benefits package including 11 paid holidays, 100% employer-paid medical employee and full family, dental, vision, a health reimbursement account, and generous 401k contributions. WSAC supports a healthy work/life balance with opportunities for remote work.

This position is exempt and does not have supervisory responsibilities.

All WSAC employees are at will.

To Apply

Individuals interested in applying for this position shall electronically submit a letter of interest and resume to Bridget Lockling, Director of Finance and Administration, Washington State Association of Counties, recruiting@wsac.org. This position is open until filled. Priority screening for candidates applying by January 14, 2022.