Job Details

Research Specialist, NCAI Institute for Environmental Sovereignty

Open Date:


Close Date:



National Congress of American Indians


Washington DC / Remote / Hybrid

Skills And Qualifications:

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  • Bachelor's degree in public policy, public administration, tribal governance or administration, American Indian/Native American studies, education, law, economics, or a related field;
  • One or more years of experience working on Indian policy and/or with American Indian/Alaska Native tribal governments is strongly preferred;
  • Availability and willingness to travel, as necessary (Up to 25% of work time);
  • Possess advanced writing skills and the ability to summarize detailed issues into easy to read and understood documents; and
  • Ability to proofread and edit the Initiative's work with other team members.


  • Knowledge of land, natural resources, climate change, conservation, and other environmental sustainability issue areas, including as those policy areas related to tribal governments;
  • Strong working knowledge of Native American culture and the natural resources and environmental sustainability issues impacting tribal governments, experience in tribal government operations or understanding tribal governments a plus;
  • Strong communication skills both orally and writing in an effective, organized, professional, and timely manner, including authorship, editing, and proofreading;
  • Attention to detail, accuracy, and deadlines;
  • Strong organizational skills to manage multiple overlapping projects;
  • Excellent problem solving and negotiation skills;
  • Ability to effectively collect, analyze, organize, distill, and present information;
  • Ability to represent NCAI in a professional manner;
  • Demonstrated experience working collaboratively with diverse stakeholders, including tribal leaders, intertribal organizations, legislative staff, federal agencies, and non-governmental organizations;
  • Ability to articulate an agenda and plan to advance policy priorities within issue areas, as assigned;
  • Strong writing, interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills;
  • Possess the ability to take direction, work independently, and take initiative within areas of responsibility while working in a team-oriented environment; and
  • Experience with and enthusiasm for working in a fast-paced, dynamic, and high-pressure environment.

Duties And Responsibilities:

Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) is the oldest, largest, and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people, and rights.


NCAI established its Institute for Environmental Sovereignty in 2020 to advocate, advance, and support Indian Country’s leading discussions on policy issues related to climate change, conservation, food security, natural resource management, and other environmental concerns. The Institute for Environmental Sovereignty is also made up of two arms of advocacy: (1) Policy – to advance the policy priorities of Tribal Nations and their citizens and (2) Tribal Governance and Research – to develop and share new knowledges, tools, and resources to best support tribal governance and assist in capacity building. The Research Specialist of NCAI’s Institute for Environmental Sovereignty will support the resource development and advocacy functions of NCAI with respect to environmental protection, food sovereignty, climate change, conservation, and other related areas.

Under the direction of NCAI’s staff leadership and the Director of the Institute for Environmental Sovereignty carrying out the primary duties of the Research Specialist – NCAI Institute for Environmental Sovereignty includes but are not limited to:

  • Lead or participate in the design, management, and evaluation of research and resource development projects;
  • Coordinating with NCAI's Policy and Research Teams to develop data and tribal best practice- informed policy education materials for dissemination to federal policymakers and staff;
  • Assist in developing talking points, written testimony, and reports for NCAI's Executive Committee members;
  • Identify, collate, prepare, archive, and publicly share informational and educational resources in coordination with the Initiative's partners;
  • Provide technical assistance to tribal nations and leaders through webinars, in-person educational sessions, and other direct engagements;
  • Coordinate and execute various public facing events - both virtual and in-person gatherings - including large-scale issue area meetings, town hall events, task forces, working groups, webinars, and NCAI conference sessions;
  • Contribute to overall NCAI activities, such as general support of conferences and events, through completion of other team-based duties as assigned; and
  • Other duties as assigned.

Salary And Benefits:

Annual Salary: Negotiable based on experience and skill set related to the qualifications stated.

Contact Info:

Please send your cover letter and resume to Ron Teliszczak, HR Director, at

Contact Email:

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