Friends currently has an opening for a Policy Director as well as open positions on its Board of Directors.

Job Opening - Policy Director   

TITLE: Policy Director


REPORTS TO: Executive Director

LOCATION: Minneapolis


The Friend of the Boundary Waters Wilderness (the “Friends”) is seeking a full-time Policy Director. In this role, the Policy Director will help set and implement a policy agenda that furthers the Friends’ mission of protecting, preserving and restoring the wilderness character of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (“Boundary Waters”) and the Quetico-Superior ecosystem.

In 1976, the Friends was founded by passionate wilderness advocates willing to fight for the long- term protection of a beloved landscape – a place where individuals can experience wild lakes and rivers and seek adventure, beauty, rejuvenation and solitude. This effort, which was marked by controversy and sacrifice, and required the bold vision of these early advocates, helped bring full wilderness protection to the Boundary Waters with the passage of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Act in 1978.

Following the 1978 wilderness designation, the Friends emerged as a leading voice for the ongoing protection, preservation and restoration of the Boundary Waters. In recent years, the Friends’ legal and policy work has focused on defending the Boundary Waters against activities that erode its wilderness character and working to ensure that the Boundary Waters, Superior National Forest and Quetico-Superior ecosystem are managed according to sound ecological principles.

Currently, a major focus of the organization is opposing the copper-sulfide mining projects that are proposed for the area outside the Boundary Waters and in the Quetico-Superior watershed, and present the greatest existential threat to the Boundary Waters since its designation as a federally protected wilderness area in 1978.


  • Works closely with the Executive Director to coordinate the Friends’ policy strategies.

  • Works effectively with other departments within the Friends, including Communications, Development, Membership, and Operations.

  • Serves as staff liaison to the Policy Committee of the Board of Directors.


  • Build and participate in collaborative relationships with the Friends’ environmental non- profit partners involved in the fight against copper-sulfide mining in the Boundary Waters and other issues that threaten the Boundary Waters and Quetico-Superior ecosystem.

  • Identify issues as they arise that threaten the wilderness character of the Boundary Waters and Quetico-Superior ecosystem, and help set and implement the advocacy and policy strategies for effectively addressing and responding to such threats.

  • Actively participate in the development and advancement of the Friends’ policy goals and mission for protection of the Boundary Waters at the local, state, and federal levels.

  • Engage in government relations with Congress, Minnesota Legislature, and government agencies to advance the Friends’ policy objectives.


  • Bachelor’s degree in public policy, environmental policy, political science or related fields.

  • A minimum of two to three years of experience managing policy for an organization.

  • Knowledge of public lands conservation and/or mining issues

  • Initiative, good judgment, and a strong work ethic.

  • Ability to work independently and in collaboration with staff and outside partners.

  • Ability to develop and maintain partnerships with community-based or other grassroots groups.

  • Ability and willingness to travel to Northern Minnesota as needed.

  • Passion for preserving the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and its ecosystem.


  • Paid vacation and sick leave, health insurance, and 403(b) retirement plan.

  • In addition to paid vacation and sick leave, the Friends provides a $300 stipend and five additional paid vacation days to each employee to take time off and recharge in the wilderness.

  • Hours of unpaid leave for parents to attend a child’s school conferences, classroom activities, childcare or any other childhood program.

  • $50 per month transportation allowance for public transit or parking.

  • We encourage life-long learning and will pay for ongoing professional development.


Submit a cover letter, resume, three references, and two writing samples to:

Ms. Bree Mattson, Operations Manager

Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness

401 North Third Street, Suite 290

Minneapolis, MN 55401

In the subject line of any electronic communication, please put “Policy Director Position.” Applications will be accepted until April 30, 2019.

At the Friends, we have a clear vision to be the place where a diverse mix of talented people want to come, to stay, and do their best work. The Friends is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age or veteran status.


Job Opening - Board of Director 


The Board of Directors determines the mission, strategic direction, and programming for Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness (“Friends”). A Director ensures and nurtures adequate human and financial resources and actively monitors and evaluates the Executive Director’s performance and the Friends’ financial results. A Director approves and systematically implements policies to ensure achievement of the mission of the Friends.


  • Reports to the Board Chair

  • Works closely with the Executive Director and other staff to ensure the achievement of the mission

  • Works closely with and gets to know other Board and committee members and builds collegial working relationships that contribute to consensus

  • Serves as a spokesperson outside the organization and delivers consistent, compelling messages on mission, programs, and finances, and encourages civic participation 


  • Knows and commits to the Friends’ mission, vision, and values

  • Provides leadership continuity by ensuring Board succession, including identifying, recruiting, and orienting new members

  • Is knowledgeable about Friends’ policies, programs, and operations, and oversees their implementation and evaluation

  • Is accessible and responsive to other Directors and staff

  • Actively seeks out financial and other resources for the organization


  • Engages in strategic planning

  • Approves written policies and procedures governing the work and actions of the Friends’ employees and volunteers

  • Hires, sets the compensation for, and annually evaluates the performance of the Executive Director

  • Reviews the overall compensation structure for staff and establishes policies on employee benefits, vacation, and sick leave 


  • Approve the annual operating budget; at least four times per year assesses the organization’s financial performance

  • Assists in developing fundraising plans and actively participates in fundraising initiatives each year

  • Makes an annual gift to the Friends as circumstances allow. There is no minimum contribution amount, but the Friends should be in a Director’s top three charities for annual giving.

  • Ensure that an internal review of the Friends’ compliance with legal, regulatory, and financial reporting requirements is conducted annually


  • Regularly prepares for, attends, and participates in Board meetings

  • Participates actively in at least one Board committee


  • The Committee Chair presides or assigns someone to preside at all meeting of the respective committee. The Committee Chair has general supervision, direction, and active management of the committee’s affairs, working in partnership with staff and volunteers. The Committee Chair reports to the Board Chair.

Internship Program

There are currently no internship opportunities.