Alliance for the Great Lakes

The Water Policy Analyst leads the Alliance’s work to research and improve water infrastructure policy at the federal, state and local level. They have an imperative to support delivery of safe, clean and affordable water in all its forms for all people and wildlife in the Great Lakes basin, and are inspired to build and use funding and regulatory tools to create that result. The analyst has a deep understanding of how the regulatory environment, public demand and funding options interplay to shape clean water outcomes. They have an extensive knowledge of infrastructure financing mechanisms available to state and local governments, and apply that knowledge to advance policy changes and support project implementation. The analyst seeks out and elevates new approaches to driving implementation of critical water infrastructure in the Great Lakes, including drinking water, stormwater and wastewater. They work closely with an Alliance staff team including planners, government affairs and communications professionals to ensure effective delivery and uptake of research and recommendations. The analyst maintains a respected voice and thought leadership among utilities, municipalities and the NGO community.

A typical day might include: researching existing financing and rate paying structures for water services in a Great Lakes city; having a meeting with municipal staff and community stakeholders to provide expertise and advice; analyzing existing and potential funding and regulatory levers that are most likely to drive new investment in water infrastructure in a community; creating content for a long-form written report targeted at policy makers; writing comment letters and recommendations to public agencies; writing a blog post to communicate findings and recommendations to our broad audience; presenting your work at a conference; providing content for grant reports and contributing ideas for potential grant proposals; working with an internal staff committee on organizational culture, water equity efforts, or social planning.

The Analyst will be a member of the Clean Water for People campaign. They will occasionally manage work affiliates, fellows or temporary staff recruited to support project objectives.

The Alliance for the Great Lakes sets a protection agenda for the Great Lakes, a resource of global significance and the world’s largest source of surface freshwater. The Alliance seeks to protect the Great Lakes from their greatest threats, build a resilient future for communities and instill the value of clean water throughout the region. The Alliance is a four-star Charity Navigator organization. Learn more at


  • Build and maintain a baseline understanding of how public financing programs such as state revolving funds are implemented in urban and rural areas the Great Lakes states.
  • Track and articulate opportunities for shifting the important state and federal regulatory developments that shape the pace, efficacy and equity of water infrastructure implementation.
  • Evaluate where and how Great Lakes communities are impacted by water infrastructure failures and stress, and track the key systemic risks to clean and safe water for people.
  • Identify and describe opportunities to shift existing approaches to delivering water services in ways that advance water equity and ecological improvement.
  • Collaborate with local staff in Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland to create funding plans for municipal water infrastructure policy improvement and implementation.
  • Build strong and mutually beneficial relationships with innovative leaders in the field from utility, NGO, labor, business, health and other sectors, in collaboration with other team members.
  • Prepare compelling reports and visualizations of information tailored to critical audiences of decision makers, agency staff, media outlets and Alliance supporters.
  • Actively contribute to public dialogues in the fields of water infrastructure and water equity through conferences, roundtables, and workshops that reach beyond the environmental NGO community
  • Contribute to the creation of proposals for philanthropic funding to support the work, including doing so in collaboration with complementary partners where possible.
  • Contribute to annual and multi-year work and campaign plans.
  • Recruit and manage temporary research assistants from time to time as needed.


    • Bachelor’s degree required plus 5 years of relevant experience in public policy, economics, public administration, engineering or related field. Advanced degree or demonstrated additional experience a plus.
    • Deep experience and literacy with analyzing state and municipal funding and regulatory policy governing water infrastructure is essential.
    • Knowledgeable of how financing packages are built for local water infrastructure projects and programs
    • Accomplishment in having infrastructure implementation strategies taken up and used by local governments
    • Experience working on water infrastructure projects that engage municipal staff across multiple agencies and deliver benefits beyond regulatory compliance
    • Basic knowledge of Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act regulatory environment, with particular emphasis on drinking water standards, NPDES program, and MS4 mandates, and how these drive infrastructure investments
    • Experience connecting multiple sources of financing to complex water infrastructure investments
    • Ability to convey recommendations in concise, precise and compelling written work products is vital.
    • Existing networks within the regulatory, utility, academic and private sector relevant to water infrastructure.
    • Fundamental commitment to socioeconomic and racial equity in water services and demonstrated skills in identifying policy options that advance equity
    • Highly organized project manager, with demonstrated success at project management across a multidisciplinary team.
    • Keen understanding of the dynamics of project and policy implementation within public agencies
    • Willingness to listen and respond to the needs and demands of diverse groups of individuals and partner organizations
    • Commitment to and passion for mission-driven public interest work related to the Great Lakes and the role of water in community resilience and revitalization.
    • Strong listening, written and verbal communication skills.
    • Adept with Microsoft Office Suite (especially PowerPoint and Excel) and project management software.

Job Parameters

  • This position is full-time and consistent with Alliance employment policy. Salary to be commensurate with experience.
  • Excellent benefits, including health and vacation are included.
  • Eligibility to enroll in a retirement plan after 1 year of employment.
  • This position is preferred to be in either Cleveland, OH, Detroit, MI or Chicago, IL. Travel within the Great Lakes region is necessary.
  • Opportunity for professional development such as conferences, webinars, association membership, etc.

Application Process

Please e-mail a cover letter, resume, references and writing sample to:

Include job title in the subject line.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled – we are looking to fill immediately. Materials should be compatible with Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat. Applicants will receive confirmation of receipt of their materials and further guidance and updates about the hiring process by e-mail, with interviews provided for finalists. No phone inquiries please.

To apply for this job email your details to