Job opening: Director of Government Relations

The Planetary Society, the world’s largest and most influential space advocacy organization, seeks a passionate, curious, and outgoing individual to serve as its Director of Government Relations in Washington, DC

Founded in 1980 by Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray, and Louis Friedman, and now led by CEO Bill Nye, The Planetary Society empowers the public to take a meaningful role in advancing space exploration through advocacy, education, outreach, scientific innovation, and global collaboration . Our global membership of more than 50,000 individuals from all walks of life ensures our independence and allows us to focus on our core policy issues of planetary exploration, the search for life, and planetary defense from near-Earth objects.

To apply, please submit your resume, a cover letter highlighting how you exemplify the three qualities mentioned above, and at least one example of persuasive communication (can be a video, presentation, written item, podcast, etc.) to [email protected].

This recruitment will remain open until filled; However, you are encouraged to apply as soon as possible as the application period may close at any time. The first round of application review will begin December 1, 2022.

Position Overview

Reporting to the Chief of Space Policy, the Director of Government Relations serves as the organization’s primary in-person DC presence and executes The Planetary Society’s policy and advocacy strategy. Responsibilities include engaging and educating elected officials, policymakers, and the space-related community in the DC area; information-gathering and relationship-building to inform advocacy strategy; raising awareness of organizational priorities via local events and briefings; and otherwise enthusiastically representing The Planetary Society’s core belief of optimistic, science-driven space exploration to the DC community. This individual is expected to share and express our bedrock values ​​of passion, integrity, credibility, optimism, and inclusiveness in their everyday work.

The Planetary Society strongly prefers candidates with formal training in science, engineering, or space policy, and will consider individuals without significant professional experience provided they can demonstrate excellence and initiative in persuasive communication, political analysis, and strategic thinking as it would pertain to this role .

Those with at least 5 years of professional experience in legislative work or government relations in space-related fields will also be considered, even if they lack formal scientific training.

Not sure if you meet the qualifications? Please apply regardless and make your case! We are open to passionate individuals who are committed to our vision and share our values.

Roles & Responsibilities

Advocate for Planetary Society Priorities in the DC area

  • Persuasively and clearly communicate Planetary Society policy goals to elected officials, their staff, and officials in Congress, NASA, OSTP, the OMB, and other relevant agencies and groups.
  • Seek out, cultivate, and represent The Planetary Society in coalitions that support The Planetary Society’s policy goals.
  • Establish and maintain positive relationships with other professionals in the US and international space sectors, the commercial space industry, and academia.
  • Cultivate a positive, bipartisan reputation of The Planetary Society in accordance with our organizational values.
  • Build awareness of the Planetary Society and its priorities among the DC area professional space community.
  • Organize and host professional events to raise awareness of and promote topics of interest to The Planetary Society.
  • Arrange and mediate congressional meetings for the Planetary Society staff, its Board, and its members.
  • Represent the Planetary Society at space functions and conferences.

Inform Planetary Society Advocacy and Policy Strategy Development

  • Monitor, analyze, and report on policy and regulatory trends affecting the Planetary Society’s core policy interests to the organization’s senior leadership.
  • Identify new and emerging opportunities for potential synergies and collaborations with space science leaders and complementary organizations.
  • Assist in developing and regularly re-evaluating strategic policy goals of the Society with the Chief of Space Policy.
  • Provide input into short- and long-term strategic and operational planning within the organization.


  • Legal authorization to work in the US
  • 5+ years of experience in a legislative or government relations role related to space or science OR a bachelor’s or higher degree in a space science, engineering, or space policy field with demonstrable knowledge of current space policy topics.
  • Year-round ability to travel within the DC metropolitan area for meetings, hearings, and special events.
  • Ability to think creatively, strategically, and analytically, and to quickly process new information.
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills with a demonstrated ability for persuasive communication.
  • Able to occasionally work outside of normal business hours as needed.
  • A commitment to the Planetary Society’s core values.
  • A collaborative and flexible style, with a strong service mentality.
  • Ability to work well with a wide range of people in person, by email, and by phone and teleconferencing.
  • Integrity, honesty, and a strong commitment to maintaining confidentiality.


The Planetary Society has been the world’s largest and most effective space advocacy group for over 40 years. We offer a fun, supportive work environment and strive to be our employees’ dream job.

  • Competitive salary based on regularly updated market data.
  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance.
  • 403(b) retirement savings plan with automatic 7% employer contribution.
  • 11 holidays + vacation and sick leave.
  • Group Term Life insurance.
  • Long-term and short-term disability.
  • Supportive work culture committed to a healthy and rewarding work/life balance.

The Planetary Society is an equal opportunity employer. We prioritize diversity at all levels of our work. Job applicants from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

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