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City of Tacoma WA Federal Relations Manager in Tacoma, Washington

Federal Relations Manager


$124,009.60 - $174,595.20 Annually


Tacoma, WA

Job Type


Job Number



Public Affairs & Communication

Opening Date


Closing Date

5/31/2024 5:00 PM Pacific

  • Description

  • Benefits

  • Questions

Position Description

Tacoma Public Utilities (TPU) is a municipal utility organization responsible for managing electric, drinking water, and short line rail services. We are currently seeking an experienced federal government relations professional to join our team and play a pivotal role in shaping our interactions with federal agencies, lawmakers, and regulatory bodies.

The Federal Relations Manager will be part of our newly formed Customer Experience and External Affairs department, of which Government and Community Relations is one of the divisions. This role will be instrumental in advocating for TPU's interests and priorities at the federal level; and will support subject matter experts within the utility to ensure the needs of our utility and customers are effectively addressed in legislative and regulatory proceedings.

Working closely with internal teams and contracted lobbyists, the Federal Relations Manager will develop and execute strategic advocacy initiatives, monitor policy developments, and cultivate relationships with policymakers and key stakeholders in the federal government. A deep understanding of current and evolving federal policies, procedures, rules, and laws is essential for success in this role. The Federal Relations Manager will provide expert guidance on the implications of federal actions for TPU's activities and budget, enabling informed decision-making at all levels of the organization.

This position is expected to travel 40% of the time locally, regionally, and nationally.

Primary Responsibilities and Accountabilities:

Government Relations Strategy:

  • Develop and implement a comprehensive federal government relations strategy aligned with the company's goals and objectives.

  • Identify legislative and regulatory priorities and develop advocacy plans to advance those priorities.

  • Monitor federal legislative and regulatory developments relevant to the utility industry and provide timely analysis and recommendations to internal stakeholders.

Advocacy and Lobbying:

  • Build and maintain relationships with members of Congress, congressional staff, federal agencies, and other key stakeholders.

  • Advocate for TPU’s positions and priorities through direct lobbying, coalition-building, and participation in industry associations.

  • Coordinate meetings, briefings, and events with federal policymakers to educate them about TPU’s interests and concerns.

Policy Analysis and Research:

  • Support SMEs within the utility to conduct research and analysis on federal legislative and regulatory proposals impacting the utility industry.

  • Assess the potential impact of proposed policies on TPU and develop recommendations for action.

  • Prepare written materials, including policy briefs and federal updates, talking points, presentations for TPU leadership, policymakers, and to support advocacy efforts.

Regulatory Compliance:

  • Ensure compliance with federal lobbying disclosure and reporting requirements.

  • Stay informed about ethics rules and regulations governing interactions with federal officials and ensure adherence to rules.

Internal Collaboration:

  • Provide strategic guidance and support the Executive and Senior Leadership.

  • Collaborate with internal teams, including but not limited to, Tacoma Power, Tacoma Water, and Tacoma Rail; Community and Government Relations, Communications, and Legal, as well as departments within TPU and the General Government of the City of Tacoma to ensure alignment regarding advocacy efforts


Minimum Education*

Bachelor's degree in business or public administration, public policy, political science, communication or directly related field

Minimum Experience*

6 years including 1 year prior as a subject matter expert (SME)

*Equivalency: 1 year of experience = 1 year of education

Desirable Qualifications

  • Six years of experience in federal government relations, lobbying, public agency employment, employment within an elected official’s office, or related roles

  • Deep understanding of the federal legislative and regulatory process, with a proven track record of influencing policy outcomes.

  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to build relationships and communicate effectively with a diverse range of stakeholders.

  • Excellent analytical and critical thinking skills, with the ability to quickly grasp complex issues and develop actionable recommendations.

  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, manage multiple projects simultaneously, and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment.

Licensing, Certifications and Other Requirements

Washington State Driver's License

Knowledge & Skills

  • Ability to cultivate and maintain interpersonal relationships with elected officials, key staff, and opinion leaders,

  • Analysis: Assess data and information in a clear and rational process to understand issues, evaluate options, form opinions, and make defensible recommendations. Identify information gaps and develop approaches to address them.

  • Communication: Clearly articulate and persuasively convey timely information and utility messaging to effectively influence both internal and external stakeholders.

  • Public Speaking: The ability to persuasively speak in front of policymakers, the public, large audiences and government bodies.

  • Problem Solving: Utilize critical thinking, intelligence, common sense, and perseverance to address challenges and obstacles to achieving the objectives.

  • Relationship Building: Build constructive relationships through listening, learning, and building trust. Use knowledge and understanding of the organization and political climate to make recommendations that satisfy diverse interests and contribute to achieving organizational goals.

  • Political Acumen: Use knowledge and understanding of the organizational environment and political climate when taking actions, making recommendations, and communicating with internal and external customers and stakeholders.

Selection Process & Supplemental Information

This recruitment is being managed by Joanna Hambrick; if you would like to be notified of similar opportunities or stay connected with things going on at Tacoma Public Utilities and the City of Tacoma, connect with me on LinkedIn ( !

City of Tacoma Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Tacoma's diversity is its greatest asset. Tacoma embraces its multi-cultural and multi-ethnic character. Communities of color and immigrant communities are fundamental to Tacoma's entrepreneurial spirit, workforce, and long-term success. In Tacoma, equity and empowerment are top priorities, meaning that all Tacoma residents must have equitable opportunities to reach their full potential and share in the benefits of community progress. One of our goals is for the City of Tacoma workforce to reflect the community it serves. We actively work to eliminate racial and other disparities and welcome candidates with diverse backgrounds and/or multicultural skill sets and experiences. Our goal is for Tacoma to be an inclusive and equitable place to live, work, and play .

The City of Tacoma is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity in its workplace. Applicants are considered for positions without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, marital or veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other basis prohibited by federal, state, and local laws.


Interested individuals should apply online and attach a detailed resume and cover letter that includes job experience, major responsibilities and accomplishments related to this position.

Reference checks will be conducted on final candidates and appointment is subject to passing a background check.

Communication from the City of Tacoma:

We primarily communicate via e-mail during the application process. E-mails from and/or must be placed on your safe domain list to ensure that you receive notifications in a timely manner. As a precaution, you may also want to check your junk e-mail folders.

If you have any additional questions regarding this position, please contact the Human Resources Department at 253.591.5400 before 4pm on the closing date of this posting.

The City of Tacoma provides excellent medical, dental and vision plans for the whole family; paid holidays and paid leave; participation in the Tacoma Employees' Retirement System (alternate plan for Police/Fire); continuing education and advancement opportunities and a growing variety of City-sponsored health and wellness opportunities and incentives.

Medical Coverage: For eligible employees and their families, including domestic partners and dependent children age 26 or younger.

Dental Coverage: For eligible employees and their families, including domestic partners and dependent children age 26 or younger.

Vision Coverage: For eligible employees and their eligible dependents.

Paid Leave: City employees are entitled to received paid holidays, sick/vacation leave or personal time off (PTO), depending upon union affiliation and appointment type.

Insurance Plans: Employees are covered by a long-term disability plan. Short-term and expanded long-term disability insurance plans are also available to employees. The State Industrial Insurance Act also covers employees.

Deferred Compensation: Income can be set aside on a pretax basis and invested for supplementation of normal retirement income.

Retirement: All employees of the City, except members of the Police and Fire services, Tacoma Rail and certain project employees, are included in the Tacoma Employees' Retirement System. Information on the Tacoma Employees' Retirement System can be found at or by calling (253) 502-8200.

Other Employment Information

Direct Deposit: Employees are paid on a bi-weekly schedule by direct deposit.

Salary Increases: Based on satisfactory job performance, the City provides for a regular progression of salary increases for most classifications according to the salary schedule.

Union Affiliation: Many job classifications are covered by union security provisions which require union membership, dues, or payment of equivalent service fees.

Note: The provisions of this job announcement do not constitute an expressed or implied contract. Any provision contained herein may be modified and/or revoked without notice.


Responses to supplemental questions must be original content created by the applicant using their own words. The use of online tools or resources to create responses, such as Artificial Intelligence (ChatGPT, etc.), Google, Bing, etc., or plagiarism in any form, is considered cheating and falsification of the application. I understand that any form of cheating or falsification will disqualify my application for further consideration.

  • Yes

  • No


    Do you have an equivalent combination to Bachelor's degree in business or public administration, public policy, political science, communication or directly related field AND 6 years including 1 year prior as a subject matter expert (SME)? Please note education and experience can be substituted on a year for year basis

  • Yes

  • No


    How would you ensure that this position embodies TPU's core value of customer focus for both internal and external customers?


    One of the City's Principles that guides us is Equity. Describe what equity means to you and describe any experience you have working with diverse groups of people.


    Please tell us how you learned about this job opening.

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    Please provide specific information regarding how you learned about this job opening. Thank you, your feedback will be used to evaluate our success reaching the public and refine our methods for future job postings.

    Required Question


City of Tacoma


Human Resources Department 747 Market Street Tacoma, Washington, 98402-3764





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