Stories in Washington

David Mendoza, Director of Public Advocacy and Engagement

View of the Washington State Capitol building and the lawn in front of it.
State Capitol Washington State Capitol campus in Olympia. © Hannah Letinich
David Mendoza headshot.
David Mendoza David is the director of public advocacy and engagement for TNC in Washington. © Courtesy of David Mendoza

We are thrilled to welcome David Mendoza as our new Director of Public Advocacy and Engagement.

In this new role, David will work with and lead our government relations team, build coalitions and strengthen the environmental movement in the state, and work to pass policies at the state and federal level that advance our mission and priorities.

David brings deep expertise in state and local government policy and advocacy. For two years, he served as the director of legislative and government affairs for Front and Centered, a Washington statewide coalition of organizations rooted in communities of color and people with lower incomes focused on environmental justice. In this role, David helped shape climate policy in Washington State and played a critical role in developing the HEAL Act, which was proposed to the Legislature in 2020. He serves on the state Environmental Justice Task Force.

“I am excited to be joining The Nature Conservancy because we are at a critical juncture in our state and the world to address the impacts of climate change,” David says. “TNC is uniquely situated as an organization that manages land, conducts leading-edge scientific research and has an unparalleled record of successful legislative advocacy to guide for policies and investments to protect our communities from the impacts of climate change. With my experience in advocacy and environmental justice, I hope to do my part in ensuring that TNC continues its leadership and helps to ensure that frontline communities’ needs are centered and addressed in all the work that we do.”

David Mendoza with his wife and child.
David and Family David Mendoza with his family enjoying the outdoors. © Courtesy of David Mendoza

From 2014 through 2017, David served as a senior policy advisor in the Seattle Mayor’s Office of Policy and Innovation, where he worked on policies including cannabis regulations, labor standards, implementation of the Seattle Race and Social Justice Initiative and policies related to Uber/Lyft and AirBnB, among others. Prior to working in the Mayor’s office, David served as a policy counsel for the House Democratic Caucus in Olympia, advising on issues related to the Labor & Workforce Development Committee and the Government Accountability & Oversight Committee.

His other experience includes working at Puget Sound Sage, where he wrote the first research report making the case for a $15 minimum wage at Sea-Tac Airport. His volunteer experience includes serving as a commissioner for the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission from 2011 to 2014 and as the 2014 president of the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington. He is a graduate of Pitzer College and Seattle University School of Law and is a licensed attorney in California.

David lives with his family in Seattle.