Senior Specialist, Government and Community Affairs – California/Arizona



Senior Specialist, Government and Community Affairs

– California / Arizona (Western Region)

This role can be based out of California or Arizona


Nikola Corporation’s mission is to Pioneer Solutions for a Zero-Emissions World. We constantly seek talented and motivated individuals who possess a proven track record of excellence to join our team.

Nikola is looking for an experienced Senior Specialist, Government and Community Affairs to support Nikola’s efforts that advance commercial development and market penetration of zero emission vehicles and infrastructure in the Western Region of the United States.  We are looking for someone who will be primarily responsible for building and fostering local and regional-based relationships to educate government and community leaders about Nikola and its products and infrastructure development plans. The position will report directly to the Manager of State and Local Government Affairs for the Western Region and work in cooperation with enterprise-wide teams to advance Nikola’s business objectives in the Western region of the United States. Key duties will include cultivating strong relationships with local and regional government agencies and leaders, community and grassroots stakeholders and organizing community-based dialogue and events to support Nikola’s business presence in specific deployment communities. Additional duties will also include researching, analyzing, and tracking local planning and zoning ordinances and state regulations impacting zero-emissions heavy-duty transportation and fueling infrastructure and supporting GAGP advocacy efforts impacting local and state policymaking and cultivation of local and state incentive programs.

The ideal candidate will have a passion for clean transportation and clean energy, cultivating relationships with state and local elected officials, key industry and community stakeholders, deep knowledge of state and local government operations and policymaking, advocating policies and programs that can transform industries as well as experience providing testimony and written correspondence to state and local elected officials and agencies/organizations. Familiarity with a typical start-up environment complemented by policy experience working within a local, state, and/or regulatory agency and/or within the private sector in the clean transportation and/or energy sectors in a government relations, public affairs and/or lobbying capacity and working collaboratively with cross-functional teams are a plus.

You Will:

  • Work collaboratively with the Government Affairs and Global Policy (GAGP) team to cultivate, advocate and advance Nikola’s presence, engagement and policy priorities in key states and markets that support the company’s mission and goals for a zero-emissions future.
  • Build relationships and cultivate ongoing positive market sentiment with key policymakers, committee and agency staff, industry stakeholders, and community-based organizations and influencers to advance local policy, state legislation, incentive programs, regulations, and partnerships that benefit Nikola’s business objectives to deploy zero-emission heavy-duty trucks, fueling infrastructure and hydrogen production facility development.
  • Upon developing an understanding of the truck and energy/infrastructure business needs, be able to communicate those priorities externally independently while engaging in local and regional stakeholder meetings.
  • Identify, monitor, and analyze key local and regional jurisdictional issues and support the development of local action items, state policy (legislative and regulatory) strategies.
  • Monitor policy platform information and create policy reports and updates, as appropriate.
  • Identify key local, regional, and state contacts; Coordinate on the ground community events; Develop local strategies and community outreach plans to execute local commercial projects, as appropriate.
  • Track, influence and advocate on key policy and incentive programs to elected officials, government agencies and third parties (e.g., industry trade organizations, NGOs), as appropriate.
  • Identify state and local incentives and funding opportunities available for zero-emission heavy-duty fleets, charging/fueling infrastructure and clean hydrogen fuel and renewable energy production.
  • Coordinate state and local incentive opportunities with Grants Manager and enterprise-wide teams for possible application submittals.
  • Coordinate governmental, community, and stakeholder meetings for GAGP team and other business units, as appropriate.
  • Collaborate with internal and external stakeholders on state/local advocacy efforts and community engagement opportunities aligned with Nikola’s business objectives; develop strategy and presentations in partnership with Business Development/Sales, Infrastructure, Energy Supply and Trading, and Marketing teams
  • Work in collaboration with legal and compliance to advise on local and state policy and regulatory matters, as appropriate.

You Have

  • Proven work experience in government relations, external affairs, or similar role
  • Solid experience coordinating lobbying efforts (both proactive and reactive) and developing strategic legislative agendas and outreach plans
  • Expertise in applying for funding opportunities and shaping them through the public process
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills with confidence to serve as the company’s spokesperson at public hearings and with elected and government officials
  • Implemented a robust community engagement plan and developed partnerships with key stakeholders
  • Experience in sustainability, energy, alternative fuels and/or vehicles are assets
  • Proven ability to work in a fast paced, highly collaborative, and dynamic environment
  • Are adept at navigating challenging situations and developing solutions to address them
  • Experience in effectively working cross-functionally with internal and diverse external stakeholders
  • At minimum, a Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Political Science, Public Administration/Policy, Communications, Journalism or History or relevant field, plus 8+ years of demonstrated applicable work experience

You Are

  • A creative thinker with the ability to understand how your area of expertise fits within “The Big Picture”
  • A team player and self-starter
  • Adept at nurturing relationships and thinking strategically


Candidates must have current U.S. work authorization or be TN eligible from Mexico or Canada. 

This position is not eligible for CPT or OPT.



Equal Employment Opportunity statement (EEO)

Nikola Motor Company™ is committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity. We recruit, employ, train, compensate, and promote without regard to race, color, age, sex, ancestry, marital status, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, medical condition, pregnancy, veteran status, genetic information or any other classification protected by state or federal law.

To all recruitment agencies: Nikola is not responsible for any fee related to unsolicited resumes from 3rd party staffing and recruiting agencies. No fee will be paid for candidates who apply and claim to be represented by an agency. Any unsolicited resumes, CVs, or other candidate information submitted by an agency will become the property of Nikola, and no fee will be paid in the event such candidate is hired.