Advocacy and Government Affairs Specialist

08 Apr, 2021


Advocacy and Government Affairs Specialist

International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES)
Arlington, VA
About the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES):

IFES advances democracy for a better future. We collaborate with civil society, public institutions and the private sector to build resilient democracies that deliver for everyone. As the global leader in the promotion and protection of democracy, our technical assistance and applied research develops trusted electoral bodies capable of conducting credible elections; effective and accountable governing institutions; civic and political processes in which all people can safely and equally participate; and innovative ways in which technology and data can positively serve elections and democracy. Since 1987, IFES has worked in more than 145 countries, from developing to mature democracies. IFES is a nonpartisan, nonprofit headquartered in the United States, where it is registered as a 501 (c)(3) organization.

We center the rights of marginalized people in the work we do and strongly encourage Black, Indigenous and other people of color; racial, ethnic and religious minorities; women; persons with disabilities; youth; people from working class backgrounds; and LGBTQ people to apply.

About the Position:

IFES seeks an Advocacy and Government Affairs Specialist to support a dynamic global team with policy and legislative analysis; advocacy; and congressional relations to advance the IFES mission and strategic objectives. Specifically, the Specialist will help to increase IFES influence and key stakeholder engagement via strategy mapping; legislative and policy research; writing; outreach; and virtual, and potentially in-person, meetings and events. The Specialist will report to the Director of Strategic Communications and Advocacy, and with the support and close cooperation of the Business Development Specialist.


Job Responsibilities:
Primary Functions and Responsibilities:

  • Contribute to and execute the IFES Advocacy Strategy, working with Director to manage education and advocacy with congressional offices and other key stakeholders.
  • Conduct research, closely monitor, analyze and report on political, legislative and policy developments related to IFES issues.
  • Support preparation, planning, scheduling and arrangements for meetings, hearings and briefings for Director, President & CEO, GGO VP and others.
  • Help to organize and produce virtual meetings, events or Hill briefings (potentially in-person later), including IFES’ major fundraising event, the Democracy Awards Dinner.
  • Ensure teams across IFES are informed about and engage effectively in advocacy with excellent communication, coordination and collaboration.
  • Support Global Growth and Outreach Unit and Executive Team in coordinating with the IFES Board of Directors’ Public Affairs Committee.
  • Liaise with and help to guide IFES collaboration with InterAction, CEPPS and other IFES partner organizations and coalitions.
  • Draft publications and content, such as the Public Affairs report for the Board Book; announcements, success stories, articles, testimony, fact sheets, policy papers and letters; backgrounders, such as profiles, talking points and target lists; and presentations, upon request.
  • Contribute to digital campaigns and content for social media and the website.
  • Track USG contacts from across organization, maintain database with notes and help to ensure compliance with related laws, regulations and donor requirements (Quorum).
  • Utilize our Quorum to create and send communications to Hill staff.
  • Contribute to internal and external policy recommendations related to advocacy.
  • Assist with or manage other special projects and duties as assigned.

  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s or Juris Doctor not required, but a plus.
  •  Strong, native-level English. Knowledge of other languages a plus.
  • 6-8 years’ minimum experience on Capitol Hill and/or engaging with the Hill and government affairs on behalf of a mission-driven organization, preferably on foreign affairs/assistance and with a demonstrated interest in democracy, human rights and governance.
  • Maturity, poise, tact, diplomacy and good judgment, including experience liaising with high-level government officials and executives.
  • Skilled and versatile writer known for succinct, clear and compelling prose.
  • A mastery of grammar and editing; knowledge of AP style and/or experience adhering to editorial style guides.
  • Experience producing both in-person and virtual meetings or events.
  • Experience with virtual meeting software such as Teams and Zoom; CMSs such as Drupal and WordPress; CRMs such as Salsa Labs; or government relations applications such as Quorum a plus.
  • Strong project management and organizational skills with an ability to work on multiple issues and concurrent projects efficiently in a matrixed and deadline-driven environment.
  • Meticulous attention to detail, thoroughness and accuracy.
  • Open-mindedness and intellectual integrity; ability to approach subjects fairly and follow the facts where they lead.
  • Growth and mission-driven, striving for peak performance and welcoming of feedback.
  • Exceptionally strong collaboration and team participant skills who productively engages with others at varying levels of seniority internally and externally.
  • Ability to work reliably on deadline without close oversight.
  • Flexibility to work some odd hours.
  • A sense of humor required, as well as empathy, kindness, honesty, good judgment and a no-job-too-small attitude.
  • Experience working with a global organization, particularly an International Non-Government Organization (INGO), is a plus.
  • Little to no travel expected.

IFES is currently working remotely due to the pandemic and anticipates returning to its headquarters office in Arlington, Virginia when it is safe to do so. Only candidates located in the Washington, DC area will be considered.  

How to apply: Submit your cover letter and resume through the IFES Career Portal. Writing samples and/or a test will be required of those selected for initial review.


  • Medical, Dental, and Vision insurance
  • Monthly Benefit Allowance paid directly to all employees
  • Employer paid life and AD&D insurance at 3x base salary
  • 401(k) retirement plan with 1:1 employer match up to 6%
  • Employer paid Short and Long-Term Disability insurance
  • Generous vacation (starting at 3 weeks and increasing with time of service), sick leave, and personal leave
  • 11 Paid Holidays
  • Paid Parental Leave
  • Employee Assistance Program


Job posted: 2021-04-08