Princeton, NJ

Business Unit Description

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million that helps people turn their goals and dreams into ‘Real Possibilities’ by changing the way America defines aging. With staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and promote the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare security, financial security and personal fulfillment. AARP also advocates for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name.  As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation magazine, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin.

State & Community Engagement (SCE) is part of Community, State and National Affairs (CSN). The SCE team includes: 53 states and territories across 6 regions with regional management, the Office of Volunteer Engagement, the Office of Community Engagement (including the National Retired Teachers Association (NRTA): AARP’s Educator Community), and the Legal Counsel for the Elderly (LCE).

Summary Statement

Responsible for the overall strategic advocacy position of AARP in the state, making judgments based on personal knowledge and information received from direct reports.

Negotiates with governors, state legislators, executive and legislative staff, as well as lobbyists who are either in opposition or support of AARP legislative priorities. Leverages AARP relationships with elected officials and regulators in an integrated, coordinated and effective manner to build deeper and more effective relationships. Works directly with state agency heads to advise and persuade the implementation of policies that align with AARP priorities. Provides leadership to nonprofit partners in order to develop coalitions to bring about legislative change.

As a member of the State Office management team, is a key player in development of state operational and financial plans.  Has responsibility for implementation of state plan and budget expenditures for relevant campaigns and issues.  Supervises other advocacy staff directly, and media and community outreach staff through matrix management, including assessing performance and progress, determining the need for mid-course adjustments in plans and campaigns. Responsible for assuring that the state’s issue campaigns affirmatively impact the association’s dashboard goals.  Identifies and recommends opportunities to advance either the state’s or the association’s major priorities in the state, in collaboration with other states, or in conjunction with national office campaigns.



1. Plans, develops, and implements a comprehensive statewide advocacy plan to achieve AARP’s state, LOCAL and federal advocacy priorities in the state. Serves as a member of the state office management team, assisting the State Director in establishing overall priorities and strategic direction for the state.  Represents AARP before public policy makers and participates in the legislative, rulemaking and regulatory processes of the state, and maintains working relationships with lawmakers, policy makers, agency executives, and other elected officials.

2. Responsible for staffing, orienting, coaching, managing and evaluating staff.  Develops and monitors work plans for and with staff.  Manages and documents staff performance and takes corrective action when necessary. Ensures that policies and procedures are carried out appropriately.  Identifies training/development needs of staff.

3. Provides leadership to the advocacy team and key volunteers in the development of strategies for issue campaigns to reach desired outcomes within the state.  Makes budget requests and allocation recommendations to the State Director.  Assists in the development of the state operational and financial plans. Responsible for creating and assuring oversight of budgets for issue campaigns.  Provides supervision and direction and leads a staff directly and through matrix management in legislative campaigns, coalition building, community organizing and government relations.

4. Serves on national, state and local task forces and work groups, representing local, state and national priorities, identifying strategic opportunities to advance AARP’s Social Impact and Member Value agendas.

5. Oversees development of issue briefings, materials and resources which prepare volunteers for visiting –decision makers and their staff.  Establishes a plan for identification and recruitment of grasstops for the state, to support local, state and federal initiatives. Is responsible for leadership in constituency development.

6. Works with communications staff to create and implement an aggressive media strategy on issues education and advocacy in the state.  Establishes communications strategies and tactics to support critical campaigns.

7. Works with the education and outreach staff to achieve common local, state and national goals.
Maintains up-to-date knowledge of local, state, and federal issues.  Briefs other staff and volunteers on the issues and the AARP responses for education and advocacy efforts.  Provides training to selected volunteers.

8. Demonstrates AARP Leadership behaviors in all interactions.



Completion of a bachelor’s degree in political science, public policy administration, law, business, social or human sciences, or a related discipline and 5+ years of experience, including supervision and management of staff and/or volunteers; or an equivalent combination of training and experience related to the duties of the position.  Must have a strong understanding of the state’s political and community service environments (e.g., community service leaders, partners, organizations, legislative leaders, government officials, major stakeholders, etc.).  Previous government relations and grassroots organizing experience strongly encouraged.


Benefits Offered

AARP offers competitive benefits with a 401K, 100% company funded pension plan, health, dental, vision and life insurance, STD/LTD, paid vacation and sick, and other benefits.



Job Posted: April 18, 2017