Assistant Director, Governmental Affairs

21 Sep, 2021


Assistant Director, Governmental Affairs

Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU)
Washington, DC


Title: Assistant Director, Governmental Affairs

Office: Office of Governmental Affairs

Supervisor: Vice President, Governmental Affairs and Associate Vice President, Research Policy & Governmental Affairs

Status: Full-Time; Exempt

Level: Assistant Director

Location: Washington, DC

Application Deadline: Applications will be reviewed as received with preference given to applications received by Monday, September 27, 2021


The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), a research, policy and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities, is seeking a highly-skilled Assistant Director to play an important role in the Office of Governmental Affairs (OGA). The position will work closely with the Vice President, Governmental Affairs and Associate Vice President, Research Policy & Governmental Affairs to drive APLU’s budget and appropriations advocacy processes coordinating across the OGA team, conduct analysis of legislation, develop advocacy tools, and draft letters and communications to keep APLU members informed. The position has the key function of driving the overall budget and appropriations work in coordination with staff who specialize with specific agencies and accounts as well as members of APLU’s Council on Governmental Affairs (CGA). The CGA consists of federal relations officers of APLU member universities.

In addition to serving in this essential role of coordinating budget and appropriations advocacy, the Assistant Director will have an issue portfolio that includes immigration policy, humanities, telecommunications/broadband, and other issues as appropriate.  On immigration policy, the position focuses on enhancing the United States’ competitiveness for international students, supporting policy that provides more opportunity for graduates of U.S. universities to live and work in the U.S., and policy to support undocumented students including a legislative path to citizenship.

The position requires extensive, collaborative engagement with partner higher education organizations and advocacy coalitions. Successful candidates will have at least five to six years of relevant federal/federal relations experience, be an energetic team player able to work in a collegial and inclusive environment, a self-starter, have excellent written and verbal communication skills, possess strong organizational and interpersonal skills, be detail-oriented and able to juggle multiple responsibilities simultaneously. A deep interest in the nuances of public policy and commitment to the values and mission of public universities are a must. This full-time position will be based in Washington, DC. (Employees are working remotely from locations within DC, MD, VA at least through 2021 due to COVID-19.) For more information on APLU, please consult


APLU is a research, policy, and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. With a membership of 244 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and affiliated organizations, APLU’s agenda is built on the three pillars of increasing degree completion and academic success, advancing scientific research, and expanding engagement. Annually, member campuses enroll 5 million undergraduates and 1.3 million graduate students, award 1.3 million degrees, employ 1.3 million faculty and staff, and conduct $49.2 billion in university-based research. For more information, consult

APLU’s Office of Governmental Affairs (OGA) leads the association’s engagement with Congress and the administration to advance policy that furthers the ability of public universities to impact society through their education, research and community engagement missions. As a membership association with institutions in all 50 states, APLU is uniquely positioned to effectively advocate for its priorities. APLU’s advocacy is conducted in close collaboration with member institutions through its Council on Governmental Affairs, which consists of university federal relations officers, as well as other key university leaders such as vice presidents for research and presidents and chancellors.


·       Contribute to the development and implementation of a proactive federal relations strategy to advance APLU’s policy positions and funding priorities supporting public higher education institutions. Analyze and track legislation and federal regulations in related areas such as science and research, immigration issues, telecommunication/broadband, and humanities.

·       Work closely with the Council on Governmental Affairs to support the advocacy of member institutions and enhance the association’s advocacy effectiveness on budget and appropriations priorities and within assigned issue portfolio

·       Draft policy papers, talking points, legislative summaries, and contribute regular news and analysis on relevant policy issues for the Council on Governmental Affairs and other APLU constituency groups including presidents and chancellors, provosts, vice presidents for research, etc.

·       Provide broad, flexible support to APLU’s Vice President, Governmental Affairs and Associate Vice President, Research Policy and Governmental Affairs, on advocacy related tasks to further the success of the organization

·       In collaboration with the Vice President, Governmental Affairs and the Associate Vice President, Research Policy & Governmental Affairs, engage with members of Congress and representatives of relevant federal agencies on policy and funding issues that affect public research universities.

·       Engage with partner organizations and advocacy coalitions by regularly participating in external meetings and identifying opportunities for collaboration and shared advocacy on issues related to public higher education and science and research policy.

·       In collaboration with the Vice President for Governmental Affairs and the Associate Vice President for Research Policy & Governmental Affairs, help coordinate and manage programming for APLU’s Council on Governmental Affairs, including monthly calls and quarterly in-person meetings.

·       Work with APLU’s Office of Public Affairs on external communications relative to issue portfolio, including op-eds, website updates, and social media content, etc.

·       Perform other duties as assigned.

Preferred Qualifications

·       Bachelor’s degree required.

·       At least five-six years of experience on Capitol Hill, relevant federal agencies, or in positions focused primarily on government affairs, preferably in areas related to higher education and/or science.

·       Excellent written and oral communication skills; excellent presentation skills.

·       Strong interpersonal skills.

·       Strong organizational skills; detail-oriented; able to juggle multiple responsibilities simultaneously.

·       Strong commitment to advancing equity, access, and inclusion to public higher education, science, and support the ongoing mission of APLU.

·       Ability to travel domestically as needed as pandemic health conditions allows.

To Apply

Please send a cover letter and resume to APLU’s Office of Human Resources at with the subject line: GA Assistant Director. Applications will be reviewed as they are received, with priority given to those submitted by Monday, September 27, 2021. APLU is committed to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment, and supports staff with a generous benefits package.

APLU is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and is committed to recruiting, employing, training, compensating and promoting staff regardless of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

Job posted: 2021-09-21