Assistant Director of Policy

02 Nov, 2022


Assistant Director of Policy

American Public Human Services Association
Arlington, VA

Job Title:  Assistant Director, Policy

Position Supervisor: Senior Director, Policy & Practice

Classification Level: Exempt

Location: Arlington, VA (remote work optional)

Position Timeline: Permanent

APHSA is recruiting new talent! We are seeking an ambitious new hire that is efficient and successful at managing projects.

APHSA is an association representing state and local agencies in the health and human services field. With and through these members, we work to advance solutions that are centered on administering, overseeing, and aligning programs to provide access to food, health care, housing, employment, childcare, community support, and other key building blocks.

Join a team of dedicated professionals who are results-oriented and are impacting systems across the nation! Our team at APHSA needs a person like you who leans forward and feels comfortable engaging with teammates, thought leaders and partners. We’re looking for an innovative, solution-oriented action taker who will add to our collaborative team environment.

While your main focus will be advancing a strategic, member-led national policy agenda for state and local human services agencies, we’re also looking for someone who thrives in a team environment. In addition, we need someone who is comfortable being on multiple cross functional internal teams to advance the work both internally and externally with kindness, compassion, inclusion, and a can-do spirit.

Your direct supervisor and coach will be the Senior Director, Policy & Practice. Your support will be the entire APHSA organization because we work best when we all work together!


JOB SUMMARY: The Assistant Director of Policy is responsible for advancing our members’ policy agenda through member and partner engagement. The position provides leadership support developing our member-led policy agenda and oversees development and implementation of strategies for policy influence in alignment with the agenda, guided by our APHSA Action Plan. The Assistant Director will provide supervision and support to APHSA Policy Associates that are specialized in specific programmatic areas within APHSA’s membership, building alignment across APHSA’s national policy activities to generate collective impact influencing national health and human services policymakers. The position will, in partnership with the Senior Director of Policy & Practice, provide staff support to APHSA’s Leadership Council and represent members’ interests to national partners, Congress, and the federal administration. The Assistant Director also provides senior leadership drafting written APHSA policy positions and analysis of complex federal laws, rules, budgets, and guidance impacting the health and human services field.

Key Responsibility 1: Policy Agenda Development, Analysis, and Implementation – Identify, develop, and advance human services policy priorities that reflect members’ needs in alignment with our strategic objectives (35%) 

  • Support strategy sessions and leadership convenings with state and local human services agency executives to refine and communicate APHSA’s vision for the desired future state of human services;
  • Provide support to APHSA’s Leadership Council and affinity groups to identify, elevate, and gather input on specific national policy priorities;
  • Develop written organizational policy positions, briefs, and other communication materials that promote APHSA’s policy agenda;
  • Lead APHSA’s analysis and response to relevant proposed federal laws, rulemaking, and guidance, maintaining APHSA’s commitment to advancing social and economic mobility, moving health and human services upstream, and building field capacity;
  • Monitor, analyze, and summarize for APHSA members how federal appropriations, regulatory changes, and legislation impact state and local health and human services agencies and support elevating APHSA member considerations in design of federal fiscal policies, rulemaking, and statutory changes;
  • Support oral and written briefings to senior leadership of APHSA’s state and local members and facilitate dialogue and engagement on APHSA policy priorities.

Key Responsibility 2: Strategic Partnerships – Support APHSA’s policy influence strategy through development of strategic partnerships with federal and national partners (20%)

  • With support from the Senior Director of Policy & Practice, represent APHSA members’ interests to Congressional staff and facilitate opportunities for direct member engagement with Congress;
  • Cultivate relationships and on-going dialogue with federal administration leaders with oversight of health and human services programs;
  • Develop partnerships with national advocacy organizations, peer associations, researchers, industry, and other key partners to position APHSA for impact;
  • Present at partner events and meetings, representing APHSA’s policy priorities to other influencers.

Key Responsibility 3: Grant Project Support (20%)

  • Provide subject matter expertise and grant management support on APHSA grants and contracts that further APHSA’s policy influence strategies.

Key Responsibility 4: Supervision and Coaching (15%)

  • Provide daily oversight to a team of Policy Associates that provide policy influence and member support within specific APHSA policy portfolios;
  • Facilitate recurring team meetings and support Influence department meetings in collaboration with the Senior Director of Policy & Practice, Assistant Director of Practice, and Process Innovation Manager;
  • Support subordinate staff in development of and plans to meet professional goals and provide feedback to assist staff in their development.

Key Responsibility 5: Additional Responsibilities (10%) – As part of the APHSA and Influence team 

  • Collaborate with the Senior Director of Policy & Practice and other team leads on creating and monitoring departmental goals and priorities;
  • Collaborate across APHSA Departments to strengthen alignment of work and processes across the organization;
  • Participate in APHSA’s Coaches Team meetings;
  • Serve on APHSA committees and work groups to promote teaming, strengthen internal practices, and improve organizational culture.



  • Ability to work independently as well as in a collaborative and team environment.
  • Demonstrated experience in developing and implementing plans and goals for the department.
  • Exhibits qualities of a strategic thinker, necessary for helping to assist in planning the future development of the department.
  • Commitment to achieve department objectives.
  • Deep understanding of public human services programs and ability to quickly learn, analyze, and communicate effectively about new programs.
  • Knowledge of government budgeting and policymaking processes; direct prior involvement in supporting these processes preferred.
  • Excellent writing skills, with ability to develop both clear and concise policy briefs and to perform in depth policy research and analysis.
  • Experience in collaborating with a broad range of stakeholders and bringing different perspectives together.
  • Commitment to bipartisan problem solving.
  • Experience coaching and/or supervising staff and developing skills and competencies for others.
  • Experience engaging with and including perspectives of multiple communities into design and administration of project work, and knowledge of how concepts of structural racism and bias impacts underserved and underrepresented communities.
  • Minimum BA/BS Degree
  • Proficiency in Zoom for planning and facilitating virtual meetings and Microsoft Office Suite.
  • 5 or more years providing direct supervision and coaching to a team of staff.
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills.
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Ability to prioritize and delegate tasks.
  • Excellent speaking and presentation skills.
  • Solution-focused and self-organized.
  • Strong interpersonal and relationship building skills to initiate and develop productive working partnerships with key stakeholders.
  • Experience in project management and budgeting.
  • Comfortable communicating with broad and diverse audiences.
  • Ability to prioritize, multi-task and follow-through on tasks under frequently changing structures, requirements, and work priorities.
  • An expert-level understanding of organizational development and performance.
  • Less than 10% to attend APHSA and partner events as needed; remote candidates expected to have additional travel periodically to Washington D.C. for relevant APHSA and federal meetings and activities.

At APHSA, we value and support the health, well-being and future of our staff. Our benefit package is based on improving employee morale, which fosters a work environment where staff feel they can thrive and feel accomplished. Aside from basic benefits such as 100% employer coverage of health, dental, and vision insurance, we also offer additional employee benefits and perks like these:

  • $250 work from home stipend
  • 3% contribution to 401 k or ROTH Plan
  • Monthly Staples account allowance
  • Hybrid work environment
  • Additional discretionary holidays included with 11 paid holidays
  • Employee Appreciation gifts and an APHSA Swag pop-up shop
  • 15 vacation days
  • 15 sick/wellness days
  • Disability insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • FSA (health, dependent, commuter)
  • Optional employee paid benefits (legal, pet insurance, critical illness, accident)

Interested candidates are encouraged to submit a resume and cover letter.


This employer participates in E-Verify for employment verification.

The American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) is a bipartisan national membership association representing state and local health and human services agencies and the subject matter experts that help execute their mission to improve outcomes for people nationwide. APHSA’s dedication to promoting diversity, racial equity, multiculturalism, and inclusion is clearly reflected in how we work and support our members. It is more than a commitment—it is the foundation of how we do what we do. We strive to create a workplace that reflects the communities we serve and recognize that building well-being starts with creating a space where our employees are comfortable bringing their authentic, unique selves to work.

Building on our long-standing relationships with health and human services leaders, we focus on generating pragmatic solutions that advance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities.

Job posted: 2022-11-02