Associate Director of Public Policy and Strategic Advocacy

23 Jul, 2021


Associate Director of Public Policy and Strategic Advocacy

Washington, DC

The Mission

Polaris is leading a data-driven social justice movement to fight sex and labor trafficking at the massive scale of the problem – 25 million people worldwide deprived of the freedom to choose how they live and work.

For more than a decade, Polaris has assisted thousands of victims and survivors through the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline, helped ensure countless traffickers were held accountable and built the largest known U.S. data set on actual trafficking experiences. With the guidance of survivors, we use that data to improve the way trafficking is identified, how victims and survivors are assisted, and how communities, businesses and governments can prevent human trafficking by transforming the underlying inequities and oppressions that make it possible.

About Opportunity

The Associate Director of Public Policy and Strategic Advocacy will significantly expand Polaris’s policy and advocacy capacity by reviving and growing our work at the state and local level. Working in partnership with Polaris’s programmatic and communications teams, the Associate Director will develop and implement campaigns in target cities and states to achieve specific policy goals that contribute to our long-term strategies to dismantle the systems that enable human trafficking to happen in the first place, with a focus on our goal to measurably reduce sex trafficking in 25 cities around the country. Alongside the Director of Public Policy and Strategic Advocacy, the Associate Director will also be a key player driving the development and growth of a grassroots and grasstops network to support Polaris’s advocacy efforts.

The Associate Director will have a successful track record of state and/or local advocacy or issue-based campaigning, experience with grassroot organizing, and demonstrated success developing diverse coalitions and partnerships. They will be a strategic thinker with strong written and verbal communication skills and a commitment to achieving results.


  • Develop creative and holistic advocacy campaigns in target cities and states to achieve Polaris’s policy goals, utilizing tactics such as direct lobbying, grassroots action, digital advocacy, grasstops engagement, and media work. This work will focus on advancing the city and state level policy goals of Polaris’s Strategic Initiative on Sex Trafficking, and will work in close partnership with the programmatic team leading this initiative.
  • Identify, train, and provide ongoing support to grassroots and grasstops advocacy partners in target locations to help build the movement of anti-human trafficking advocates.
  • Draft grassroots communications in targeted states, cities, and congressional districts to advance legislative goals;
  • Working in collaboration with the communications team, develop educational materials, messaging tools, and digital engagement opportunities to educate partners, decision makers, and the public about our policy goals;
  • Monitor legislation at the state and local levels and keep relevant colleagues up to date on trends and opportunities;
  • Establish metrics and tools to track our progress;
  • Manage relevant consultants and contracts. There is a possibility of staff supervision in future years;
  • Commitment to the National Human Trafficking Hotline mission and Polaris values;
  • Other duties as assigned by supervisor.

This job description provides a summary of the major duties and responsibilities performed by individuals in this position. Incumbents may be asked to perform other tasks not specifically written in this job.

Required Qualifications

  • Deep passion! Mad skills! Low ego!
  • At least 7 years of progressively relevant experience.
  • Proven track record designing and executing issue campaign strategies and tactics.
  • Experience working at the state and/or local government level either through external advocacy or campaign experience or directly in government.
  • Demonstrated experience building partnerships and working in coalition, particularly with diverse constituencies.
  • Experience developing and implementing grassroots organizing strategies and tools.
  • Excellent writing and communication skills, including strong interpersonal skills and an ability to break down complex issues into easy-to-understand communications.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and/or experience
  • Excellent problem solving skills and creative thinking.
  • Ability to work both independently and with a team.
  • Ability to travel up to 20% of time.
  • Demonstrated commitment to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience using relevant CRM and advocacy software and tools such as Salesforce and KnowWho as well as other digital advocacy and organizing tools.
  • Familiarity with human trafficking policy.

Working Conditions

  • Typical office setting (currently remote/work from home operations due to COVID-19)
  • Up to 20% of domestic travel (once public health conditions allow)

Physical Requirements (can change with position)

  • Prolonged sitting, chiefly at a computer terminal;
  • Occasional bending, stooping and stretching;
  • Requires eye-hand coordination and manual dexterity sufficient to operate a computer, telephone, calculator, and other office equipment;
  • Requires normal range of hearing and eyesight to record, prepare, and communicate in writing, in person and by phone;

Organization Background 

VALUES: Polaris is grounded in a set of values and organizational beliefs and strives to model and embody these values in all that it does.

We work with humility and a spirit of service. We serve a mission that is bigger than ourselves, and we recognize that we cannot do this work alone. We foster a caring community of mutual support, and we actively pursue collaborations and partnerships to expand our reach.

Victims’ and survivors’ experiences ground our efforts. We honor the dignity, agency, and resilience of victims and survivors of slavery, both past and present. We serve, work alongside, and stand in solidarity with those who have been most affected by modern slavery.

We strive for inclusion and equity. We engage different perspectives to inform our decisions, actions, and positions. We create opportunities that empower individuals of diverse backgrounds and circumstances. We acknowledge the structural inequities that lead to human trafficking and modern slavery, which drives us to create just and equitable solutions.

We approach our work with courage. We promote a culture of inquiry, innovation, risk-taking, and continuous learning. We are resilient and evolve when faced with obstacles or failure. We recognize that what is typical or traditional is not always optimal.

We create positive impact and achieve results. We leverage and cultivate the strengths of our staff, and we work with discipline, integrity, and a commitment to excellence. We embrace a measurement culture to track our progress. We view impact holistically, considering multiple sectors and the effects on individuals’ lives, as we pursue systemic and social change to eradicate modern slavery


Polaris designs and implements data-driven strategies to prevent and disrupt human trafficking, and restore freedom to survivors. Achieving this ambitious goal requires both trafficking-specific systemic interventions and broader cultural and structural shifts that reduce the inequities that lead to human trafficking. While Polaris alone cannot build a more diverse, just, equitable, and inclusive society, both the success of our work and our organizational values require modeling in the workplace the change we want to see in the world.

This means cultivating a workforce, organizational culture, and priorities that respect and celebrate a dynamic, multi-disciplinary team made up of individuals with different identities, lived experiences, and backgrounds. Within both our team and across every part of our work, we strive to integrate and elevate the full range of survivor voices.

This is a living commitment. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are values to be manifested daily, in the work we do, the decisions we make, and the way that we treat each other and the people we seek to serve. This means creating space where staff can be included, heard, valued, and set up for success, and where everyone feels empowered to bring their full, best selves to work. We will not check boxes and consider it done. We will push new innovations and different ways of thinking, and treasure the community built and strengthened by each of our contributions.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2021-07-23