Associate Director of Public Policy and Strategic Advocacy

09 Feb, 2021


Associate Director of Public Policy and Strategic Advocacy

Polaris Project
Washington, DC

About Program

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. Informed by data and evidence, working closely with

Polaris’s programmatic experts, and guided by survivors, we identify meaningful and effective policy solutions

and build holistic advocacy strategies to pass legislation and change policies to prevent and combat human

trafficking and 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 helping to revive and grow our work at the state and local level. Working in partnership

with Polaris’s programmatic 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. 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, an understanding of grassroot organizing and digital advocacy, and experience developing

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;
  • 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;
  • Develop educational materials and messaging tools to educate partners, decision makers, and the
  • public about our policy goals;
  • Draft grassroots communications in targeted states, cities, and congressional districts
  • to advance legislative 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;
  • Commitment to the National Human Trafficking Hotline mission and Polaris values; and
  • 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

  • Minimum of 5 years of progressively relevant experience;
  • Proven track record designing and executing issue campaign strategies and tactics;
  • Experience building partnerships and working in coalition, particularly with diverse constituencies;
  • An understanding of 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;
  • Excellent problem solving skills and creative thinking;
  • Ability to work both independently and with a team;
  • Willingness to travel when safe to do so; and
  • Demonstrated commitment to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience working at the state and/or local government level either through external advocacy or campaign experience or directly in government;
  • Experience using relevant CRM and advocacy software and tools such as Salesforce and KnowWho; and
  • 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)

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.

Diversity Statement

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: 2021-02-09