Associate State Director – Advocacy

09 Oct, 2017


Associate State Director – Advocacy

Columbia, SC

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).

SCE Vision:

-State & Community Engagement (SCE) enables AARP to be a nationwide organization, which strengthens our capacity to carry out our mission.
-SCE brings AARP closer to our members, people 50+, and their families, which allows us to listen – and respond – to their wants and needs that align with our mission.
-We drive an impact agenda, deepen relationships with key audiences & stakeholders, and build AARP’s relevance at the community and state levels.


Summary Statement

Works with staff, volunteers, members, chapters, and other AARP divisions to create positive social change and deliver value to AARP members within a strongly nonpartisan environment.  Develops and provides strategic leadership for AARP local, state and federal advocacy activities in the state. Builds and fosters appropriate relationships with elected officials at all levels (local, state, federal).  Implements national AARP advocacy efforts and campaigns in the state. Works with staff and volunteers to prioritize local, state and federal advocacy activity in alignment with state plan and national dashboard. Engages staff and volunteers in key relationship building, grassroots activities and related outreach activities. Recruits, develops, engages and leads the advocacy volunteers, providing training resources and support as needed. Works in close collaboration with the communications, outreach and volunteer engagement staff and volunteers for maximum integration and effectiveness.



1. Serves as a member of the state team and works with other state staff and key volunteers in the development of local, state and federal advocacy priorities that are consistent with national policy standards and mandates.   Manages the development of strategic plans and campaigns.  Builds strong grassroots and key contact capacities. Organizes and maintains effective statewide coalitions and partnerships dealing with strategic issues.

2. Provides leadership to staff and volunteers to develop a meaningful organization of involved and active volunteers that impacts public policy at the local, state and national level.   Fosters, builds, and maintains a strong grassroots and key contacts organization.  Demonstrates leadership that has a real and sustained impact on elected officials and other decision makers on behalf of AARP’s policy goals and objectives.

3. Plans and executes AARP advocacy campaigns that include grassroots and key contacts mobilization, lobbying, community resources and organization, policy expertise, and political knowledge in support of AARP advocacy goals at the local, state and national level.

4. Assists in the development of an assigned budget and guides strategy development through goal setting, priority ranking, political and environmental scanning, and advocacy outcome measurement, in relation to
state office priorities and the national AARP dashboard.

5. Develops, maintains and leverages relationships with elected and appointed officials and other decision makers in the state. Contacts and confers with members of the legislature and other public office holders to persuade them to favorable positions regarding AARP’s priorities.

6. Represents AARP before policy makers and those who promulgate rules and regulations in the state.

7. In close collaboration with the Community Outreach/Volunteer Engagement Associate State Directors, recruits, orients, trains and manages the advocacy volunteers.  Provides coaching, mentoring, technical assistance, and skill-building.  Provides or arranges for training on substantive issues requiring in-depth expertise and knowledge.

8. Focuses on active engagement and involvement of volunteers and members who are impacted by the issue at hand.  In consultation with Communications, informs members and the public on issues of concern to AARP, including voter education and advocacy regarding both state and federal legislative issues.

9. Develops issue briefings, materials and resources, which prepares staff, volunteers and partners for communicating policy, including with policy and lawmakers. Prepares written communications in collaboration with the Communications ASD, such as letters of support/opposition, speeches and testimony.

10. At the discretion of management, serves on national task forces and work groups, ensuring state relevance in the strategic planning and policy-making processes.

11. Responsible for regular reporting on progress and results, including recommended changes in the environment or execution of plans.

12. Demonstrates AARP Values Leadership Behaviors in all interactions.



Completion of a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, Public Policy Administration, Law, Business Social Science or related discipline and 5-7 years of experience or equivalent combination of training and experience related to position.

Demonstrates a deep understanding of the state’s political and community service environment and the leadership of the multiple factions. Must have technology proficiency. Experience in working with volunteers required. Previous grassroots organizing and/or government relations experience necessary.

Strong written and oral communications skills required, as well as an understanding of rules that govern state legislative bodies.


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.


Equal Employment Opportunity

AARP is an equal opportunity employer committed to hiring a diverse workforce and sustaining an inclusive culture.  AARP does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, color, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, mental or physical disability, genetic information, veteran status, or on any other basis prohibited by applicable law.



Learn more here

Job posted: 2017-09-16