Director, Advocacy & External Affairs

21 Nov, 2020


Director, Advocacy & External Affairs

Feeding America
Washington, DC


Work. Serve. Thrive.

Imagine a place where your talent can make a meaningful difference in peoples’ lives. Working at Feeding America is a uniquely rewarding experience in which our employees work together as vital parts of a much larger mission. We are innovative, mission-focused, diverse, collaborative, values-driven and focused on results.

We are a national, nonprofit organization and the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity. Located in the heart of downtown Chicago, our mission is to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger.

The Opportunity

Implements a wide range of strategic, analytic and campaign skills to develop and execute advocacy initiatives that engage members and the public to take action to advance Feeding America’s public policy and legislative objectives and to catalyze a movement to end hunger in America. Develops and implements advocacy strategies to develop Feeding America’s advocacy capacity across the network and online to increase our impact. Develops and implements policy research and campaign strategies to help with efforts to advance the movement to end hunger. Serves as a spokesperson on advocacy, movement building, hunger and Feeding America before a range of audiences. Helps position Feeding America as a leading organization on domestic hunger. This position reports to the VP of Advocacy with a dotted line to the VP of External Affairs.


  • Develops and implements strategies and plans to engage network advocates to advance Feeding America’s policy and legislative priorities including overseeing network advocacy grants, outreach, tracking network advocacy and outcomes for specific issue portfolio.
  • Oversees and implements legislative advocacy trainings for network members to build advocacy skills and increase impact.
  • Manages the day-to-day activities related to the Policy, Engagement and Advocacy Committee (PEAC), comprised of network members, to build network engagement in policy development and legislative and advocacy strategies and to strengthen FA impact on legislative priorities.
  • Manages the day-to-day activities related to engaging State Association legislative advocacy outreach to advance network advocacy and outcomes.
  • Provides strategic counsel on digital advocacy programs including ad campaigns, online to offline advocacy, digital advocacy retention and expansion.
  • Provides advocacy service and support, including strategic advice, “trouble shooting,” and technical expertise to the national office, network and state food bank associations on advocacy and mobilization.
  • Develop policy road map for solving hunger with an emphasis on expanded federal nutrition and food bank programs with input from internal and external stakeholders
  • Develop policy frameworks and strategies for branded anti-hunger initiatives targeted to specific population segments. Coordinate integration of these frameworks with grassroots advocacy while updating priorities to align with evolving legislative opportunities.
  • Oversee the evolving of policy frameworks toward multi-level policy view integrating federal, state, and local public sector initiatives.
  • Develop timely and effective tools for communicating policy road map and policy frameworks to various audiences, including grassroots and grasstops advocates, allied organizations, elected officials, and business, faith, and civic leaders.
  • Provides strategic counsel to the VP of Advocacy and VP of External Affairs.
  • Represents Feeding America at advocacy and movement building events, forums, speaking engagements, conferences, coalition meetings and similar events.
  • Collaborates with the marketing and communications teams on messaging and digital advocacy strategies and movement building efforts.
  • Manages external consultants and budget to support advocacy and external affairs efforts.
  • Responds to requests for information on advocacy and external affairs initiatives.


  • BA/BS in communications, government affairs, marketing, political science, public policy, sociology or social work strongly preferred or relevant work experience
  • 10+ years’ experience in issue advocacy, grassroots mobilization, external affairs or issue campaigns

Foundational Requirements

  • Committed to organizational mission of ending hunger. Consistently considers the needs of individuals and families facing hunger when making decisions.
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion – Committed to a workplace that values different backgrounds and life experiences and allows everyone to bring their authentic self to work.   Builds equity into structures, systems and processes for our employees and the communities we serve.

Required Leadership Competencies

  • Translates strategy to operational goals – Translates Advocacy and External Affairs strategies into SMART project goals for teams and individuals. Ensures highest and best use of allocated resources. Empowers team members to execute projects.  Defines clear project deliverables and monitors and reports against progress.
  • Leverages Functional Expertise– Leverages deep knowledge of Advocacy and External Affairs to shape operational decisions and project plans.  Uses prior technical experience to improve processes and procedures within the organization. Tracks latest practices and innovations and ways these could improve processes within the organization.
  • Drives Change– Leverages data-based observation, interpretation and intervention to engage stakeholders in shaping and implementing solutions.  Identifies challenges and systemic barriers to change at the department/team level and engages in dialogue and productive conflict to move change forward.
  • Collaborates Internally & Externally– Actively supports collaboration within and between departments and with key stakeholders.  Collaborates and models positive engagement resolving issues with a focus on mission and what’s best for the people we serve.
  • Communicates Effectively– Ability to successfully communicate governmental and policy information to non-technical audiences that drives actions and advocacy efforts across a broad range of audiences to support Feeding America’s policy agenda.

Required Technical Competencies and Experience

  • Must have significant digital advocacy and grassroots advocacy experience, including expertise in distributive campaigning.
  • Knowledge of Capitol Hill, Administration or issue advocacy experience.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Strong understanding of the federal, state legislative and regulatory process and congressional committee structure.
  • Ability to think creatively and strategically as part of a team and within broad coalitions.
  • Proficient in MS Office applications.

Feeding America embraces a philosophy that recognizes and values diversity.  Our goal is to attract, develop, retain and promote a talented diverse workforce in a culture where all employees will contribute to their fullest potential.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2020-11-21