Director of Advocacy, Training & Professional Development

22 Oct, 2020


Director of Advocacy, Training & Professional Development

Society for Neuroscience
Washington, DC



The Society for Neuroscience is searching for a Director of Advocacy, Training & Professional Development.  The Director oversees  Advocacy initiatives to include promoting and increasing U.S. federal funding for science, advancing and protecting policies that facilitate research including the responsible use of animals in research, and collaborating with other domestic and international organizations to enhance coordination on advocacy agendas and activities.  The Director is also responsible for strengthening a growing scientific training strategy that provides neuroscientists at various career stages with learning opportunities related to new techniques and approaches in science, as well as programming that helps them advance professionally within their careers. This includes overseeing SfN’s diversity efforts, including administration of grant-funded programs. 


  • Develops and implements strategies to increase support for U.S. federal funding of biomedical research in coordination with volunteer leadership, senior SfN staff, and legislative advisors.
  • Engages with coalitions and partners to monitor policy activities that impact members
  • Directs advocacy engagement efforts, including U.S. grassroots initiatives and international collaboration.
  • Leads SfN engagement on the responsible use of animals in research, including regulatory matters, public policy, and communications activity.
  • Guides SfN’s scientific training strategy to provide the membership with learning opportunities year-round, including new tools and techniques in neuroscience  
  • Oversees development and implementation of professional development offerings, as well as programming related to neuroscience-specific workforce issues
  • Manages tools and programs aimed at helping neuroscientists find new opportunities (graduate fair, job fair, career center, etc.), working with other departments to promote and grow engagement
  • Ensures smooth planning, implementation, and success of all workshops, courses, and related events at SfN annual meeting. 
  • Serves as the liaison to four assigned committees, working as an active steward and staffer to help volunteer leaders engage on critical questions.
  • Develops, monitors department goals and budgets in support of SfN’s strategic plan, carefully monitoring data, leveraging business intelligence and reporting tools, and forecasting regularly as appropriate. 
  • Oversees timely completion of all programmatic compliance requirements and reports related to externally funded projects and programs.
  • Cultivate relationships among staff and across departments to execute projects collaboratively and effectively. 



  • Oversees Advocacy, Training & Professional Development staff through strategic leadership and by providing leadership in change and risk management
  • Hire, develop, and retain strong players
  • Delegates effectively, communicates expectations clearly, and provides professional development opportunities 
  • Provides strategic leadership in alignment with divisional and organizational goals and objectives
  • Facilitate respect, synergy, and collaboration in team dynamics 



    • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred
    • 7 to 10 years’ experience in areas described below, with a mix of time in associations, Congress, the Executive Branch, private sector, or educational organization/institution or a relevant non-profit.
    • Experience working in an advocacy environment, including understanding of the federal budget and appropriations process and advocacy strategies


  • Experience working in science training and/or professional development, including familiarity with the needs of scientific trainees and the ethical standards for scientific rigor preferred.


  • Experience administering grant-funded programming and budgets, including federal grants; budgeting/financial management 
  • A minimum of three years of supervisory experience 



  • Demonstrated ability to develop, execute, and communicate advocacy strategies
  • Ability to work collaboratively with patient advocacy groups and stakeholder partners
  • Strong leadership skills
  • Demonstrated ability to ensure the consistent monitoring of programs for success and schedule, and ability to get projects back on course when required.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills including effective presentation and meeting facilitation skills.
  • Ability to work across teams and influence with diplomacy and tact
  • Demonstrated understanding of and sensitivity to diverse communities

If this is you and you are ready to make meaningful contributions to a highly relevant and important mission, we want to learn more about you and your accomplishments.  Please include a cover letter telling us why this is the role for you as part of your application.

Our generous benefits package includes:  medical, dental, disability and life insurance; flexible spending accounts, two retirement plans with employer matching and nonmatching contributions; 12 days of paid vacation, 12 days of paid sick leave, with additional personal leave and 10 paid holidays; gym membership reimbursement; and tuition reimbursement.

The Society for Neuroscience is wholly dedicated to recruiting, developing, and retaining a diverse group of talented people.  We are committed to provide equal opportunities to all employees and applicants without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other protected criteria, in accordance with applicable law and we welcome Veteran applicants.

Please apply here on our website.

Job posted: 2020-10-22