Director of Community Engagement and Government Affairs

08 Nov, 2021


Director of Community Engagement and Government Affairs

Obama Foundation
Chicago, IL

About the Obama Foundation

At the Obama Foundation, we are guided by a core belief: that ordinary people working together can change history. Our mission is to inspire those people to take action, empower them to change their world for the better, and connect them so they can achieve more together than they can alone.

We were founded by community organizers, so when we seek change, we do it by bringing people together.

That approach begins at home, on the South Side of Chicago, where we are building the Obama Presidential Center. The Center represents a historic opportunity for Chicago: a chance to build a world-class museum and public gathering space that celebrates our nation’s first African American President and First Lady, steps away from where he began his career, where she was raised, and where—together—they made their home.

But that approach extends to all our work, whether it’s holding leadership training sessions in communities throughout the U.S., bringing local leaders together in countries around the world, working to support the global education of girls, or ensuring young men of color have pathways to opportunity.

As President Obama has said, “we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together.” So join us.

For more information, please visit

Purpose of the Role

The Director of Community Engagement will be responsible for leading, building, maintaining, and reporting out on relationships with key community and government stakeholders across the city in the lead up to the future opening of the Obama Presidential Center (OPC). The Director will oversee and execute a strategy that segments different Chicago communities, with different goals, messaging, and outreach goals. The Director will manage a team of 2-3 Associates responsible for overseeing and mobilizing “neighborhood teams” of volunteers, building relationships with key stakeholders, tracking and reporting out on engagement metrics, and organizing supporters and executing on the community engagement strategy. The Director will also be responsible for managing relationships with elected officials across the city, state, and federal government.

Core Job Responsibilities

  • Define and execute on the community engagement strategy: Oversee the design and execution of outreach and engagement strategies aligned to Civic Engagement strategic plan.
  • Outreach and engagement: Lead community and elected official outreach and engagement to answer questions and proactively provide information about the OPC and the Foundation’s work in Chicago.
  • Manage government affairs for the Foundation: Collaborate with the EVP of Civic Engagement to manage relationships with city, state, and federal elected officials and government.
  • Lead and manage a team: Guide Associates in defining executing on community engagement strategy and tactics, including mobilizing volunteers, supporters, and neighborhood teams.
  • Lead and manage projects: Define and manage community engagement goals on a quarterly basis to advance Foundation priorities, and associated tactics and projects to achieve those goals
  • Define, track, and report out on metrics: Define community engagement goals and tactics, and regularly report out and track metrics to the Civic Engagement and other Foundation teams as appropriate.

Key Deliverables / Outcomes

  • Key stakeholders are strategically engaged to advance internal Foundation priorities around the OPC and the Foundation’s work in Chicago
  • Chicago constituencies are mobilized in alignment with the plans of our internal teams and the Civic Engagement five year plan
  • A network of organizers in Washington Park, Woodlawn, and South Shore, are established and mobilized to work within communities on getting feedback and disseminating Foundation messages on the OPC
  • A network of organizers in other parts of Chicago are established and aware of and support the Foundation work in Chicago
  • Our Community Commitments are regularly updated, and progress is communicated
  • Elected officials are engaged and aware of Foundation and OPC updates
  • Accurate data on our community stakeholders, report out on data, and make decisions based on that data

Required Qualifications

  • Previous leadership experience in community engagement and government affairs for a medium to large institution
  • Previous experience with designing and executing on a community engagement strategy with goals, tactics, and metrics
  • Previous experience with community organizing preferred, but not required
  • Exceptional ability to lead and manage a team to achieve predefined goals against metrics and goals
  • Exceptional project management skills to mobilize and lead community engagement projects and events


Equal Opportunity Employer

The Foundation is committed to creating a diverse work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. The Foundation does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, parental status, veteran status, or any other protected status under applicable laws. We encourage individuals of all backgrounds to apply. If you are a qualified candidate with a disability, please e-mail us at if you require a reasonable accommodation to complete this application.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2021-11-08