Director, Disability Policy

13 Oct, 2021


Director, Disability Policy

Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA)
Washington, DC

Position Summary:

The Director, Disability Policy will report to the Vice President, Public Policy and Advocacy. This individual will have experience in leading national level public policy and advocacy efforts focused on disability policy pertaining to accessibility, employment, education, and other areas. The Director will lead efforts on conceiving, enacting, and supporting the implementation of public policy proposals that increase travel, employment, education, and other opportunities for the neuromuscular disability community. This individual will be responsible for working with colleagues across MDA’s departments to ensure that all MDA efforts to serve those with disabilities align with the organization’s advocacy priorities. The Director will chiefly focus on policies pertaining to increasing opportunity for those with disabilities and will be required to represent MDA in multiple functions including, but not limited to, coalition efforts, meetings with policy makers, and other engagements to promote MDA’s policy work to empower the neuromuscular disability community.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Oversee the development and execution of public policies focused on increasing employment, education, travel, and other life opportunities for those with neuromuscular disabilities in consultation with Public Policy and Advocacy Department leadership and colleagues.
  • Inform the content of all outgoing advocacy communications pertaining to increasing employment, education, travel, and other life opportunities for those with neuromuscular disabilities, and collaborate closely with Advocacy Engagement colleagues and MDAs internal communications department.
  • Craft innovative public policy interventions to increasing employment, education, travel, and other life opportunities for those with neuromuscular disabilities.
  • Analyze proposed public policies pertaining to employment, education, travel, and other life opportunities for those with disabilities and evaluate the potential effect they may have on the neuromuscular disease community.
  • Proactively evaluate how existing and proposed disability policies can better address structural racial and socioeconomic inequities within the neuromuscular disease community.
  • Collaborate with Advocacy Engagement staff to ensure all MDA website and social media materials pertaining to disability public policy is current and well-presented.
  • Lobby Congress in support of, or opposition to, legislation that will impact the neuromuscular disability community.
  • Co-administer an advocacy grants program that funds innovative advocacy initiatives important to the neuromuscular disease community.
  • Collaborate with Advocacy team on periodic events, including Lobby Days.
  • Direct public policy and advocacy efforts in the following policy areas:
    • Accessible Travel (accessible air travel, public transit, infrastructure, and other accessibility-related policy and advocacy efforts
    • Educational opportunities (access to higher education, k-12 education for those with disabilities, HEA, IDEA, other educational opportunities)
    • Employment opportunities (disability minimum wage, credits and tax incentives for disability hiring, other employment policy pertaining to those with disabilities
    • Other policies focused on correcting societal discrimination against those with disabilities.
  • Lead engagement with relevant Federal agencies focused on the disability community.
  • Track, evaluate, and prepare regular reports around disability policy and advocacy efforts in which MDA is engaged or monitoring to MDA staff and partners as required.
  • Represent MDA at meetings, symposia, Congressional hearings, and other events as requested.
  • Represent MDA in relevant coalitions pertaining to accessible air travel, disability employment, and more.
  • Work closely with MDAs research, communications, marketing, care center, and other departments on an ongoing basis.
  • Participate in speaking engagements and on panel opportunities as requested.
  • Participate in MDA training, educational activities, and events.
  • Forge collaborations with likeminded advocacy organizations to expand the reach of MDAs advocacy efforts.
  • Perform other related duties as required and assigned.


  • Bachelors degree required, with a minimum of 5 years of public policy and advocacy, or relevant, experience at the national level.
  • At least two years experience working on public policies pertaining to the disability community required.
  • Capitol Hill, federal agency, or similar non-profit experience strongly preferred.
  • Ability to analyze proposed public policies and their potential impact on the neuromuscular disease community.
  • Ability to synthesize complex information and communicate in an accessible format.
  • Ability to coordinate with multiple stakeholders.
  • Ability to direct multiple high-level tasks and initiatives in a fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to work closely and compassionately with volunteer advocates from the neuromuscular disease community
  • Strong, consistent, proactive, and inclusive written and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong computer skills, including Microsoft Office, and ability to use (or learn) advocacy software platforms and patient management platforms.
  • Ability to communicate complex policy scenarios and the implications for the neuromuscular disease community.

MDA is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2021-10-13