Director, External Affairs

13 Sep, 2021


Director, External Affairs

ServiceYear Alliance
Washington, DC

A Shared Vision

Service Year Alliance envisions a future in which national service — including civilian, military, and public service — is part of growing up in America. We work to make a year of paid, full-time service — a service year — a common expectation and opportunity for all young Americans. To achieve our mission, Service Year Alliance develops and documents evidence in priority focus areas to persuade decision makers to increase public and private investments in the service year ecosystem. We build coalitions and foster strategic corporate, community, and research partnerships and develop service year programs and resources in priority focus areas to strengthen the case for service years. We advance policy proposals that unlock public funds for service years to create the opportunity for all young Americans to serve. We elevate service years as an experience that transforms lives, strengthens communities, and fuels civic renewal.

Job Overview

Service Year Alliance (SYA) is seeking a Director, External Affairs to grow our efforts to build and strengthen relationships with partners in and outside of the national service field. This person will be responsible for message development, relationship management, and building strategic partnerships to promote strategies for national service to serve as a human capital solution for key issue areas, with an initial focus on climate change. The Director, External Affairs will report to the Managing Director, External Affairs, joining the External Affairs unit which also includes a Manager, Communications.

SYA is about to embark on a multi-year project to engage new and existing partners to use national service to solve major climate challenges and build pathways into careers in the climate sector. The Director, External Affairs will play a leading role in this effort. They will serve as an external spokesperson and relationship builder at the intersection of these sectors, and will collaborate closely with the Programs team, especially the Director, Programs who will be convening a Climate Cohort of service year programs to capture best practices and develop new learnings within the national service field.

Responsibilities and Duties 

Responsibilities and duties for the Director, External Affairs role include, but are not limited to: 

  • Identify, establish, and maintain relationships with external organizations interested in creating or informing new climate focused service year programs
  • Manage and build upon existing relationships with partner organizations within the climate and workforce sectors
  • Help develop partnerships with organizations with expertise in areas of common interest
  • Track, share, and make recommendations regarding climate sector trends and activities that can inform innovation in models and best practices for climate-related service year programs
  • Serve as an expert within the organization on specific climate & workforce area/s that intersect with national service programs
  • Discover and steer compelling story-telling efforts that demonstrate the effectiveness that climate-related national service programs have on workforce development and/or growth, broader economic benefits, competitiveness, and the benefit all communities
  • Develop and pioneer external communications strategies that help recruit young people into climate-related service years and raise awareness about service years as a way to spend a year fighting climate change
  • Represent the organization at events to reinforce Service Year Alliance’s role within the national service and climate space
  • Ensure that interactions with key targets are carefully tracked in our database



Qualifications for this role include, but are not limited to:

  • 5-7 years of professional experience working in an externally facing role
  • Excellent relationship building & partnership management skills
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills, including the ability to synthesize and summarize complex issues, tell stories with data, and present ideas
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective cross-functional working relationships and build connections among a variety of stakeholders and external partners
  • Familiarity with platforms and tools that can increase efficiencies within the External Affairs function and help Service Year Alliance reach target audiences
  • A learning mindset, dedicated to contributing to a culture of learning we are working to foster at SYA


  • Experience working with a service organization focused on climate or workforce development pathways
  • A developed network and experience working within the climate, workforce, or national service sectors
  • Proactive, entrepreneurial attitude with a desire to innovate, develop, and implement
  • Demonstrated interest in or knowledge of climate policy and the national service field
  • National service alum
  • Willingness to do some travel (approximately 10% of time) on behalf of SYA for meetings or events when it is deemed safe to do so

**Please note due to the current pandemic, all staff members are currently working remotely. Although SYA’s reopening schedule is to be determined, this position will be located in Washington, D.C and being physically present in the work space/area will be a requirement in the near future.


About Service Year Alliance

Service Year Alliance is a bipartisan organization committed to making a year of paid, full-time service — a service year — a common expectation and opportunity for all young Americans. Expanding service years has the power to address our country’s most pressing challenges, change the lives of those who serve, and unite our nation.

Service Year Alliance is committed to creating a diverse, inclusive, and equitable environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. We are an employer of National Service. AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other service year alumni are encouraged to apply, as are military veterans. Please indicate in your application if you have served in one of these programs. SYA is based in Washington, DC.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2021-09-13