Director of External Affairs

20 Dec, 2021


Director of External Affairs

Open New York
New York, NY

Open New York (ONY), a grassroots group advocating for abundant homes and lower rent, is seeking a Director of External Affairs. The Director of External Affairs will be a member of ONY’s senior leadership team.

The Director of External Affairs will work closely with the Executive Director and ONY Board to develop and implement a government affairs and communications strategy designed to achieve the goals of ONY — in particular support the creation of more housing in high opportunity areas. The Director will build relationships at local and state levels of government, as well as create a housing toolkit and processes to realize a housing agenda.

The ideal candidate will have strong relationships at local and state levels of government, as well as a proven track record of working collaboratively with senior levels of leadership. The candidate will also have experience with government processes, and an understanding of land-use processes and housing issues in New York City.

The Director of External Affairs will report directly to the Executive Director.

Job responsibilities

  • In partnership with the Executive Director and ONY Board, develop and implement a government affairs strategy to achieve the rezoning and legislative priorities of ONY;
  • Build relationships with government stakeholders, including but not limited to the NYC Mayor and agencies, NYS Governor’s office, State Senate, State Assembly, NYC Council, Office of the Public Advocate, and Community Boards in priority areas;
  • Create a housing toolkit for elected officials and community partners to utilize and learn about the current and potential housing landscape of their respective district;
  • In partnership with the Organizing Director, activate members to effectively pressure and communicate a housing-first agenda in New York City
  • Educate government, elected and community partners about ONY’s agenda
  • Produce a wide range of day-to-day communications work, including drafting public remarks, news releases, quotes, email blasts, web and social media copy along with occasional correspondence and publications;
  • Serve as the office’s primary media contact.

Skills and Qualifications:

  • 5 or more years of experience in government affairs work, in one or more of the following types of organizations: city or state government, political and/or issue advocacy campaigns, lobbying, labor unions, non-profit, policy or community organizations;
  • Comprehensive knowledge of NYC’s diverse neighborhoods and communities;
  • Strong working knowledge of the responsibilities and powers of Community Boards, as well as government agencies and processes;
  • Experience working collaboratively at a senior level;
  • Experience and skill in public speaking, including on and off-record experience with reporters;
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills;
  • The ability to work well under pressure and deadlines as well as prioritize tasks;
  • Demonstrated ability to build relationships with key stakeholders and community groups
  • Willingness to learn and embrace a broad range of technologies and systems;
  • Literacy in Spanish or Chinese is a plus;
  • Data analysis and research skills a plus;
  • A demonstrated commitment to the mission and values of Open New York.

How to Apply

Submit a resume, cover letter and the contact information for three professional references to Please include “Director of Organizing” in the subject line.

Submission of an application package is not a guarantee that you will receive an interview. Only those candidates under consideration will be contacted.

Open New York is committed to a diverse workforce, and we seek diversity among applicants for this position. People of color, women, LGBTQIA+, people with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.

Open New York is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.

Job posted: 2021-12-20