Director, Governmental Affairs

20 Dec, 2021


Director, Governmental Affairs

Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU)
Washington, DC

Title: Director, Governmental Affairs

Office: Office of Governmental Affairs

Supervisor: Vice President, Governmental Affairs and Associate Vice President, Research Policy & Governmental Affairs

Status: Full-Time; Exempt

Level: Director

Location: Washington, DC

Application Deadline: Applications will be reviewed as received with preference given to applications received by Tuesday, January 11, 2022


The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), a research, policy and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities, is seeking a Director to play a key role in the Governmental Affairs Office on issues related to science and research policy/funding and other top advocacy priorities. Working closely with the Vice President for Governmental Affairs and the Associate Vice President for Research Policy and Governmental Affairs, the Director will develop and advance a portfolio of APLU’s science and research policy and related budget and appropriations priorities. Areas of focus for the position may include the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Defense (DOD), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST), environmental sciences/research (Department of Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), and intellectual property (patents and copyrights). The specific portfolio will be determined by needs of the office and the interests and qualifications of the candidate.

The incumbent will work with Congress to boost federal support for scientific research within the assigned portfolio and will advocate directly with the agencies and the administration. The position requires extensive, collaborative engagement with partner higher education organizations and advocacy coalitions. Successful candidates will have at least six years of successful federal government/relations experience including experience with research policy, be energetic team players as well as self-starters, have exceptional written and verbal communication skills, possess excellent organizational and interpersonal skills, be detail-oriented and be able to juggle multiple responsibilities simultaneously. A deep interest in the nuances of public policy and commitment to the equity, access, and inclusive values and mission of public universities are a must. This full-time position will be based in Washington, DC. (Employees are working remotely from locations within DC, MD, VA through March 2022 due to COVID-19.) For more information on APLU, please consult


APLU is a research, policy, and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. With a membership of 244 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and affiliated organizations, APLU’s agenda is built on the three pillars of increasing degree completion and academic success, advancing scientific research, and expanding engagement. Annually, member campuses enroll 5 million undergraduates and 1.3 million graduate students, award 1.3 million degrees, employ 1.3 million faculty and staff, and conduct $49.2 billion in university-based research. For more information, consult

APLU’s Office of Governmental Affairs (OGA) leads the association’s engagement with Congress and the administration to advance policy that furthers the ability of public universities to impact society through their education, research and community engagement missions. As a membership association with institutions in all 50 states, APLU is uniquely positioned to effectively advocate for its priorities. APLU’s advocacy is conducted in close collaboration with member institutions through its Council on Governmental Affairs, which consists of university federal relations officers, as well as other key university leaders such as vice presidents for research and presidents and chancellors.


  • Help lead the development and implementation of a proactive federal relations strategy to advance APLU’s policy positions related to science and research policy within assigned portfolio. Analyze and track legislation and federal regulations in related areas. The incumbent will assume responsibilities related to intellectual property and other priorities.
  • Engage with members of Congress, congressional committees, and representatives of relevant agencies within assigned portfolio on policy and funding issues of importance to public research universities.
  • Work closely with the APLU Council on Governmental Affairs to support the advocacy of member institutions and enhance the association’s advocacy effectiveness.
  • Engage with partner organizations and advocacy coalitions by regularly participating in external meetings and identifying opportunities for leadership, collaboration, and shared advocacy on issues related to science and research policy.
  • In collaboration with the Vice President for Governmental Affairs and the Associate Vice President for Research Policy and Governmental Affairs, help coordinate and manage programming for APLU’s Council on Governmental Affairs, including monthly calls and quarterly in-person meetings.
  • Draft policy papers and contribute regular news and analysis on matters of science and research policy issues for the Council on Governmental Affairs and other APLU constituency groups including presidents and chancellors, provosts, vice presidents for research, etc.
  • Work with APLU’s Office of Public Affairs on external communications relative to issue portfolio, including op-eds, website updates, social media content, etc.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • At least six years of cumulative experience on Capitol Hill, relevant federal agencies, or in positions focused primarily on government affairs, preferably in areas related to research and science policy.
  • Possess expert knowledge and demonstrated content expertise on areas related to federal appropriations, research and policy.
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills; exceptional presentation skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to work collaboratively in an inclusive environment and provide strategic direction and leadership to multiple constituencies
  • Excellent organizational skills; detail-oriented; able to juggle multiple responsibilities simultaneously.
  • Strong commitment to advancing equity, access, and inclusion to public higher education, science, and support the ongoing mission of APLU.
  • Ability to travel domestically as needed as pandemic health conditions allow.

To Apply

Please send a cover letter and resume to APLU’s Office of Human Resources at with the subject line: GA Director. Applications will be reviewed as they are received, with priority given to those submitted by Tuesday, January 11. APLU is committed to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment, and supports staff with a generous benefits package.

APLU is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and is committed to recruiting, employing, training, compensating and promoting staff regardless of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

Job posted: 2021-12-20