Director, Legislative Affairs
The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) is seeking a highly strategic and knowledgeable Director of Legislative Affairs to strengthen and execute CLASP’s legislative agenda on Capitol Hill.
Founded 50 years ago in Washington, D.C., CLASP is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, anti-poverty organization advancing federal, state, and local policy solutions for low-income people. We view all our work through a racial equity lens, addressing the barriers people face because of race, ethnicity, and immigration status. Within our broad anti-poverty mission, CLASP is organized around six policy teams: Child Care and Early Education, Youth Policy, Postsecondary Education and Workforce Development, Income and Work Supports, Immigration and Immigrant Families, and Job Quality. Over the past several years, we have integrated our work more extensively across teams, providing depth on crosscutting issues such as criminal justice reform and mental health.
In 2017, CLASP created a department of Legislative Affairs as part of a larger strategic expansion of its policy, legislative, and communications capacity to increase our effectiveness and reach new audiences. Since then, CLASP has elevated and strengthened our legislative work across the organization toward several key goals: broadening the impact of our policy work in the Congressional process by increasing our presence and visibility on the Hill; strengthening and expanding our relationships with key Congressional Members and staff; developing federal legislative strategy across policy teams; and deepening staff knowledge of the legislative process and organization-wide opportunities to influence that process.
The new Director will build on a strong foundation to take our legislative affairs work to the next level of impact, through the continued development of CLASP’s legislative strategy and priorities, deepening relationships with legislative staff and committees, and continuing to broaden and deepen our reach on Capitol Hill.
The Director of Legislative Affairs will report directly to the Deputy Executive Director for Policy and work closely with CLASP’s Executive Director and Senior Leadership Team to carry out this agenda and set strategic priorities. The Director will also partner with policy staff from across the organization on relevant legislative issues.
Key responsibilities include:
- Leveraging the capacity of CLASP’s highly regarded policy and technical leaders effectively and quickly to inform Congressional deliberation and action, including:
- Proactively building and strengthening Congressional relationships through ongoing, regular contacts with a wider number of offices, senior staff, and Members.
- Maintaining and expanding CLASP’s Hill presence to increase the visibility of CLASP and our key priorities.
- Increasing CLASP’s capacity to inform all phases of the legislative process, including being a thought partner with Congressional Members and staff (for example, during the development of legislative proposals).
- Coordinating CLASP’s rapid response to high priority issues/threats and requests from legislative staff, through direct engagement of Members and staff as well as a range of communications strategies, in coordination with CLASP’s policy and Communications teams.
- Building CLASP’s internal capacity to be an effective partner to Hill staff and Members, including:
- Working with policy teams and Communications to develop materials, briefings, and talking points that respond directly to the needs of and questions from Members of Congress and their staffs.
- Developing internal staff skills, through coaching and staff development activities.
- Maintaining information flow about Hill activities within CLASP, through e-mails, tracking systems, and meetings.
- Developing cross-cutting Hill strategies and priorities, in partnership with the Deputy ED for Policy, the ED, and the policy team leads.
- Improving CLASP’s capacity to engage with and advise partners on federal legislative strategy, both in the field and in D.C., including through leadership and active participation in key coalitions and campaigns.
- Participating in CLASP-wide activities through the Leadership Team and other organization-wide activities (for example, the cross-CLASP committee on Racial Equity).
- Direct supervision of one research assistant.
The ideal candidate will have the following qualifications:
- At least 5-7 years of Capitol Hill legislative experience. Recent experience (either working on the Hill or in an external advocacy role) and current Hill relationships are preferred. This is a minimum; the successful candidate will likely have considerably more experience.
- Demonstrated commitment to improving the circumstances of people with low incomes, people of color, and immigrants.
- Substantial experience working with a mission-driven nonprofit or public agency would be helpful.
- General familiarity with one or more of the core policy areas that CLASP works on is required; in-depth experience in at least one of these areas is strongly preferred.
- Knowledge or previous experience building a strategic policy-advocacy framework and setting strategic priorities.
- Capacity to be effective in an organization of experts and peers.
- Understanding of our partner organizations (anti-poverty, civil rights, and sector-specific) and their legislative roles/strategies.
- Strong written and oral communications skills are required, including experience writing for a Hill audience.
- Successful experience as a leader, through direct supervision and/or project leadership.
Position is based in Washington, D.C.
Salary is commensurate with experience. CLASP offers exceptional benefits, including health insurance, dental insurance, life and long-term disability insurance, long-term care insurance, a 403(b) retirement program, flexible spending accounts, and generous vacation, sick leave, and holiday schedules.
The Center for Law and Social Policy is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or age.
Resumes will be accepted until position is filled.
Job posted: 2020-10-26