Director of Advocacy

04 Sep, 2023


Director of Advocacy

Arnold Ventures
Washington, DC

Arnold Ventures is a philanthropy whose core objective is to maximize opportunity and minimize injustice. We are dedicated to tackling some of the most pressing problems in the United States. We invest in sustainable change, building it from the ground up based on research, deep thinking, and a strong foundation of evidence. We drive public conversation, craft policy, and inspire action through education and advocacy.

Position Overview

The Arnold Ventures Advocacy team strengthens the organization’s partnerships with federal and state governments and supports our policy teams’ efforts to bring research and evidence into the policymaking process. The Advocacy team is responsible for working with the organization’s policy and research teams to develop and execute legislative advocacy campaigns around our policy priorities; building, resourcing, and maintaining strategic alliances with engaged and influential state and national partners and stakeholders.

Reporting to the Executive Vice President of Advocacy, and based in Arnold Ventures’ Washington, D.C. office, the Director of Advocacy will be responsible for the development and execution of state and federal legislative advocacy strategies to advance Arnold Ventures Higher Education policy priorities. The Arnold Ventures Higher Education team works to change policies to improve outcomes and return on investment in higher education for students and taxpayers, with a focus on increasing transparency, accountability, and the use of evidence-based interventions. This individual will be responsible for identifying, analyzing, and pursuing new, high-leverage philanthropic opportunities in these areas and managing current investments, partnerships, and strategies.

Core Responsibilities

  • Develop and execute Arnold Ventures’ higher education legislative advocacy strategies, in partnership with the Vice President of Advocacy, Vice President of Higher Education, and other key members of the higher education policy team
  • Oversee multiple higher education legislative issue advocacy campaigns simultaneously across several states and at the federal level in close coordination with external partners, the Advocacy and Higher Education teams, and AV leadership
  • Build and manage relationships with bipartisan higher-education advocacy stakeholders and federal and state-level lawmakers, including state and federal lobbyists and consultants
  • Oversee investments and partnerships, and draw lessons from them to inform strategy and future projects
  • Engage in planning with Arnold Ventures team members to explore and develop cross-initiative charitable investment opportunities

Required Qualifications

  • 7 – 10 years relevant work experience, preferably in positions involving issue advocacy campaigns, public affairs consulting, government relations or project management
  • Experience in building and supporting issue advocacy campaigns and lobbying at the state and/​or federal level
  • Experience building and managing bipartisan coalitions and strategic relationships with diverse groups and interests
  • Knowledgeable of federal and state policymaking systems, processes, and political activity reporting requirements
  • Strong leadership and management skills
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, including experience leading and facilitating executive-level discussions
  • Exceptional project management and organizational skills.

Our Culture and Core Values

Our culture seeks to inspire and empower our people to innovate and develop bold ideas that will help Arnold Ventures achieve lasting impact. Our culture, and the core values that support it, should create an environment that spurs our team to think outside the box, feel comfortable pushing the boundaries of what is possible, and signal confidence in our team’s ability to make change happen through our philanthropic efforts. Although not an exhaustive list, below you’ll find examples of Arnold Ventures’ work culture.

  • We are adaptable and comfortable with ambiguity.
  • We are intellectually curious, open-minded, objective, humble, collegial, and receptive to feedback.
  • We are action-oriented with strong self-direction and self-motivation skills with the ability to work simultaneously on multiple projects.
  • We are able to interact confidently and collaboratively with team members and navigate relationships with external experts, government leaders, advocates, and individuals impacted by the justice system.

Arnold Ventures’ values are integral to our lived experience. They genuinely reflect who we are as an organization, help us accelerate our strategic goals, strengthen our resolve, anchor us to our mission, and guide our decision-making. The successful candidate will also demonstrate the following core values that inspire the Arnold Ventures team to make a difference.

  • Respect for Ourselves & Others
  • Audacious Action
  • Collaborative Engagement
  • Depth of Thought
  • Clear Communication

Arnold Ventures is an equal opportunity employer, committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, gender identity or expression, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, military/​veteran status, or any basis prohibited by applicable law. 

Acknowledging the importance of diverse perspectives, Arnold Ventures is committed to employing individuals from a variety of backgrounds and with a variety of experiences. Members of historically marginalized communities and candidates who have been impacted by the systems we are seeking to change are strongly encouraged to apply.


Job posted: 2023-09-04