Director, Policy & Advocacy

20 Jun, 2022


Director, Policy & Advocacy

Seattle, WA

Director, Policy & Advocacy

Job Details

Job Type


Seattle, WA


About Treehouse: At Treehouse, we envision a world where every child who has experienced foster care has the opportunities and support they need to pursue their dreams and launch successfully into adulthood. And our team of staff who embody and deliver the heart and care of our work is our secret sauce.

Treehouse seeks to hire passionate individuals who understand the power of young people, celebrate diverse voices and challenge themselves to do better for youth in foster care. We are committed to providing opportunities for staff to learn, grow and stay with the organization during an exciting time as we expand our services and reach statewide.

Benefit Summary:

Treehouse values work-life balance and prioritizes the health and well-being of our staff. Benefits include medical, dental, vision and life insurance plans with 100% employer-paid premiums; a retirement plan with 3% employer match; and paid leave that includes 9 holidays, generous PTO and two weeks of staff appreciation days off.

  • Generous PTO of 4 weeks 
  • Healthcare Benefit plan options include 100% covered preventive care 
  • 2 Weeks off (separate from PTO) for Staff Appreciation Weeks
  • 403B Retirement Plan Matching 
  • The company covers 100% of payroll taxes for state family medical leave
  • Free convenient parking 
  • Dog Friendly Office Space


The Director, Policy & Advocacy is responsible for leading the strategy for and implementation of the organization’s federal and Washington state policy agendas to transform systems to drive positive outcomes and reduce disparities caused by systemic racism. The position will lead an inclusive process to develop the annual legislative agenda, driving board and staff engagement in policy advocacy, and executing grassroots advocacy strategies to achieve policy objectives and secure government funding.

Essential Functions: 

Organizational Leadership:

· As a member of Directors Team, contribute to organizational goals, strategic planning, budgeting and effective organizational culture, management and communication.

· Participate in developing and monitoring the annual budget for the Policy & Strategy Team.

· Translate strategy into actionable objectives and plans, and maintaining direction while balancing big-picture context with day-to-day issues.

Policy & Systems Change

· In partnership with EVP/Chief Policy & Strategy Officer, lead inclusive process to develop and implement annual public policy agendas and public funding strategy to align with strategic and systems change objectives.

· Provide key input to organization’s systems change agenda, strategy and evaluation.

· Serve as a reliable subject matter expert on education, child welfare, the educational success of youth in foster care, and Treehouse as an organization.

· Serve as the organization’s primary federal and state child welfare policy lead.

· Research, analyze, and monitor federal and state policy issues, legislation and funding streams impacting youth who have experienced foster care through a racial equity lens.

· Develop and maintain critical expertise on transformational approaches and trends in systems reform that produce improved outcomes for youth who have experienced foster care.

· Provide reliable, timely analysis and strategic guidance on policy issues, advocacy strategies, and community engagement.

· Partner with relevant teams to analyze potential impacts of legislation on our youth and the organization and incorporate feedback into Treehouse strategies and priorities.

· In partnership with EVP/CPSO, direct the work of Treehouse’s paid lobbyist to achieve public policy and government funding objectives.

· Track the implementation of child welfare and education laws, funding, policies, and practice, and determine how best to influence implementation efforts.

· Partner with relevant staff to ensure policy and research updates are shared in a timely manner with Board, staff, partners, youth, caregivers, volunteers, donors and grassroots advocates.

· Serve as primary staff liaison to Policy & Advocacy Committee, partnering with EVP/CPSO and committee leadership to set strategy, agendas and lead board member engagement in policy and advocacy.


· In partnership with EVP/CPSO, lobby and advocate with state legislators and other elected officials to advance Treehouse’s policy priorities.

· Lead development and execution of the strategy to acquire, engage and activate grassroots advocates.

· Direct public advocacy efforts in partnership with Marketing & Communications.

· Develop a wide range of content and materials in support of the organization’s policy agenda and voice, such as advocacy action alerts, blog posts, talking points, legislative summaries, factsheets, testimony, reports, and letters.

· In partnership with Director of Systems Change & Youth Engagement and Director of Education Policy & Partnerships, track all relevant legislation, partner and coalition priorities, and adapt our legislative and/or grassroots strategy as needed.

· In partnership with Director of Systems Change & Youth Engagement and youth fellows, develop and implement strategies to center the expertise of youth and young adults in setting the organization’s policy agenda and in the advocacy process.

· Prepare Board, staff and youth and young adults to testify or otherwise participate in the advocacy process.

· Develop and implement strategies and tools to effectively track work with legislators, policy advocates, and advocacy coalitions.

· Plan and implement advocacy events and other activities to support the organization’s policy goals, such as legislative advocacy days, town halls, legislator visits, and meetings.

· Educate staff, Board members and the community about the legislative process, policy priorities, and advocacy in preparation for each legislative session.

· Communicate the outcomes of each legislative session to Board, staff and grassroots advocates.

· Facilitate Board, staff, and grassroots advocate participation in public policy work, including meetings with elected officials, legislative testimony, state rulemaking, and influencing policies and practice.

· Develop strategy to maximize the use of and establish working knowledge of online grassroots advocacy tool.

· Demonstrate the organization’s advocacy effectiveness through monthly reporting and updates.

· Complete all required reporting as a registered lobbyist.

Collaboration & Partnership

· Build alliances and promote policy collaborations across issues, such as child welfare, K-12 education, higher education, juvenile justice, poverty, youth homelessness, and others.

· In partnership with EVP/CPSO, build and maintain relationships with state and national elected officials and key state agency staff to achieve public policy and funding objectives.

· Serve as primary organizational representative with legislative aides and legislative committee staff.

· Represent Treehouse at appropriate advocacy coalitions, task forces, workgroups, and committees.

· Work with executive, legislative and judicial branches of government to advance Treehouse’s policy priorities and systems change work.

Additional Functions:

· Attend Directors Team, Management & Culture, All-Staff meetings and retreats.

· Other duties as assigned.


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: 

· Minimum five years’ (5) experience in legislative advocacy, public administration, policy analysis, and/or government relations

· Knowledge of local, state-level and federal education, child welfare, and juvenile legal systems policy and reform efforts.

· Knowledge of local, state and federal funding streams.

· Experience analyzing and interpreting legislative and regulatory language.

· Demonstrated ability to build working relationships with individuals of various ages, cultures, socioeconomic backgrounds and abilities.

· Demonstrated commitment to dismantling systemic racism in policy and advocacy work, and to using co-design principles to deeply involve youth and young adults in designing policy solutions.

· Deep commitment to racial equity and social justice and ability to effectively engage in candid conversations about diversity, equity, inclusion and justice.

· Experience developing and advancing policy initiatives and funding requests through the state legislative process.

· Excellent advocacy, consensus-building, and coalition-building, skills; demonstrated ability to work with groups and individuals across the political spectrum.

· Strong analytical, strategic thinking and problem-solving skills with the ability to consistently produce quality work in a demanding, fast-paced environment.

· Ability to balance multiple and competing priorities while maintaining focus on long-term goals.

· Demonstrated ability to develop effective partnerships with other organizations to achieve strategic objectives.

· Demonstrated success leading and inspiring colleagues and partners in the absence of positional authority.

· Ability to adapt to changing situations and priorities, and manage effectively in times of ambiguity and change.

· Exceptional verbal and written communication skills and the ability to communicate complicated policy ideas in a compelling and accessible manner.

· Confident, polished and effective public speaking skills.

· Professional maturity and integrity with a high level of self-direction and sense of urgency.

· Strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and time management skills.

· Ability and aptitude with Microsoft O365 and other technology necessary for successful day-to-day functioning in business environment.

· Clear nationwide criminal background check and driving record background check.

· Reliable transportation to regularly travel to Olympia, WA in order to meet with legislators and testify to legislative committees.

This position pays $91,290- $98,593, exempt. Treehouse also offers a generous paid time off plan, free medical, dental, vision, and 403(b) plan.

As of October 18, 2021, Treehouse staff are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as indicated by the CDC. If hired, you will be required to submit proof of vaccination on the first day of hire. Staff may make requests for a reasonable accommodation based on a medical disability or for sincerely held religious beliefs that would not cause undue hardship or pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others. Philosophical, political, scientific, or sociological objections to vaccination will not be considered for an exemption or accommodation.

Physical and Mental Requirements: 

· Mental Requirements – Ability to reason logically and make sound decisions, to consider alternative and diverse perspectives, to communicate effectively both orally and in writing, to remain poised under all circumstances, and to interact effectively with people in a positive manner that creates confidence and trust.

· Physical Requirements – long periods of sitting, working on a computer, walking to various work areas, going up and down stairs, talking on the phone, working with office/computer equipment, attending meetings and sitting at desk or table while listening, talking and taking notes.


The information presented indicates the general nature and level of work expected of employees in this classification. It is not designed to contain, or to be interpreted as, a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, qualifications and objectives required of employees assigned to this job. As an adaptive organization, responsibilities can and will change in alignment with greater efficiencies and mission metrics.

Apply here

Job posted: 2022-06-20