Director, Public Policy Advocacy Department

31 Dec, 2020


Director, Public Policy Advocacy Department

Florida Education Association
Tallahassee, FL

The Florida Education Association (FEA) is the largest association of professional employees and the largest labor union in the Southeast, representing more than 145,000 members. FEA members include teachers, education staff professionals, higher education faculty and graduate assistants, retirees, education students, and early career educators. FEA represents the professional and working interests of its members and plays a prominent role in shaping state policies that affect public schools. FEA is a merged state association affiliated with both the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

Position Summary

FEA seeks a dynamic Director to lead its Public Policy Advocacy Department (PPA). The primary responsibilities of this leadership position include: developing and implementing political, legislative, and policy initiatives to advance FEA’s vision, mission, and goals; advising FEA’s elected Officers and leadership team regarding political and legislative developments; developing and maintaining pertinent relationships that assist FEA in shaping public education policy; and effectively representing FEA’s political, legislative, and policy initiatives to internal and external stakeholders. The successful candidate must possess the knowledge and ability to effectively navigate politically-sensitive issues, successfully build and maintain bipartisan political relationships, effectively manage multiple high-priority projects, and productively lead a dynamic team.

Specific Responsibilities

  1. Strategically develop and implement political, legislative, and policy initiatives designed to advance FEA’s vision, mission, and goals.
  2. Develop and maintain pertinent, cooperative relationships with organizations (such as think tanks and community partners) and individuals (such as elected and appointed public officials and other stakeholders) seeking to shape public policy and other issues impacting FEA members.
  3. Lead and manage the PPA team, ensuring effective and efficient positioning of staff and resources.
  4. Represent FEA in dealings with the Governor, the Florida Legislature, local elected and appointed officials, community stakeholders, and other commissions and boards.
  5. Ascertain, analyze, and report to FEA’s elected Officers and leadership team on all political developments and policy proposals that may potentially impact FEA’s vision, mission and goals.
  6. Coordinate the development and implementation of FEA’s legislative and political action programs, including grassroots organizing and strategic empowerment of FEA’s members.
  7. Collaborate with other FEA leaders and staff who focus on political initiatives, campaigns and other organizing work, and strategically communicate internally and externally to enhance public awareness and support of FEA’s political and policy initiatives.
  8. Oversee the coordination of NEA and AFT political, legislative, and committee efforts in Florida, including NEA Fund and AFT Cope efforts.
  9. Work in coordination with the Communications and IT leadership and staff to strategically create and disseminate FEA’s political, legislative, and policy initiatives, as well as call-to-action materials.
  10. Assist with the creation of scripts, speeches, and presentations related to political, legislative, and policy initiatives for FEA’s elected Officers and leadership team.
  11. Explore, coordinate, and facilitate available human, fiscal, and programmatic resources available through NEA and AFT.
  12. Represent the interests of FEA at the local, state, and national level.
  13. Perform other duties and inter-departmental activities as assigned by the Chief of Staff.

Management Responsibilities

  1. Advance FEA’s vision and mission by identifying opportunities for increased organizational effectiveness and efficiency through shared organizational learning.
  2. Recommend programs, policies, and services that are aligned with FEA’s vision, mission, and strategic goals.
  3. Report to and advise the Chief of Staff or designee on FEA programs, policies, and services.
  4. Manage, execute, and be a steward of the departmental and organizational budget, finances, and other resources.
  5. Educate FEA staff on the vision, mission, and goals of FEA, and responsibilities to members as owners of FEA.
  6. Contribute to the functioning and deliberations of the management team.
  7. Support planning, coordination, and implementation of programs and services across departmental and cross-domain boundaries.
  8. Continually review and assess programs and services to assure alignment with FEA’s mission and strategic goals.
  9. Uniformly and consistently manage, implement, and enforce FEA’s programs, policies and the FEA/FSO Collective Bargaining Agreement.
  10. Effectively manage FEA’s human resources through assigning, supervising, and evaluating department staff.
  11. Actively support FEA’s Affirmative Action Program and policies.

General Responsibilities

  1. Strong interpersonal skills and diplomatic approach to managing relationships between local affiliates, service units, and staff from individual contributors to senior/executive leadership.
  2. Ability to deal with a geographically diverse organization with autonomous, membership-based operating units.
  3. Support activities that promote membership recruitment, engagement, and growth.
  4. Efficiently utilize technology and software such as the Microsoft Office Suite and Microsoft Office 365.


  • A four-year degree from an accredited college or university in public policy, political science, public administration or a related field is required.
  • Professional lobbying/legislative experience is required.
  • Professional lobbying/legislative experience in Florida is desired.
  • Professional experience building bipartisan support for political, legislative, or policy initiatives is required.
  • Experience leading and managing a team is required.
  • Experience working in public education policy is highly desired.
  • Experience working in a non-profit or union environment is highly desired.
  • Experience successfully working with governance boards, committees, or councils is highly desired.
  • Knowledge of FEA, NEA, or AFT is desired.
  • Professional experience developing and working within complex budgets in desired.
  • Ability and willingness to travel extensively, including overnight travel, is required.

Compensation & Benefits

Salary will be based on relevant experience and qualifications. FEA provides medical, dental, vision, life, and long-term-disability insurance to its employees and eligible family members with no monthly employee premiums. Additionally, FEA provides retirement options, vacation leave, sick leave, and paid holidays.

To apply

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume via email to Candidates will be reviewed on a rolling basis. 


Consistent with the FEA Affirmative Action Plan, minority, female, and physically challenged applicants are encouraged to apply. Please contact FEA’s Office of Human Resources at 850-201-3215 or to request an accommodation during the application process.

Job posted: 2020-12-31