Executive Director of Government Relations

24 Aug, 2019


Executive Director of Government Relations

Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR

The Executive Director of Government Relations is a full-time (1.0 FTE), 12-month, fixed term professional faculty position for Oregon State University’s Office of the President. Reappointment is at the discretion of the president.

Founded in 1868 as Oregon’s land grant institution and one of only two land, sea, space, and sun grant universities in the U.S., Oregon State University serves the state, the nation, and the world as a premier 21st-century research university. OSU is Oregon’s statewide university with its main campus in Corvallis; a branch campus in Bend (OSU-Cascades); a presence in Newport (Hatfield Marine Science Center), Portland (OSU Portland Center), and online (Ecampus); and educational programs, Extension, and engagement in all of Oregon’s counties.

The executive director plays a vital leadership role in supporting and preserving the university’s land grant mission, realizing its vision and its commitment to fostering a university community that prioritizes diversity and inclusive excellence, and advancing its strategic plan by directing the university’s interactions at the local, state, and federal levels and building relationships among and between various constituencies to advocate for the university and advance its policy and funding priorities. This is a fast-paced, high-profile position with responsibilities including monitoring, managing, and engaging in federal and state legislation programs and proposals; developing and maintaining effective relationships with governmental agencies and officials; and overseeing the university’s interactions with members of Congress and executive branch agencies. The executive director builds networks to link and mobilize stakeholders and works with faculty, staff, students, alumni, and other stakeholders to coordinate their engagement in government relations activities. The executive director also provides direction to and works in support of student advocacy efforts and works with colleges and college leadership teams on key legislative issues. In partnership with other university leaders, the executive director participates in constituent relations, public affairs communications, and issues management on a range of organizational and public policy matters.

The executive director leads the Government Relations Office, which represents Oregon State University in the governmental process by building and maintaining relationships between the university and various civic, government, and political communities. Responsibilities include defining and leading the direction for the office, leading a high-performance team comfortable operating in a highly complex and dynamic environment, and building a culture of continuous improvement and collaboration.

OSU is a collaborative, inclusive, and respectful community that strives for equity and equal opportunity in everything we do, including a welcoming environment for colleagues and customers alike.

Position Duties
35% Leadership and Engagement
• Develop and execute long-term government relations objectives on behalf of the university.
• Engage, inform, and motivate key local, state, and federal leaders and constituencies (including, but not limited to, legislators, the governor, the state treasurer, state agency directors, and other community and local entities) in the delivery of the university’s research, education, and outreach and extension mission.
• In partnership with other university leaders, assist with crisis and issues management; serve as a liaison between legislators or other stakeholders and the university on a range of organizational and public policy matters.
• Serve as a member of the University Cabinet, advising the president on matters related to university-wide initiatives and operations and participating in shared strategic thinking and collaboration in support of the president’s agenda and initiatives.
• Provide counsel to the OSU Board of Trustees, president, provost, and other senior leaders in the development and implementation of policies, programs, and initiatives that involve the university’s mission, external funding, and political reputation.
• Coordinate the political engagement of the OSU Board of Trustees, the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees, the OSU Alumni Association, The Beaver Caucus, and various student organizations, including but not limited to the Associated Students of Oregon State University, the Associated Students of Cascades Campus, and the Presidential Student Legislative Advocates.
• Provide guidance to students and student organizations in a range of advocacy efforts.
• Collaborate with key partners, including the Oregon State University Foundation and Oregon State University Alumni Association. At times, this may include participating in events and supporting donor cultivation and stewardship. When doing so, the executive director is in an official OSU capacity.

35% State Legislative Affairs
• Develop, orchestrate, and implement OSU’s state legislative priorities for both the short and long legislative sessions.
• In consultation with other university leaders, develop legislative proposals and funding priorities, and advocate for and work to pass successfully the university’s priorities each legislative session.
• Act as a liaison between and facilitate communications with the university and the governor’s staff, state legislators, and state agency directors.
• Ensure the Oregon State University community is responsive to legislative requests and that legislators are aware of the value Oregon receives from its investment in higher education.
• Foster a university-wide culture of state relations and advocacy; provide a wide range of opportunities for students, staff, faculty, alumni, and other stakeholders to interact positively with state and local officials; build the capacity of such groups to serve as advocates and convey messages that clearly articulate the university’s mission, vision, and state policy and funding priorities.
• Build coalitions of stakeholder and legislative support across a wide array of geographical, political, and economic interests to advocate on the university’s behalf.
• Keep the president, provost, and other senior leaders apprised of salient state issues, including developments regarding state legislative, budgetary, and regulatory activity that may affect the university.
• Serve as a primary point of contact between the university and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) and the Oregon Council of Presidents (OCOP); direct and manage communications, analysis, and advocacy between the university and the HECC and OCOP; serve as a member of the Legislative Advisory Council with government relations representatives from other Oregon public universities.

15% Federal Legislative Affairs
• Manage and oversee the university’s federal efforts in concert with the Research Office.
• Ensure state and federal relations are synchronized.

15% Supervision
• Provide leadership, supervision, and direction to a high performing team to realize identified goals.
• Determine development needs and make appropriate arrangements for provision of training.
• Develop, implement, and evaluate philosophy, short- and long-range goals, and objectives and develop, implement, and enforce plans, policies, procedures, systems, programs, and performance standards.
• Determine and make recommendations to the president related to resource needs and priorities for the Government Relations Office.

Minimum/Required Qualifications
• Advanced degree in a field relevant to assigned responsibilities OR an equivalent combination of a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of seven years’ experience providing public affairs consultation and strategy.
• Demonstrated knowledge of local, state, and federal legislative and executive processes.
• Demonstrated success in legislative advocacy, negotiation, and persuasion.
• Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain relationships with public officials and their staffs.
• Demonstrated experience with crisis and issues management.
• Demonstrated ability to collaborate, assemble, and effectively work with teams from diverse backgrounds and perspectives and to mobilize diverse constituent groups to achieve identified goals.
• Demonstrated ability to work effectively in a complex organization and/or with complex issues.
• Demonstrated experience providing counsel and guidance to executives or leadership teams.
• Demonstrated commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion.
• Demonstrated excellent written and oral communication skills, with an emphasis on tact and diplomacy.
• Demonstrated ability to set a strategic vision and create public affairs plans and strategies.

This position is designated as a critical or security-sensitive position; therefore, the incumbent must successfully complete a Criminal History Check and be determined to be position qualified as per OSU Standard 576-055-0000 et seq. Incumbents are required to self-report convictions and those in Youth Programs may have additional Criminal History Checks every 24 months. Offers of employment are contingent upon meeting all minimum qualifications including the Criminal History Check Requirement.

Preferred (Special) Qualifications
• Demonstrated experience working with issues facing post-secondary education institutions with an emphasis on research, education, and outreach and engagement.
• Demonstrated knowledge of Oregon legislative and executive processes.
• Demonstrated knowledge of the mission of land grant institutions.
• Demonstrated knowledge of the dynamics of working in unionized environments.

Working Conditions / Work Schedule
Some evenings and weekends required.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2019-08-24