Government Affairs Manager (Office of Communications)

05 Apr, 2021


Government Affairs Manager (Office of Communications)

The Urban Institute
Washington, DC

Who we are:

At the nonprofit Urban Institute, we believe in the power of evidence to improve lives and strengthen communities.  Our employees are empowered to open minds, shape decisions and offer solutions.  We encourage intellectual honesty, innovation, diversity, and mutual respect, and our analysis elevates the debate, wherever it takes place.

Urban’s greatest asset is our people. We strive to attract and cultivate a vibrant, creative, and diverse community.  Our employees drive Urban’s mission through entrepreneurship, innovation, leadership, effective communication, results-orientation, and relationship cultivation.  Our success depends on engaging individuals who possess and value these attributes.

How you’ll contribute:

To support this work, the Urban Institute is seeking a Government Affairs Manager to conduct strategic outreach to federal agency elected and appointed officials, agency career staff, White House officials and other key stakeholders. This is a new position designed to meet increased demand from policymakers for evidence-based insights from Urban’s experts. The Government Affairs Manager will also support Urban’s outreach work with congressional members and staff and will coordinate with staff across Urban.

The ideal candidate will have a keen understanding of the federal government, including budgetary and regulatory processes, executive action, and the policymaking ecosystem, along with excellent communication and interpersonal skills. This candidate will be expected to translate complex research findings for policy audiences and work with researchers to hone insights and answer questions.

This position reports to the Director of Government Affairs as part of the Communications (COMM) Department and will work closely with research staff in developing and maintaining relationships with individuals across the federal government.


  • Develop and execute strategic outreach and communications plans to increase the visibility of Urban Institute research with the administration and federal agencies;
  • Monitor actions at relevant federal agencies, the Office of Management and Budget, and the White House and provide regular updates for Urban researchers;
  • Identify opportunities to include Urban experts and their research in ongoing policy debates;
  • Advise and coach researchers on how to share research findings with policymakers for maximum impact;
  • Cultivate relationships with key agency officials and staff; connect stakeholders with Urban’s senior leaders;
  • Represent Urban at external events and briefings with policymakers and stakeholders;
  • Track metrics to measure performance and report on progress toward team and organizational goals using internal systems;
  • Help support outreach to congressional offices and other policymakers in addition to other External Affairs functions as needed;
  • Coordinate with other Urban staff who are engaging federal agencies as they generate new research opportunities.

What you’ll bring:

The successful candidate will have:

  • B.S. or B.A. in public policy, political science, history, communications, or other related field; master’s degree in public policy or public administration a plus;
  • 5-7years of professional experience working within federal agencies, the White House, the administration or federal legislative process; government affairs experience with the executive branch may be included in this experience;
  • Experience working and communicating with federal officials, including translating complex policy materials into relevant documents or key points;
  • Ability to prepare subject matter experts (i.e. economists, researchers) for briefings and meetings;
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills; demonstrated ability to communicate within the policy development ecosystem (e.g. with program staff, stakeholders, elected officials, advocates, etc.);
  • Ability to work independently, coordinate working groups, and manage day-to-day operations;
  • Astute judgement combined with ability to work under tight deadlines and set priorities;
  • Ability to cultivate relationships and exchange information with internal colleagues and outside stakeholders – including both peers and organization leadership.

A cover letter must be included in the application.

What you’ll experience:

Working in the nation’s capital, the epicenter of public policy, among a network of policy experts, you can expect to have an impact on policy areas you care about and work with great colleagues who are smart, mission-driven, and collaborative.  You will blend academic rigor with on-the-ground collaboration, be encouraged and supported to fulfill your potential through meaningful work that matters, and enjoy a welcoming workplace free from harassment, discrimination and intolerance.

In addition, we offer a comprehensive benefits package that includes: medical, dental, disability, and life insurance coverage.  Competitive paid time off allowance, and eligibility to participate in a generous retirement savings plan and reimbursable commuting expense program.

The Urban Institute is committed to Equal Employment Opportunity without regard for race, ethnicity, gender, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other protected status under applicable law.

The Urban Institute is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer Minorities/Women/Disabilities/Veterans.

Please apply online at:

Job posted: 2021-04-05