Government Affairs Manager or Senior Manager, Civil Rights Portfolio

16 May, 2023


Government Affairs Manager or Senior Manager, Civil Rights Portfolio

National Employment Law Project
Washington, D.C.

The National Employment Law Project (NELP) seeks a dynamic and skilled person with civil rights and racial justice expertise to join our team in the role of Government Affairs Manager or Senior Manager (dependent upon experience) in the Washington, D.C. office.

Who We Are

Founded in 1969, the nonprofit National Employment Law Project (NELP) is a leading advocacy organization with the mission to build a just and inclusive economy where all workers have expansive rights and thrive in good jobs. Together with local, state, and national partners, NELP advances its mission through transformative legal and policy solutions, research, capacity building, and communications. Our victories over the last decade have impacted the lives of an estimated 100 million workers and their families. We lead and collaborate in fights for higher pay and just benefits, secure and safe jobs, and support at each stage in a worker’s life. For more information, read our annual reports and explore our website:

NELP has a team of 55 staff people based across offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Berkeley, CA, with an 11-person Board of Directors, an annual budget of $17M-20M, and hundreds of partners in the field with whom we work to further our mission.

What You Will Do

You will be based in the Washington, DC location as a member of our Government Affairs team, reporting to the team’s Director. You will work with NELP’s staff of lawyers, policy experts, researchers, and strategic communications experts to advance our civil rights priorities. This is a non-supervisory role. You will be responsible for the following:

  • Having primary responsibility for the civil rights portfolio. Issues you will cover will include, but not be limited to: occupational segregation, “fair chance” employment for people with arrest and conviction records, immigrant workers’ rights, and relevant issues before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and other agencies.
  • Lobbying Congress, the administration, federal agencies, and state and local governments/legislators about our core issues and priorities, including coordinating lobby visits for coalitions and allies.
  • Drafting Congressional or other testimony, op-eds, blogs, reports, talking points, and other outreach and educational materials.
  • Assisting with state and local legislative and administrative campaigns.
  • Representing NELP in the coalitions, community events, public forums, and the media, including print, radio, television, and social media.
  • Keeping abreast of relevant information, resources, tools, and developments in the federal domestic economic policy field.
  • Sharpening the vision of our strategic priorities in collaboration with our team.
  • Supporting a workplace culture where all team members grow and develop professionally.
  • Actively contributing to NELP’s work in becoming an anti-racist organization that reflects and embodies internally the values of dignity, justice, equity, and inclusion.

Who You Are

  • You have at least 6 years of civil rights advocacy experience in policy, legal, research, or organizing work to advance economic and/or racial justice; and at least three years’ experience lobbying with a working knowledge of our federal, state, and/or local civil rights laws and the agencies that enforce them.
  • You may describe yourself as a “people person.” You thrive meeting new people and forging productive working relationships with them. You are self-aware, curious, and respectful.
  • You have a proven track record of working with diverse stakeholders and in coalition with groups, such as community-based organizations, legal, and labor; and with policymakers.
  • You are creative and independent; you have a track record of starting or leading new initiatives, often in collaboration with partners.
  • You have strong project management skills. You are a strategic and clear-headed thinker and doer, have experience managing multiple projects, overseeing, tracking details, and achieving timely results.
  • You have strong racial equity competencies and center your role in an analysis and understanding of how race and power shape systems in our society and culture and you are continuously learning, reflecting, and growing; you foster trust and transparency across lines of difference by listening deeply, and offer direct, honest feedback with compassion and clarity of purpose.
  • You are a confident and comfortable public speaker and have experience speaking in front of a variety of audience including presenting, testifying, and/or engaging with the media.
  • You are a skilled written communicator, with a demonstrated ability to explain complex issues in compelling, digestible, and accurate work products such as reports, op-eds, talking points, and/or issue briefs.
  • You operate with a commitment to excellence, integrity, diplomacy, and camaraderie.

Start Date, Location, Compensation and Benefits: This position is based out of NELP’s Washington, DC office. NELP has a hybrid model that includes an in-person office requirement, which is being phased in this year. By October 2023, staff will work in-person at least six days per month. This hybrid model seeks to leverage both the benefits of working with colleagues in-person and the benefits of flexible remote arrangements. Meeting with allies or policymakers and their staff in-person as necessary is an expectation of the job. This position will require some travel, including for NELP internal meetings or conferences. The start date will be as soon as possible.

This position is in NELP’s bargaining unit, represented by National Organization of Legal Service Workers, UAW Local 2320. Classification and compensation for NELP bargaining unit positions is commensurate with relevant experience and education and based on NELP’s collectively bargained scales.  Based on our union scale, here are some examples of salaries for this position:

  • with a Bachelor’s degree and 6 years of relevant experience, the salary will be $81,400;
  • with a relevant Master’s degree and 10 years of post-graduate relevant experience, the salary will be $102,450;
  • with a JD and 15 or more years of post-graduate relevant experience, the salary will be $118,500.

The job title designation of “senior” and differences in salaries are based on education and years of relevant experience.

Compensation also includes an excellent comprehensive benefits package, including full coverage of family health insurance, a medical reimbursement plan, generous vacation and sick leave, plus additional organization-wide holidays, significant contribution from employer to a retirement plan (both an unelected contribution and employer match); and for qualifying participants, up to 26 weeks paid parental leave, 12 weeks paid medical leave, 6 weeks of paid family medical caregiving leave, a sabbatical leave program, childcare/eldercare reimbursement assistance, and student loan repayment assistance.

To apply: Go to our online application system at to submit a cover letter, resume, and writing sample. Candidates must be eligible and authorized to work in the United States. If you have questions regarding this announcement, please forward those to, noting the job title in the subject line. No phone calls or other email inquiries, please. We will consider applications on a rolling basis; interested applicants are encouraged to submit sooner rather than later.

NELP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and an equal opportunity, fair chance, affirmative action employer, committed to building a diverse and inclusive workforce.  All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status.

Job posted: 2023-05-16