Government Affairs Representative

28 Oct, 2019


Government Affairs Representative

American Counseling Association
Alexandria, VA

The American Counseling Association (ACA) is the world’s largest organization representing professional counselors in various practice settings.  Our vision: Every person has access to quality professional counseling to thrive.  Our mission: Promote the professional development of counselors, advocate for the profession, and ensure ethical, culturally-inclusive practice.  Our values: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Integrity, Proactive Leadership, Professional Community & Relationships, Scientific Practice & Knowledge, Social Justice & Empowerment. ACA acts in accordance with the ACA Strategic Framework; focused on achieving outcomes of critical and strategic importance.

All American Counseling Association team members are encouraged, supported, and expected to demonstrate The Way We Work Values: Be Flexible, Be Creative, Be Empowered, Be Inquisitive, Be Collaborative and Be Respectful.


The Government Affairs Representative will be responsible for serving as the primary representative for a designated state and federal legislative territory in order to generate awareness and support for the American Counseling Association’s legislative agenda. The Representative will develop and implement efforts to further the association’s legislative and public policy priorities. This role will be responsible for working with ACA staff and our 54,000 members.


• Develop and implement elements of successful public policy priority campaigns by developing the legislative strategy that is consistent with the organization’s strategic plan. These priorities will focus on Medicare, Veterans Affairs hiring for counselors, increased funding for school counselors, and other issues as part of ACA’s public policy and advocacy efforts.

• Meet one on one with members of the federal and state legislature, their staff, and other state government officials to gain support for the Association’s legislative agenda.

• Work with counseling organizations to promote policies supporting the counseling profession.

• Monitor and engage on federal and state-level legislative and regulatory issues of concern to ACA and apprise appropriate ACA members and staff of emerging advocacy issues.

• Monitor state laws, and regulations that affect the counseling profession and formulate the strategy to obtain member support within the states.

• Provide policy research, development of support materials, recruitment of spokespersons, testimony preparation, and other activities as needed to advance ACA’s legislative agenda.

• Draft bill language, testimony, regulatory comments, op-eds, and other policy-related communications as necessary.

• Participate in coalition building efforts and collaborative partnerships to leverage opportunities that advance ACA’s legislative agenda. Attend and participate in legislative hearings, coalition meetings, policy-related briefings, and other meetings as necessary.

• Collaborate with state membership to develop an annual state legislative agenda.

• Provide strategic direction on federal and statewide grassroots and key contact, recruitment, retention and mobilization efforts. Provide strategic direction and support materials for federal and state lobby days and/or local in-district meetings.

• Prepare timely legislative alerts, updates, analyses, position papers, and training materials.

• Collaborate on development and timing of media advocacy efforts to include social media.

• Respond to ACA member’s inquiries on legislative and public policy issues.

• Prepare required reporting information including local, state and/or federal lobbying reports and other reporting as necessary.

• Provide advocacy presentations and training opportunities to members and staff as needed.

• Attend and participate in relevant ACA meetings throughout the year, including national and affiliate staff trainings, affiliate and state-level meetings with staff partners, and coalition meetings.

• Write articles for our internal and external publications, including blogs.

• Organize advocacy events, such as fly-ins and/or leadership training.

• Maintain relationships with state licensure boards and monitor issues that affect the counseling profession.

• Attend the ACA Annual Conference and other conferences and meetings as needed.

• Serve as project manager on assigned initiatives, leading the design, planning, and execution of activities and tactics.

• Serve as a project team member on assigned projects.

• Develop and manage assigned budget areas, including reviewing/approving invoices, tracking expenditures, and submitting reports.


• Bachelor Degree required.

• 5-7 years of federal and state policy experience

• Experience working with a member of Congress, Center for Medicare and Medicare Services, or United States Department of Veteran Affairs highly desired

• Capitol Hill contacts or ability to develop contacts and relationships

• Knowledge of Medicare, and Veterans Affairs or willingness to learn

• Ability to register as a Federal lobbyist

• Knowledge or interest in learning how to utilize legislative advocacy technology such as Voter Voice

• Interest in the counseling profession desired

• Demonstrated superior written and verbal communications skills. Must be comfortable speaking before large groups

• Organized, flexible, and prompt with great attention to detail

• Outside of the box thinker who is a self-starter, and team-player with a sense of humor

• Effective researcher, writer and communicator

• Ability to travel up to 25% of the time on short notice

ACA IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION/PRO DISABLED AND VETERAN EMPLOYERAt ACA, Equal Employment Opportunity is our commitment and goal. All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, national origin, gender, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, marital status or any other protected status designated by federal, state or local law.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2019-10-28