Manager, Advocacy and Public Affairs

15 Aug, 2021


Manager, Advocacy and Public Affairs

American Art Therapy Association
Alexandria, VA
This small but mighty small staff association in looking for a yet-unsung or rising association star to join our dynamic and diverse team to manage advocacy and communications. This position also creates communications including the bi-weekly newsletter and other materials of importance to our audiences.

The Advocacy and Public Affairs Manager is responsible for the implementation of the Association’s public policy strategy which is focus on state licensure and accurate representation of the profession. Essential to the role is providing grassroots advocacy support for chapter leaders, leading up to and throughout the legislative process. This entails support in three main areas: (1) research into the State’s legislature, regulatory landscape, licensing process, mental health statistics and ranking, and the profile of the art therapy profession in each State; (2) providing various templates, such as surveys, support letters, testimonials, and reviewing individual chapters’ customized content; (3) assisting in navigating the legislative process, including the building and maintaining of relationships with lawmakers and other mental health professions in the state.

The Advocacy and Public Affairs Manager is the primary writer and editor for the blog, news page, and e-letter, and oversees the policy and advocacy portions of the public and members-only websites. This person ensures that information across platforms is well-written, consistent, engaging, useful, accessible, and appropriate on all channels.

The Advocacy and Public Affairs Manager represents the Association on national coalitions and initiatives in mental health and the arts and manages projects with federal agencies, insurers, and corporate partners.

Detailed Responsibilities

• Works closely with the public policy consultant to develop strategy and materials for the Association’s local chapters’ government affairs committees/taskforces. These include: memos on legislation or amendments, policy letters on behalf of the Association, testimonies, legislative proposals, draft legislation, questionnaire responses in states with occupational sunrise review requirements, presentations, tool kits, public awareness and advocacy templates, brochures, and web content.

• Manages policy staff and acts as staff liaison on state and federal policy coalitions and initiatives.

• Manages activities and projects related to partnerships with national mental health and arts organizations, federal agencies, insurance companies, and corporate partners. Projects include webinars and other informative materials, legislative fly-ins, and public awareness events.

• Creates the Association’s bi-weekly e-letter within the publisher’s content managing platform. Proactively collaborates with staff, volunteers, and sr. leadership for advance planning. Develops and writes content for the Association’s blog and news page on the website. Oversees and maintains a long-term content planning calendar.

• Interfaces with the media and liaises with art therapy content experts. Monitors local and national news coverage of art therapy and the Association. Drafts and edits press releases for public awareness projects and annual conferences.

• Supports the Executive Director in responding to current events related to art therapy or mental health more broadly by producing communications, statements, and talking points for the Association’s staff and volunteers.


  • While largely sedentary, this position requires the ability to sit, stand, lift up to 20 lbs., speak, and hear, sometimes for extended periods of time.
  • Requires the ability to use a computer and office equipment traditionally found in office settings.
  • Requires the ability to work occasionally after standard hours for member meetings, critical deadlines, or periodic travel, on behalf of the Association.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by the individual(s) assigned to this position. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, and skills required. Management reserves the right to modify, add, or remove duties and to assign other duties as necessary. In addition, reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of this position

Qualifications, Experience, and Skills Required
  • Bachelor’s degree plus experience in association advocacy and communications.
  • Must have a strong ability to analyze policy issues
  • Must be able to work in a professional, fast-paced, and team-oriented work environment
  • Ability to work effectively and explain complex issues with diverse audiences
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills with experience creating positive and productive relationships with members and fellow staff.
  • The ability to think critically to develop and adjust strategy to meet long-term goals
  • Excellent verbal, written and presentation skills.
  • Understands and actively supports the AATA’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
  • Ability to work independently with a high level of initiative, self-motivation, perseverance, and commitment to getting the job done.
Internal Number: 08032021
About American Art Therapy Association
The mission of the American Art Therapy Association is to advocate for expansion of access to professional art therapists and lead the nation in the advancement of art therapy as a regulated mental health and human services profession.
Learn more here

Job posted: 2021-08-15