Manager, Advocacy

08 Nov, 2017


Manager, Advocacy

National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Hartford, Connecticut
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society mobilizes people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by MS. To fulfill this mission, the Society funds cutting-edge research, drives change through advocacy, facilitates professional education, collaborates with MS organizations around the world, and provides programs and services designed to help people with MS and their families move their lives forward.
This position is responsible for contributing to and implementing operational strategies that increase visibility and influence actions to drive forward the Society’s policy priorities. This includes outreach and engagement, federal, state and local advocacy efforts, and analyzing and responding to policy issues. This position is expected to develop relationships with key stakeholders such as District Activist Leaders, Government Relation Advisory Committee members, lobbyists and legislatures to support key initiatives and execute strategies to advance policy priorities for effective impact. This position also ensures that appropriate advocacy communications are targeted to various audiences including public officials, partner organizations, activists, and the general community.

This role requires the ability to understand complex legislative issues, articulate positions, and develop relationships with diverse stakeholders, internally and externally. This includes relationships with legislative and regulatory officials throughout assigned states. This position requires knowledge and demonstrated experience in government relations, public policy, coalition building and community mobilization.

This position is responsible for overseeing the advocacy work in a targeted geographical market area, representing multiple states.

Essential Function/Responsibility
1. Advocacy & Policy Responsibilities
  • Provide insight to help operationalize the Society’s strategic plan; effectively implement plan tactics to ensure goals and objectives are met
  • Create opportunities to advance policies that impact the lives of people living with MS; identify, share, and implement effective strategies
  • Responsible for monitoring and tracking policy interests across assigned states; determine when issues should be elevated to priority status
  • Identify, develop and maintain relationships with decision-makers that produce legislative champions on behalf of the Society
  • Communicate the Society’s priorities to all necessary audiences; ensure unified messaging including applicable research and stories to enhance impact
  • Engage in coalitions that support policy agenda; keeps activists informed of all local, state, and national legislation and public policies that affect the Society
  • May work with contract lobbyist; in conjunction with advocacy leadership, create a work plan and ensure contract obligations meet Society standards
2. Activist Engagement Responsibilities
  • Provide leadership and active participation in community coalitions to broaden support; identify, recruit and engage activists to promote the goals and objectives of the strategic plan
  • Manage a relationship portfolio of 30 + relationships that advises state advocacy strategy, advances legislation and influences policy makers to act on the Society’s behalf
  • Understand and implement best practices for grassroots communication
  • Leverage Society communications, programs and events to promote advocacy engagement opportunities
  • Recruit MS Activists to increase the Society’s activism capacity; demographically, political relationships and/or issue expertise
  • Actively engage MS Activists in appropriate activism role(s) (Grassroots, Advisory Committee, District Activist Leader, Grasstops, etc.)
  • Engage the Government Relations Advisory Committee to meet the goals of the committee charter
  • Provide policy updates to Society market area volunteer committees (Community Engagement, Health Care Advisory) as well as provide opportunities for these volunteers to engage in Society activism
  • Ensure MS Activists have opportunities to participate in National MS Society Public Policy Conference, Congressional In-District and/or MS State Action Day and that extraordinary experience generates year-round engagement
  • Ensure that all activists receive regular communication about progress and impact of advocacy work at state level
3. Team Responsibilities
  • Participate in work groups contributing to the ongoing work of department or functional area, including, but not limited to policy development and volunteer engagement
  • Contribute in team meetings; provide support and feedback to colleagues
  • Utilize matrix management techniques to foster relationships with local market leaders
  • Ensure that all state level policy information is on the Society’s market websites
  • Ensure all volunteer engagement information is accurate in all Society technology resources
  • Use Society best practices and centrally developed materials to communicate with MS activists on state/s policy and advocacy progress and engagement
  • Other duties as assigned
Requisition Number
Potential Work Locations
Hartford, Connecticut

Minimum Education:

  • Bachelor of Arts or Science preferably in public policy, public administration, social science or related field

Minimum Experience:

  • Minimum of 5 years’ relevant experience
  • Previous experience effectively engaging activist volunteers
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Strong relationship building skills; internally and externally
  • Ability to solve problem, ranging in complexity, and requiring sensitivity
  • Decision-making skills; able to interpret policies
  • Ability to work with diverse audiences


  • Proficient with MS Office computer software including Word, Excel, Outlook, and Power Point
  • Commitment to the mission, vision, cultural values, and expectations of the National MS Society
  • (IF APPLICABLE) This position will be required to drive/travel on Society business. Candidate must possess a valid driver’s license, proof of insurance and reliable transportation. The Society does run motor vehicle checks for all positions which require driving and the applicant must meet the Society guidelines.
  • (IF APPLICABLE) Availability to work occasional nights and weekends to support events, committee meetings, etc

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society provides a highly competitive, comprehensive benefit package to employees. These benefits include a considerable Paid Time Off Plan; Paid Holidays; 401k Retirement Savings Plan with Society match; Educational Reimbursement Plan; Professional Development Assistance; Commuter Benefit Plan; Flexible Work Arrangement Options; Comprehensive Health & Welfare benefits including Medical, Dental, Vision, Flex Spending Accounts, Life Insurance, Disability Coverage, Life Assistance Plan as well as additional voluntary benefit offerings.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2017-11-08

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