National Alliance on Mental Illness
Arlington, VA

Are you searching for a job with purpose? This is your opportunity to contribute your skills and passion to a national non-profit working to build better lives for individuals and families with mental illness.

NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.  Since NAMI’s beginning in 1979, we have established ourselves through dedication, commitment and an unceasing belief in our mission to strengthen communities and help those in need. The heart of NAMI is our unrivaled grassroots network of volunteers in communities across the nation. Through our united support, education, advocacy and awareness efforts, NAMI is at the forefront, a recognized force in urging new ideas and solutions to improve lives.

We currently have an opening for a Manager, State Policy. This position is responsible for planning and implementing state-level strategies that increase the visibility of and action on behalf of NAMI’s policy priorities. The Manager will focus on supporting NAMI state organizations to influence state mental health funding and policy development.  The Manager is also responsible for executing strategies to increase the visibility and activities of NAMI’s grassroots advocates and affiliates to advance these policy priorities.  


NAMI has a dynamic and collaborative advocacy and public policy team that is driven to address injustices and build better lives for people with mental health conditions and their families. Your work will help grow NAMI’s grassroots movement and advance NAMI’s priority policy initiatives.


This position is expected to:

  • Develop relationships with NAMI state organizations, local affiliates and key stakeholders to support key initiatives, such as first episode psychosis (FEP) programs;
  • Execute strategies and tactics in collaboration with grassroots leaders to advance policy priorities;
  • Provide strategy development and resources to grassroots advocates and leaders to enhance their visibility, impact and effectiveness.


  • Supports strategy development to advance key policy initiatives and programs, including Medicaid and non-Medicaid state funding, improved mental health service delivery and integration of care.
  • Identifies strategies to engage NAMI state organizations in the policy process and cultivates opportunities to promote NAMI strategic policy priorities at the state and federal level.
  • Develops affiliate engagement strategy and provides assistance to state and affiliate organizations to implement key NAMI strategic priorities, such as first episode psychosis (FEP) programs.
  • Researches and analyzes state and federal mental health-related legislation and policy proposals and provides recommendations for NAMI’s involvement.
  • Identifies and leverages relevant legislation, elected officials, media and social media trends and emerging research.
  • Writes and edits issue briefs, testimony, policy reports, legislative leave-behinds and other policy-related documents, as well as resources for state and affiliate organizations.
  • Develops and sustains strategic relationships with key national and state coalitions and stakeholders on mental health and related policy priorities.
  • Writes and posts timely news items and web content on leading policy and advocacy issues.
  • Assists in developing tools and resources to support state organizations and grassroots advocates in policy and advocacy initiatives.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field required; advance degree preferred
  • Five to seven years’ experience in relevant field preferred, especially with experience related to health care policy
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to work collaboratively within a team environment and across teams to plan and implement programs and initiatives
  • Ability to respond to and prioritize competing demands
  • Experience in forging collaborative and effective relationships with diverse groups, including national nonprofit organizations, coalitions, and state or grassroots organizations
  • Ability to respond quickly and effectively to challenges, using problem-solving and fact-finding skills
  • Strong project management skills
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite
  • Ability to research and analyze federal and state legislation and voting records
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced work environment and meet tight deadlines
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision

Must pass background check. 

Learn more here


Job Posted: September 1, 2017