Policy and Legal Advocacy Director

10 Nov, 2022


Policy and Legal Advocacy Director

Ballot Initiative Strategy Center
Washington, D.C.

Policy and Legal Advocacy Director

This job description is intended to convey information essential to understand the scope of the position. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list of skills, efforts, duties, or responsibilities associated with the position.

The Ballot Initiative Strategy Center (BISC) seeks an experienced policy and advocacy expert, preferably with ballot measure and/or campaign experience to join our Program Team. The Policy and Legal Advocacy Director will lead BISC policy development, analysis, and tracking efforts. In addition, this person will supervise BISC’s Defend Direct Democracy campaign, as well as our legislative and legal advocacy program efforts. The Policy and Legal Advocacy Director works in close collaboration, not only with their team, but with the Director of Strategic Partnerships and the Director of Capacity Building.

As a leader in the program team, the Policy and Legal Advocacy Director will co-strategize with other program directors to ensure a full integration of skill-building, policy development, legal advocacy and implementation work into the lifecycle of ballot measure campaigns when advising state-based partners that result in long-term sustainable wins that build independent power in states.

This is a full-time position and in accordance with the provisions of Federal and DC wage and hour laws, this position is classified as Exempt, which means that you will not be eligible for overtime for hours worked in excess of forty (40) during a work week.


BISC HQ is located in Washington, DC, but the location for this position is flexible. This position may require some frequent and/or extended travel. This position reports to BISC’s Senior Strategic Advisor and Chief of Staff.

Primary Job Responsibilities

  • Manage the Policy and Legal Advocacy program area, including direct supervision of BISC’s Senior Manager of Defend Direct Democracy and any subsequent staff need in the P&LA team;
  • Vision, lead and grow BISC’s work to support advocates in their development and analysis of ballot measure policy and the implementation of that policy;
  • Provide expert policy analysis to BISC internal staff as well as external partners and stakeholders;
  • Manage and directly lead efforts to work with state-based partners and national policy partners to ensure strategic policy development from incubation and planning of potential ballot measures all the way through implementation and ensure that directly impacted communities are centered in order to produce equitable outcomes;
  • Work with the Capacity Building Director to ensure policy, legal advocacy, and implementation include evaluation tools, techniques and practices for the ballot measure field and measure BISC’s impact;
  • Direct BISC’s legal advocacy work, including working with internal staff, state partners and national partners on judicial accountability, legal analysis and legal solutions with regard to ballot measure policy, process, and specific ballot measures.
  • Direct the vision for and the expansion of BISC’s Ballot Integrity program to include monitoring and analyzing opposition players, trends, tactics and practical policy impacts on the ballot measure field;
  • Direct the vision and guide the direction of BISC’s Lawyers Guild in line with the goals of the strategic plan; and
  • Manage BISC’s ballot measure tracking program including monitoring statewide ballot measures and their status as well as opposition tracking, and attacks on the ballot measure process

Additional job responsibilities:

  • Serve in a leadership role with other program directors to implement BISC’s 5-year strategic plan focused on changing culture, centering directly impacted communities, capacity building, convening, and internal continuity and growth;
  • Advise organizations and individuals on direct strategic and technical assistance on campaign strategy (including go/no go decisions), policy, campaign plans, budgets and fundraising, polling, coalition-building and equitable governance, and direct voter communication/contact and other components of ballot measure campaigns or efforts whether virtually or in-person in-states
  • Advise on, help design and/or facilitate coalition meetings;
  • Represent BISC in national strategy conversations with funders, political partners, and other stakeholders;
  • Work with the Capacity Building Team on BISC’s training program and assist in the updating, development, and delivery of customized training programs and resources as needed;
  • Work with executive team and program directors to deepen BISC’s racial equity work, both internally and in the field;
  • Assist the communications team in responding to media requests for information and background;
  • Support other BISC and BISC Foundation projects and activities as needed; and
  • Assist with the planning and execution of BISC’s annual conference.


Job requirements include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Proven track recordYou have solid experience developing and analyzing policy as well as identifying and advancing the strategies, tactics and working with the people necessary to implement policy towards equitable outcomes.
  • Extensive experience in analyzing policy, legal decisions and rulings, and executing legislative strategy and campaigns.
  • Knowledge of and experience in building relationships with national partners, stakeholders and funders, as well as grassroots advocates.
  • Solid understanding of the ballot measure process: You have a belief in the power of direct democracy and have experience with ballot measure policy and campaigns.
  • Collaborative: You know that building a coalition and building true partnerships takes time, trust, and transparency. You understand the complexities of coalition work, including the inherent race, power and privilege dynamics often present, and are able to address them in a sophisticated way that invites people into the work. You also are collaborative with your co-workers: willingly sharing information and tasks to get a job done.
  • Results and evaluation driven: You show relentless commitment to meeting a high bar and a history of getting things done even in the face of obstacles. You are receptive to feedback and know that evaluating and re-adjusting is critical to long term learning.
  • Organized and flexible: You have a plan, but you can quickly adapt when needed. And you understand the plan is better when you collaborate with those around you.
  • Effective interpersonal skills: Proven ability to communicate effectively with different personalities to move projects forward.
  • Strong time management skills: Proven ability to balance many projects at once and prioritize accordingly.
  • Movement Focused: Demonstrated commitment to the progressive social and racial justice movement with an eye toward long-term power building and change-making.

Salary & Benefits:

  • Salary: $90,000-$100,000
  • 100% Medical insurance for employee and family paid for by employer
  • 100% Vision and Dental insurance
  • Short-term and long-term disability
  • Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment coverage
  • Transportation benefit
  • Generous paid leave including vacation, sick, personal days and floating holidays, and a winter break
  • Generous 401(k) plan with employer contribution

To apply: Submit cover letter, resume, and 3 references by clicking here.

Applicants will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

About BISC

BISC’s mission is to strengthen democracy by implementing a national progressive strategy for ballot measures rooted in building state-based power.

The Ballot Initiative Strategy Center (BISC), a 501(c)(4) organization, is the only progressive organization that works across many policy, organizing, and political organizations, with local, state, and national leaders to analyze and support the ballot measure landscape.

We believe direct democracy can be a tool for liberation. We leverage ballot measures across the United States as part of a larger movement to strengthen democracy, center people of color, queer, low-income, immigrant, indigenous and other marginalized communities, move towards racial equity, build and transform power, and galvanize a new progressive base. In February 2020, we launched our strategic framework to help move towards our vision of building a world where all people are fully liberated, live with dignity and thrive so that equity and justice prevail.

We lead by supporting the use of ballot measures as a tool for transformational impact, not just in a measure’s outcomes, but at every stage of the ballot measure process—from policy development, signature gathering, civic engagement, the campaign itself, implementation and beyond. We believe in movement building and empowerment, bringing communities into the work and leaving lasting infrastructure for continued social change.

We know that success isn’t just defined by getting 50% + 1 of the vote. If we’re serious about building a more equitable world, we also must consider who’s driving the change and whether it will have a transformational impact on the people and communities who have been pushed to the margins for too long.

We achieve impact through training the field and developing leaders, convening state and national leaders and funders in a co-created strategy that results in transformative wins, leading innovative research and providing assistance to support ballot measures as a tool to build long term power.

BISC’s Racial Equity Stance

At the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, we work to transform our country into one that is equitable and just. In our work, we strive to challenge structural racism, and center the people most impacted. BISC works with commitment to racial equity inside our organization in our operations and management processes, and externally through our research, training and organizing work with ballot-measure campaigns, partners and funders.

EEO Policy

BISC follows an Equal Employment Opportunity Policy and employs personnel without regard to race, ethnic or religious background, descent or nationality, sexual orientation, gender (including pregnancy), gender identification, disability, marital status, age, height, weight, or military service. This policy applies to employment, internships, internal promotions, training, opportunities for advancement, terminations, relationships with vendors, use of contractors and consultants and in dealing with the general public.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2022-11-10