Senior Director, Federal Policy

09 May, 2023


Senior Director, Federal Policy

Forum for Youth Investment
Washington, D.C.

PURPOSE: The Forum for Youth Investment is seeking a Senior Director, Federal Policy to drive support for the Forum’s federal policy agenda. The Senior Director will work closely with the Executive Vice President, senior leadership, and consultants to formulate policy solutions, legislative strategies and tactics to advance the Forum’s policy agenda. The successful candidate is a strategic thinker with a deep understanding of the federal policymaking processes, as well as the issues and policies that affect children and youth. The person in this role has bipartisan relationships and is well-versed in federal authorization, regulatory, budget and appropriations processes, with a demonstrated record of achievement in education, youth workforce development, juvenile justice, or child welfare policies. Organization & Background Founded in 1998, the Forum for Youth Investment is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan “action tank” committed to improving outcomes for youth (ages 5-24) in education, work, and life. The Forum connects leaders to ideas, services and networks that can help them make more intentional decisions that are good for young people, even in the face of limited resources. It helps leaders who are trying to improve & align policies, plan & partner for impact, and/or strengthen programs & adult practice across all the systems and settings where young people spend time. The Forum is a thriving organization with a budget of $11 million, a 50, and a growing staff of nearly 50, and headquarters in Washington, DC. The Forum overall is funded by a mix of foundations, corporations, and a fee-for service contract base. For more information on the Forum, please visit Position Responsibilities Specific responsibilities may include, but are not limited to: Policy Leadership • Monitor and evaluate federal policy and provide timely, cogent policy analysis and recommendations. • Collaborate with youth program quality and cross systems consulting units to ensure policy solutions are anchored in quality, positive youth development and center racial equity and youth voice. • Develop and execute strategic plans related to developments in legislative and executive branches. • Collaborate with Vice President of State Policy and across units to streamline advocacy on common issues. • Create and deliver presentation materials, talking points, and analysis for senior leadership. • Lead drafting of Forum policy statements, testimony, and letters to Congress. • Draft and submit administrative comments and engagement in other initiatives to influence rulemaking. • Maintain current knowledge on policy issues in cooperation with policy team colleagues. Strategy • Develop and execute strategies for advancing federal policy priorities. • Identify and execute on opportunities to amplify voices of lived experience to federal policy makers. • Support outreach across youth ecosystem to achieve policy objectives at the federal level, including youth systems-leaders, practitioners, think tanks, and other youth advocacy organizations. • Collaborate with Communications team members to build awareness for federal priorities externally. • Generate opportunities for Forum principals to provide testimony to Congress. Management • Manage and mentor a high-performing team of policy analysts; create annual work plans, track strategic goal metrics. • Submit reports and otherwise comply with requirements of grants/fellowships that support the work of federal policy team members. • Manage external grants to support federal policy work, including monitoring of progress, managing budget, and fulfilling reporting requirements. Performance/Character Requirements We are looking for colleagues eager to be on a career path that involves continuous learning and growth. Team member across all levels of the Forum engage with one another and foster the development of others to achieve a high level of competency in these characteristics and leadership qualities: • Manages Self – You ask for feedback on impact of your behavior on others. You identify and follow through on actions in response to constructive feedback. You honestly assess your own strengths and know what weaknesses need support. • Leads Courageously – You act courageously to make changes that will improve the organization. You consistently drive to successful outcomes and stay composed and positive in challenging situations. • Communicates Effectively – You communicate (both in writing and verbally) clearly, succinctly, and in a timely manner. You provide information people need to know to do their jobs, make accurate decisions, and to feel part of a team. You are able to engage an audience and achieve the desired effect in a variety of formal presentation settings. • Builds High-Performing Teams/Develops Others – You form and lead teams capable of getting results. You create a learning environment of creativity and engagement. You can effectively raise and resolve conflict with the team. You provide frequent and timely developmental feedback to others and construct compelling developmental plans. You take personal responsibility for mentoring high-potential employees. • Makes Quality Decisions – You clearly state where you stand on issues, even if it is unpopular. You seek input from appropriate parties before making decisions, and still make timely decisions. • Demonstrates Strategic Agility – You anticipate future consequences and trends accurately. You’re able to align your goals to the overall organizational strategy. You can create breakthrough strategies and plans. • Demonstrates Business Acumen – You understand and create opportunities to cultivate and support exceptional partnerships. You are able to make the case for decisions and initiatives. You adapt strategies and tactics to create a success defined by metrics. • Influences and Negotiates – You influence others by building coalitions or alliances among diverse groups. You effectively adapt influence strategies depending upon the situation. You’re skillful at removing barriers that get in the way of effective collaboration among groups. • Manages Vision and Purpose – You inspire commitment to a compelling vision and shared values. You create a climate in which people want to do their best. You’re able to champion change and lead the organization through a transition. • Thinks Strategically, Executes Skillfully – You can see the forest through the trees and know how to craft strategic short and long-term programs that are aligned with organizational goals. At the same time, you can’t wait to roll-up your sleeves and get the work done. • Is Goal Oriented – We want someone who is a doer, with doggedness, a determination and commitment to reach a goal, and a strong bias toward action. You always find a way to make it happen. • Demonstrates Creativity – While there are tried-and-true tactics in your toolbox, you explore new ways of thinking and continually strive to create best-in-class programs that move your organization and field forward. • Handles Ambiguity – You can effectively cope with change and lead others through it. • Communicates Assertively – As a senior-level communicator, you express opinions directly, confidently, and accurately. You can also be very persuasive and influence the way others think, feel, or behave. • Collaborates & Values Relationships – You can quickly gain the respect and trust of your peers, colleagues, and leadership team. You understand the importance of listening, asking probing questions, and allowing others to be heard. • Takes Risk – The entrepreneurial spirit shines through in your willingness to experiment with new approaches and act even though the outcome is uncertain. • Models Diplomacy – You have worked in diverse settings and teams and understand the cultural sensitivities of doing business with partners and clients around the country. You are tactful in dealing with diverse people or situations. • Exhibits Professional Acumen – You demonstrate confidence, experience, and poise under pressure. Qualifications • Demonstrated commitment to the Forum’s mission, vision, and values. • Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy, Political Science, or a related field. A Master’s Degree in the same field is preferred. • 5-8 years experience preparing legislative recommendations for a Member of Congress; or advocacy organization. • Strong written and verbal communication skills. • Politically savvy and able to navigate challenging situations. • Experience collaborating and forming partnerships to advance legislative agendas. • Strong time management and organization skills. Working Environment This is a DC-based, hybrid role. Flexibility is required to adapt to the dynamic work environment of a nonprofit “action tank” that has national clients and exposure during a key inflection point in the organization’s development. Occasional travel is expected for in-person team meetings, and various policymaker/stakeholder meetings and events. This is not an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, skills, efforts, requirements or working conditions associated with the job. While intended to be an accurate reflection of the current job, management reserves the right to revise the job or to require different tasks. This description does not constitute a contract of employment and The Forum may exercise its employment-at-will rights at any time. Position & Compensation The salary range, duties and responsibilities of this position meet the requirements of Section 13 (a) (1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act and therefore qualifies as an “exempt” position. The starting salary for this position is targeted between $90,000-$110,000 based upon experience and qualifications, with a comprehensive benefits backage. Please send resume and cover letter with salary requirements to: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. If your application is selected for an interview, you will be contacted directly. No telephone calls or inquiry emails, please.

Job posted: 2023-05-09