Senior Director, Judicial, Civil Rights and Social Justice
The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment,
equality, and social justice. Founded in 1910 and headquartered in New York City, the Urban League
collaborates at the national and local levels with community leaders, policymakers, and corporate
partners to elevate the standards of living for African Americans and other historically underserved
groups. The National Urban League is led by Marc H. Morial, President and CEO.
Through its nearly 100 Affiliates, diverse programs, and advocacy, the League advances its mission to
enable African Americans to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights. The League
reaches more than one million Americans each year through its valuable and relevant resources and
programs, such as the online jobs network, the Mature Worker Program, the Urban Youth Empowerment
Program, the Community Health Workers program, financial literacy, homeownership preparation and
foreclosure prevention classes, and education development. The collective economic impact of the
programs and operations of the National Urban League and the Urban League Movement is $1.2 billion
The League, a non-partisan, civil rights, and community-based movement, serves over two million people
each year, providing direct services, research and policy advocacy to assist individuals and communities
attain their fullest potential. The League’s network of professionally staffed affiliates in 37 states and the
District of Columbia work principally with African Americans and other disadvantaged urban communities
to diligently close equality gaps for people at all economic levels and stages of life, thereby creating an
opportunity for citizens to give back as volunteers. In pursuit of its mission–helping African Americans and
other underserved urban residents to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power, and civil rights–the
League’s five-point approach to empowerment consists of:
Economic Empowerment invests in the financial literacy and employability of adults through job
training, homeownership counseling, and entrepreneurship support.
Education and Youth Empowerment ensures that all children receive an education by providing
access to early childhood literacy, afterschool programs, and college preparation.
Civic Engagement and Leadership Empowerment encourages all people to take an active role in
improving their quality of life through participation in community service projects, and public policy
Health and Quality of Life Empowerment encourages all people to take an active role in improving
their wellness and quality of life through participation in preventative measures, health literacy
programs, community service projects, and public policy initiatives.
Civil Rights and Racial Justice Empowerment guarantees equal participation in all facets of American
society through proactive public policies and community-based programs. Technical Assistance to
Affiliates–NUL’s affiliates offer services in 36 states and the District of Columbia to over 350
communities across the country. These professionally staffed offices fulfill NUL’s services: where
people and their neighborhoods grow, change, and are strengthened. The League’s Affiliate Services
Department’s goal is to provide information and training to affiliate CEOs, Boards of Directors, staff,
and volunteers to increase their understanding of the League’s mission, and to enhance their
professional skills and effectiveness.
The Washington Bureau
The National Urban League has had a formal presence in the U.S. Capitol for more than 50 years,
advancing policies that protect and expand civil rights for more than 50 years. The “Washington Office”
as it was first known, was charged with building a direct relationship with the federal government in the
interest of protecting and expanding civil rights for all Americans. From its inception, the Office worked
to ensure the Urban League had a voice in the legislative process, educating and advising lawmakers on
the challenges and injustices facing urban America.
Today, The Washington Bureau, as it is now known, focuses on policy and advocacy goals grounded in the
local program experiences of the Urban League’s more than 90 affiliates throughout the U.S. Informed by
this on-the-ground, real-world perspective, the Bureau is uniquely qualified to lead policy discussions that
directly impact the capacity of urban communities to grow and prosper. Through its D.C. presence, the
Urban League pushes for greater resources and more effective policies to advance economic and social
The need for community-based advocacy has become more urgent as state and local governments assert
a more direct role in such critical issues as workforce development, healthcare, and education. Each
Spring, The Washington Bureau brings the Urban League movement to Capitol Hill for its annual Legislative
Policy Conference (LPC). Part of the League’s State of Black America summit, the LPC is an opportunity for
Urban League affiliate presidents, board members, young professionals, and Guild members to meet with
U.S. representatives and congressional staff for policy updates and discussion.
The Washington Bureau develops insightful policy and research reports on the economic state of urban
America and other underserved communities and produces publications that explore issues critical to the
progress and well-being of African Americans.
The Washington Bureau is led by Clint Odom, Senior Vice President and Executive Director, who serves as
the senior policy executive in Washington. Mr. Odom has previously held senior staff positions in the U.S.
Senate and the Federal Communications Commission during the Clinton and Obama administrations.
Under the general supervision of the Vice President, Policy and Legislative Affairs, the Senior Director,
Judiciary, Civil Rights and Social Justice advises, develops, and coordinates the National Urban League’s
legislative agenda pertaining to civil rights, judiciary affairs and social justice policy at the national level,
translating the agenda to the Urban League (UL) Movement, and providing technical assistance to the UL
Movement in its advocacy at the national level. The Senior Director will develop strategies to advance the
NULWB’s policies relating to these issues, supports the work of the affiliates in these matters and serves
as liaison to other civil society groups.
The NULWB serves as the policy, research and advocacy arm of the National Urban League and is the tip
of the sphere for the urban league movement. Much of this work revolves around the congressional
calendar and executive branch actions. As such, the work is fast-paced and at times unpredictable. The
Senior Director will monitor activities of key committees and build relationships with the staff serving on
The Senior Director will respect the legacy of a venerable civil rights organization and be passionate about
what his role entails and the potential impact of these efforts.
In coordination with the Vice President, Policy and Legislative Affairs identify and monitor
congressional legislation that pertains to the National Urban League’s agenda for the portfolio on civil
rights, judiciary and social justice policy; including federal voting rights legislation and criminal justice
reform. Implement the agenda through Congressional advocacy, Executive Branch engagement, the
Urban League Affiliate Movement, and relevant external organizations.
When required, prepare for NUL leadership, letters, press statements, action alerts, and regulatory
comments on legislative matters of importance to the portfolio.
Build and maintain relationships with congressional staff and monitor congressional hearings,
markups, Capitol Hill briefings on legislative matters important to the portfolio. Identify, when
appropriate, opportunities for NUL to influence legislation, especially prior to introduction.
In collaboration with the Equitable Justice & Strategic Initiatives team, keep the Urban League
Movement informed on the portfolio and provide technical assistance to their advocacy efforts. This
can include legislative/policy briefing materials, guides on legislative advocacy, legislative newsletters,
among other activities as needed.
Assist in NULWB’s Annual Legislative Policy Conference, and NUL’s Annual Conference.
Represent the NUL on coalitions, relevant task forces, convenings, conferences, other public events,
as well as meetings with other civil rights organizations and stakeholders and present NUL’s position
in public forums when appropriate.
Establish and maintain relationships with various community, government, non-profit, educational
and corporate organizations that work in this space and utilize those relationships to strategically
enhance the League’s mission as well as respond to critical advocacy actions. Support the work of the
Urban Solutions Council.
Maintain an understanding of relevant local and national legislation and analyze as needed to rapidly
respond to federal policies and trends put forth from the Executive and Congressional branches of
Collaborate with NUL Programs staff including the Director, Criminal Justice on the Equitable Justice
& Strategic Initiatives team as needed to develop strategic advocacy actions on key issues to engage
the Urban League Movement.
Anticipates the impact of geo-political and economic dynamics on NUL constituents and strategically
plans a course of action.
Leadership Skills and Experience
Minimum five or more years of progressively responsible experience in criminal and social justicerelated fields working in public policy analysis, the federal legislative process, governmental affairs or
a combination of the above
Strong familiarity with the federal legislative process and federal, state, and local policy issues
Knowledge of the inner workings of the United States Congress and a reliable network of Capitol Hill
Understanding of the key policy and social issues addressed by the NULWB, preferably those affecting
urban communities and underserved populations
Knowledge of political and legislative developments reflective of the Urban League’s portfolio and
ability to recommend strategies, tactics, and co-sponsorships on bills and positions
Ability to work in partnership with staff of other organizations on initiatives that support the National
Urban League’s policy agenda
Personal Characteristics and Skills
Strong communication (written and oral), digital and technological skills, and aptitude in writing for a
policy and press audience
Demonstrated ability to convey ideas and positions to diverse groups – externally to technical and
nontechnical audiences at various levels (i.e., partners, states, federal government), and internally
with peers – both orally and in writing;
Proactive, optimistic, and energetic with a passion for progress and a penchant for problem solving
Exceptional detail orientation and accuracy of research and analysis
Demonstrated ability to prioritize a wide range of duties and responsibilities, organize tasks, produce
and execute results under tight deadlines, and remain flexible to changing and multiple requests;
One who shares information easily; listens as well as gives advice; respects the abilities of others
A self-starter and team-player, with ability to work independently and with multiple internal and
Master’s degree in public policy, social work, or related field or J.D. strongly preferred, but not
The National Urban League – Washington Bureau has retained Diversified Search Group to assist in this
recruitment. For best consideration, please submit all expressions of interest, nominations or inquiries
electronically to: NUL-WB@divsearch.com
Job posted: 2020-12-28