Senior Director, Policy

16 May, 2023


Senior Director, Policy

Fredericksburg, VA

The Senior Director of Policy is a full-time position responsible for guiding the policy team, working with community members, policymakers, partners, and the larger RespectAbility team to achieve the policy and advocacy goals outlined in RespectAbility’s strategic plan and policy agenda. This position reports to the President and CEO and directs all aspects of RespectAbility’s Policy Department.

The Senior Director of Policy will lead efforts to shape public policy, advocating for priorities informed by the disability community. The Senior Director will work with all members of the policy team to support legislation, regulations, and other policymaking that benefit the disability community and advocate against legislation, regulations, and other policymaking that harm the disability community. The Senior Director will create and implement strategies to educate and impact policymakers at the federal and state levels. The Senior Director manages director- and manager- level policy team employees. The Senior Director will also support Policy Fellows through the National Leadership Program.

Core Responsibilities

All employees of Respectability will conduct themselves in accordance with its Core Tenets:

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility


Commitment to Performance Metrics

Essential Job Functions

Policy Advocacy:

  • Guide all work of the policy team to effectively respond to policy threats and opportunities at the state and federal levels.
  • Build and manage the overall policy agenda so that people with disabilities can get the education, employment, and entrepreneurial opportunities they need to succeed in the community.
  • Lead efforts to shape RespectAbility’s policy priorities each legislative session and manage work to implement these priorities at the state and federal levels.
  • Develop and/or strengthen relationships of trust with public officials and other policymakers to create opportunities to educate and advocate on these issues.
  • Collaborate with partners, including state and federal governments, disability and service organizations, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and employers to identify and implement key systemic and policy solutions to barriers for success.
  • Devise strategies and opportunities to educate any impact decision-makers on the key issues facing people with disabilities, both informally and in the legislative and regulatory processes.
  • Work collaboratively with all members of the policy team to craft and refine a policy agenda that outlines RespectAbility’s advocacy stance on key policy issues, informed by the disability community.
  • Work collaboratively with all other members of the Executive Team of RespectAbility to ensure alignment and impact on goals outlined in the strategic plan and the policy agenda.

Civic Engagement:

  • Guide all work of the policy team to promote civic engagement by disabled individuals and groups, including in collaboration with partner organizations.
  • Educate individuals with disabilities on the policies most relevant to their lives and how to advocate for themselves with local, state, and national officials to affect change in those areas.
  • Promote best practices in civic engagement in the field, including equitable and inclusive participation by the disability community.

Resource Development:

  • Partner with the Development team to steward and cultivate relationships with government agencies, foundations, corporations, and individual donors, with a view toward sustainability and growing the Department’s impact over time.
  • Steward and support the development and growth of partnership opportunities to increase revenue.
  • Create and manage outcome measures on policy advocacy efforts and support overall departmental funder reporting requirements.
  • Develop, monitor, and manage the annual budget for the Department, including raising funds to support department activities.


  • Manage direct reports.
  • Onboard any newly hired/transferred staff.
  • Support the training and supervision of Policy Fellows.
  • Promote a culture that values commitment to inclusion, quality, and learning, including for Fellows.
  • Promote a culture that values commitment to quality and learning.
  • Serve as an active member of the organization’s Executive team.

Marketing and Communications:

  • Craft advocacy documents, including reports, advocacy letters, social media content, and newsletters to advance the organization’s policy goals.
  • Conduct trainings, webinars, and other educational programming.
  • Maintain timely communication with internal and external stakeholders through email, phone, and other forms of communication.

Other duties as assigned.


  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in public policy, lobbying, grassroots lobbying, and/or systems change/advocacy experience
  • Strong existing network of policy relationships, especially at the federal level – additional state-level policy relationships a plus
  • Strong managerial skills and demonstrated effectiveness in managing diverse teams
  • Ability to promote meaningful partnerships with diverse external stakeholders preferred
  • Strong track record in building networks and relationships among diverse populations
  • Strong commitment to the mission and vision of the organization, including diversity, equity, and opportunity for people of all backgrounds and abilities
  • Commitment to people with disabilities/disability issues as well as a strong interest in issues of intersectionality and other marginalized communities
  • Able to meet all deliverables and outcomes on tight and critical timelines as outlined for projects
  • Collaborative, detail-oriented, initiative-taking, and honest professional with a sense of humor and a proven track record of success
  • Excellent writing and communication skills, including grammar and spelling
  • Ability and willingness to work flexibly and remotely in a fast-paced, fast-growing, dynamic, nonprofit environment
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite and willingness to learn other systems and tools
  • Master’s degree or equivalent experience (as described in the cover letter) preferred
  • Experience with administrative work

Salary Range: $90,000 to $105,000. Please note, the final salary offer is dependent on our pay equity policy which determines your salary based on the position’s pay band, your level of experience, the number of direct reports, and your education. To ensure continued pay equity within the organization and with the external market, we do not negotiate initial salary offers or salaries post-hiring.

To apply, please send your resume, two professional, policy-related writing samples, and cover letter to Please make sure that the subject line includes the words “Senior Director, Policy.” Resumes without cover letters may not be considered.

RespectAbility is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in its selection and employment practices. We value a diverse workforce and strive to be a fully inclusive and equitable workplace. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, age, a record of arrest or conviction, or other legally protected characteristics. Black people, Indigenous people, people of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex people, people of marginalized genders; people with disabilities; protected veterans; and formerly incarcerated individuals are all strongly encouraged to apply.

When an applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to compete for a job, they may request it orally or in writing. Please contact Human Resources by email or phone: Tonya Koslo at or 202-871-2345.

Job posted: 2023-05-16