Senior Director, State Government Affairs and Grassroots Advocacy

30 Sep, 2019


Senior Director, State Government Affairs and Grassroots Advocacy

Autism Speaks
Washington, DC

Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. Come join us as a Senior Director, State Government Affairs and Grassroots Advocacy in Washington, DC!


PURPOSE: Lead a team that works to pass and implement state legislation, advocates before state agencies, and takes other actions that improve outcomes for individuals with autism and their families; directs and rapidly expands grassroots advocacy for federal and state issues.



·      Serve as one of the key public leaders of Autism Speaks’ advocacy efforts, advising and assisting the Senior Vice President, Advocacy

·      Develop nationwide grassroots strategies that increase by 25% year over year the number of grassroots advocates who act on state and federal issues via email, social media, and telephone calls to state representatives and members of Congress

·      Ensure Ambassador program and other nationwide grassroots advocacy efforts are supporting federal and state policies

·      Lead state advocacy efforts to improve outcomes for individuals with autism and their families within the Advocacy Department and across Autism Speaks.

·      Oversee the management of state policy portfolios and manage individual portfolios as needed

·      Ensure relationships with new and current stakeholders, including but not limited to state policymakers, are maintained and developed

·      Represent Autism Speaks at meetings with state legislative and agency staff, colleague advocacy organizations, and other government and non-government partners

·      Ensure all legislation, regulations, and other developments that could affect state advocacy are being monitored and tracked.

·      Ensure Autism Speaks’ lobbying efforts comply with applicable laws

·      Lead and support research on policy issues related to state advocacy

·      Create and or edit policy briefs and other relevant external materials related to State Government Affairs and Grassroots Advocacy efforts

·      Attend meetings, conferences, webinars, and events on behalf of Autism Speaks

·      Ensure that State Government Affairs and Grassroots Advocacy efforts are coordinated and integrated through cross-functional collaboration across the organization

·      Lead, mentor, monitor, train, and develop direct reports.

·      Oversee the day-to-day performance and achievement of the state advocacy team


(The responsibilities listed above are representative and not all inclusive. Other duties may be assigned by supervisor/s. As outlined in your performance goal setting forms, you will be responsible for achieving the goals provided by and agreed upon with your manager.)



Education: Bachelor’s degree required. Juris Doctor or other advanced degree preferred.

EXPERIENCE: 10+ years of related experience with a strong legislative or executive agency background. Experience building a successful grassroots network either regionally or nationwide. 5+ years of experience leading multi-member staff teams. Proven success in a matrix environment. Background and accomplishment in health policy, education, employment, service delivery, or other aspects of state policy preferred


Related Skills and Knowledge:

·      Extremely polished and professional demeanor, excellent interpersonal skills

·      Excellent oral and written communication skills

·      Strong ability to research information; dynamic and innovative thinker

·      Comfortable relating to senior executives and volunteer stakeholders

·      Detail oriented, highly organized, with ability to work independently with minimal supervision and as a team member

·      Solid administrative skills and a high level of proficiency in MS Office, Excel, PowerPoint, and social media

·      Knowledge of autism and experience with individuals with autism and their families preferred

·      Flexible and eager to take on additional responsibility as needed



·            Building Collaborative Relationships

·            Professional Behavior

·            Results Driven

·            Customer Orientation

·            Flexibility


You are responsible for protecting the confidentiality, integrity and availability of all Autism Speaks data and information to which you have access.


Autism Speaks offers a competitive compensation package and the opportunity to enhance lives today and accelerate a spectrum of solutions for tomorrow for individuals with autism and their families.


For consideration, please forward your resume and cover letter.


Only those applicants who meet the hiring criteria will be considered and contacted by Human Resources. Autism Speaks is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Qualified individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply for job openings. Reasonable accommodations will be provided.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2019-09-30