Senior Policy and Community Engagement Officer

23 Aug, 2022


Senior Policy and Community Engagement Officer

Horizon Foundation
Columbia, MD

At the Horizon Foundation, we are leading community change so everyone in Howard County can live a longer, better life. As the largest independent health philanthropy in Maryland, we run innovative initiatives, collaborative partnerships, strategic grantmaking and thoughtful advocacy – all geared toward improving health and wellness in our community.

We are looking for an experienced policy advocate to join our Policy and Engagement department. Is that you? Do you have a passion for community health and a community organizing background with a record of success in advocating for laws and policies that make a difference? If so, please apply today!!

When you join the Horizon Foundation, you are joining a team that is committed to addressing serious health challenges in Howard County. We have a track record of success. In the past few years alone, we’ve successfully advocated for policy measures that resulted in a 20% drop in sugary drink consumption (a key risk factor for diabetes) as well as record county budgets for sustainable mental health programs in schools and safer roadways for walking, biking, and rolling. Working with coalitions at the state and local level, we’ve had other successes that are leading to better health outcomes for us all. With your help, we’ll be even more effective at passing laws and policies that make a difference.

This position reports to the Chief Program Officer and works closely with other Foundation staff, as well as many other internal and external stakeholders, including but not limited to faith communities, youth groups, community-based organizations, and health care providers.

Our ideal candidate is:

• Passionate about the Foundation’s mission of improving community health and wellness with an emphasis on making a difference for people facing the greatest health challenges.

• Committed to health equity and centering the work and leadership of communities of color who suffer adverse health outcomes due to racism.

• A community organizer with 7 or more years of relevant experience looking to advance his/her/their career and make a difference.

• An experienced coalition-builder who had led policy and systems’ change campaigns in other organizations.

• A skilled relationship-builder who understands the connection between effective community engagement and successful policy campaigns.

• A high-performing, initiative-taker who knows how to work independently and efficiently.

• Able to work independently and as a team member in a small group, collegial environment where differing viewpoints and give-and-take are expected and encouraged.

• Exceptional writing and oral presentation skills.

• Comfortable making “cold calls”, visiting new places, working with a diverse set of people, presenting Foundation positions to people who may or may not agree with them, and leading meetings and group discussions.

• A creative and intuitive problem solver who can tackle challenges with a positive, can-do attitude.

• Willing to work occasional non-traditional work hours (nights and/or weekends) to get the job done.

• An individual with at least a bachelor’s degree. Master’s degree a plus.

Primary Responsibilities

• Share team-lead responsibilities on policy or systems’ change campaigns with another Foundation Policy and Engagement colleague.

• Develop and execute effective advocacy plans that identify, recruit, engage and mobilize county residents to support the Foundation’s advocacy agenda.

• Advocate for the Foundation’s policy positions in meetings with lawmakers, coalition partners, community groups, and boards and commissions, etc.

• Build and maintain strategic partnerships with key leaders and organizations in the community.

• Develop, maintain, and continually expand a network of relationships in the county, particularly among residents of color and lower-income residents.

• Work with the Foundation’s communication team to develop, circulate, and communicate the Foundation’s testimony, talking points, fact sheets, petitions, action alerts, etc. to coalition partners, community groups, and elected officials.

• Help develop external organizations’ capacity to lead health policy and systems’ change work.

• Organize individual and group meetings/listening sessions to further health dialog and action.

• Coordinate programming and logistics for public events and other grassroots activities.

• Identify, document, and encourage others to share stories relevant to Foundation work.

• Represent the Foundation at local meetings, committees, task forces and events.

• Help staff the Foundation’s Communication and Advocacy Committee.

• Assist in outreach efforts and special projects that advance Foundation goals, as assigned by the President and CEO or Chief Program Officer.

We would be so excited if you also have:

• A good sense of humor (i.e., we like to laugh).

• Strong project management skills including the ability to effectively manage time and meet multiple competing deadlines.

• Experience working with a broad array of community organizations, particularly organizations representing communities of color and/or lower income populations.

• High energy, maturity, and creativity.

• Tolerance for occasional ambiguity and unplanned changes in the environment that may shift day-to-day task priorities.

If you exceed the requirements above, you might be considered for a Program Director position in this department. To be considered as a Program Director candidate, you must also:

• Have an additional 3 years of relevant community organizing/policy experience (10 years or more total) with some experience in health issue organizing.

• Have documented experience leading multiple policy or systems’ change campaigns.

• Possess the skills needed to be the Foundation’s team lead and/or key organizer on multiple concurrent policy/systems’ change campaigns and manage the Foundation’s advocacy agenda in collaboration with the CPO.

• Possess supervisory skills needed to oversee other Community Engagement Officers or Associates.

Sound like you? Please apply to join our team.

Please send a resume and cover letter using the following link: No phone calls please.

Compensation and Benefits: Salary for the Senior Policy and Engagement Officer is commensurate with experience ($80,000-$100,000). Excellent benefits include 26 days of paid time off (increasing after three years); 11 paid holidays; generous medical insurance including dental and vision insurance and a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA); life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance, short-term disability and long-term disability insurance; and generous 401(k) package. This is a position that is exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Hybrid Work Environment: Candidates must be comfortable with a hybrid work environment (i.e., mix of remote work with scheduled in-person office days and in-person community meetings, as needed). Currently, staff are in the Columbia, MD physical office two days a week with three days of remote teleworking. Free parking is provided.

COVID-19 Health and Safety Precautions: The Horizon Foundation is committed to the health and safety of our staff and visitors. All employees must attest to be fully vaccinated and boosted as a condition of employment and comply with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and other health authorities. Currently, all employees must be masked to enter the suite and must remain masked in all common areas. Masking is not necessary when in your personal office with the door shut.

Deadline/Start Date:

The position will remain open until filled. Interviews will be scheduled on a rolling basis.

The Horizon Foundation is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, religion, sexual preference, or national origin. People of color, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2022-08-23