Senior Policy Specialist – Children and Families

19 Dec, 2021


Senior Policy Specialist – Children and Families

National Conference of State Legislatures
Washington, D.C./Denver, CO


Are you ready to join an organization with an extraordinary mission? The National Conference of State Legislatures offers careers where you can use your skills, knowledge and experience to truly make a difference. NCSL’s mission is purposeful – strengthening the legislative institution. From informing effective policies and promoting communication among state legislatures, to ensuring states have a strong, cohesive voice in the federal system, our team works in service of legislatures. And, with a commitment to constantly innovating all resources and services to meet the evolving needs of members, NCSL has earned the reputation as the nation’s most trusted bipartisan membership organization for legislators and legislative staff. It’s important work, and it takes a team of inspired and dedicated professionals to make it happen. If you want to support the lawmakers and staff who are addressing the most complex and critical issues of the day, NCSL may be your next career move.



NCSL’s Denver-based Children and Families Program is looking for a senior policy specialist to join a powerhouse team focused on child and family well-being. Applicants should have expertise in policies and practices related to housing and homelessnesseconomic mobility and/or child welfare and the prevention of child maltreatment. Professional experience in data visualization, communications or government affairs would be a bonus. Employees must reside within commuting distance of NCSL’s Denver or Washington, D.C. offices.

This is a critical position requiring competence in policy research and analysis, event planning, monitoring and reporting on current affairs, and creating and updating online content. As a senior policy specialist, you can expect to have frequent contact with legislators, legislative staff and other public officials. All members of the team are responsible for contributing to a culture of program innovation and excellence and ensuring NCSL’s work is completed in an objective and nonpartisan manner. This position reports to an associate director of the Children and Families Program.


  1. Maintain subject-matter expertise on one or more issues related to a specific subject area and assist legislators and legislative staff with their research and informational needs.
  2. Anticipate and respond to emerging issues of importance to state legislatures.
  3. Help develop plans to deliver educational content to members via webinars, meetings, committee testimony, web pages, reports, articles, etc.
  4. Conduct complex legislative research projects with an understanding of their political context and provide substantive analysis and policy interpretations to legislators and legislative staff.
  5. Research federal, state and local actions that impact the work of legislatures.
  6. Plan, organize and conduct nonpartisan technical assistance programs, meetings and educational sessions.
  7. Create substantive, engaging and interactive presentations or trainings for legislators, legislative staff and others on state or federal topics.
  8. Write skillfully and with minimal need for editing for a variety of publications and review and edit colleagues’ work upon request.
  9. Travel domestically for meetings, technical assistance and other activities as needed.
  10. Potentially help the director and/or associate directors with fundraising and development of new projects. This may include assisting with grant reporting and writing concept papers, grant applications and proposals.
  11. Perform other responsibilities as needed.


May supervise one or two professional staff on an ongoing basis or serve as coordinator of a team of other professionals on a short-term project.



This position is a mostly performed in an office environment, on or off-site, with prolonged periods of sitting at a desk and working on a computer. Employees use standard office equipment such as laptops, printers, scanners, smartphones, and copy machines. Occasional travel by airplane including overnights and weekend. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.



Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Responsibilities, expectations, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.



  • Bachelor’s degree plus five years of work experience with state legislatures, government, public policy or other relevant field.
  • Expertise in housing and homelessness, economic mobility and/or child welfare and the prevention of child maltreatment.
  • Strong research and analytical skills, including gathering, analyzing and synthesizing data; and analyzing and summarizing policy options and legislative activities.
  • Excellent writing, editing and presentation skills. Must be able to communicate information clearly and credibly to a variety of audiences.
  • Well-honed organizational skills, including the ability to plan meetings and manage multiple tasks and deadlines simultaneously. Ability to independently work under deadline pressure and adapt to changes in workload.
  • Aptitude for working both collaboratively and independently.
  • Proven ability to build and maintain relationships with legislators, legislative staff, national experts and others. May also assist directors with funder relationships.
  • Ability to work in a politically neutral manner and maintain confidentiality when required.
  • Strong knowledge of state legislative and political processes and the separations of power between the branches of government.
  • Ability to travel by air up to eight times per year, with most trips being 1-3 nights, as well as work extended hours, possibly evenings and weekends, usually associated with events/travel.


Our employees are the foundation of our success, so we are committed to offering a full range of benefits for you and your eligible family members, including domestic partners. Striking a healthy balance between work and personal life is important. Our total rewards package includes resources to support well-being and no cost benefits to help make life a little bit easier.

  • Flexible, remote work options including the ability to telework up to 4 days a week
  • Health insurance (HMO 90% covered by NCSL), dental insurance (Employee only covered 100%), low cost vision benefits
  • 401(a) retirement plan with 10% employer contribution after 6 months and full vesting plus 457(b) retirement plans with pre- and post-tax options
  • 3 weeks paid vacation with 5+ years of paid full-time work experience with another employer and generous sick leave
  • Seven paid holidays per year, plus 4 floater days to use at your preference
  • Paid family and parental leave
  • FSA and Dependent Care Accounts
  • Professional development through LinkedIn Learning
  • Paid time off to volunteer
  • Aflac hospital advantage, critical illness, and accident plans
  • Discounted 24 Hour Fitness memberships and RTD / Metro bus & train passes
  • Pet insurance with multiple options to fit your budget
  • Benefit Hub (discover local savings from merchants in your neighborhood, including movie tickets, hotels, restaurants, shops, and more)
  • Benefits paid for by NCSL / no cost to employee:
    • 2x annual salary life insurance and long-term disability
    • Employee Assistance Program provides confidential, 24/7 support for employees and dependents
    • Health Advocate for employees and their family members to simplify the healthcare experience including resources to support your health and well-being
    • IDX Identity Theft and Privacy Protection (employee covered with options to add dependents)
  • Relocation assistance provided for out-of-state candidates


A career with NCSL offers exciting opportunities to grow your career in line with your aspirations. We gladly invite you to apply online for this role by including a resume and cover letter, before 5 p.m. MST on January 7, 2021. Learn more about working with NCSL by visiting our careers page: We are looking forward to receiving your application!

NCSL is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and is committed to developing a diverse, dynamic team and inclusive workplace. NCSL does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, disability, or any other status protected by law or regulation.

Link to apply:

Job posted: 2021-12-19