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State Government Affairs Manager

State Government Affairs Manager
Organization: American Counseling Association
Location: Alexandria, VA
Date Posted: 04/01/2024

Job Type




The American Counseling Association (ACA) is the world’s largest organization representing professional counselors in various practice settings. Our vision: We are the preeminent advocate and resource for professional counselors and their clients in a world where everyone has access to mental health services.

Our mission: Advancing mental health and well-being through advocacy, community, inclusion, and research.

Our values: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Integrity, Proactive Leadership, Professional Community & Relationships, Scientific Practice & Knowledge, Social Justice & Empowerment.

All American Counseling Association team members are encouraged, supported, and expected to demonstrate The Way We Work Values: Be Flexible, Be Creative, Be Empowered, Be Inquisitive, Be Collaborative, and Be Respectful.

Job Purpose

The Government Affairs Manager will be responsible for serving as the primary representative for designated states and assist with state-related federal policy under the direction of the Government Affairs and Public Director, to generate awareness and support for the American Counseling Association’s legislative agenda. This role will hold the responsibility of managing the organizational legislative efforts focused on state advocacy and collaborating with appropriate team members to lead research and strategy efforts with the states.

Annually the manager will help to develop and implement a state legislative strategy to further the association’s legislative and public policy priorities. This role will be responsible for working with ACA staff and our 60,000 members. In addition to the list of responsibilities below, the Government Affairs Manager will carry out tasks consistent with this position’s general responsibilities.

Key Responsibilities

  • Develop and implement the state government and regulatory strategy for the counseling profession by utilizing the organizational work plan to meet needed goals and objectives.
  • Research and analyze legislation, regulations, and policy relating to the counseling profession to assist the development of strategies for issue campaigns, advocate mobilization, testimony, briefings, and grassroots engagement.
  • Prepare summaries and reports. Monitor and report back on policy and regulations on the state level that may affect the counseling profession.
  • Lead the development of written material for but not limited to; legislative correspondence; including Request for Information to regulatory matters, reports, articles, action-alerts, one-pagers, research materials, op-eds, talking points, media inquiries in collaboration with the ACA communications Team.
  • Break down bills to include the effects on the counseling profession related to practice, fees/cost, etc., with recommendations on how/why ACA should or shouldn’t proceed on advocating on this issue.
  • Represent ACA and effectively communicate organizational interest and positions in public meetings with government agencies, ACA Branches, Divisions, Webinars, etc.
  • Develop, manage, and leverage relationships with coalitions, stakeholders, regulatory agencies, legislators, and their staff.
  • Coordinate with internal teams: Communications & Marketing, Membership Engagement, Publications (CT Magazine) to assure members are receiving the information that they need on legislative and policy issues relating to the profession.
  • Consistently review and refresh print, digital and video ACA resources that support memberships understanding of state affairs.
  • Lead regional monitoring and member engagement efforts within assigned ACA Regions.
  • Conduct extensive outreach (members, supporters, and allies), build relationships with key ACA leaders, and support robust strategic volunteer activist networks that help drive action to advance ACA’s public policy objectives.
  • Develop and keep current ACA Member Champion List for advocacy and grassroots engagement.
  • Additional duties as assigned that advance the work of the government affairs team.



  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • 5 years preferred state legislative experience, and experience working on federal legislative issues.
  • Experience working on legislation and policy within or in partnership with state government, state agencies, and stakeholders.
  • Ability to develop state government and agency contacts and relationships.
  • Ability to register as a state lobbyist when needed.
  • Knowledge or interest in learning how to utilize legislative advocacy technology such as Voter Voice, Fiscal Note, etc.
  • Interest in the Counseling Profession
  • Demonstrated superior written and verbal communications skills. Must be comfortable speaking before large groups. (ex. Legislative hearings, trainings)
  • Organized, flexible, and prompt with great attention to detail.
  • Experience working on grassroots campaigns.
  • Outside of the box thinker who is a self-starter, and team-player.
  • Effective researcher, writer, and communicator.
  • Ability to travel up to 25% of the time on short notice.
  • Weekend and evening work expected during state sessions.

Location and Flexibility

Hybrid. Must reside within the Washington, DC Metro area.

An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Pro Disabled and Veteran Employer At ACA, Equal Employment Opportunity is our commitment and goal. All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, national origin, gender, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, marital status, or any other protected status designated by federal, state, or local law.

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