Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) — Director of Legislative Affairs

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Center for Law and Social Policy Published: May 26, 2017
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Description

Based in Washington, DC and founded almost 50 years ago, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit anti-poverty organization advancing federal, state, and local policy solutions for low-income people. As a 501 c(3) organization, lobbying is an important component of CLASP’s overall strategy to promote policy ideas, in concert with other methods such as public information and communications, technical assistance at the state and local levels, and executive branch advocacy. We bring a racial equity lens to this work, seeking to identify and address the barriers people face because of race, ethnicity, and immigration status.

At a time when the threats to low-income people are greater than at any time in CLASP’s history, our work is more important, urgent, and in-demand than ever. Therefore, we seek a driven, high-energy, and highly strategic Director of Legislative Affairs to elevate and strengthen our legislative work across the organization toward several key goals: broadening the impact of our policy work in the Congressional process by increasing our presence and visibility on the Hill and strengthening and expanding our relationships with key Congressional members and staff ; developing federal legislative strategy across the organization; bringing strong knowledge of the legislative process and opportunities to influence it to the organization; and coordinating CLASP’s rapid response to requests from federal legislative staff.

This recruitment is part of a broader expansion at CLASP – including expanded capacity in policy as well as legislative, outreach, and communications – to combat the threats posed by the President and Congress to policies that benefit the lives of low-income people, including immigrants and people of color. It is also part of a broader strategic shift in how we work. Historically, CLASP’s legislative work has primarily been executed team-by-team with a minimal amount of coordination across the policy areas and the organization. Currently, CLASP’s five policy teams focus on: child care and early education; public income and work support programs, job quality (for example, paid family leave and paid sick days); workforce development and postsecondary education; and youth policy. We are seeking to broaden and strengthen our capacity, strategy, and coordination across the organization.

The new Director will work closely with CLASP’s Executive Director and senior management and will have logistical support from an additional staff member to be recruited. In addition, the Director will partner with policy staff from across the organization as their issues are relevant to the legislative process.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Leveraging the capacity of CLASP’s highly regarded policy and technical leaders more effectively and quickly to inform Congressional deliberation and action.
  • Proactively building and strengthening Congressional relationships through ongoing, regular contacts with a wider number of offices and with more senior staff and members, beyond CLASP’s current set of relationships.
  • Establishing a Hill presence that results in increased visibility of CLASP and our key priorities.
  • Increasing CLASP’s capacity to inform all phases of the legislative process, including being a thought partner with Congressional members and staff (for example, during the development of legislative proposals).
  • Expanding CLASP’s capacity to respond effectively to immediate high priority issues and threats through direct engagement of members and staff as well as a range of communications strategies, in coordination with CLASP’s policy and communications teams.
  • Improving CLASP’s capacity to develop materials, briefings, and talking points that respond directly to the needs of and questions from members of Congress and their staffs.
  • Improving CLASP’s capacity to engage with and advise partners on federal legislative strategy, both in the field and in DC.
  • Expanding capacity to strategize and coordinate across CLASP teams on legislative activity.
  • Participating in CLASP-wide leadership activities through the Management Team and other organization-wide activities (for example, the cross-CLASP committee on racial equity).

The ideal candidate will have the following qualifications:

  • At least 5-7 years of Capitol Hill legislative experience. Recent experience (either working on the Hill or in an external advocacy role) and current Hill relationships are preferred. This is a minimum; the successful candidate will likely have considerably more experience.
  • Substantial experience working with a mission-driven nonprofit or public agency would be helpful.
  • General familiarity with one or more of the core policy areas that CLASP works on is required; in-depth experience in at least one of these areas is strongly preferred.
  • Knowledge or previous experience building a strategic policy-advocacy framework.
  • Capacity to be effective in an organization of experts and peers.
  • Understanding of our partner organizations (anti-poverty, early childhood, labor, racial equity/ immigration/civil rights) and their legislative roles/strategies.
  • Strong written and oral communications skills are required; experience writing for a Hill audience is preferred.
  • Successful experience as a team leader, through direct supervision and/or project leadership.
  • Demonstrated commitment to CLASP’s anti-poverty and racial equity mission.

Compensation

Salary is commensurate with experience. CLASP offers exceptional benefits, including health insurance, dental insurance, life and long-term disability insurance, long-term care insurance, a 403(b) retirement program, flexible spending accounts and generous vacation, sick leave, and holiday schedules.

To apply: Please send a resume, cover letter, and salary requirements to settleson@gmail.com, subject line: CLASP – Director of Legislative Affairs.

CLASP is an equal opportunity employer. People of color and women are particularly encouraged to apply. Resumes will be accepted until position is filled.