Virginia21 is driven by the belief that young people can make a difference, and our staff is committed to proving it.
Policy Director - Richmond, VA
Advocacy organization for young Virginians seeks a Policy Director. We are looking for a dynamic and energetic government affairs professional to take the lead in growing and focusing our advocacy and policy education efforts. The ideal candidate will be smart, personable, passionate, and will bring to the job a broad professional network, as well as a sense of humor. We work in a fast-paced, campaign-style environment. This position reports to the Executive Director.
Virginia21 is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that advocates for young people. We bring together young voters from across the Commonwealth and equip them to make an impact on the issues that matter most to them. With chapters at colleges and universities around the state, we have engaged thousands of young people in the political process since our founding 13 years ago, making us one of the most successful advocates for young voters in the nation.
The Policy Director will be responsible for the following:
• Managing, directing, and executing Virginia21’s advocacy efforts throughout the year, but especially during the General Assembly session. This includes:
o Creating and implementing a broad, long-term legislative strategy for Virginia21
o Advocating for/against specific legislation and budget items
o Forming and maintaining a positive working relationship with important policy actors, including: legislators, legislative aids and staff, Governor’s office and policy advisors, relevant cabinet officials and staff, SCHEV, and other issue experts, government officials, allies, or persons of importance relevant to Virginia21’s goals.
o Tracking, reading, and briefing staff and student members on legislation
o Attending, and sometimes testifying at, all relevant committee and subcommittee meetings during session
o Working with the Director of Engagement to organize and mobilize Virginia21 student members on legislative issues
• Outgoing policy communications from Virginia21, and ensuring that these communication efforts support our policy goals. This includes, but is not limited to:
o Press releases
o Email blasts
o Blog posts
o Social media posts
• Fostering and maintaining relationships with various members of the media and media outlets to promote policy initiatives and successes.
• Other duties as assigned. Virginia21 is a small organization, and the entire staff works closely together on most major parts of our program throughout the year.
Applicants must meet the following requirements:
• An unwavering commitment to Virginia21’s mission. The applicant must believe in the importance of civic engagement and be driven to help develop the next generation of leaders in the Commonwealth. They must be committed to working every day for the causes that are important to young people, such as affordable access to a high-quality postsecondary education.
• A thorough understanding of Virginia governmental structure and processes, including but not limited to the legislative process and budget process
• 2+ years of experience working in or around Virginia politics/government/public policy. If the applicant has not lobbied directly on legislation, they must have worked in a role where they had a front row seat to the advocacy process and understand how it works.
• Exceptional writing and communication skills, including the ability to draft public documents such as press releases and email blasts. The applicant should also understand the importance of clear, focused messaging and reflect that in their communications.
• Excellent interpersonal skills. The applicant should express an eagerness to forge new relationships and build a vast professional network. The eventual hire will be expected to schedule and take meetings on a regular basis with various people of importance, and your professional network will be your most valuable tool in this position.
• A sharp mind for public policy, an ability to learn quickly and be able to discuss new policy topics, and a desire to constantly stay informed of all news and goings-on in our policy world
• A willingness to work with leaders and elected officials from both political parties
• Must be a self-starter who can create their own work without always having to be assigned a task
• Must work well in a small, group setting and be comfortable brainstorming and thinking creatively
• At least one year of experience as a professional lobbyist in Virginia
• A working understanding of higher education policy in Virginia
• Experience dealing with press/media, including issuing press releases or giving interviews on behalf of an organization
Salary up to $50,000/year, commensurate with experience. We also offer full health, vision, and dental benefits, along with monthly cell phone and travel reimbursement.
To apply, send a cover letter, resume, and references to firstname.lastname@example.org by August 7th, 2017.