Career Opportunities 

Our staff is made up of professionals dedicated to strengthening the voices of young Virginians because we know the system works better when everyone is heard. 

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POLICY DIRECTOR

Description

Virginia21, a nonpartisan, 501(c)3 charitable organization that empowers college students and young Virginians to be engaged citizens and advocates for issues important to them and Virginia’s future, is seeking a dynamic and energetic Policy Director to lead our growing efforts in policy research, development, and education, as well as organizing and advocacy. This person will also serve as the primary lobbyist for Virginia21 Action, our 501(c)4 affiliate organization.

The ideal candidate will be smart, personable, passionate, and will bring to the job a strong 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. Anticipated start date is July 1.

Responsibilities

The Policy Director will be responsible for the following:

  • Directing and executing all major policy research, development, and education efforts. The policy director will gain expertise and make policy recommendations in areas that directly impact young Virginians, including:

    • Higher education – primarily funding/tuition, equity gaps, student aid, student loans/debt, and campus safety.

    • Civic Engagement – policies that encourage civic engagement at Virginia high schools and colleges, and policies that discourage unnecessary barriers to voting

    • A Prosperous Virginia – policies that lead to good jobs, high employment rates, entrepreneurship, economic mobility, and good governance.

  • Creating and disseminating educational materials for young Virginians to ensure that they are well-informed voters, particularly in the policy areas listed above.

  • Working with the Director of Programming to organize and mobilize college students and other young Virginians around various issues, civic engagement efforts, and informational campaigns and coordinating student advocacy efforts around our issue platform.

  • Forming productive working relationships with various strategic partners to help ensure success in all of the above areas.

  • Managing policy communications, including email blasts, letter-to-the-editor campaigns, op-eds, press releases, social media posts, and issue briefs for the Virginia21 website.

  • Fostering and maintaining relationships with various members of the media and media outlets to promote policy initiatives and successes.

  • Serving as the primary lobbyist for Virgina21 Action throughout the year, but particularly during the General Assembly Session, which will include:

    • Advocating for/against specific legislation and budget items

    • 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 officials, and other strategic partners

    • Tracking and understanding all relevant legislation

    • Attending, and sometimes testifying at, all relevant committee and subcommittee meetings during session

  • Other duties as assigned. Virginia21 has a small staff, and the entire staff works closely on most major parts of our program throughout the year.

Basic Qualifications

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 Virginians.

  • 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.

  • 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 Virginia’s policy world

  • A willingness to work with leaders and elected officials from both political parties

  • Must be a self-starter who can create your own work without always having to be assigned a task

  • Must be a team player who works well in a small, group setting and is comfortable brainstorming and thinking creatively.

Preferred Qualifications

  • 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/Benefits

Starting salary of $38,000-$42,000/year, commensurate with experience. We offer excellent health, vision, and dental benefits, along with monthly cell phone and travel reimbursement and generous paid time off.

To apply, send cover letter, resume, & references to jobs@virginia21.org.