Advocacy Manager

National Center for Learning Disabilities

Headquarters: 1 Thomas Circle NW, #700, Washington, DC 20005
Reports to:  Director of Policy & Advocacy
Team:  Policy & Advocacy
Status:  Full Time
Travel Required: Approximately 25%

The Mission and Vision
The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) improves the lives of the 1 in 5 of us who struggle with brain-based learning and attention issues related to reading, math, writing, focus, organization, and more.  Our mission is to empower parents and young adults, transform schools, and advocate for equal rights and opportunities for the 1 in 5. We’re working to create a society in which every individual possesses the academic, social, and emotional skills needed to succeed in school, at work, and in life.

The Position
The Advocacy Manager will be responsible for assisting in the development and execution of NCLD’s federal and state advocacy strategy. The Advocacy Manager will be primarily responsible for representing NCLD on Capitol Hill and developing relationships with congressional staff, participating in coalition activities, and leading advocacy efforts at the federal level. In addition, the Advocacy Manager will be responsible for leading advocacy efforts in three key states and overseeing the work of parent advocates in those locations. The Advocacy Manager will lead the content and communications efforts of NCLD, including managing vendors and consultants, to ensure consistency in messaging across the organization and effective execution of our advocacy strategy. 

Specifically, we are seeking a person with the following attributes:

  • Strategic mindset, including the ability to anticipate trends and events in federal and state policy and develop and execute a proactive or responsive plan.
  • Effective communication, both with colleagues and with NCLD’s stakeholder audiences, including parents, advocates, education professionals, researchers, experts, and policymakers.
  • Problem solving, including gathering data from multiple and diverse sources, asking the right questions, and accurately analyzing situations.
  • Action oriented, ready to take on new opportunities and contribute to the team in whichever ways are needed.

 

Duties & Responsibilities

Federal Advocacy

  • Work with NCLD’s Director of Policy & Advocacy to develop, implement, and manage NCLD’s legislative and political strategy to advance the organization’s policy agenda and organizational objectives using creative and innovative approaches.
  • Establish and cultivate external relationships with congressional offices and decision makers from both political parties, the administration, allied organizations, and coalition partners. Initiate and maintain strategic partnerships to support NCLD’s public policy agenda.
  • Prepare effective policy and advocacy materials for use with the U.S. Congress and the administration, in collaboration with NCLD team, including drafting persuasive written materials such as talking points, issue briefs, press statements, opinion editorials, legislative testimony, and policy reports.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with key state advocacy staff at leading national organizations to advocate for NCLD’s policy agenda.

State Advocacy

  • Recruit individuals to work on a contract basis in three target states and work collaboratively to manage a Parent Advisory Council in each location. This includes hosting yearly meetings of the council in each state.
  • Manage and host multiple meetings and in-person trainings with state advocates about relevant policy issues throughout the year in key states.
  • Implement NCLD’s Policy & Advocacy Agenda at the state level, including strategic broad-based advocacy campaigns aligned with NCLD’s state and local work.
  • Monitor emerging initiatives and proposals at the state level that relate to NCLD’s Policy & Advocacy Agenda or any hot-button issues that may impact individuals with learning and attention issues and analyze and coordinate NCLD’s effective response.

Additional Responsibilities

  • Work collaboratively with NCLD’s Policy Manager, Director of Policy & Advocacy, Director of Innovation, and Director of Young Adult Leadership to ensure that workflow and work product align with accomplishing the state objectives in NCLD’s Policy and Advocacy Agenda.
  • Respond to, manage, and organize key stakeholders on hot-button issues related to NCLD’s strategic goals that arise and need immediate response at the state or national level.
  • Create fact sheets, research and practice briefs, policy summaries, and other written products for NCLD and advocates.
  • Manage grant-related work, including developing proposals, developing and monitoring budgets, developing project plans and tracking progress, and reporting on deliverables.
  • Lead and manage the planning and implementation of organization-wide communications and marketing efforts including but not limited to emails, blogs, Facebook and Twitter posts, emails, and action alerts. Collaborate with team members to develop ideas, produce a monthly plan, and carry out the development of web content and other assets.

Required Qualifications & Skill Sets

  • 3+ years of education policy experience (some special education/education policy preferred)
  • Experience working for the U.S. Congress and/or experience as a leader in education policy and government affairs
  • Bachelor’s degree, with master’s or law degree preferred
  • Keen awareness of and ability to understand complex issues, including the political process and climate
  • Evidence of legislative savvy, federal contacts, and success
  • Sense of humor 
  • Ability to adapt and be flexible when the circumstances and agenda demand it
  • Interest in advocating for children with learning and attention issues
  • Exceptional writing and speaking abilities
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively, meet deadlines, work within budget, and achieve strategic goals

Salary and benefits are competitive and commensurate with experience.

Please send a resume and cover letter to jobs@ncld.org with the subject line “Job Application: First Name Last Name, Advocacy Manager”

The National Center for Learning Disabilities is an equal opportunity employer and considers all applications without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected status.

For additional information on the organization, please visit their website at www.ncld.org.

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