Director of Policy and Advocacy

Director of Policy and Advocacy

APSE, the Association for People Supporting Employment First, is seeking a dynamic and passionate advocate to advance the organization’s growing policy advocacy work as the Director of Policy and Advocacy. APSE, a 501(c)6 non-profit located in Rockville, MD, is a 3,000+ national and international membership association whose mission is to advance employment and self-sufficiency for all people with disabilities through education and advocacy. APSE is recognized as the leader in the Employment First field.


Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Policy and Advocacy is responsible for overseeing and managing the day-to-day policy and advocacy direction of APSE. Specific duties include:

  1. Develop and implement a strategic policy and advocacy agenda in accordance with the APSE Strategic Plan for each established issue priority including achievable goals and performance measures;
  2. Build and nurture effective multi-organizational coalitions and alliances on priority issues and campaigns;
  3. Develop and maintain ongoing relationships with members of Congress and federal agency officials regarding APSE’s public policy priorities, and as necessary conduct information and lobbying campaigns with members of Congress and federal officials;
  4. Develop and maintain relationships with a host of other stakeholders in the policy communities relevant and important to APSE;
  5. Communicate policy priorities and develop position with APSE Public Policy committee to provide support for APSE’s public policy efforts;
  6. Provide support to APSE state chapters to improve their engagement in policy advocacy including ongoing development of chapter public policy infrastructure, and keeping chapters aware of policy issues relevant to their states;
  7. Design and implement an infrastructure to expand the capacity of APSE members and chapters to conduct effective public policy, including development of public policy tools and training.
  8. Implement action plans for APSE members and chapters to respond in a timely manner on relevant policy issues as they arise, including proposed legislation, federal regulations, and similar areas.
  9. Provide analysis of emerging or existing legislative and other public policy issues impacting APSE members;
  10. Prepare position papers, policy briefings, advocacy alerts, and other materials related to APSE’s public policy positions and priorities;
  11. Collaborate with Executive Director to ensure public policy issues are being represented within APSE programs, communications and events;
  12. Work collaboratively with other APSE staff to develop and manage policy advocacy content for APSE websites, communications, and social media.

Position Requirements

The ideal candidate will bring to this position:

  • Demonstrated commitment to competitive integrated employment for people with disabilities, APSE’s values and mission, and the Employment First movement.
  • Thorough understanding of policy- and regulatory-making processes at federal and state levels.
  • Demonstrated success at designing, leading, and managing grassroots issue campaigns at the state and federal levels.
  • Working knowledge and broad understanding of issues related to poverty, disability, employment, education, transition, and advocacy.
  • Exceptional expressive and receptive communication skills, verbal, non-verbal, written, and otherwise.
  • Comfort with ambiguity and uncertainty, with simultaneous commitment to organizational values and goals.
  • An even temperament, balancing patience, persistence, humor, determination, and flexibility.
  • Significant professional experience in public policy advocacy and coalition building.
  • Demonstrated skill and comfort in proactively building relationships with diverse audiences, including public officials, reporters and editors, community leaders, coalition partners and the public.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate to diverse audiences via various types of media.
  • Demonstrated facility in tailoring a message for a variety of constituencies.
  • A commitment to non-partisanship.

Specific position requirements include:

  • Education: Bachelor’s Degree (minimum), Masters Degree preferred.
  • Minimum of three (3) to five (5) years in disability and employment policy, advocacy, and coalition building—or a sufficient combination of education and experience.
  • Sufficient diversity of knowledge and skills to effectively manage APSE’s public policy efforts including: policy planning and development, advocacy, communication strategies, and building of partnerships and coalitions.
  • Ability to set, pursue, and achieve policy and advocacy priorities.
  • Strong ability to multi-task and manage competing priorities.
  • Strong ability to develop and maintain collaborative relationships with key partners, policy makers, and other strategic allies.
  • Either currently living in or willing to relocate to the Washington, DC area.

This position is full time (40 hours/week), exempt employee status, and based at APSE’s Rockville office. Telecommuting is not an option.

APSE offers medical, dental, visions, and disability insurance, a generous PTO package, and matching contribution to employee Simple IRA account.

To apply, please email a resume and cover letter to Jenny Stonemeier, with Public Policy Director in the subject line. No phone calls, please.

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