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Director of Public Policy

REPORTS TO: Chief Research & Strategy Officer

General Description:
The Director of Public Policy leads GLSEN’s Washington, DC, office and our policy and legislative advocacy work at the school district, state, and federal level. GLSEN champions LGBT-inclusive and affirming education policy and legislation that promotes LGBTQ K-12 student achievement and health, and increases educational equity and respect for all. The Director of Public Policy will partner with the Chief Research & Strategy Officer and Executive Director to steward our key partnerships with other national organizations in education, civil and human rights, and youth development, and will build awareness of GLSEN’s policy goals through work with our constituents, our partners, and the media.

I. Build awareness of GLSEN’s issues among key education policy stakeholders
• Advance GLSEN’s strategic partnerships and coalition-building on policy and legislative issues
• Coordinate GLSEN’s participation in key education, LGBTQ, and civil and human rights coalitions
• Serve as lead GLSEN representative on policy and legislative issues

II. Lead GLSEN’s federal presence:
• Represent GLSEN at meetings with members of Congress, members of the Administration including Federal agency staff, and oversee coordination of amicus brief strategy for engagement with the judicial branch;
• Coordinate GLSEN’s participation in key education, LGBTQ issues, and civil and human rights coalitions to advance federal priorities.

III. Oversee GLSEN’s policy, advocacy and legislative campaign efforts at the district and state levels:
• Lead strategic campaign planning and goal-setting processes with Policy staff;
• Coordinate deployment of organizational resources and mobilization of GLSEN constituencies in support of campaign goals;
• Oversee development of policy documents and training modules;
• Coordinate organizational support of and technical assistance to coalitions pursuing safe and affirming schools policy and legislative goals;

IV. Serve as a member of GLSEN’s management team and manage the Policy Department
• Keep the organization abreast of developments in education and LGBTQ rights policies and their implications/opportunities for the organization;
• Develop and manage Policy Department budgets;
• Supervise Policy staff;
• Ensure departmental compliance with all HR and Operations policies;
• Oversee tracking of organizational lobbying expenditures;
• Represent Policy Department in weekly Directors Meetings;
• Participate in organizational strategic planning and contribute to periodic review and revision of organizational policy and practice.

GLSEN’s Director of Public Policy must be able to manage a team based in GLSEN’s DC office working on federal, state, and school district initiatives, promoting their professional development while meeting the organization’s strategic goals. They must be conversant with policy, advocacy and legislation and the processes by which they are made, including both direct lobbying and community mobilization strategies. GLSEN’s work is conducted at the intersection of education, youth development, and civil and human rights, and the Director of Public Policy must be comfortable operating in varying content areas and political contexts. They must possess effective communications skills and be able to build relationships and coalitions with other key stakeholders in the education, civil rights, and LGBTQ arenas.
They must also be able to work with colleagues to predict and prepare for the impact of policy changes and the opportunities inherent in their implementation, bridging the gap between policy victories and programmatic follow up. GLSEN’s work is completely non-partisan, and focused on social justice and greater educational equity, and the successful candidate must have a good understanding of the impact of intersectional forms of oppression on K-12 education and the LGBTQ student experience.

• Advanced degree or commensurate training in Policy, Advocacy, Law, or related fields;
• Strong understanding of the ins and outs of state and federal politics;
• Five years of experience in a policymaking or lobbying capacity;
• Proven success working with legislative bodies and/or government agencies at the state and/or federal level;
• Experience with advocacy campaigns;
• Strong management skills and the ability to mentor and lead a team of professionals;
• Excellent written and oral presentation skills;
• Exceptional organizational skills;
• Ability to create and serve on coalitions to support GLSEN’s Public Policy goals;
• Proven ability to work with, students, GLSEN Chapter leaders, and other volunteers in ways that empower them to achieve concrete legislative results;
• An understanding of, and passion for, the mission and goals of GLSEN.

This position requires some travel and is located in GLSEN’s Policy office in Washington, DC.

Benefits and Compensation:


• Medical, dental, vision insurance provided at no-cost to employee
• Short- and long-term disability, life insurance, and Employee Assistance Program provided at no-cost to the employee
• 401K plan with employer contribution

Time Off:

• 25 days PTO annually for first 3 years of employment (increasing with tenure)
• 10 paid holidays

Salary: Commensurate with experience

To apply, please submit your resume and letter of interest at:

GLSEN is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We strongly encourage people of color, women, people of diverse gender identities, and people with disabilities to apply.