Director of Public Policy
Reports to: Chief of Staff and Deputy Executive Director for Public Policy and Research
Location: The Director of Public Policy primarily works in GLSEN’s Policy office in Washington, DC. The Director will also expect some domestic travel (approximately 10-20%). During the Coronavirus pandemic this role is 100% remote while social distancing orders are in place.
Annual Salary: $110,000.00 - $120,000.00
GLSEN works to create safe and affirming schools for all students, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. We have been doing this work since 1990, and we are the only national organization dedicated to transforming K-12 education systems to affirm LGBTQ+ students, particularly those who are trans, nonbinary, Black, Indigenous, people of color, people with disabilities, and from other communities that experience marginalization. With 44 Chapters in 40 states across the country, we work at the national, state, and local levels to form GSAs (Gay Straight Alliances or Gender and Sexuality Alliances), supportive networks of educators and other adult allies, develop inclusive curriculum, and pass policies that prohibit victimization, including discrimination, bullying, harassment, and punitive discipline that puts young people at greater risk for entering the school to prison pipeline. Our work has produced measurable improvements in the lives of LGBTQ+ students in the United States and internationally and helped establish new norms of safety and affirmation for LGBTQ+ students in K-12 schools.
For more information on GLSEN’s policy advocacy, student leadership initiatives, school-based programs, research, and professional development for educators visit www.glsen.org.
We are looking for individuals who are willing to think boldly about the future of K-12 education and how best to serve students. The GLSEN team seeks colleagues committed to addressing the needs of all LGBTQ+ students and advancing equity in education, particularly in terms of promoting racial justice. We need individuals that work to build community with colleagues and volunteers and have a track record of working across differences to advance social causes.
We need not just your passion, but your talents, skills and willingness to do the hard work to build a more equitable future.
About this Role
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 public policy advocacy in alignment with 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 advancing intersectional equity, inclusive of LGBTQ+ communities, racial, gender, and disability justice outcomes in K-12 education systems. The successful candidate must have a good understanding of the impact of intersectional forms of oppression in K-12 education and the experiences of LGBTQ+ young people.
The Director of Public Policy leads GLSEN’s Washington, DC based Public Policy Office and our policy and legislative advocacy work at the federal, state and local levels. The GLSEN Public Policy Office leads the development of safe and inclusive national, state, and local policies that create positive school climates for all students, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. GLSEN’s policy work strives to dismantle all identity-based oppressions including but not limited to, race, ethnicity, ability, and immigration status. Staff serve as the primary government affairs liaisons for the organization. The Office supports the leadership of a network of volunteer policy coordinators from local GLSEN Chapters around the country. The Director of Public Policy will partner with the Chief of Staff and Deputy Executive Director of Public Policy and Research to steward our key partnerships with other national public policy 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.
Build awareness of GLSEN’s issues among key education policy stakeholders
- Advancing GLSEN’s strategic partnerships and coalition-building on policy and legislative issues,
- Coordinating GLSEN’s participation in key education, LGBTQ+, and civil and human rights coalitions,
- Serving as lead GLSEN representatives and subject matter expert on policy issues,
- Creating public policy resources and programming that support GLSEN’s advocacy initiatives and thought leadership on LGBTQ+ issues in K-12 education.
Developing and executing GLSEN’s Public Policy Agenda:
- Represent GLSEN at meetings with Members of Congress, federal agency officials, 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 public policy coalitions to advance federal priorities;
- Oversee GLSEN’s policy, advocacy and legislative campaign efforts at the state and local levels:
- Lead strategic campaign planning and goal-setting processes with Policy staff and a national network of volunteer Chapter policy coordinators;
- 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.
The Director is also responsible for:
- Supervision of Department staff and implementation of the Department work-plan.
- Development and management of the department's annual budgets, and oversight of other administrative functions for the department.
- Serving as an integral member of GLSEN’s management team, charged with collaboration and coordination of strategic organizational efforts to achieve GLSEN’s mission.
What is needed to be successful in this position?
- Advanced degree or commensurate training in Public Policy, Public Administration, 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;
- Strong knowledge and experience with K-12 education issues at the intersection of LGBTQ+ communities, civil rights, and intersectional equity in education. Understanding of the national landscape is strongly preferred;
- Commitment to and experience with advancing racial, gender, and disability justice and dismantling all forms of oppression;
- 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.
GLSEN offers a generous benefits package, including paid time off in addition to 10 paid holidays per year – two weeks off provided in addition to paid time off (July and December); 100% employer-paid medical and dental insurance for staff and optional benefits for family members (including domestic partners); life insurance; and a 401k plan with increasing employer contributions based on staff tenure.
Positions supervised include the Federal Policy Manager and the State and Local Policy Manager.
Please submit your resume and a letter of interest at www.glsen.org/apply-work-glsen. Please do not email, fax, or mail applications.
GLSEN is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We strongly encourage people of color, people of diverse gender identities, people with disabilities, women, and non-LGBTQ people to apply.