Government Relations Specialist

Washington D.C.
$70k for minimum qualifications; higher salary for preferred. Generous benefits package.
Apr 26, 2022
May 26, 2022
Full Time

American Association of University Professors

Government Relations Specialist—Washington, DC



The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) is seeking well-qualified candidates for a Government Relations Specialist position. This is an exciting opportunity at a challenging and critical time in the AAUP, in higher education, and in the labor movement. An ideal candidate combines knowledge of government relations with technical skills and expertise in using digital organizing and online engagement tools to effectively mobilize members in grassroots lobbying efforts. The successful candidate will play an important role in shaping and implementing the association’s government relations objectives and will work interdepartmentally to achieve the association's strategic objectives.


Duties and Responsibilities


  • Staff major legislative campaigns for the AAUP, including joint campaigns of the AAUP and our partner the American Federation of Teachers.
  • Work with staff and members to integrate federal-level legislative issues into organizing campaigns at target chapters, and assist with those campaigns as necessary.
  • Monitor and assess federal legislation and regulations on higher education and work with AAUP staff and leadership to formulate AAUP’s policy positions; advise leaders when we might want to issue a public statement on a federal GR topic.
  • Staff the AAUP’s Committee on Government Relations and help develop annual legislative agendas for the AAUP.
  • Conduct workshops on effective legislative strategy.
  • Work in coalition with other labor unions and higher education advocacy organizations on issues of shared concern. Advocate for AAUP principles and positions with coalition partners, as appropriate. Make decisions about signing on to coalition joint letters in areas where we have a clear track record or position.
  • Foster relationships with members of Congress and their staffs and with federal agencies to promote AAUP principles and advance organizational goals.
  • Prepare position papers and other external-facing communications on federal legislative policy.
  • Write updates on federal government relations issues for AAUP member communications.
  • Advise the organization legislative positions to help foster racial equity in higher education.
  • Monitor developments at the Education Department & looking for opportunities for us to comment or give testimony (then preparing the comments and finding/prepping members to give testimony).
  • Other duties as assigned.



  • Three or more years of work experience in government relations for a labor, political, or other nonprofit advocacy organization. Experience with unions preferred.
  • Demonstrable work experience advocating for public policy affecting higher education at the state or federal level preferred.
  • Demonstrable experience designing and implementing grassroots legislative campaigns/lobbying efforts.
  • Experience and demonstrated ability working with organizing tools such as Action Network.
  • Experience and demonstrated ability working with diverse groups and individuals.
  • Superior written and oral communication skills and computer proficiency skills—including familiarity with MS Office.
  • Associates degree required. BA or advanced degree preferred.
  • Valid driver’s license and a willingness to travel regionally and nationally.
  • Willingness to work evening and weekend hours.



Salary range: Starting salary of $70,000 for minimum qualifications; higher salary for preferred qualifications and experience. Generous benefits package, including health insurance and 401(K).


Position Classification


The Government Relations Specialist position is categorized as a senior program officer position. This position is designated as a senior program officer in the Department of External Relations and is part of the staff union bargaining unit. This is an exempt position and not eligible for overtime pay.


To Apply


To apply, email a resume with cover letter to Please include “GOVERNMENT RELATIONS SPECIALIST-YOUR NAME” in the subject line of the email. In addition to a cover letter and a resume, please include:


  • Links to, or samples of legislative campaign materials you have created.
  • Writing samples (white paper, member communications, etc.).

No phone calls please. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until position is filled.


The AAUP is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, disability, race, color, religion, national origin, marital status, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, personal appearance, family responsibilities, genetic information, matriculation, political affiliation, or other characteristics unrelated to professional performance.


Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

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