Policy Counsel

Silver Spring, Maryland
Jun 22, 2022
Jul 27, 2022
Full Time


HIAS seeks a Policy Counsel to join HIAS’ U.S. Policy & Advocacy team. The Policy Counsel will, together with the team, develop policy recommendations and promote them through advocacy and public education campaigns. They will be responsible for using their knowledge of U.S. refugee, immigration and asylum law to lead HIAS’ policy analysis on these issues, with a primary focus on U.S. asylum policy. They will engage in direct advocacy, produce advocacy materials and help to foster relationships with HIAS’ advocacy partners. The Policy Counsel will represent HIAS before U.S. government officials, coalition partners based in Washington D.C. and various network partners. They will work closely with the Vice President, U.S. Policy & Advocacy, the Senior Strategist, U.S. Policy & Advocacy and HIAS’ legal and border team to engage in HIAS’ advocacy and policy agenda. They will also engage organizations and individuals around the country in advocacy, with a focus on the American Jewish community.

The Policy Counsel will also work with HIAS staff to review and proactively provide timely refugee, immigration and asylum updates to HIAS materials and outreach efforts, including the HIAS hotline, FAQs and other web/printed content to ensure timely information is shared with the public. They will also be responsible for communicating with VIP community leaders and donors to advise them on questions related to refugee, immigration and asylum issues, processes and policy matters, ensuring strong follow-up and regular reporting to HIAS’ President & CEO, Executive Vice President and Senior Vice President, Global Public Affairs.


  • Develops advocacy priorities and strategies to promote fair and humane refugee and immigration policies, with a primary focus on U.S. asylum policy.
  • Pursues policy and advocacy goals that reflect cross-departmental, cross-unit and network advocacy needs.
  • Meets and communicates with Congress and the Administration to promote HIAS’ U.S. policy priorities.
  • Monitors asylum policy and political developments, including Congressional hearings, votes, floor sessions and Administration asylum policy developments.
  • Drafts HIAS policy and advocacy outreach materials, with a focus on asylum policies, including statements, letters, factsheets, web content, vote recommendations, legislation and other resources primarily related to asylum policies for a wide number of audiences, including Congressional committees, policy makers and the public.
  • Communicates with VIP community leaders and donors to advise them on questions related to refugee, immigration and asylum issues, processes and policy matters, ensuring strong follow-up and regular reporting to HIAS’ President & CEO, Executive Vice President and Senior Vice President, Global Public Affairs.
  • Represents HIAS’ U.S. Policy & Advocacy department at meetings and conferences.


  • JD or extensive legal/policy knowledge required.
  • 4-6 years of demonstrated experience in U.S. asylum policy or other refugee/immigration policy/law.
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills; able to convey complex information in a simple and culturally appropriate manner.
  • Excellent interpersonal and persuasive strategic communication skills, and ability to effectively build consensus among multiple stakeholders.
  • Familiarity with the operations of Congress and/or federal agencies, including existing relationships with key stakeholders (including, but not limited to, policymakers and other advocates).
  • Excellent organizational, problem-solving and project management skills required; ability to manage several projects simultaneously in a fast-paced environment.


We are committed to a fair and respectful hiring process, and we do our absolute best to respond to every applicant. We prioritize communication and transparency with all candidates, even those who are not moving forward. Here’s a snapshot of our hiring process:

Step 1: Submit your application!

Step 2: Phone screen with a HIAS recruiter.

Step 3: Video interview with the hiring manager.

Step 4: Video interview with a panel of HIAS employees.

Step 5: Online reference check with SkillSurvey.

Step 6: Offer and background check with Shield Screening.

Step 7: Start your professional journey with HIAS!

Note: Some of our hiring processes may vary, and not all candidates will advance to each step.


Over one hundred years ago, the Jewish community founded HIAS (originally the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) in New York City, the immigrant gateway to America. Supporting Jews fleeing persecution and poverty in Eastern Europe, our founders were guided by the traditions, texts and history of the Jewish people—a history of oppression, displacement and diaspora. HIAS has since helped generations of Jews facing violence because of who they were, and HIAS remains committed to helping Jewish refugees anywhere in the world. Today, our clients at HIAS come from diverse faiths, ethnicities and backgrounds, as do our staff. We bring our experience, history and values to our work across five continents, ensuring that refugees today receive the vital services and opportunities they need to thrive.

HIAS is a learning community, committed to diversity and inclusion. We do our work with integrity, accountability, transparency and a commitment to the highest ethical standards. We seek employees from diverse backgrounds and life experiences to join our teams located in the United States and across the globe. People who identify as BIPOC, people with disabilities, people from the LGBTQ+ community and people with lived experiences of forced displacement or immigration are all encouraged to apply. We are committed to building a diverse workforce that reflects our vision, mission and values.


HIAS stands for a world in which refugees find welcome, safety and opportunity.


Drawing on our Jewish values and history, HIAS provides vital services to refugees and asylum seekers around the world and advocates for their fundamental rights so they can rebuild their lives.


Welcome • Acogimiento • Hospitalité • Hachnasat Orchim

We Welcome the Stranger 

Justice • Justicia • Justice • Tzedek

We Pursue Justice 

Empathy • Empatía • Empathie • Chesed 

We Approach our Clients with Empathy 

Partnership • Compañerismo • Coopération • Chevruta

We Believe in Changing the World through Partnership 

Courage • Coraje • Courage • Ometz

We Act with Courage to Build a Better World 

Resilience • Resiliencia • Résilience • Ruach 

We Adapt and Thrive, Continuously Demonstrating our Resilience 


HIAS is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. As an equal opportunity employer, all qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, ethnic background, ancestry, citizenship status, religious creed, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, registered domestic partner or civil union status, familial status, pregnancy, childbirth, military status, protected veteran status, political orientation or other legally protected status.