Senior Program Officer for Government Relations

Washington D.C.
$80K for minimum qualifications; higher salary for preferred. Generous benefits.
Aug 10, 2022
Sep 14, 2022
Education, Nonprofit
Full Time

American Association of University Professors

Senior Program Officer for Government Relations—Washington, DC



The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) is seeking well-qualified candidates for a Senior Program Officer for Government Relations position. The External Relations Department plays an essential role in supporting the AAUP’s recent affiliation with the American Federation of Teachers and championing the AAUP’s racial equity initiative. The Senior Program Officer (SPO) for GR will work under the direction of the Director of External Relations. The 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. This position requires a commitment to racial equity, especially as it pertains to government relations work, and involves working with diverse individuals both inside and outside of the AAUP office.

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 on legislative positions to help foster racial equity in higher education.
  • Monitor developments at the Education Department & assess opportunities for us to comment or give testimony; prepare members to give testimony.
  • Other duties as assigned.



  • Five or more years of work experience on the Hill or in government relations or related field 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.
  • Commitment to racial equity required; demonstrated experience with racial equity or DEI initiatives preferred.
  • BA required; advanced degree in relevant field 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 $80,000 for minimum qualifications; higher salary for preferred qualifications and experience. Generous benefits package, including health insurance and 401(K).


Position Classification


The Senior Program Officer for Government Relations 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.


Work Location


This position is based in the DC office with an option for part-time telework. As of November, the AAUP offices, currently at 1133 19th St NW DC, will be moving to 555 New Jersey Avenue.


To Apply


To apply, email a resume with cover letter to Please include “SPO for Government Relations-YOUR NAME” in the subject line of the email. 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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