Director of Government Affairs
About America Forward and New Profit
America Forward is a nonpartisan policy initiative of New Profit, a pioneering national venture philanthropy fund that seeks to break down barriers between all people and opportunity in America. New Profit invests in visionary leaders – both social entrepreneurs and system entrepreneurs -- to help them scale high-impact solutions and achieve systemic change. To date, New Profit has invested over $150 million in scaling innovative organizations' impact.
America Forward's mission is to unite social innovators with policymakers to translate local impact into national change. America Forward advances a public policy agenda that fosters innovation, rewards results, catalyzes cross-sector partnerships, and advances equity. Staff of America Forward lead a Coalition of more than 70 social innovation organizations that champion innovative, effective, and efficient solutions to our country's most pressing social problems. Our Coalition members are achieving measurable outcomes in more than 14,500 communities nationwide, touching the lives of 8 million Americans each year, and driving progress in education, workforce development, early learning, poverty alleviation, public health, pay for success, social innovation, national service, and criminal justice reform.
Since 2007, America Forward's community of innovators has played a leading role in driving the national dialogue on social innovation and advocating for lasting policy change. America Forward played a critical role in the creation of a federal tiered-evidence fund aimed at scaling high-impact organizations and significantly leveraging federal dollars; our community influenced the creation of the White House Office of Social Innovation; and we have successfully advocated for the inclusion of provisions focused on outcomes in landmark federal education and workforce legislation. Together, we have leveraged $1.7 billion for social innovation and have driven millions of federal resources toward programs that are achieving measurable results for those who need them most. America Forward believes that our nation's social innovators can lead the way to unlocking America's potential -- and help move all of America forward.
About the Position
The Director of Government Affairs will be responsible for leading the America Forward Coalition’s education (early learning, K-12, and higher education), workforce, human services, appropriations, national service, and other related collective advocacy work -- from idea generation, to collective policy platform development, to advocacy execution. The Director of Government Affairs will also be responsible for helping to build the policy capacity of New Profit portfolio organizations and America Forward Coalition organizations -- from providing ad hoc advocacy advice to leading policy workshops and Hill Days. The Director of Government Affairs will also participate in external engagement efforts, including generating policy proposals for America Forward’s nonpartisan engagement in the 2020 election.
An exceptional communicator, strong writer, and a creative and analytical thinker, the Director of Government Affairs will synthesize complex ideas, build consensus, and actively engage multiple audiences and stakeholders, including policymakers, social entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and academicians, in shaping new policy proposals and initiatives on behalf of America Forward. The Director of Government Affairs will participate actively in external engagement opportunities and speak and write on the Coalition’s policy priorities on behalf of America Forward.
Based in Washington DC, the Director of Government Affairs will report directly to the Executive Director of America Forward, work closely with both internal staff and external policy consultants, and play a vital role in ensuring America Forward achieves its ambitious advocacy goals.
America Forward’s Director of Government Affairs will:
• Develop policy platforms, proposals, and strategies that reflect the interests of New Profit and America Forward Coalition members in: early learning, K-12 education, higher education, workforce development, human services, national service, social innovation, and other emerging areas of interest.
• In close collaboration with America Forward’s Directors and team of consultants, advocate for specific policy agendas in the areas of: early learning, K-12 education, higher education, workforce development, human services, national service, social innovation, and other related issues.
• Lead America Forward’s Education and Workforce Development Task Forces and working groups and develop strong relationships with CEOs and Policy Directors of member organizations.
• Lead America Forward’s efforts to influence the regulation and implementation of major education and workforce federal legislation of interest to the Coalition.
• Lead advocacy trainings, Hill Days, and other efforts to build the advocacy capacity of New Profit portfolio organizations and America Forward Coalition members.
• Work with individual portfolio and Coalition organizations to build their policy capacity and provide strategic advice.
• Work closely with the America Forward team to develop policy proposals shared broadly with candidates in the 2020 election and build strong relationships within the next Congress and Administration to advance priority policy ideas.
• Contribute to development and fundraising efforts and play a meaningful role in engaging individual, foundation, and public funders.
• Contribute to America Forward’s ongoing message development/branding and communications strategy; generate content for America Forward across all communications platforms; develop white papers on key issues; and create public engagement materials (e.g. op-eds, press materials, external speeches, social media content, etc.).
• Serve as a representative of America Forward to policymakers (both in Congress and in the Administration), thought leaders, social entrepreneurs, and other key stakeholders.
• Expand America Forward’s external presence by speaking publicly at national, state, and local conferences and other events.
• Manage networks and information channels necessary to be consistently and fully informed on all activities and advancements in related policy and political areas.
• Actively cultivate relationships and expand the network of champions for social innovation and participate in associated advocacy efforts as needed.
• Manage expert external consultants and more junior level staff working on a similar portfolio of issues.
Qualifications for the Ideal Candidate
• Significant professional experience (ideally at least 10 years) in federal policy and/or politics; experience working on Capitol Hill, in a federal department/agency, or in the policy department of a national nonprofit organization, think tank, or philanthropic organization.
• Relationship and consensus-building skills, including experience working with or managing coalitions; comfort working with both policy experts and novices.
• Ability to work independently and cooperatively as a part of a DC team connected to a larger Boston-based organization; ability to work independently and collaboratively with a team of DC-based senior policy consultants.
• Superior written communication skills; ability to synthesize complex information and ideas into clear, concise, and compelling written materials.
• Superior verbal communication skills; ability to craft messages that resonate with multiple audiences; experience and comfort with public speaking and engaging large audiences.
• Ability to thrive and learn in a fast-paced, growth-oriented environment.
• Interest in learning and leading new policy area initiatives as opportunities emerge.
• Passion for New Profit and America Forward’s missions and social entrepreneurship; familiarity with social innovation and nonprofit sector preferred; passion for the social innovation sector.
• Flexibility and willingness to travel occasionally (particularly to New Profit’s Boston office).
This search is being conducted by Allison Kupfer Poteet and Hallie Dietsch of the national search firm NPAG. Nominations and applications including a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, and your resume (in Word or PDF format) should be submitted to:
More information about America Forward and New Profit can be found at www.americaforward.org and www.newprofit.org. AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service alumni are encouraged to apply. Please indicate in your application if you are a national service alumni.
Cultivating a diverse and inclusive team is an essential component of America Forward’s commitment to advance equity.