Lead Lobbyist, Immigration and Refugee Program
The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) seeks an experienced lobbyist to lead the Immigration & Refugee Program. The lead lobbyist will guide our Congressional advocacy that promotes policies advancing a just and humane immigration system. This includes a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, openness to refugees and those seeking asylum. The successful candidate will join our team of lobbyists who develop and lead strategies to advance our legislative priorities in Congress and with the administration.
We’re looking for someone who shares our Quaker community’s fierce commitment to defending human rights and the rule of law both domestically and internationally. The lead lobbyist must also have a clear-eyed understanding of what is possible with Congress and the administration, a demonstrated ability to focus and achieve legislative success and an ability to work collegially with a large, faith-based advocacy community around the country.
At FCNL, we embrace having a multitude of voices and talents working together to strengthen our impact in the world. In keeping with the Quaker testimony of equality, we strive to be an organization that welcomes, values and respects the different perspectives of every individual. We are actively soliciting applicants from all ethnic, racial, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability and religious backgrounds.
FCNL lobbies from a basis of spiritual and ethical purpose and seeks to change government policy and practice for the better, playing a key role in lobbying initiatives on Capitol Hill that focus on racial and economic justice, peace, stewardship of the environment, and election integrity.
FCNL’s lobbyists build extensive connections with congressional offices and conduct focused legislative campaigns on the following current priorities: peacebuilding, human rights, nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, curtailing endless war, cutting Pentagon spending, criminal justice reform, immigration reform, gun control, solutions to climate change, economic justice and Native American issues. FCNL and Friends approach each of these priorities by identifying, exposing and working to eliminate institutional racism, sexism, and militarism in order to promote genuine equality of opportunity and communities in which everyone can safely live, learn, work, worship and love.
FCNL’s dedicated grassroots network brings constituent perspectives into congressional offices—both in Washington at two major lobbying events each year, and in local district offices. FCNL informs and educates its network through newsletters and collateral materials and activates its grassroots network through a robust website, email, and social media outreach.
FCNL’s national network includes people from many different faiths and backgrounds who are activists and donors. The organization is dedicated to growing the network with a particular emphasis on building effective relationships as a path to policy change. In the past three years, FCNL increased the number of in-person visits from its constituents to legislators by 50 percent. Headquartered on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, FCNL is governed by a General Committee of 190 Quakers from across the country and employs a staff of about 55, including 20 registered lobbyists.
FCNL has brought Quaker values to bear on national policy throughout its 75-year history through congressional testimony, Capitol Hill visits, grassroots lobbying, and educational initiatives. Its strategic direction in the coming years is to create a bigger presence for FCNL—through media and marketing, as well as through its growing and vibrant network of activists.
The Lead Lobbyist for the Immigration & Refugee Program is responsible for informing and representing the Friends Committee on National Legislation before Congress and the Executive Branch, and developing tools for strategic, tangible policy outcomes in line with FCNL’s policy document, The World We Seek. This individual leads FCNL’s Immigration and Refugee program legislative portfolio pursuing federal policies that protect the rights, safety, and dignity of all immigrants, refugees, and migrants. Most recently, this work has focused on reducing immigrant detention and enforcement through the federal appropriations process; pushing for a pathway to citizenship for immigrant youth, TPS recipients and DED holders along with other essential workers; passing legislation that would prevent future presidents from enacting another travel ban on majority Muslim or African nations; and supporting policies that welcome refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants, including accessible pathways to citizenship.
Key Priorities and Responsibilities
- Promote FCNL policy positions: Organize, facilitate, and engage in lobby visits, phone calls, and other forms of contact with congressional offices and administration officials to promote FCNL's legislative policy positions on pertaining to the immigration and refugee program to appropriate members of Congress, their staff, and other government officials to further the change strategy.
- Develop and implement change strategies: Determine realistic and measurable goals for change, and design strategies to implement that change for the immigration legislative portfolio and the refugee legislative portfolio. Articulate program change strategies for FCNL’s board, committees, and funders that engage members of Congress and constituents in the next steps toward positive policy changes, or in resisting negative policy changes.
- Communicate program internally: Regularly share goals, priorities, visits, and legislative asks internally to the organization. Maintain FCNL databases to track congressional, administrative, and organizational outreach efforts as related to the legislative portfolio. Compile quarterly progress reports on legislative portfolio for FCNL’s general committee and for internal review across departments. Meet regularly with the Legislative Director on Domestic Policy and the General Secretary. Check-in consistently with other lobbyists on staff to help plan, coordinate, and carry out FCNL's work, including a weekly meeting with the Domestic Policy Hill Team.
- Develop expertise: Track the current political dynamics and policy issues as related to the immigration and refugee program portfolios, monitor, and report frequently on legislative and policy developments both inside and outside of the office to colleagues, coalition partners, and the wider FCNL network. Develop expertise on issues as assigned using FCNL’s information resources, news from colleagues, conversations with Hill staff, and media reports.
- Prepare lobbying materials and resources: Research and prepare materials by analyzing legislation, reports, data, and policy proposals. Generate FCNL’s position statements, testimony, letters, action alerts, fact sheets, background papers, reports, talking points, and other written materials as needed to support lobbying strategies and participation by FCNL constituents and other citizen lobbyists.
- Engage media: Work with FCNL’s Communications Department on press releases, op-eds, letters to the editor, articles, and interviews for public media, where appropriate for the change strategies.
- Work in coalition: Represent FCNL to peer institutions and associates with professionalism. Participate with and take on leadership roles in working groups and coalitions to coordinate strategies with other organizations whose purposes and practices relate closely to FCNL objectives and work style.
- Help resource grassroots lobbying: In coordination with the Communications and Strategic Advocacy teams, determine and prepare educational material and lobbying tools for our interactive website, action messages, blogs, social media, and other forms of action outreach. Offer grassroots lobby training, send updates to electronic list serves, and organize lobby days. Contribute to continuing education opportunities for our grassroots network, including certain Advocacy Corps alumni, former Spring Lobby Weekend participants, and other Strategic Advocacy programs and initiatives as they arise.
- Engage with FCNL’s network: Travel as needed to recruit participation in FCNL’s lobbying program – especially related to the legislative portfolio – and to interpret FCNL's program to Friends and others around the country. Participate in the annual meeting of FCNL’s General Committee and, as requested, Spring Lobby Weekend, Quaker Public Policy Institute, and quarterly Policy and Executive Committee meetings. Support the work of FCNL’s Advocacy Corps, a 10 month-long program where young adults get paid to organize their local community around federal legislation. The 2020-2021 Advocacy Corps has been focusing on immigration policy.
- Supervise: Manage the work and professional development of the Young Fellow for the Immigration and Refugee program. This Young Fellow is an 11-month, entry-level position. Supervise volunteers, interns, and others, as needed.
- Resource organizational development: Work with the FCNL development team and grant writer to seek grants or other institutional support for FCNL’s legislative programs on immigration and refugee protection. Fulfill terms of grant contracts in good order. Assist the FCNL Development Team to incorporate immigration and refugee issues into direct mail appeals, program interpretation materials for fundraising.
This description outlines the general nature of the duties that a person in this position is expected to perform. It is expected that the employee will perform other duties as assigned by the supervisor.
Experience and Attributes
- Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience
- Three or more years’ legislative experience, either as a congressional staff member, a lobbyist or policy advocate, or an immigration attorney and a solid familiarity with congressional process
- Deep knowledge of U.S. immigration and refugee policy
- Familiarity with the congressional appropriations process
- Creativity and imagination in developing legislative solutions
- Strong, bipartisan Congressional contacts, particularly focused on the Judiciary and Appropriations committees
- High motivation and demonstrated ability to design and lead effective change strategies
- Excellent research, analytical, writing, editing, public speaking and media skills
- Prior experience managing junior level staff or interns
- Flexibility and organization to manage numerous tasks and deadlines and adjust to rapid and unpredictable change
- Collegial and consultative approach to preventing and solving problems.
- Enthusiastically takes initiative and responsibility.
- Familiarity with and dedication to Quaker values and practices.
- Commitment to involving, promoting and respecting participants from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives
Compensation, Benefits and Work Week
Salary: This position may be filled at the level of Representative, Manager, or Director depending on the level of experience and demonstrated skills of the candidate, with a starting salary ranging from $65,000 at the Representative level to a maximum of $95,000 at the Director level.
Benefits: Health/dental/vision insurance; disability and life insurance; paid leave plus holidays; parental leave; generous employer contribution to a retirement plan; public transit benefit, and more.
Work Week: This is a full-time exempt position, based on a 37.5-hour work week, with occasional travel. Because of the focus on Congress, we expect this individual to work out of our Washington, DC office once the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided and it is safe to do so. Some compensatory time will balance evening and weekend work and travel.