Government Relations Specialist

Washington D.C. or Remote
$65K for minimum qualifications; higher salary for preferred.
Jul 07, 2021
Jul 28, 2021
Full Time

American Association of University Professors

Government Relations Specialist—Washington, DC or Remote

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. The AAUP was founded more than a hundred years ago to defend faculty’s academic freedom, and recent state efforts to restrict the teaching of systemic racism in America and other “divisive concepts” demand our attention and resources. 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 to stop this legislation in multiple states. The successful candidate will play an important role in shaping and implementing the association’s response to these attacks on academic freedom, and will work interdepartmentally to achieve the association's strategic objectives.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Monitor and assess state legislation and regulations on the teaching of “divisive concepts” and work with AAUP staff and leadership to apply AAUP’s historic policy positions on academic freedom to these debates.
  • Develop strategies for state and regional membership engagement and mobilization.
  • Work with staff and members to integrate legislative issues into organizing campaigns and assist with those campaigns, as necessary.
  • Conduct workshops for AAUP members and chapter leaders on effective legislative strategy.
  • Work in coalition with other higher education advocacy organizations on issues of shared concern.
  • Assist AAUP chapters and state conferences with fostering relationships with members of state legislatures, state agencies, and their staffs to promote AAUP principles and advance organizational goals.
  • Prepare position papers and other external-facing communications on legislative policy.
  • Write updates on government relations issues for AAUP member communications.
  • 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.
  • Associate 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 $65,000 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 special senior program officer position in the Department of External Relations and is part of the staff union bargaining unit. This is a one-year renewable appointment. 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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