Director of Policy and Advocacy

Posted by
JustLeadership USA
New York, NY
Published 10 days ago

Director of Policy and Advocacy

JustLeadership USA

New York City, NY or Washington, DC


About JustLeadership USA

Founded in 2014, JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA) is dedicated to cutting the United States correctional population in half. On the guiding principle that those closest to the problem are closest to the solution but furthest from resources, power and opportunity, JLUSA seeks to elevate, educate, and empower directly impacted communities across the country to drive policy reform at the local, state, and national level.


For more information on JustLeadershipUSA, please visit its website.


The Opportunity

The Director of Policy and Advocacy (DPA) reports directly to the President/CEO and serves as an integral member of the senior leadership team. This senior leadership position offers an exceptional opportunity to impact the most pressing issues in criminal justice and civil rights policy today. The DPA drives JLUSA’s policy agenda, represents JLUSA before external audiences, and collaborates with JLUSA’s broad network of leaders and partners. We are seeking an experienced leader who possesses strong management and communications skills, deep familiarity with criminal and social justice policy issues, and a demonstrated commitment to advancing racial justice policies that protect civil rights. The DPA manages a department that includes a Special Projects Associate.


The DPA will be responsible for leading the creation and framing of a robust and ambitious national policy agenda that aligns with JLUSA’s mission. The DPA leads government relations to develop, monitor and maintain JLUSA relationships at the local, state and federal level. The Special Projects Associate and the Leadership Department Staff will assist with the day-to-day duties of this work (e.g., communicating with leaders, hosting advocacy training, organizing coalition meetings and event planning, etc.).


The Director of Policy and Advocacy of JustLeadership USA will have the following key responsibilities:


Frame JLUSA Public Policy Agenda and Lead Policy Communication

·      Lead the framing and creation of a robust, ambitious policy agenda that changes public perception, results in drastic reductions in incarcerated and supervised populations, reduces racial inequality, and enhances racial justice initiatives that align with the mission and priorities across the JLUSA footprint;

·      Manage policy-related communication in collaboration with JLUSA’s overall external engagement strategy;

·      Collaborate with communications and/or PR/marketing consultants to develop multimedia communications materials to communicate how public systems impact the formerly incarcerated;

·      Prepare the President with policy progress notes to represent the organization in hearings, public forums, coalition meetings, and conferences; and

·      Create policy and data analysis of policy impacts


Drive JLUSA’s Public Policy Agenda through Key Collaboration

·      Build and co-facilitate national coalitions and collaborations of cross sector partners, community members, and advocates to identify opportunities for policy wins and systems improvements;

·      Bring flexibility and understanding to educate and engage a diverse set of stakeholders to ensure that mutual values and missions drive the achievement of common goals;

·      Stimulate innovation, collaboration and cooperation between JLUSA Leaders, community partners, and state coalitions seeking to achieve similar goals and objectives;

·      Serve, when appropriate, as JLUSA’s spokesperson on policy & advocacy matters for the media, philanthropic partnerships, etc.;

·      Partner with the Movement and Capacity Building Specialists (MCBS) to maintain as a primary goal the inclusion of directly impacted constituents in the aligned policy priorities to achieve specific outcomes; and

·      Provide public policy consultation, engagement opportunities, and policy briefs to national, state and local advocacy groups to incorporate JLUSA’s public policy goals into their efforts.


Lead JLUSA’s Government Relations

·      Direct local, state and federal government relations activities to support JLUSA’s vision, mission and annual business plans;

·      Create and manage a board-level Public Policy Committee and analyze the risks and benefits for individual public policy positions;

·      Prepare and implement measurable annual work plans to achieve public policy advocacy and systems change objectives;

·      Identify developing issues of note or concern and counsel leadership and staff regarding potential advocacy or other needed actions;

·      Direct contract lobbyists, advocacy investments, grant funds, and other key supports;

·      Manage all lobbying compliance reporting;

·      Lead staff in the identification and implementation of strategies, initiatives, and public policy programs that could contribute to achieving JLUSA’s agenda;

·      Provide thought leadership and expertise on emerging social trends, national concerns, and political issues;

·      Direct the establishment, measurement and evaluation of public policy outcomes;

·      Coordinate staff and volunteer engagement with the public sector, both personal and professional, to maximize opportunity to achieve public policy agenda;

·      Provide mentoring, positive leadership and supervision as needed to staff engaged in policy advocacy;

·      Travel as required when restrictions are lifted (at least 50% of time based on location); and

·      Other duties as assigned. 


Candidate Profile

Strong candidates will bring policy experience, an understanding of grassroots organizing and campaigning, a working knowledge of the criminal justice system, a demonstrated commitment to social justice and passion for JLUSA’s mission, and exceptional interpersonal and communications skills.


Other desired skills, characteristics, and experiences include, but are not limited to, the following:

·      Work style that allows for both independent work and cross-team collaboration; comfort with changing priorities and ambiguity

·      Ability to maintain effectiveness when experiencing major changes in work tasks or the work environment; adjusting effectively to work within new work structures. Ability to thrive and learn in a fast-paced, growth-oriented, and changing environment

·      Ability to set high standards of performance for yourself and others, including assuming responsibility for assignments and tasks, taking initiative to accomplish objectives and being proactive, linking your policy objectives to the strategic goals of the organization, and communicating ideas successfully to direct reports, peers, supervisors, and constituents

·      Relationship-building skills, with experience working with or managing coalitions preferred

·      Superior writing skills with the ability to synthesize complex information into compelling written materials

·      Strong quantitative skills and ability to analyze and synthesize government and academic data and reports

·      At least 3 years of supervisory experience, with the ability to provide guidance, coaching, and feedback to policy team members and others across the organization

·      Flexibility and willingness for out-of-town travel and occasional events outside work hours once pandemic restrictions are lifted

·      Superior computer skills and willingness to learn and use new technology 



Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.



·      Comprehensive health insurance (medical, dental and vision plans)

·      401K plan with organization match

·      Flex spending accounts (offset transportation and medical costs)

·      Life insurance, pre-paid legal services and extended short-term disability insurance

·      Generous leave package (15 PTO days, 15 sick days, 11 holidays, office closure at the end of the year)



Molly Brennan and Amber Brown of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials here or email All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


JustLeadershipUSA is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, or current employment status. JustLeadershipUSA values diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system involvement. We depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission. For more information about JustLeadershipUSA, visit our website at


About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.


At Koya, we don’t just accept difference—we celebrate it, support it, and thrive on it for the benefit of our team, our clients, and the communities we serve.


Koya is an equal opportunity employer fully committed to creating an environment and team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, styles, and experiences. We encourage all to apply because we believe a diversity of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone. Koya does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, military status, veteran status, genetic information, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.


For more information about Koya Partners, visit

Director of Policy and Advocacy

JustLeadership USA

New York City, NY or Washington, DC


About JustLeadership USA

Founded in 2014, JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA) is dedicated to cutting the United States correctional population in half. On the…

Details at a Glance

  • Time Commitment
    Full Time Schedule


New York, NY, USA

How to Apply

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