Director of Federal Affairs

Job Type

Full Time


Minimum: $90,000
Details: Starting Salary is $90,000+ (commensurate of experience)




United States



The Director of Federal Affairs works to develop and promote the federal legislative agenda of Americans for the Arts to Congress and the Administration. Advocacy efforts include direct lobbying; proposing, monitoring, and analyzing legislation; working in formal and informal coalitions; organizing strategic events; and mobilizing Americans for the Arts’ grassroots members and constituencies. Advocacy efforts also include the programmatic design of the Arts Advocacy Day annual conference. The Director is responsible for liaison work with the U.S. House of Representatives and legislative policy development relating to tax policy, technology, education, economic development and other issues considered by both the House and the Senate, as well as the Administration.

The Director of Federal Affairs will identify policy and advocacy needs and execute strategies under the direct supervision of the Vice President of Government Affairs and Arts Education and with oversight of the Government Affairs and Grassroots Coordinator. The Director should have a strong background in public policy and legislative affairs, with a minimum of eight years of experience in government affairs, including at least two years’ experience working for the federal government in a legislative/policy capacity. The Director should understand the role of the arts in education and community and economic development, as well as larger policy issues impacting the nonprofit sector (i.e., tax policy) and be able to develop materials and products that advance the advocacy efforts of the organization’s members. The Director works across departments to explain the federal-state-local policy pipeline to key stakeholders and must be oriented to the big picture while remaining focused on details. 


• Serves as lobbyist to the U.S. House of Representatives for Americans for the Arts’ legislative portfolio, which includes arts funding, education, international issues, community and economic development, and other issues as needed

• Serves as lobbyist to the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives on issues related to tax policy and nonprofit issues

• Maintains relationships with congressional, committee, federal agency and Administration staff and participates in select stakeholder legislative coalitions. Visit The Hill frequently to maintain and develop congressional contacts.

• Researches and pursues previously untapped federal funding opportunities for the community and economic development arts field, and communicates such opportunities to the organization’s membership through member briefings and Americans for the Arts’ ArtsU platform

• Submits annual testimony to the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee and other committees as appropriate; makes aggressive attempts to secure opportunities for live witnesses to testify on behalf of Americans for the Arts

• Attends events on and off Capitol Hill on behalf of the Americans for the Arts Action Fund 

• Participates in legislative and programmatic planning for Arts Advocacy Day, including recruiting nominations for and securing the recipient of the annual award for Congressional Arts Leadership

• Assists the Vice President in planning and conducting Congressional Arts and STEAM Caucuses events/briefings

• Help liaison with the Cultural Advocacy Group working toward consensus from national arts leaders

• Monitors and assesses key legislation, policy, research, and media impacting the nonprofit arts industry

• Writes timely legislative updates, action alerts, blogs, position papers and other communications, and provides relevant content to Americans for the Arts grassroots advocacy, congressional, and legislative news webpages

• Works with the Government Affairs and Grassroots Coordinator to keep the organization’s network of State Advocacy Captains informed of legislative developments

• Conducts grassroots advocacy training workshops as needed

• Develops and executes an outreach program for new members of Congress and their staff

• Selects, directs, plans, and manages the performance of the Government Affairs and Grassroots Coordinator

• Develops, in consultation with the Vice President of Government Affairs & Arts Education, the program areas’ budget and maintains it accordingly with direct staff

• Assists with fundraising strategies for the government affairs work of Americans for the Arts

• Executes other projects and assignments given by the Vice President of Government Affairs

Supervisory Responsibilities

• Sets and monitors goals for direct-report performance and deadlines in ways that comply with the organizations strategic plan

• Helps to organize direct-report workflow and ensures that direct-report understands his/her duties and delegated tasks

• Monitors employee productivity and provides ongoing constructive feedback and coaching

• Administers mid-year review of performance goals, annual performance review and submits completed performance forms on time

• Meets with direct reports on a weekly basis to discuss progress on goals and priorities  

• Ensures adherence to legal policies and operates within Americans for the Arts’ personnel policies and practices

• Develops and updates employee’s job description as necessary

• Shares, supports and carries out decisions made by the organization’s management 

• Approves timekeeping records and personnel requests

• Hires and trains new employees when applicable


• Bachelor’s degree; Master’s or advanced degree preferred

• Eight years of public policy, government affairs, or other political work

• Proven experience in a supervisor or relevant role

• Political campaign experience preferred

• Detailed knowledge of the federal legislative process

• General knowledge of arts and nonprofit issues

• Excellent written and verbal communication and presentation skills

• Ability to work well with a team of peers as well as with stakeholders and partners

• Ability to oversee complex logistical operations

• Evident enthusiasm for the arts


• Some travel required

• Strong knowledge of Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook required

• Knowledge of VoterVoice and CongressPlus preferred

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply