Senior Government Affairs Associate

Job Type

Full Time




District of Columbia
United States


The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, is an independent, non-partisan, nonprofit organization that combines expertise in research, technical assistance, and demonstration projects to assist leaders in government and civil society examine justice policy and practice, and improve the systems people rely on for justice and safety. Vera is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace.

Vera is seeking a networked, imaginative and collaborative colleague to play a key role in helping Vera to engage federal policymakers, advance our priorities, and to expand the visibility of Vera’s work by making their research and expertise readily available to policymakers, opinion leaders, and organizational partners.                        

What you’ll do:

  • Serve as a liaison between federal agencies, Hill staff, and DC-based advocacy groups and Vera staff in order to communicate Vera’s goals and mission to a broad stakeholder audience.
  • Draft fact sheets, blogs, event descriptions, and hearing testimony targeted to legislators and federal agencies about Vera’s work, and briefing materials, including background information and talking points to prepare Vera staff for meetings or testimony and ensuring effective distribution of Vera publications to DC-based audiences.
  • Present Vera’s reports, research, and projects to a wide variety of DC stakeholders in both formal and informal settings.
  • Analyze and track pending legislation, executive orders, and regulations related to criminal justice and immigration; follow Congressional committee hearings and mark-ups, on funding and other issues; and provide support in monitoring the federal budget and appropriations process to identify current funding issues that relate to or may impact Vera’s work.
  • Support efforts to expand interactions and relationships with federal, state, and local government partners, and identify and pursue government funding opportunities for Vera’s work.
  • Support, develop ideas, and organize Congressional briefings, meetings, and events involving high-level federal and non-governmental participants and stakeholders to highlight Vera’s work.

What you bring

  • Knowledge of the Justice Ecosystem. We want to reach and engage audiences who can take what we’re learning and use it to change our current over-reliance on incarceration.
  • You’ve got a track record. You have 5 or more years of experience on the Hill or in congressional/legislative affairs, and know who to reach out to and persuade.
  • You know federal justice policy, its legislation, and its politics. You are knowledgeable and experienced at researching and analyzing federal policy and legislation, and you are familiar with the activities and functions of relevant Congressional Committees, including the Senate and House Judiciary and Appropriations Committees.
  • You have a deep understanding of the players and stakeholders, and credibility with them.
  • You are a skilled communicator. You understand the issues and can present them cogently to a broad range of stakeholders; you write quickly, clearly, persuasively and accessibly – from tweets, to blogs, to issue briefs;
  • You collaborate, work well in a team, and you look for how you can help without being told. It’s a Vera value – we thrive when we learn and build on each other’s ideas, are open to giving and receiving feedback, are great team players who are stronger together.
  • Ability to engage broad networks. We need to connect across the aisle, and in geographies we don’t currently operate. We need to build partnerships, find new adherents and new ambassadors.


We want to be an employer of choice in our field, and supporting Vera staff—both personally and professionally—is a priority. To do this, we provide: 

  • Regular reviews of our salary structure to ensure that we are at or above market rate
  • Training and learning opportunities with leaders in our field
  • Eight weeks paid family leave and other generous time off benefits
  • Comprehensive insurance coverage, including medical and dental, life and accidental death, and disability
  • A retirement savings plan, including employer contributions and the opportunity for your own tax-advantaged savings
  • Tuition reimbursement and publication incentives

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply

How to apply:

Please submit cover letter and resume. Cover letters should include your desired number of hours/days per week of work. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Online submission in PDF format is preferred.

However, if necessary, materials may be mailed or faxed to:


ATTN: People and Culture / Senior Govt Affairs Associate recruitment

Vera Institute of Justice

233 Broadway, 12th Floor

New York, NY 10279

Fax: (212) 941-9407


Please use only one method (online, mail or fax) of submission.

No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.


Vera 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, current employment status, or caregiver status.

Vera works to advance justice, particularly racial justice, in an increasingly multicultural country and globally connected world. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission.


For more information about Vera, please visit