Chief Advocacy Officer

Job Type

Full Time



Start Date


Application Deadline



750 First Street, NE
United States


Job Summary:

The Chief Advocacy Officer will supervise and manage a newly unified office of approximately 25 high-performing government relations (GR) professionals who work closely with Congress and federal agencies to develop and promote policies and initiatives that reflect and advance psychological research and knowledge. This position is responsible for developing and implementing APA’s government relations agenda and coordinating APA’s non-governmental advocacy efforts aimed at applying psychological knowledge in health, educational, scientific, business, and community settings. These principal roles are to be carried out in consultation with GR and other executive staff, most notably those directing APA’s Education, Practice, Public Interest, and Science Directorates, along with input from APA governance groups, including a new committee to help guide the prioritization of advocacy issues association-wide. Since these four directorates have their own GR offices, an initial responsibility of the Chief Advocacy Officer will be to oversee the integration of these offices into a unified GR office. The office will handle a wide range of issue portfolios related to psychology, including but not limited to: health, research, education, workforce, human rights, vulnerable populations, and applied psychology. These issues, in turn, are addressed through an array of activities, which are also overseen by the Chief Advocacy Officer, including: lobbying on Capitol Hill; interactions with federal agencies; policy and regulatory development/review; grassroots advocacy; management of a political action committee for psychology, and some degree of state advocacy, as well. The Chief Advocacy Officer position involves significant strategic planning, budgetary, and organizational responsibility. It also entails serving as a representative of APA on advocacy matters on Capitol Hill and with federal agencies, coalitions, and national partners.

Job Qualifications:

Requirements include: an advanced degree, preferably in psychology, law, or a related field, and at least 10 years of experience building a successful track record in government relations and public policy through work on Capitol Hill and/or with a professional, advocacy, or trade organization or a federal agency. Significant management experience in a large organization, as well as some fund-raising experience, are preferred.

Thorough knowledge of the federal legislative and regulatory process with the ability to conceptualize policy issues and think strategically to effectively advance organizational priorities.

Demonstrated skills to enhance advocacy capacity through engaging in coalition efforts and grassroots mobilization, collaborating with diverse stakeholders, and leading initiatives with national partners.

Strategic planning, analytical, decision-making, and project management skills, with experience using data to shape policy messages.

Proven ability to supervise others, develop and work successfully with a large team of professionals, and collaborate with a senior leadership team to advance organizational goals.

Familiarity and successful experience with managing organizational change, including overseeing transitions.

Outstanding interpersonal and written/verbal communication skills, with the ability to compellingly present ideas and information to a variety of audiences, including policymakers. 

Demonstrated ability to work effectively under pressure, attend to details, meet deadlines, and be held accountable for results.

Commitment to uphold confidential information and maintain a high degree of integrity and professionalism.


The Chief Advocacy Officer is a high-profile position with association-wide leadership responsibility for government relations and coordination oversight for other nongovernmental advocacy initiatives. The incumbent will also be engaged association-wide as a member of the Executive Management Group and will represent the association on advocacy matters to both internal and external stakeholders, including Congress and federal agencies. As such, strong leadership skills and experience, the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, and a collaborative spirit and work style are particularly important. Given that four individual government relations offices in the areas of education, practice, public interest, and science are soon to be integrated under the leadership of this position, a dynamic, visionary leader is needed who understands the process of building cohesive teams that include individuals with diverse expertise across multiple policy areas. A well-established network of contacts with policymakers in the Washington, D.C., area would also be beneficial.


The American Psychological Association, located at 750 First Street, NE, Washington, D.C., is metro accessible from the Red Line. It was recognized as a 2014 Washington Post Top Workplace. 

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

Master's degree

How To Apply

Application Instructions

Qualified candidates must apply online through APA’s applicant system and attach a cover letter and CV specifying salary expectations. Applications that are submitted without both documents are considered incomplete and will not be reviewed for consideration. Once your application is submitted, you will receive a confirmation email. Please make sure to check your Spam folder if you do not receive an email from us.

The American Psychological Association is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, protected Veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other protected categories covered under local law.