Job Type

Full Time



Application Deadline:



District of Columbia
United States


The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) is seeking a strong critical thinker, writer, and convener to join our team as a full-time Policy Associate. This role will work on two major policy initiatives: national advocacy for better city transportation policies at the federal level, and support for NACTO’s California City Transportation Initiative (CaCTI). The ideal candidate has exceptional communication skills, both written and interpersonal, and strong skills in policy analysis and critical thinking. The ideal candidate will have the ability to build relationships and work with public policy staff. The successful candidate will also have a strong interest in progressive transportation policy that can support city efforts to create more sustainable, equitable and safe transportation systems. The position will be based in Washington, DC with some travel to California, New York, and other NACTO events as needed.

Who we are

NACTO is a nonprofit association of 70 major North American cities and transit agencies formed to exchange transportation ideas, insights, and practices and cooperatively approach national transportation issues. Our members include cities such as Denver, Los Angeles, Cambridge, and San Antonio, and transit agencies such as Portland Tri-Met and New York MTA. Our mission is to build cities as places for people, with safe, sustainable, accessible, and equitable transportation choices that support a strong economy and vibrant quality of life. Our staff team is nimble, passionate, results-oriented, and committed to challenging the status quo in transportation and raising the bar for city streets.

What you’ll do

Your job will be to ensure that our policy work reflects the positions of NACTO member cities and that it is supported with strong written materials. You will do this by building productive relationships with city staff and partner organizations, coordinating a network of city representatives, and distilling complex policy information from multiple sources of material into digestible briefings, statements, and messaging points. You will work with a strong, progressive group of city transportation officials and a NACTO team that aims to turn big ideas into real projects on the ground, resulting in more just and sustainable communities throughout our network. More specifically, you will do things like:

  • Critical Thinking and Writing
  • Read legislative and regulatory proposals and distill major issues based on NACTO’s policy positions, producing written memos and presentations
  • Write NACTO responses to major legislative and regulatory proposals at the Federal level
  • Write informational memos, background materials, and position statements on issues identified through CaCTI, working with the Program Manager for that project
  • Network Engagement and Relationship Building
  • Engage with policy staff and city representatives at NACTO member cities to understand their positions and challenges and ensure that those positions are reflected in NACTO policy statements
  • Facilitate connections between California cities to support knowledge sharing and to produce joint policy statements
  • Build relationships with partner organizations and key stakeholders to form a coalition on key policy issues
  • Educate city representatives in both Washington, DC and Sacramento on critical NACTO positions
  • Meeting Coordination and Facilitation
  • Coordinate stakeholder calls with coalition partners, sending advance agendas, taking detailed notes, and recapping action items and next steps
  • Coordinate and organize meetings of the California NACTO cities, both on the phone and in person
  • Support the NACTO conference team by organizing specific trainings or meetings at the Designing Cities conference in Los Angeles

Who you are

We’re looking for an excellent critical thinker and superb writer with an understanding of policy, advocacy, and strategic messaging. To be successful in this job, you will excel in 5 areas:

  • Strong advocacy and communication skills: knack for writing clear, concise, convincing public statements that convince reporters to cover our work and legislators to take action; verbal communication skills that compel partners, members and key targets to advance our goals; experienced in grasping and advancing messaging through all media
  • Interpersonal skills: able to build strong relationships with people inside and outside the organization through in-person meetings and conference calls
  • Listening and critical thinking: able to read legislative, regulatory and other policy texts, quickly absorb ideas and information, ask questions to seek clarity and confirm comprehension, and distill critical issues based on NACTO’s policy positions
  • Organization: able to coordinate multiple stakeholders and convene productive meetings, taking detailed notes and tracking progress and action items
  • Time management: able to juggle competing priorities with 100% follow-through in a fast-paced work environment, occasionally delivering on short timelines

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply

Send a cover letter, resume and short writing sample (1-2 pages) as one PDF file to with subject “Policy Associate” by April 13, 2018. We will consider applications on a rolling basis, and may not wait until the deadline to interview and extend offers, so we encourage you to apply as soon as possible. No calls please.

NACTO is committed to workplace diversity and inclusion. We are equal opportunity employers and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, marital status, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. We offer competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a passionate working environment. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and commensurate with experience.