Associate Director, Grassroots Engagement

Job Type

Full Time




Grand Central Station
P.O. Box 4777
New York
United States


About Us:

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) was founded in 2000 with one clear objective: accelerating meaningful therapeutic advances and, ultimately, a cure for Parkinson’s disease (PD). The Foundation applies extraordinary scientific, business and media assets to this singular focus—thus creating a unique and dynamic organization. Since inception, MJFF has quickly grown into the largest global funder of Parkinson’s disease research outside the U. S. federal government, having funded over $800 million in research projects in both academic and industry labs worldwide.

We believe that to find a cure for PD as quickly as possible, our capital needs to push research forward today—we therefore deliberately have no endowment. We instead start our fundraising from zero each year and seek to deploy funds raised as quickly and wisely as possible. MJFF raises over $90 million annually. Today, the Foundation has approximately 100 full-time employees who are based in New York City. This is an onsite position and is not conducive to telecommuting.

Position Summary:


The Associate Director, Grassroots Engagement is responsible for outreach to, engagement with, and training of volunteer advocates to increase MJFF’s capacity for grassroots advocacy, strategically engage individuals and their families affected by Parkinson’s disease, and grow meaningful interactions with public officials and staff. The position’s primary objective will be to enhance participation in federal advocacy campaigns. The position will work closely with the entire public policy team, as well as engage in frequent interaction with the integrated marketing team, communications and social media staff.


Primary Duties and Responsibilities:


Grassroots Advocate Engagement & Outreach

·        Enhance and expand MJFF’s grassroots program with focus on key congressional districts and states

·        Develop, implement and manage MJFF’s new grassroots leader program, including relationship management, successful onboarding, and development of a retention strategy

·        Support development of strategy for increased, year-round engagement of grassroots advocates

·        Collaborating with the communications and marketing teams, develop and implement strategies to increase grassroots participation online, in district, etc. along with identification of benchmarks, metrics, and milestones

·        Manage and motivate volunteers leaders; attend Hill meetings with advocates

·        Network with other grassroots professionals and attend relevant meetings/conferences

·        Maintain an understanding of regional differences within the Parkinson’s population

·        Project manage annual policy events including researcher and advocate hill days

·        Work with the policy team to understand and effectively communicate complex policy concepts to advocates in a meaningful and understandable way



·        Manage the Foundation’s action alert system; track and evaluate alert outcomes

·        Maintain public policy/advocacy section on the website

·        Work with social media team to identify opportunities for advocate engagement

·        Manage MJFF Parkinson’s Public Policy Facebook Group

·        Develop and implement a database of compelling personal stories for use in advocacy

·        Work with communications team to develop draft op-eds and letters to the editor for use by advocates

Organizational Responsibilities

·        Support the work of the policy team and other teams as needed

·        Contribute in department and interdepartmental meetings and work groups, providing feedback and support to ensure that the NYC and DC offices are aligned around grassroots and broader community engagement.

·        Understand the mission and goals of the Foundation beyond public policy. Help identify individuals who have interest in participating in other patient-facing programs within the organization and work to connect them with the appropriate foundation employee/s.

Qualifications and Skills:

·        Education – BA/BS; Graduate degree preferred

·        Experience – 5 to 7 years

·        Specialized knowledge – qualified candidates must have relevant experience managing a highly effective grassroots program, preferably someone who has planned and developed a large grassroots program.

·        Project management experience in a grassroots lobby day (“fly in/hill day”)

·        Skills/Abilities –

o  Strong interpersonal communication skills and ability to manage volunteers living with Parkinson’s disease

o  Expertise in grassroots engagement with the ability to help develop and implement an advanced engagement program

o  Ability to work in a team environment, including remote team members

o  Technology skills including social media, web content, action alert system and familiarity with Microsoft suite, Salesforce, CQ, Politico PRO, and Phone 2 Action preferred.

·        Regular travel between NY and DC office required along with occasional other travel as necessary.

·        Ability to register as a federal lobbyist


Ideal Candidates will also possess:

§ Ability to work with people at all levels; openly engaging, energetic and diplomatic personality

§ Possess a very high level of personal and professional integrity and trustworthiness

§ Sense of humor and ability to remain calm and professional under pressure

§ Thrives and enjoys working in a fast-paced and fun environment

§ Ability to juggle multiple priorities simultaneously and take initiative

§ Organizational savvy skill set, outstanding negotiation skills and ability to influence others

§ Other important qualities required; a "can-do" attitude; reasonable and enthusiastic; encourages a team environment; visionary, problem solver and decision maker; high level of accountability and takes responsibility.

How to Apply

 Interested candidates should submit a resume and thoughtful cover letter describing their specific qualifications and interest in the position. Submissions without cover letters will not be considered. Please click on the following link. Please, no telephone inquiries and do not contact our staff directly. Only applicants who best match the position needs will be contacted. 

The Michael J. Fox Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply

How to apply: