Director of Public Policy

Job Type

Full Time


Minimum: $80,000.00
Maximum: $90,000.00
Details: Salary is 80k – 90k annually based on experience with a benefits package including medical, dental, vision, retirement and life insurance.




District of Columbia
United States



A Way Home America (AWHA) is seeking a Director of Public Policy who will lead the initiative's work to enact administrative and legislative policy change at the federal, state and local level to advance the movement to prevent and end youth homelessness across the United States.

About A Way Home America

A Way Home America (AWHA) is a national initiative to build the movement to prevent and end homelessness among young people. We are homeless youth providers, advocates, researchers, government agencies, philanthropists and young people uniting behind a common goal:

In 2020, prevent and end homelessness among all youth and young adults. Ensure that homelessness among youth and young adults is rare, and if it occurs, experiences of homelessness are brief and one-time.

Principal Responsibility

The Director of Public Policy provides the leadership, management and evaluation of AWHA’s policy and advocacy work at the federal, state and local level. The Director reports to and works in tandem with the AWHA Director.

Ongoing Responsibilities

Federal, State, and Local Public Policy Responsibilities

  • In collaboration with the AWHA Director, AHWA Policy Committee Co-Chairs and Policy Committee, develop, direct, implement and evaluate impact of AWHA’s federal, state, and local administrative and legislative public policy agenda. Activities in 2018 may include: developing and managing 3 – 4 appropriations advocacy pushes across AWHA partners, execute a national convening re: under 18 system coordination, and assess success of strategic coordination of national advocacy/lobbying efforts around youth homelessness.
  • Engage with Congress and Federal Government agencies on AWHA’s federal public policy priority issues. This will involve identifying and developing partnership opportunities, promoting administrative changes and driving consistent AWHA appropriations advocacy across our many partners. This is likely to involve crafting and negotiating language for legislation, drafting comments on administrative regulations, and authoring issue briefs and position papers.
  • Develop and execute AWHA’s public policy efforts at the state and local level, identifying opportunities to move state administrative and legislative changes that advance our work to end youth homelessness. Partner with state and local advocacy groups and officials (legislators, governors, and mayors) to identify and advance policy priorities. Activities in 2018 may include establishing a pilot state-by-state peer collaborative, compiling state legislation boilerplate and best practice curriculum and hosting a convening around state strategies to end youth homelessness.
  • Maintain and develop positive relationships with an extensive network of contacts in legislative, executive, and administrative offices in federal, state, and local governments, as well as with unlikely allies. In every relationship, center our collective goal to effectively end youth homelessness across the United States and seek common ground.
  • Support AWHA’s engagement with the National Youth Forum on Homelessness, in particular the three members who serve on AWHA’s Steering Committee, ensuring meaningful opportunities for youth collaboration and strategy input across all policy activities.
  • In conjunction with AHWA Communications Officer, draft op-eds, blogs and other user-friendly materials to communicate AWHA policy perspective to stakeholders.
  • Engage in research, writing, and other activities to provide analysis and critical thinking on developments affecting AWHA’s public policy initiatives – for internal and external discussion – including the evaluation of legislation and regulatory comments sign-on opportunities.
  • Staff the AHWA Policy Committee in tandem with the AWHA Director, including preparing materials and meeting follow up.
  • Represent AWHA in other coalitions and collaborations that advance the movement to end youth homelessness.

Additional Responsibilities

  • Work with the AHWA Communications Officer and Director to publicize AWHA’s public policy initiatives and create opportunities for partners across the movement to participate in our collective public policy activities. Ensure that all materials are approachable, clear and constructive.
  • Serve as a resource to organizations and others on issues pertaining to AWHA’s public policy activities and developments in the youth homelessness field generally.
  • Contribute strategic thinking to AWHA’s practice and communications activities and drive close alignment across AWHA’s three focus areas.
  • Speak and present on behalf of AWHA’s collective effort at conferences, events, and other forums.
  • Participate in strategy development for the initiative, including the strategic plan and annual goals, in partnership with Steering Committee and Director.
  • Support and manage relationships with AWHA Policy Committee members.
  • Manage daily AWHA operations in Washington D.C., and be available to respond to in-person initiative needs in Washington D.C.
  • Manage percentage of lobbying undertaken to conform with legal limits of AWHA’s overall activities.


  • Minimum of five years of experience in legislative and administrative public policy advocacy on behalf of youth experiencing homelessness, disconnected youth, people experiencing homelessness, or a complementary area.
  • Demonstrated competency navigating the federal appropriations process; specific experience with Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee and Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee.
  • Demonstrated experience working with government agencies, legislative bodies, nonprofit organizations, and complex coalitions.
  • Demonstrated ability to build strong bipartisan support for public policy initiatives.
  • Comfort in communicating with high level legislative and executive branch policy-makers and staff.
  • Outstanding research, writing, legal and analysis skills and the ability to use data in shaping policy messages in an approachable and clear manner.
  • Strong organizational, leadership, communication, and project management skills as well as excellent judgment in developing and implementing priorities.
  • Exceptional traditional writing and grammatical skills.
  • Diligent work ethic and personal drive while working independently.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite and G Suite.
  • Willingness to travel.
  • Commitment and passion around working with an earnest national team to actually end youth homelessness.
  • The most competitive candidate has a demonstrated commitment to youth collaboration, LGBTQ and racial equity and ending youth homelessness.

AWHA currently has one staff member, the Director, based in Seattle, Washington. This position is based in Washington D.C.

AWHA is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We strongly encourage people with lived experiences of homelessness, people of color, people of diverse gender identities, women, and LGBTQ persons to apply.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply

To apply:

Please submit a one-page cover letter and resume with salary requirements to In your cover letter, please highlight specifically why you would like to join the A Way Home America initiative.

Position is open until filled.