Director of Federal Policy

Washington DC/ Hybrid
August 2023
Full Time, Regular, Exempt
Reports to
Vice President for Public Policy

Founded in 1968, the Guttmacher Institute is a global leader in advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights. Through a unique and interrelated program of high-quality research, evidence-based advocacy and strategic communications, the Institute works to generate new ideas, encourage enlightened public debate, and promote sound policy and program development; its overarching goal is to ensure the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all people worldwide. The Institute is engaged in building a more inclusive, transparent and equitable organization.

Position summary

The Director of Federal Policy is a senior position responsible for managing all aspects of the Institute’s work to advance a federal policy agenda for sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice (SRHR). Reporting to the Vice President for Public Policy, the Director works with a broad range of stakeholders to bring the Institute’s data, analysis and strategic expertise to bear on federal policy discussions. Working closely with the Vice President and the other Directors in the division, this position will have an important role to play in rebuilding the division and leading and shaping a culture aligned with the division’s vision for strategic impact, collaboration and equity. The Director must be committed to supporting an equitable and inclusive work environment and managing relations with a diverse staff, including staff under their own supervision.



Vision and strategy of the division

• Work with the Vice President for Public Policy to translate the Institute’s Strategic Framework into actionable policy initiatives with measurable milestones and results.

• Serve as a member of the division's Management Team responsible for managing the division’s work in pursuit of the Institute’s vision, goals and priorities; collaborate with the Executive

• Leadership Team and other division Management Teams to create a high-performing, impactfuland collaborative organization.

• Ensure that program strategies have clear objectives, outputs and outcomes, and that those efforts are integrated and complementary across the division and the Institute.

• Inform nimble strategy iteration by monitoring the SRHR landscape, watching trends and consulting with key informants, resulting in rich intelligence-gathering.

• Stimulate, encourage and contribute to the development of new ideas and approaches and work with the Vice President for Public Policy to create a culture of innovation in policy analysis, development and advocacy.


Direct the Institute’s federal policy agenda for SRHR

• Direct all aspects of the Institute’s advocacy agenda at the federal level; maintain a substantive grasp of U.S. policy issues; and provide (directly or indirectly) technical expertise to policymakers and advocates.

• Build trust and strong partnerships with a broad base of progressive allies; seek their input to help shape the Institute’s priorities; and ensure they are equipped with timely evidence and incisive analysis in support of their policy goals.

• Cultivate relationships with key decision makers, including staff in congressional offices and executive branch agencies, to develop channels for advancing SRHR and influence federal policymaking.

• Collaborate with Guttmacher’s research and communications staff to develop and disseminate policy-related messaging and respond to external requests for information. Represent the Institute in the media.

• Contribute to the Institute’s policy-relevant research.

• Develop and review written materials in a range of formats and for a range of audiences.

• Promote coordination between the state, federal and global policy teams.


Division management and supervision

• Guide and supervise policy staff at all levels, including setting clear direction and performance expectations, building individual skills and assessing progress.

• Work with division leadership and Finance and Administration staff to coordinate budgetary and administrative work of the division.

• Manage project-specific work to ensure that it meets its objectives, is completed within a set timeframe and budget, and is high-quality.

• Represent the Institute in meetings with donors and contribute to grant proposals.

• Promote a culture of high-performance grounded in the Institute’s guiding principles of equity and justice, collaboration, integrity, nimbleness and a global perspective, seeing connections across SRHR issues and different contexts throughout the world.

• Work with the Learning and Development Specialist in Human Resources on staff development initiatives.

• Performs other job-related tasks as appropriate.


Qualifications and Skills

• A demonstrated understanding of and commitment to the principles of reproductive rights, health, and justice, and the role of the Institute in promoting antiracism in the reproductive rights field.

• A minimum of 10 years of relevant work experience in the fields of SRHR, immigrant rights, human rights or health; U.S. reproductive rights experience required.

• Congressional or Executive Branch experience with a deep understanding of SRHR policies and policy change in the U.S.

• Proven track record on collaborative partnerships; understanding the value of mutually beneficial and impactful working partnerships; ability to coach staff to collaborate on a deeper level with external partners.

• Strong supervisory skills, with the ability to assess and manage performance in pursuit of ambitious goals, retain high-performers and develop staff.

• Strong management and organizational skills with a capacity to marshal the talents of a diverse, competent and creative team and build a culture of belonging and inclusion.

• Strong leadership skills, with the foresight and ability to design new initiatives and steer a program toward maintaining its strategic focus.

• Deep commitment to the impact of the programs they oversee, including possessing the ability to overcome obstacles individually or as a team, make hard decisions, and move everyone forward productively.

• Excellent writing and oral communication skills.

• Ability to develop solid working relationships with senior leadership across the Institute and represent the Institute in high-level contexts externally.

• Ability to foster an inclusive workplace, where all staff feel respected, heard, engaged and valued.

• Compelling and thoughtful communication style that meets the needs of internal and external audiences and engenders trust and collaboration.

• Able to travel up to 20% of time.


Salary and benefits

Salary starting and range for the role is at $156,000 to $252,173 and will be commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits that include medical, dental, vision and life insurance; vacation, personal and sick time, paid parental leave; tuition reimbursement; commuting subsidy; and 401(k) with employer match. The Guttmacher Institute strives to provide the training and support staff need to be successful in their positions and to grow professionally.

The Guttmacher Institute is an equal opportunity employer.

How to Apply

For consideration, interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume here. Your cover letter must address your experience and the qualifications discussed above. Interested individuals are encouraged to apply immediately. Interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis. To obtain further details about this opportunity, contact Jami Armstrong, Lead Search Consultant at Nonprofit HR at [email protected].


Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging

Nonprofit HR is committed to fostering and maintaining a work environment where diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are fully integrated into everything we do for the benefit of our employees and the clients that we serve. To fully realize our goal, we prioritize our understanding of the complexities of DEI within our workforce to inform our approach to talent management. We believe that this guides how we do our work, advise our clients to operationalize DEI and position our content and educational opportunities help strengthen the talent management capacity of the social impact sector.

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