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Equality Illinois is seeking an experienced and dynamic Director of Public Policy to provide the strategic leadership and skills needed to advance the vision and mission of our organizations.
The Director of Public Policy provides leadership and administration in developing advocacy and policy approaches to advance the organizations’ vision of full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in Illinois. The Director of Public Policy works with federal and state legislators and their staff, local officials, and various agency executives and their staffs, and is expected to have a thorough understanding of the policy making process. The Director of Public Policy is also responsible for promoting and conducting policy training for community organizations and other interested groups. The Director of Public Policy helps develop and implement the state electoral strategy for the movement. The Director of Public Policy reports to the Chief Executive Officer and participates as a member of the senior leadership team, working closely with all staff to ensure effective implementation of the goals set out in the affiliated organizations’ strategic plan. This position requires strong analytical skills as well as exceptional interpersonal skills to communicate effectively with varied constituencies.
Director of Public Policy Equality Illinois
Equality Illinois is the Midwest’s largest organization advocating for full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Equality Illinois is a 501(c)(4) organization, which also has an affiliated 501(c)(3) organization, Equality Illinois Education Project, and an affiliated political action committee, Equality Illinois PAC. The combined budget for Equality Illinois, Equality Illinois Education Project, and Equality Illinois PAC is about $1.7 million. The organization currently has 8 staff members and a team of interns. Equality Illinois builds a better Illinois by advancing equal treatment and social justice through education, advocacy and protection of the rights of the LGBT community.
• Work closely with the CEO, staff and Board members to develop and execute an implementation plan based on the organizations’ educational, legislative, electoral, and other strategic priorities;
• Work closely, collaboratively, and actively with LGBT and allied partner organizations to develop and advance a comprehensive policy agenda that advances the concerns of all LGBT people, across issues, identities, and communities;
• Build and manage strong relationships with public officials and their staffs;
• Track and analyze local, state, and federal laws, legislation, regulations and litigation impacting LGBT people in Illinois;
• Monitor and respond to key social, political, and policy developments impacting LGBT people;
• Develop a long-term policy platform and annual policy priorities, and secure measurable legislative and administrative victories;
• As staff liaison to the PAC, identify electoral priorities and opportunities for the movement, lead the development of electoral strategy including candidate recruitment, and manage implementation of the strategy including political fundraising;
• Work with the programmatic team to develop communications for e-advocacy campaigns and prepare press releases and other media materials related to key policy and political initiatives;
• Serve as an advocate and a spokesperson for the LGBT equality agenda in traditional and new media;
• Work with the Field Director and the affiliated political action committee to elect and re-elect pro-equality candidates, to register and educate voters, to develop public education and organizing campaigns supporting key legislative and policy initiatives (and support partner organizations in doing the same, as their legal status allows);
• Work with the development staff to facilitate maximum financial contributions from members and supporters to the organization;
• Develop metrics to assess the success of political and policy efforts and conduct regular reporting;
• Represent Equality Illinois and its mission in the community; and
• Educate a range of audiences about LGBT policy and political issues through conferences, workshops, trainings and other public speaking (some travel required).
• Other projects and duties as assigned by the CEO.
• A commitment to the mission and philosophy of Equality Illinois.
• Highly motivated, with the vision and passion to work with various key stakeholders at the local, state and national level in developing and implementing advocacy and policy approaches to addressing LGBT equality. To this end, the candidate should be able to demonstrate an understanding and enjoyment of multifaceted public policy advocacy that combines legislative advocacy, grassroots organizing, media relations, policy analysis and coalition-building activities.
• Four years minimum experience in a senior advocacy or state-level electoral position, with proven and measurable accomplishments.
• Working knowledge of abilities and limitations of 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), and PAC entities.
• Knowledge of Illinois and/or federal PAC operations and regulations and an advanced degree in law or policy is highly preferred.
• Demonstrated ability to forge productive and healthy collaborations.
• Exceptional writing, verbal and interpersonal skills, including public speaking.
• Keen analytical skills and attention to detail, with an ability to synthesize policy and political information for different audiences.
• Ability to appropriately handle and prioritize multiple tasks in a timely and efficient manner.
• Experience developing and managing work plans and project budgets as well as supervising and developing staff.
• Willingness to travel and work evenings and weekends when projects demand it.
• Demonstrated experience with LGBT issues is strongly preferred; commitment and desire to work in a multi-cultural environment where diversity based on race, ethnic origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, physical ability, family status and other characteristics is an important and practiced value is essential.
• A “can do” attitude, ability to think “big picture,” enjoy a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment, be highly organized without losing sight of larger objectives.
- Salary (exempt), commensurate with experience, with growth potential
– Retirement plan with employer contributions
– Medical, dental, and vision insurance
– Two weeks paid vacation in the first year
– Paid holidays
– Transit benefits
– Other benefits
This position is posted as of October 21, 2014, and shall remain open until filled. This posting replaces all prior postings for the position.
Please send (1) a thoughtful cover letter describing your interest in this position addressed to Chief Executive Officer Bernard Cherkasov via e-mail at DPPSearch@eqil.org, along with (2) your résumé and (3) three professional references . Please use the subject line: Director of Public Policy Position. Applications will be reviewed as received.
Equality Illinois is an equal opportunity employer. People of color, women, and transgender people are strongly encouraged to apply.
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