Associate Director of Policy

Job Title:

Level 1: Policy Associate

Level 2: Associate Director of Policy

Department: Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center

Reports To: Director of Policy

FLSA Status: Exempt

Summary: Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC), based in Chicago, promotes the rights of non-citizens through direct legal service, impact litigation, and advocacy. NIJC is seeking a policy associate to assist in developing and spearheading strategic advocacy efforts on immigration-related issues, primarily at the federal level. Individual accountabilities and work volume will be established through the development of annual Success Objectives, within the framework outlined below. Distinctions between Level 1 and Level 2 include span of authority and expectations to work independently.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Level 1:

  • Support the Director of Policy in developing and implementing diverse grassroots, local, state, and federal advocacy strategies on immigrant rights issues, with a focus on issues that impact asylum seekers, detainees, and immigrants deprived of full due process protections.
  • Coordinate closely with communications, litigation, detention, and other NIJC teams to advance strategic reform goals on immigration detention and due process issues.
  • Work in formal and informal coalitions of legal aid and advocacy organizations to advocate for policy reform; draft and edit statements, reports, and other jointly-produced products.
  • Draft advocacy and educational materials on emerging policy issues.
  • Assist in drafting comments for NIJC in response to agency notice-and-comment rulemaking; preparing petitions for rulemaking; preparing comments on agency-proposed policy, guidance, programs, and other initiatives not subject to notice-and-comment rulemaking.
  • Represent NIJC and its priorities at external meetings.
  • Participate in grant proposal development, editing, review and submission.
  • Help plan and direct the online components of broad-based campaigns across the new media platform, including web, email, and social networks.
  • Other research and writing assistance as requested by the Director of Policy or the Executive Director.

Level 2 (all of Level 1, plus):

  • Take a leadership role in the DHS/NGO Enforcement Working Group, which includes 100 plus non-governmental organizations.
  • Maintain and develop relationships with members of Congress, the White House, and other governmental agencies.

Competencies: To perform the job successfully, an individual should demonstrate the following competencies.

  • Interpersonal Skills – Builds relationships with staff and external stakeholders; maintains confidentiality; listens and remains open to others’ ideas and tries new things.
  • Oral Communication – Speaks clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations; listens and obtains clarification; responds concisely and presents positions in a compelling manner; demonstrates group presentation skills; participates in meetings.
  • Written Communication – Writes clearly and informatively; edits work for spelling and grammar; varies writing style according to audience; presents numerical data effectively.
  • Collaboration – balances team and individual responsibilities; Exhibits objectivity and openness to others’ views; Gives and welcomes feedback; Contributes to building a positive team spirit; solicits and applies program participant feedback, as well as feedback from collaborating agencies; Puts success of team above own interests; Able to build morale and group commitments to goals and objectives; Supports everyone’s efforts to succeed; Demonstrated skill working in a team environment, understanding when and how to effectively incorporate a team approach.
  • Quality Management – Looks for ways to improve and promote quality; demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness.
  • Ethics – Treats people with respect; keeps commitments; inspires the trust of others; works with integrity and ethically; upholds organizational values.
  • Organizational Support – Follows policies and procedures; completes administrative tasks correctly and on time; supports organization’s goals and values; supports affirmative action and respects diversity.
  • Planning/Organizing – Prioritizes and plans work activities; takes initiatives; uses time efficiently; sets goals and objectives; organizes or schedules other people and their tasks in a way that ensures coverage at all times; develops realistic action plans.
  • Professionalism – Approaches others in a tactful manner; reacts well under pressure; treats coworkers and participants with respect and consideration regardless of their status or position; accepts responsibility for own actions; follows through on commitments.
  • Adaptability – Adapts to changes in the work environment; manages competing demands; changes approach or method to best fit the situation; able to deal with frequent change, delays, or unexpected events; willing to address urgent needs outside of regular business hours.

Qualifications: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.

  • Education and/or Experience:
  • Level 1: Minimum of two years of related experience (including internships); graduate degree preferred.
  • Level 2: Minimum of three years of related professional experience, Juris Doctorate or Masters degree in Public Policy or related field of study required.
  • Language Skills: Ability to read, analyze, and interpret regulations, legislation, including immigration laws and regulations, legal memos, case law and related materials.
  • Reasoning, Other Skills and Abilities: Experience making public presentations and preparing and delivering testimony to committees of the government. Experience creating persuasive written documents for external consumption. Experience analyzing the complex policy arena and crafting appropriate responses

Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to stand and walk. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 20 pounds.
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include ability to drive and visually monitor program participants.

Work Environment: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Able and available to travel to Washington, D.C. or other venues as needed to present information, develop or present solutions and to participate with external organizations to seek changes needed to make the service delivery more efficient or effective or to close newly identified gaps.
  • The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

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