Director of Federal Policy (GI)
Title: Director of Federal Policy
Status: Full-time, Regular, Exempt
Reports to: Vice President for Public Policy
Location: Washington, D.C./Hybrid
Posted: August 2023
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. The Institute’s 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.
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, impactful
and 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
• 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
• 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
• 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
• 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.
Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging
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