You are here

Policy Specialist/Senior Policy Specialist

Job Description
National Conference of State Legislatures
Organization Type: 
Government agency
Job Location: 
Front Range
Type of Job: 
Job Category: 
Health & Mental Health
Job Description: 

JOB TITLE:                          Policy Specialist/Senior Policy Specialist

PROGRAM:                         Health Program

LOCATION:                         Denver

RECRUITING RANGE:    $4,428 - $4,907/month + depending experience

NCSL’s Denver Health Program is seeking a Policy Specialist or Senior Policy Specialist with expertise in health policy issues that include pharmaceuticals, health insurance and coverage, health costs and finances, and health system innovations issues. This position will work as part of a team funded under grants. Team members carry out numerous work assignments to meet the information needs of state legislators and legislative staff across the country to help them make more informed decisions. Grants that support the position require successful completion of work products, such as tracking state legislation, responding to information requests from across the country, writing publications, planning meeting sessions, making educational presentations, providing individual state technical assistance programs, updating web pages, and planning webinars. This position will also perform grant management and fundraising duties, including grant writing, communications with funders, and writing grant reports. The position is non-partisan and non-advocacy and requires expertise in health policy gained through progressively more complex and more in-depth work over several years. The position will require out-of-state travel (likely about a half-dozen trips per year) to meetings and to individual states to provide technical assistance. The ideal candidate has state legislative experience, can handle a diverse range of tasks on several projects that cover multiple health policy topics, works well in a team environment, and can contribute to fundraising and grant management activities. 

Note:  This full-time position is dependent on grant funding and is subject to reduction in percentage of time covered or elimination if grant funding becomes unavailable.

Areas of Responsibility


Research and Policy Analysis

  1. Anticipates emerging issues of importance to state legislatures and initiates research, technical assistance, or seminar programs to respond, in line with funding sources available.
  2. Conducts complex, integrative research projects with an understanding of their political context and can provide substantive advice and intricate policy interpretations to legislators and legislative staff.
  3. Develops and maintains networks with other public interest groups, the private sector, and state, federal or other governmental officials, thus helping to promote NCSL positions, activities or programs.
  4. Coordinates research efforts among projects in an NCSL program and with other organizations to enhance policy formulation and program development.
  5. Participates in planning, work plan development and issue identification for a program.
    Writing and Information Dissemination
  6. In consultation with program leaders, identifies opportunities and initiates ideas for presentations, publications, technical assistance workshops, webinars, letters, memos, newsletters and articles, in line with funding sources to support the work.
  7. Writes skillfully and with minimal need for editing for the full range of publications including issue briefs, web reports, and magazine articles.
    Meetings, Seminars and Technical Assistance
  8. Initiates innovative approaches to technical assistance programs, concurrent sessions, and seminars.
  9. Independently plans, organizes and conducts comprehensive and balanced technical assistance programs, major state or regional conferences and national seminars and may play the lead role in coordinating the work of other professional staff in large, multi-topic seminars.
  10. Independently manages multi-state or particularly complex technical assistance efforts.
  11. Provides technical assistance to states that goes beyond general information dissemination and includes state-specific policy analysis and options, and in-depth problem solving.
    Organizational Support
  12. May manage and staff an NCSL committee, task force, staff section, subcommittee, advisory group or ongoing working group.
  13. Develops concepts for new projects in one's own and other subject areas, initiates proposals for new activities or funding opportunities, and independently develops complex project budgets and grant applications.
  14. Assists with developing relations and conducting negotiations with new funding sources.
  15. Establishes and maintains effective relations with leaders, legislators and legislative staff involved with difficult issues, states, or special constituencies.
  16. Represents NCSL in substantive discussions and can explain and interpret NCSL programs and policies.
  17. Performs other responsibilities as assigned.

    Limited supervision duties required for the first year. May oversee an intern or serve as coordinator of a team of other professionals on short-term projects.

  • Bachelor's degree plus five years (for policy specialist) or six years (for senior policy specialist) of relevant and progressive work experience.
  • At least one year (for policy specialist) or two years (for senior policy specialist) of professional policy experience with NCSL or with a state legislature or government entity.
  • Two years (policy specialist) or three years (senior policy specialist) of professional public policy experience. A completed law degree is considered an asset.
  • Subject-specific knowledge or experience with state public policies related to pharmaceuticals, health insurance, and health costs.
  • Up to three years of post-baccalaureate education (e.g., master’s degree, law degree, advanced professional degree) may be substituted for some of the required work experience.
  • Skill and competence in a wide range of policy research skills and tasks.
  • Excellent writing, speaking, research, analytic and organizational skills
  • Skill and competence in working effectively with legislators and legislative staff and dealing with politically sensitive constituencies.
  • Able to maintain confidentiality and handle politically sensitive work.
  • Skill and competence in working independently and under pressure on multiple projects.
  • The ability to supervise and lead others.
  • Substantial knowledge and technical expertise in assigned policy areas.

NCSL offers an outstanding, comprehensive program of benefits to employees and their family at low cost. NCSL covers 90% of the monthly premium for health insurance and employees pay 10%.  Employee only Dental plans are covered 100% by NCSL and NCSL contributes $45.84 toward the dependent premium. Other plans such as life insurance (2x annual salary), disability coverage and employee assistance programs are provided at no cost. 

For the 401(a) retirement plan, employees contribute 5% of salary and NCSL matches 10% of salary after 6 months with full vesting.   In addition, NCSL offers a flexible work-life balance with 35-hour work weeks, 3 weeks vacation with 5 years experience and optional holidays.  NCSL also provides discounted ancillary benefits employees can take advantage of such as in office dry cleaning pick up, pet insurance, 24-hour fitness memberships, bus / train passes, and more! 

How To Apply


Interested candidates should send a resume and cover letter highlighting skills and qualifications to: no later than Monday, November 27, 2017.


View More Jobs