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Senior Policy Specialist / Program Manager

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


JOB TITLE:                          Senior Policy Specialist / Program Manager

PROGRAM:                          Family Economic Success

LOCATION:                         Denver

RECRUITING RANGE:      $4,907 – $5,253+/month depending on experience


This professional position will assist the Group Director with activities under a family economic success project funded by a foundation. This individual will oversee the recruitment of legislators for meetings, develop meeting agendas, oversee and assist with meeting logistics, analyze legislation and conduct research and writing. The person will mentor and supervise at least one staff.

This Senior Policy Specialist/Program Manager will operate directly under the Group Director. The position is non-partisan and non-advocacy. It requires expertise in policy research and analysis, writing, speaking to legislative audiences and program planning and development.

This full-time position is funded through a grant and is subject to reduction in percentage of time covered or elimination if grant funding becomes unavailable. Grants that support the position require successful completion of work products, such as research, publications, invitational meetings, educational presentations, individual state technical assistance programs, web pages, webinars, and responding to information requests, among other things.

Areas of Responsibility

Research, Policy Analysis and Writing

  1. Anticipates emerging issues of importance, within the area of family economic success, to state legislatures and initiates research and writing to respond.
  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 groups, the private sector, and state, federal or other governmental officials in the issue area thus helping to promote NCSL positions, activities or programs.
  4. Coordinates research efforts between projects at NCSL to enhance policy formulation and program development.
  5. Develops and manages work plans for program.
  6. Writes skillfully and with minimal need for editing for the full range of publications including web-based materials and magazine articles.
    Meetings, Seminars and Technical Assistance
  7. Initiates innovative approaches to technical assistance programs, concurrent sessions, and seminars.
  8. Independently plans, organizes and conducts comprehensive and balanced meetings and may play the lead role in coordinating the work of other professional staff in large, multi-topic seminars.
  9. Independently manages multi-state or particularly complex technical assistance efforts.
  10. 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
  11. Develops concepts for new projects in subject area, initiates proposals for new activities or funding opportunities, and independently develops complex project budgets and grant applications.
  12. Assists with developing relationships and conducting negotiations with new funding sources.
  13. Establishes and maintains effective relationships with leaders, legislators and legislative staff involved with difficult issues, states, or special constituencies.
  14. Represents NCSL in substantive discussions and can explain and interpret NCSL programs and policies.
  15. Performs other responsibilities as assigned.

    May supervise one or two professional staff on an ongoing basis or serve as coordinator of a team of other professionals on a short-term project.

  • Bachelor's degree plus six years of relevant and progressive work experience.
  • The following work experience or some equivalent combination is preferred: two years of professional experience at the level of a Policy Specialist with NCSL or another organization.
  • Two years of state or federal legislative or government experience, and two years of professional experience in the assigned subject area.
  • Post baccalaureate education is preferred, and up to three years of post baccalaureate education may be substituted for the required work experience.
  • 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.
  • Excellence in working independently and under pressure on multiple projects.
  • Skill and competence in the interpersonal skills needed to supervise, coordinate and lead others.
  • Substantial knowledge and technical expertise in assigned policy areas.
  • Able to maintain confidentiality and handle politically sensitive work.
  • Must be able to travel including out-of-area and overnight.
  • This position requires skill and competency with the Microsoft Office suite applications.
  • This position requires skill and competency with the Microsoft Office suite applications.

NCSL offers an outstanding, comprehensive program of benefits to employees and their family at low cost.  In 2017, NCSL covers 95% of the monthly premium for health insurance and employees pay 5%.  Employee only Dental plans are covered 100% by NCSL or NCSL will provide $49.30 toward the dependent premium. Other plans such as life insurance (2x annual salary), disability coverage and employee assistance programs are provided at no cost. 

Employees contribute 5% of salary toward the 401(a)-retirement plan 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 Wednesday, September 27, 2017.


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