Deputy Director of Policy

National Office Policy

05 Oct 2018

National Office



Full Time


8 - 10 years

Career Level

Senior Level

FLSA Classification


The American Immigration Council, established in 1987, works to strengthen America by shaping how America thinks about and acts towards immigrants and immigration and by working toward a more fair and just immigration system that opens its doors to those in need of protection and unleashes the energy and skills that immigrants bring. The Council brings together problem solvers and employs four coordinated approaches to advance change—litigation, research, legislative and administrative advocacy, and communications.

The Deputy Director of Policy, in coordination with the Director of Policy and Media, takes a key leadership role in guiding the administrative and legislative advocacy of the Council. The Deputy Director is responsible for providing up-to-the-minute analysis of emerging immigration policy issues, including those related to effective and humane detention and enforcement practices, changes to the structure and implementation of humanitarian programs and protection mechanisms, adjustments to future flows of immigration, and impacts on the quality of due process afforded by the immigration system. The ideal candidate will provide clear, understandable analysis of complex immigration law and policy issues that adhere to the Council’s position and tone. The Deputy Director will work primarily with the Policy and Media, Research, and Communications Programming departments, and in collaboration with the Legal department, to advance an agenda that aligns with the strategic goals of the Council.

As with all positions at the Council, this position requires commitment to the Council’s mission.

Essential Job Functions
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Track and anticipate legislative and administrative developments through coordination with congressional staff, government agency personnel, and advocacy colleagues. Prepare materials necessary to inform the legislative and policy debate, including analysis of legislation and administrative proposals, statements for congressional hearings, regulatory comments to immigration agencies, and informational fact sheets. Develop relationships with key congressional staff and provide updates or briefings to staff on a regular basis.
  • Supervise the following: Policy Analyst and policy interns. The Deputy Director is accountable for total performance management of the Policy Analyst, including selection, termination, performance reviews, salary administration, and career development.
  • Working with the Director of Policy and Media and the Executive Director, represent the Council in working group and stakeholder meetings with the immigration agencies and take a leadership role in advocating for policies that further our key priorities.
  • Prepare concise, well-written, and appropriately documented analysis of priority issues, and, assisting senior staff as needed, craft policy and legislative strategies. Adapt and present this analysis to a wide variety of audiences, including donors, media, and policymakers. This will include occasional in-person and telephonic presentations to a wide array of audiences.
  • Engage with media to explain complex immigration issues in a coherent, persuasive, and informative manner to ensure that accurate information and the Council’s vision for a 21st century immigration system are effectively communicated. In close communication with others in the Policy and Media department, cultivate and maintain strong working relationships with journalists covering immigration issues.
  • Monitor, research and navigate federal budget and appropriations matters that impact immigration-related operations.
  • In regular collaboration with the Research and Legal departments, identify immigration issues that require greater study and analysis. Disseminate Council publications to policy makers and the advocacy community through appropriate policy channels, including briefings for congressional staff.
  • Apply high-level thinking and writing in initiating, drafting, and editing fact sheets and other policy or advocacy resources, as needed. Assist with reviewing organizational publications to ensure consistency with Council policy positions. Author approximately 1-2 blog posts each week and assist in the review and editing of other blog posts.
  • Take a leadership role on core Council priorities, as appropriate, when working with coalition partners to provide support to broader initiatives. Attend and participate in meetings, conferences, and other convenings on immigration policy issues.

Required Education and Experience

  • Juris Doctorate (preferred) or a Master's Degree in Public Policy or related fields. 
  • At least 8-10 years relevant experience and/or sufficient relevant work experience; subject matter expert in the field of immigration.

Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
To perform successfully in this role, incumbent should possess skills identified below:

  • Excellent written and oral communications skills, particularly the ability to quickly and accurately summarize complex material.
  • Significant familiarity with legislative and administrative processes and ability to clearly explain the roles and functions of the legislative and executive branch as they relate to the immigration system.
  • Specific experience reading and interpreting legislation, regulations, policy documents, and case law.
  • Demonstrated experience and cultivated relationships in the immigration field.
  • Ability to read and interpret budget proposals.
  • Strong ability to work collaboratively.
  • Familiarity with immigration law and current immigration policy issues.
  • Ability to work rapidly and to juggle several projects

Additional Requirements:

  • Active listening and problem-solving skills.
  • A high level of attention to detail, accuracy, and thoroughness.
  • Ability to prioritize and manage competing demands/multiple assignments through effective time management.
  • Ability to adapt to changing priorities, strategies, and circumstances.
  • Ability to implement plans, make mid-course corrections as necessary and overcome obstacles. 
  • Ability to display initiative and openness to change.
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment and maintain confidentiality.
  • Ability to work both independently and as a member of a team.
  • Ability to form positive working relationships with people from varied backgrounds.
  • Ability to exhibit professionalism in representing the organization, both internally and externally. 
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook).
  • Demonstrable ability to develop and manage a work plan with multiple projects and deadlines.
  • Ability to manage a high performing team.
  • Ability to engage, influence, and inspire others.

For Consideration Qualified applicants are to submit cover letter, resume and salary requirement. Cover letter should include a summary of how your background, knowledge, skills and abilities relate to the responsibilities and requirements of the position.  

NOTE: Applications without cover letters and which do not indicate desired salary may not be considered.

Direct hire only – NO recruiters (mail, email, fax or phone). 

The American Immigration Council ("Council") is an equal opportunity employer, and is committed to treating all applicants and employees without regard to unlawful considerations of race, religious creed, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition (cancer or genetic characteristics), genetic information, military and veterans status, citizenship and immigration status, or any other classification protected by applicable local, state, or federal laws. This equal employment opportunity commitment applies to all aspects of employment, including but not limited to, advertising, recruiting, hiring, job assignment, compensation, promotion, demotion, benefits, training, discipline, and termination. 

The Council believes that diversity is a strength. The Council is committed to being a safe, respectful and inclusive space, where a broad range of viewpoints and experiences are encouraged and every member of its staff and board is given the opportunity to thrive.