Policy Director

National Office Policy

25 Jan 2019

National Office



Full Time


10 - 40 years

Career Level

Senior Level

FLSA Classification


We Are …

The American Immigration Council (“Council”), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is a powerful voice in promoting laws, policies, and attitudes that honor our proud history as a nation of immigrants. Through research and policy analysis, litigation and communications, and international exchange, the Council seeks to shape a twenty-first century vision of the American immigrant experience.
We are seeking talent to join our team!
Your Role …

The Policy Director, in collaboration with the Managing Director of Programs and other senior staff, works to advance an agenda that aligns with the strategic goals of the Council. This role directs the Council’s administrative and legislative advocacy and leads the Council’s efforts to provide lawmakers, policymakers, advocates, the media, and the general public with accurate and timely information about the role of immigrants and immigration policy in the United States’ society. The Director oversees the policy department and ensures that the department is 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 Policy Director will supervise the following staff positions:  Policy Analyst, National Advocacy Counsel for the Immigration Justice Campaign, and Policy Interns and Assistants.  The Director is accountable for total performance management of these positions, including selection, termination, performance reviews, salary administration and career development.

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:

  • Tracks and anticipates legislative and administrative developments through coordination with congressional staff, government agency personnel, and advocacy colleagues.  Prepares 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.  Develops relationships with key congressional staff and provide updates or briefings to staff on a regular basis.   
  • Prepares concise, well-written, and appropriately documented analysis of priority issues, and crafts administrative and legislative strategies. Adapts and presents 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. 
  • Engages 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 media staff, cultivates and maintains strong working relationships with journalists covering immigration issues. 
  • Monitors, researches, and navigates federal budget and appropriations matters that impact immigration-related operations. 
  • In regular collaboration with the Research and Legal departments, identifies immigration issues that require greater study and analysis. Ensures that the Council’s research and analysis are provided to law makers and policy makers through formal channels (including statements for the congressional record and comments to the agencies) as well as less formal channels.  
  • Applies high-level thinking and writing in initiating, drafting, and editing fact sheets and other policy or advocacy resources, as needed.  Assists with reviewing organizational publications to ensure consistency with Council policy positions.  Reviews and edits (and occasionally authors) blog posts to ensure that policy positions are consistent with those taken by the Council. 
  • Develops and cultivates relationships with external colleagues, including government allies and American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA); identifies and engages in opportunities for collaboration with organizations that share our mission; represents the Council in working group and stakeholder meetings and take a leadership role in advocating for policies that further the Council’s key priorities.   
  • Works with the Executive Director and senior staff to develop the annual plan, develops department work plan and ensures that goals are met, and reports on Council’s progress to the Board of Directors. 
  • Works with the Managing Director of Programs to lead Rapid Response decision-making and execution. 
  • Develops messaging in partnership with Managing Director of Programs and the Communications Programming Director and implements overall messaging. 
  • Serves as a lead voice for the Council to all media outlets, external organizations, and coalitions. 
  • Develops and drafts grant proposals to support department work and report to funders (both formally and informally) about progress of work. 
  • Works with Managing Director of Programs and Managing Director of Finance and Strategy to develop department budget and ensures that department resources are appropriately and effectively utilized. 
  • Serves on the Council’s senior staff. 
  • Performs other related duties and tasks as assigned by the Executive Director and Managing Director of Programs, including supporting the needs of the Board of Directors and Committees. 

Required Education and Experience

  • Advanced degree in a relevant field (such as: Government or Law), J.D. preferred.
  • At least 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:

  • A strong understanding and commitment to the Council’s mission and values. 
  • A minimum of 10 years of relevant experience, prior demonstrated leadership in area of work, prior staff management experience. 
  • Strong leadership skills, including experience supervising and mentoring staff members. 
  • Demonstrated ability to think creatively and work strategically. 
  • Familiarity with the interplay among policy, legal, and education strategies. 
  • Significant public speaking experience. 
  • Excellent organizational skills, ability to juggle multiple responsibilities. 
  • Intermediate to advanced proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite (specifically Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint). 
  • Demonstrable ability to develop and manage a strategic plan with multiple projects and deadlines.
  • Proven ability to manage a high performing team.  
  • Ability to analyze and synthesize complex issues and explain information to a general audience. 
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.   
  • Attention to detail, accuracy, and thoroughness. 
  • Ability to manage multiple assignments and shift focus quickly 
  • Capacity to form positive working relationships with people from varied backgrounds and ability to maintain confidentiality. 
  • Familiarity with immigration law, current immigration policy issues, and immigration scholarship, generally. 
  • Understanding of the relationship between research and policy. 
  • Spanish proficiency preferred.

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.

Our Workplace …

We offer an extremely generous total compensation package (salary and benefits).  Benefits include – medical, dental, vision, 401k with employer match, monthly transit subsidy, flexible work schedules, 3+ weeks’ vacation, 11 Federal holidays, on-site fitness center and many more exciting benefit programs.

Your Colleagues …

  • Dedicated, dynamic, collaborative and compassionate.
  • A community of individuals passionate about their work.

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.