Overview

Organizational Summary: The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) builds power at the state and local level to change public policy, galvanize public support, and normalize women’s decisions about abortion and contraception. Using a partnership model, we provide state and local advocates with strategic guidance, hands-on support, and funding to create national change from the ground up. We are a force multiplier – we form strategic partnerships with a wide range of organizations to directly impact the reproductive health and lives of women across the country. Since 2008, NIRH has provided direct grants and hands-on support to nearly 150 reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations in 39 states and 56 localities across the country. In 2018, NIRH’s partnerships and its work in New York State and City span 23 states, including 13 localities. 

The National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund, with associated PAC’s and IEC, conducts nonpartisan advocacy and electoral engagement to advance reproductive health, rights and justice in states and cities across the country. 

Position Summary: This role is part of an evolving and expanding team of policy and partnership staff at NIRH.  The Senior Policy Counsel will, among other responsibilities, provide strategic guidance and technical assistance to organizations throughout the country working to advance reproductive health, rights, and justice, with a particular emphasis on abortion access. One of the primary roles of the Senior Policy Counsel is to work with state partners and national partners to develop and coordinate state level strategies, including the development and advancement of proactive policy and advocacy opportunities, while also employing creative strategies in countering attacks to reproductive rights and health access. The Senior Policy Counsel will also play an integral role with our state level initiatives, working with state partners to develop and support proactive and defensive advocacy campaigns, build effective coalitions, and strengthen organizational capacity, and represent NIRH on national coalitions and at conferences and other speaking engagements.  

The Senior Policy Counsel also contributes as a people manager, managing at least two staff who support policy and partnership work in states. As an evolving organization and team, NIRH is committed to highly professionalized management, and seeks a candidate who can help strengthen management practices at a team and organization that grew rapidly and significantly. 

The ideal candidate will bring a creative and strategic advocacy perspective to an interdisciplinary team, and talent for data-driven management practices rooted in values of diversity, equity and inclusion.  Detailed below are responsibilities executed in this role and on the PSP team, though they may change as the team and organization evolves.  

The Senior Policy Counsel reports directly to the Director of Policy, and is a full time position located in New York, NY. 

Preferred Start Date: January 2, 2020. For more information on NIRH and the NIRH Action Fund, please visit https://www.nirhealth.org.

Role and Responsibilities: The Senior Policy Counsel be accountable for but not limited to the following major responsibilities:

POLICY EXPERTISE AND POLICY MATERIALS

• Develop expertise on core policy issues, including abortion and contraception. 

• Support broader policy projects across the organization as needed, bringing expertise from state-based work to bear on new initiatives.

• Provide technical assistance to partners at state level, including specific policy research and drafting, coalition support, political strategy and other related areas. 

• Provide technical assistance to local policy partners on specific policy issues. 

• Manage bill tracking system. 

• Oversee the creation of annual proactive policy state legislative reports and any other related publications, including drafting and production. 

• Bring lenses of diversity, equity, inclusion particularly around race and gender to policy work, including coaching and learning from staff and partners in policy work

REPRESENT NIRH TO EXTERNAL AUDIENCES 

• Engage with national and state partners about NIRH’s policy priorities in an ongoing way on those issues so that NIRH stays at the forefront of policy development and innovation and has an ability to influence key allies on core issues.  

• Consistently use racial and gender equity analysis in considering new and existing decisions with and by the coalition and with national and state partners.

• Represent NIRH at conferences and other speaking engagements. 

• Run an annual convening of state advocates and lawmakers, brought together to share information and build skills and relationships. 

MANAGEMENT OF PARTNERSHIPS AND STAFF 

• Manage NIRH state policy partnerships as assigned

• Supervise staff, including Legal Fellow and Policy and Program Coordinator and support managing the PSP team through an evolving team structure and scope of work such that there is strong team culture, inclusion across identity groups, and retention and promotion of high performing employees. 

• Assist Legal Fellow with hiring and supervising legal interns to support policy work. 

• Contribute to building and managing a culture of inclusion and equity at an increasingly diverse organization

• Bring a racial equity lens and values of diversity, equity and inclusion to management practices

• Model and coach others toward a growth mindset in all aspects of work, including NIRH’s internal racial equity work

Other Duties As Assigned 

Qualifications 

• J.D. Required, with at least four years of relevant experience

• Experience managing others either as a supervisor or project manager

• Proven track record of adapting to a change organization and team, and ability to lead toward solutions in the midst of uncertainty

• Track record of demonstrating strong and consistent results in a complex body of work

• Extensive experience reading and analyzing legislation and regulations at the federal, state and local level, and explaining content clearly and engagingly to variety of audiences both orally and in writing; comfort with working with communications professionals to translate policy goals into persuasive messaging. 

• Ability to analyze the legal implications of legislation, including its constitutionality and relationship to other similar legislation; interest in getting “in the weeds” on policy issues

• Proven ability to draft new legislation/regulations and amend proposed or existing laws to ensure that policy goals are met

• Ability to understand, adapt to and help others navigate political implications of policy proposals 

• Experience providing advice and support to others to help them achieve a concrete goal, ideally regarding policy and while working in coalition 

• Proven ability to unite a group of people or organizations to achieve a particular goal 

• Experience using communications, policy and organizing strategies to achieve policy and political change

• Experience and comfort with speaking regularly in front of diverse audiences  

• Ability to travel regularly throughout the country, on planes and trains, for meetings and conferences (approximately 25 – 30% travel time). 

• A demonstrated commitment to using policy to advance progressive social justice goals, ideally related to reproductive justice, health or rights. 

Compensation & Benefits: Competitive benefit package and salary commensurate with experience: salary range $75,000 to $85,000. Benefits include: A comprehensive benefits package including the option of employer-paid health insurance; dental insurance; a 401k retirement plan with employer contribution after 6 months; TransitChek benefits; generous paid time off; and Summer Fridays (half days) from June until September. 

Application Procedure: Send resume, cover letter and a writing sample to humanresources@nirhealth.org by November 25, 2019.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. 

EEO statement: The National Institute for Reproductive Health and NIRH Action Fund is an equal opportunity employer. NIRH and NIRH Action Fund strives to build and support an equitable work community that attracts, develops, and retains exceptional people. As a member of the reproductive freedom movement, NIRH aims to foster leadership and raise the voices of historically marginalized people, including but not limited to Black people and people of color, indigenous/native peoples, LGBTQ and gender non-conforming people, disabled/differently abled people, immigrants, and low-income people. We strongly encourage candidates of these and other diverse backgrounds to apply. 

Equity Statement: NIRH and NIRH Action Fund staff and board have committed to racial equity, and as such have been engaged in a multi-year process to adopt a racial equity lens across the organizations. We are a reproductive health and rights organization that incorporates reproductive justice values into our work. We recognize the interconnectivity of identities, such as race, socio-economic status, immigration status, ability, and sex, including sexual orientation, and gender identity, and how they interact with systems of oppressions to shape and impact a person’s freedom and ability to control their reproductive and sexual lives. As a result, this person will join an organization that’s currently engaged in shifting its institutional framework.