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Director, Public Policy

Boston, MA

Relocation expenses: Not paid

Full time
5 - 10 years of experience
Bachelor's Degree
$81,000 to $90,000 per year

Published on 7 Jan 2020

Expires on 18 Jan 2019

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Director, Public Policy

About Us:

We are the Uniters. We bring people together to solve problems.  We identify the most pressing issues in our community, and we bring together the people we think can solve them. United Way funds agencies that, working together, can address the nuances of complex problems like homelessness or the academic achievement gap. We create programs and initiatives to fill unmet needs. We deploy volunteers and socially responsible companies as the engines of change and the feet on the street, delivering hope to people in need. We raise funding through generous donors who understand that social change can’t happen without it


United Way of Massachusetts Bay (UWMB), the largest United Way in New England, provides leadership, strategic support and resources for critical services and programming to over two million residents within 149 cities and towns in Greater Boston including the Merrimack Valley and North Shore as well as the Greater Seacoast of New Hampshire. United Way strategically invests funds and other resources in community agencies that have been evaluated for their soundness in fiscal, management and governance matters.  With the support of hundreds of corporations, small businesses and thousands of individuals, UWMBMV raises approximately $45 million annually, distributes funds to more than 200 human service organizations, advocates for improved public policies for children, youth and their families, and promotes volunteerism.

United Way effectively invests in programs and initiatives that build strong families and communities by applying metrics that measure the return on investment and the impact on communities.  The organization develops and coordinates initiatives that respond to identified and unmet community needs, provides innovative research-based approaches to enable sustainable change, and works in partnership with the city and state government, corporate and other private funders and UW donor interests. Additionally, United Way relies on a strong, effective and strategic public policy agenda that aligns with and supports its community impact efforts. 


The Director of Public Policy will provide strategic thinking and drive the United Way of Massachusetts Bay’s (UWMB) public policy and governmental affairs work at the federal, state and local levels in support of its community impact focus areas.  The Director provides leadership within the organization and in the broader community to facilitate public policy advocacy in support of UWMB’s priorities. S/he works with and leverages his/her colleagues in jointly executing against the public policy strategy.  S/he also engages and leverages the volunteers in building public and political will for UW and its policy agenda. The Director will focus largely on state policies, working with the Governor, several Secretariats within the Executive Branch as well as with the Legislature.  The Director will also collaboratively with United Way Worldwide in addressing policies at the federal level that affect the UW system and the issues important to it.  UWMB also engages with local leaders (Mayors, Superintendents of Schools, etc.) in key communities. 


  • Implement public policy goals established by UWMB’s leadership and Board of Directors;
  • Work collaboratively with the Community Impact Division to develop an annual public policy and state budget agenda for UWMBMV;
  • Keep informed of emerging developments in UWMB’s impact areas and track developing trends that affect UWMB’s ability to carry out its mission;
  • Stay current on federal, Massachusetts and New Hampshire legislation, state budget;
  • Identify, research, monitor key local and/or regional public policy issues;
  • Develop and maintain relationships with key elected and appointed officials (i.e. Congressional members and staff; state legislators and staff, state agency leadership; municipal leaders);
  • Work in conjunction with UWW to advocate and work with them on relevant and emerging federal legislation and/or contributing to public comments when appropriate;
  • Act as UWMB’s liaison with select state agencies, funders and community partners;
  • Maintain database on elected and appointed public officials, legislation, political demographics and policy matters;
  • Develop and execute a strategic grant-making process for public policy funding and monitor the progress of funded public policy organizations;
  • Co-create and manage public policy initiatives;
  • Recruit and manage public policy volunteers and advocates;
  • Author or facilitate the development of policy reports, issue papers, analysis and outreach materials;
  • Serve as the primary liaison for select UWMB partner agencies and organizations;
  • Support grant writing and other resource development activities;
  • Work collaboratively with the Marketing and Communications Division to articulate UWMB policy work to the general public, donors, volunteers and other key constituencies;
  • Participate in and coordinate with statewide/national efforts with UWW and other United Ways in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.


  • Bachelor’s degree required. Relevant Master’s Degree preferred.
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in public policy, human services, or related areas.  A track record of working in ways that contribute effectively to an organization's ability to achieve its goals.
  • Interest in collaborative leadership and the ability to lead side by side with other leaders.
  • Ability to mobilize and/or lead diverse stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated experience building, leading, motivating and mentoring teams of all skill and experience levels, both internal and external.
  • Experience working directly with legislators or on legislation/public policy campaigns preferred
  • Demonstrated ability to work within a community setting with diverse populations, including community groups, elected and non-elected policymakers, businesspersons, professional staff and volunteers.
  • Strong experience with project design, implementation, and evaluation.
  • Ability to manage multiple programs, people, resources, partnerships and directives.
  • Ability to advocate for, secure, and manage to, budget priorities.
  • Excellent writing, editing, verbal, facilitation and presentation skills.
  • Excellent judgment and creative problem-solving skills.
  • Content knowledge and experience in one or more of the respective areas of UWMBMV focus: healthy childhood development, increasing youth opportunities or building family assets (including basic needs);
  • Strong knowledge of the communities within UWMBMV’s service area with the ability to connect with key community leaders and earn respect in the community-at-large;
  • Demonstrable cultural and ethnic competencies in one or more communities within the UWMBMV service area;
  • Excellent analytical ability, assessment skills and problem-solving skills;
  • Strong communication skills including group facilitation, presentation, listening, verbal and writing skills;
  • Strong public speaking skills with ability to articulate complex issues, research and solutions to agencies, stakeholders, interested donors, the media and other interested parties;
  • Experience in supervising staff or leading teams of staff and volunteers; 
  • Ability to build consensus, collaborate with and convene multiple partners in efforts that produce specific deliverables and demonstrable outcomes;
  • Experience and proven ability to influence others including colleagues, management and volunteers, to take action.
  • Team builder who can also work as a member of a team in a collaborative environment;
  • Ability to meet aggressive deadlines and handle multiple priorities;
  • Understanding of federal and state laws and regulations governing the ability of public charities to lobby, advocate or educate elected and appointed public officials;
  • Be willing to register as an executive and legislative lobbyist in the State of Massachusetts and comply with all reporting requirements;
  • Proficient in the use of the MA Secretary of State’s Electronic Registration and Reporting System;
  • Proficient in the use of the Microsoft software suite, InstaTrac and State House News Service;
  • Commitment to excellence and to the mission of United Way.



United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley

Human Resources Coordinator

 51 Sleeper Street, Boston, MA  02210

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United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley is committed to hiring individuals who reflect the diversity of the communities we serve.