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Director, Public Policy

San Francisco, CA

Relocation expenses: Not paid

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

Published on 31 Jul 2021

Expires on 31 Jul 2021

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Director, Public Policy

An Equal Opportunity Employer Committed to a Diverse Workforce  

JOB DESCRIPTION: Director, Public Policy
 Community Impact Team
Reports to: Chief Community Impact Officer
Classification: Exempt Management
Closing Date: Open until filled


The United Way Bay Area (UWBA) is leading a network of corporations, government agencies, nonprofits, and individuals to create lasting change for Bay Area residents and families.  With a history that spans over 90 years and programs that tackle the issue of local poverty from every angle, UWBA is uniquely positioned to mobilize and motivate all sectors of the community toward the vision of ending the cycle of poverty.  
  As UWBA responds to cultural shifts in the workplace, fundraising, and digital communications, it is guided by core values of innovation and results-driven creativity. Through a variety of existing and emerging initiatives, UWBA seeks to both strengthen and reimagine its work at all levels in order provide more and better opportunities for struggling Bay Area residents.
UWBA is committed to building and maintaining a diverse staff and an inclusive workplace that values equity. We particularly welcome applications from immigrants, BIPOC, LGBTQ+ applicants, and people with lived experience in poverty. To foster an open and impartial application review process that minimizes the potential for bias, please remove any reference to academic institutions from which you obtained a degree, if applicable, for example, simply list “Bachelor of Arts in Sociology”.  Not having a degree will not preclude you from being considered; applicable work experience is equally considered.

Disrupt poverty in the Bay Area, join us in building a brighter tomorrow:

The Opportunity: 

This position is responsible for working with the Community Impact Team (CIT), staff across the organization, external partners, and volunteers to achieve measurable results. The Director of Public Policy will play an essential role in helping Bay Area residents move out of poverty, developing and implementing major strategies, building coalitions with leading local, state and national organizations, generating revenue for UWBA, representing UWBA to constituents and colleagues locally and nationally, marketing and fundraising for UWBA’s work, and managing funds to ensure appropriate use and maximum return on investment. The Director is a management position reporting to the Chief, Community Impact Officer of United Way Bay Area (UWBA). The Director will be empowered to take the initiative to create and act on opportunities, solve problems, exercise autonomy and sound judgment, and serve as a capable and active leader. 

What you’ll do:  

  1. Lead UWBA’s public policy strategy. UWBA has a sophisticated understanding of policy advocacy and a track record of success, and its board of directors is committed to developing and acting on a policy agenda that will have a significant impact on behalf of people in poverty. The Director will lead UWBA’s public policy activities. These include: Developing the policy agenda and legislative, regulatory, or other policy strategies, in concert with organizational leadership, the board, and key external partners; forming advocacy coalitions as needed and/or joining appropriate existing coalitions, to build the community partnerships needed to advocate successfully; working with Marketing to craft communications and messaging, and Development to recruit donors and corporate partners to engage with us in advocacy; and maintaining relationships with federal, state and local public officials and staff.
  2. Responsible for day-to-day leadership and implementation of UWBA’s advocacy efforts. This includes:                                      
  • Leading the work to identify and select policy issues and strategies; helping develop and refine strategies over time; and tracking, assessing, and reporting progress and results.  
  • Implementing the key elements of UWBA’s public policy strategies. 
  • Managing UWBA’s relationships in 8 counties, especially at the local and state levels, with key public policy partners; includes connecting and working with a broad set of allies, partners, advisors, public sector, corporate and community leaders, and others. 
  • Collaborating with other policy leaders in the national United Way system: other local United Ways, United Ways of California and United Way Worldwide.  
  • Monitoring and keeping UWBA leadership informed about local, state, and national policies and proposals that move our agenda forward. As needed generate issue analysis and issue briefs related to UWBA priorities for both internal use and publication.
  • Preparing board members, leadership team, and volunteers for engagement with public officials and other policy activities.
  • Staffing the board Public Policy Committee.  
  • Advising strategy for grant-making and other investments in advocacy.
  • Managing collection and retention of all necessary documentation of UWBA’s policy activities for audit purposes, funder reporting, etc.  Collaborate with Finance, Development and other staff to prepare reports and ensure a clean audit every year on policy activities. 
  • Overseeing policy budget 
  • Supervising dedicated policy staff such as the Housing and Economic Policy Analyst

 3.  Departmental leadership and program and project oversight. The Director serves as a member of the management group within the Community Impact Team. As such, the Director participates in the development of the annual and long-term CIT goals, work plan and budget that flow from the UWBA strategic plan and the organization’s annual goals. Works with other department leaders to deliver on all goals and milestones, deploy resources effectively, and recruit, train, and support an outstanding team of professionals to accomplish both the departmental work plan and organizational strategic plan.

4.   Represents UWBA with donors, corporations, foundations, and the media; represents CIT internally.  Supports the work of the Development team, Marketing team, and others as appropriate, and collaborates well with other departments to implement strategies in these areas smoothly and effectively. 

5.  Fundraising. All senior managers at UWBA play some role in fundraising, under the leadership of our Development team. The Director helps UWBA raise funds from a range  of sources including individual engagement, major gifts, foundations, government, fees for service, and others. Expected to contribute ideas and help identify prospects  manage relationships, attend meetings with donors, engage in public speaking, write proposals and other fundraising documents, and take on other tasks as necessary.

6.  Budget management. The Director oversees program budget for Public Policy and works closely with CIT Management Team to develop departmental budgets.  

7.  Cross-departmental teams. Represents CIT in cross-functional internal teams as appropriate. Works effectively with staff colleagues to achieve the goals of the organization.

8.  Other projects and duties as assigned. The Director will be called on as needed to lead new projects and complete urgent assignments.

Who you are: 

Passionate about issues impacting children, youth, low-income families, nonprofits and impoverished neighborhoods in the Bay Area; committed to helping people move out of poverty to lives of dignity, security, and economic success; you thrive in a position where you can be both a strategic and tactical leader. Attributes of a successful Senior Director include: 

  • Personal commitment.   Personal mission and passion for moving people out of poverty. Values, equity, diversity and committed to inclusion. Personal values align with UWBA’s core values
  • Results orientation. Strong initiative, accountability, and willingness to take ownership and drive projects to completion. Can act quickly and decisively. Flexible and adaptable to opportunities, challenges, and changes in circumstances or context.
  • Effective member of teams. Works well on and values teams. Able to serve as follower or leader, facilitate others’ participation and voice, contribute in a variety of roles as needed. Places team’s success above personal agenda or recognition.
  • Leads well, with integrity. Actions and choices embody the organization’s vision, mission and values. Uses techniques that appeal to reason, values, or emotion to generate enthusiasm for the work, commitment to task objectives. Nurtures future leaders. Demonstrates interpersonal savvy: Understands attitudes, needs, interests, and perspectives of others; understands non-verbal communication of others and has cultural sensitivity.
  • Problem-solving approach. Provides early identification of problems and clearly articulates the crux of the issue as well as its potential impact on people and initiatives. Initiate’s solution-oriented discussions and dialogue. 
  • Coalition-building, networking, relationship management. Develops networks and alliances both internally and outside UWBA, through the two-way exchange of ideas. Initiates contact and builds relationships with individuals and institutions who want to invest their time and money in UWBA's mission and activities.  Manages relationships with skill and authenticity.
  • Continuous learning.  Desire and ability to master new skills and areas of expertise. 
  • Possesses patience, good judgment, and a sense of humor.  

Experience and Qualifications:
At least five years of relevant experience as a policy advocate, coalition builder and partner, and leader. Program leadership and supervisory experience. Experience working closely with public, private, and non-profit sector decision-makers. The candidate’s background should demonstrate the ability to create and lead strategies for major initiatives, show clear evidence of delivering significant results and impact on behalf of communities, and demonstrate the ability to gain the respect and partnership of professionals and leaders from various sectors.

  • Expertise on poverty. Expertise on the causes of and solutions to poverty, and related policies. Knowledge of leading initiatives, institutions, research and resources on poverty. Experience with public policy development and advocacy and systems change related to poverty.
  • Excellent communicator. Outstanding writing skills and speaking skills. Presents written and verbal ideas in a style that is clear, fluent, concise, and persuasive. Has the ability to influence and work successfully with varied audiences (other senior leaders across the organization, board of directors, partners, and clients). 
  • Fundraising. Demonstrated experience with and success in fundraising with a range of donor types and sectors.
  • Brings to UWBA significant existing relationship and networks with key leaders and professionals in the Bay Area; in the public policy field locally, at the state level and nationally; and in the area of work on poverty.
  • Detailed knowledge of Bay Area communities, resources, assets, issues, and problems.
  • Talent development and supervision. Proven ability to recruit, assess and hire, develop, and retain talented staff. Proven ability to provide effective oversight: structure the work of supervisees, delegate appropriately, facilitate teamwork, provide sufficient resources, train and coach, ensure accountability, and support staff to overcome challenges and seize opportunities.   
  • Skill in working with volunteers, one on one and in settings such as staff and committee processes, group meetings, and public presentations. 
  • Computer proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint); CRM and databases; use of a range of Web applications, social media, and communication tools. 
  • Transportation and travel. Valid California driver's license, a satisfactory driving record, and access to reliable transportation are mandatory conditions of initial and continued employment. Ability and willingness to engage in out-of-town and overnight travel as needed.
  • Mobile phone. Possession of a mobile phone where the individual can be reached as needed. Note that UWBA reimburses appropriate mobile phone expenses.

Salary: $85,000 – $100,000 annually (depending on experience and qualifications).


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PHYSICAL DEMANDS: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.  While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; and talk or hear. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, color vision, and ability to adjust focus.
UWBA does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender (including actual or perceived gender, and gender identity), sexual orientation, age, marital status, medical condition, religious affiliation, veteran status, national origin, citizenship status, mental or physical disability, or any other characteristic protected by applicable state, federal or local law. UWBA will consider qualified applicants with criminal histories in the manner consistent with the requirements of the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance. If you need a reasonable accommodation in order to apply for a job, please let us know. If the reason you need an accommodation is not obvious, we may ask for documentation confirming your functional limitations.