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Director, Public Policy & Advocacy

Portland, ME

Relocation expenses: Negotiated

Full time
3 - 5 years of experience
Bachelor's Degree

Published on 30 Oct 2020

Expires on 30 Oct 2020

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Director, Public Policy & Advocacy

Director, Public Policy & Advocacy

Be a part of the change!

Advancing the common good is about helping one person at a time and about creating community level change that benefits every member of the community. We are all connected and interdependent. We all win when a child succeeds in school, when families are financially stable, and when people are healthy. We have a staff of 34 dedicated employees to help us achieve our goals and fulfill our mission: To improve people’s lives by mobilizing the caring power of our community.

General Summary:

The Director, Public Policy & Advocacy oversees the development and implementation of public policy and advocacy initiatives to drive community impact. This role is responsible for planning, developing, and executing on local, state, and federal policy work, with an emphasis on educating policymakers and growing the number of advocates. This role is also responsible for planning, developing, and executing on community-wide advocacy efforts that invite individuals and organizations to participate in Thrive2027.

The Director, Public Policy & Advocacy will work under the strategic oversight of United Way of Greater Portland’s (UWGP) Community Impact Steering Committee (CISC), the Thrive2027 Public Policy and Advocacy Committee, and the three Thrive2027 Goals Cabinets, and under the direction of the Senior Vice President, Community Impact & Finance.

Success in this position will be determined by the ability of the Director to implement UWGP’s annual policy agenda, develop and advance public policy positions and advocacy efforts that help move the needle on Thrive2027’s three community-wide goals, cultivate and mobilize advocates for UWGP, and identify and measure policy and advocacy outcomes. This position requires excellent written and verbal communication skills, a proven track record in public policy and advocacy work, and strong planning, measurement, and execution skills as well as a facility with data. The candidate must be self-motivated and able to work independently as well as collaboratively in a team setting.

This is a full-time (40-hour per week), salaried position and may require long hours during peak times.

More information about Thrive2027 may be found by clicking here:

Essential Job Functions:

Public Policy

 With the CISC, three Goals Cabinets, the Thrive2027 Public Policy and Advocacy Committee, and SVP of Community Impact & Finance, develop strategic direction for UWGP’s and Thrive2027’s public policy and advocacy initiatives, ensuring integration with other community impact strategies.

 With SVP and other stakeholders, develop public policy agenda and implementation of action plan to achieve legislative and advocacy goals.

 Serve as lead staff to the Thrive2027 Public Policy and Advocacy Committee and provide staff support for CISC and Goals Cabinets meetings and administrative follow-up.

 Establish outcomes and measure progress against such outcomes for UWGP and Thrive2027 advocacy efforts and implement and/or coordinate all efforts to achieve target outcomes.

 Develop relationships with key public policy stakeholders, including elected representatives, state officials, and business and nonprofit leaders.

 Produce regular reports to key stakeholders, including the UWGP Board of Directors, regarding progress on public policy initiatives.

 Coordinate advocacy and public policy communication and increase coordinated advocacy efforts with United Ways of Maine.

 Serve as point for United Way Worldwide public policy alerts and coordinate action as needed.

Collaboration/ Relationship Management

 Develop and implement strategies for engaging board members and volunteers in public policy & advocacy efforts that support UWGP’s objectives.

 Meet with key stakeholders (such as government representatives, schools, businesses, and associations) and serve as an ongoing facilitator for information and coordination.

 Serve as UWGP liaison to related collaborations (e.g., state, community task forces) as assigned.

Advocacy & Community Awareness

 Work with Community Impact and RD/Marketing teams to develop advocacy opportunities and messages for key stakeholder groups, such as UWGP’s two giving circles Brick & Beam and Women United.

 Represent UWGP at public hearings and work sessions, with appropriate support as needed.

 Assist with identifying and implementing grassroots advocacy efforts.

 Communicate UWGP’s impact agenda and values as they relate to public policy outcomes.

 Research best practices from other United Ways and lead advocates around priority issues.

 Coordinate and host forums for the general public and policymakers on important community issues related to Thrive2027.

 Provide prompt and courteous responses to telephone calls and e-mails from all stakeholders and the public when requested.


 Research and compile information on Education, Financial Stability and Health issues and initiatives related to the public policy agenda.

 Produce reports and policy briefs for key stakeholders on research results.


 Demonstrate UWGP’s Core Values in all internal and external interactions.

 Serve as leader and role model for all staff as part of organization's Leadership Team.

 Participate as a team member in Community Impact and organizational activities.

 Champion exceptional service both internally and externally.

 Perform other related duties as required.

Education Requirements:

Bachelor’s degree and/or equivalent combination of education and experience required. Master’s or other advanced degree preferred.

Required Experience and Skills:

 Minimum four years in public policy position, with demonstrated success with advocacy.

 Proven track record of achieving goals.

 Well developed skills in developing strategy and managing public policy and advocacy efforts.

 Knowledge of and experience in health and human services issues.

 Strong organizational skills.

 Excellent interpersonal skills and significant relationship management experience with advocates, donors, clients, and/or volunteers.

 Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing; to establish positive public relations; and to interact effectively with people of diverse backgrounds.

 Ability to prioritize and handle multiple projects simultaneously, strong self-motivation, and the ability to work independently with limited supervision.

 Ability to develop information and raw data into meaningful conclusions.

 Demonstrated success in educating and engaging the public on important community issues.

 Knowledge of computer software programs frequently used in an office environment.

Work Environment:

This job operates in a professional office environment. UWGP employees have the opportunity to work in the office or from a remote location (via Zoom and Microsoft Teams meetings) through December 2020

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work:

Days and hours of work are Monday through Friday 8:30 – 5:00. This position may require long hours and weekend work.


Travel is primarily local during the business day, although some out-of-area and overnight travel may be expected.

Organizational Core Values:

At United Way of Greater Portland, we are:

  • Community Centered
  • Results Focused
  • Intentionally Collaborative
  • Committed to Excellence
  • Leading with Integrity

To apply:

Please submit a cover letter and resume to Amy Fecteau, Applications will be accepted until 10/30/2020.

United Way of Greater Portland is committed to seeking and sustaining a culturally and ethnically diverse environment and to the principles that promote inclusive practices. We are dedicated to building a diverse staff with expertise and interest in serving our communities and encourage persons of all types of diversity to apply.