For 45 years, KAC has worked across the political spectrum to improve the lives of Kansas children through bipartisan advocacy, partnership, and information-sharing on key issues. We work with policymakers, local organizations, and fellow advocates to inform sound policy, foster collaboration, and promote an equitable tax system.
Together with senior leadership, the Policy Director will guide KAC’s legislative and regulatory policy agenda. This position oversees the development of policy recommendations across issue areas, the daily activities of KAC policy advisors, and the strategic mobilization of partners.
This position supervises the statehouse policy team and provides strategic direction and guidance on a broad portfolio of policy, advocacy, lobbying, and communications work to influence policymakers. A successful applicant will bring extensive supervisory, project management, and team leadership experience to serve as a cross-functional facilitator both internally and externally.
Reporting to the Vice President, the Policy Director will serve as a thought partner and strategist to senior leadership and key stakeholders. During the Kansas legislative session, this position will be expected to be in Topeka and the Statehouse on a regular basis, including potentially early mornings, late nights, and weekends.
Employees supervised by the Policy Director are represented by Communication Workers of America Local 6400. This is not a bargaining unit position.
Essential Job Functions
- Oversees the statehouse policy team by managing and supporting the assessment of organizational and individual needs and the design, implementation and evaluation of programs that facilitate the professional development and continuous learning of team members.
- Provides leadership, along with other staff and partner organizations, in the development and implementation of policy priorities and strategy.
- Oversees the development and evaluation of work plans for statehouse policy team members.
- Provides direction, coaching, and feedback to direct reports.
- Coordinates the activities of the statehouse policy team during and in between the regular legislative session.
- Identifies and notifies senior leadership and relevant staff members of emerging policy issues and/or policy developments which may impact KAC policy priorities or the priorities of key stakeholders or partners.
- Tracks and evaluates legislation; proposes amendments; and assists in the preparation and delivery of both written and verbal testimony.
- Establishes trustworthy connections with legislators, agency decision-makers, staff, the Governor’s office, lobbyists, and other stakeholders by offering resources and clear, fact-based analyses; seek out possibilities for bipartisan support for KAC policy recommendations.
- Maintains KAC’s visibility in the Statehouse and aids in lobbying on its behalf.
- When necessary, coordinates contract lobbyists.
- Coordinates and collaborates with staff to plan and implement effective multi-disciplinary and integrated advocacy policy initiatives, involving a combination of policy, legal, communication, public education, and advocacy engagement strategies.
- Participates in workgroups, coalitions, and meetings connected to KAC policy priorities.
- Prepares or reviews written materials, including action alerts, talking points, issue briefs, reports, op-eds, and website updates, in collaboration with other staff members.
- Bachelor’s Degree in public administration, business, law, political science, economics, psychology, or humanities disciplines preferred or seven (7) years of professional experience OR a master's degree in public administration, public policy, business, or related field and five (5) years of professional experience in the field.
- Five (5) years of supervisory experience of professionals at various skill levels and stages of their career.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills, research and analytical skills, and the ability to articulate policy concepts and complex issues tactfully and effectively to a variety of audiences.
- Advocacy, consensus-building, coalition-building, and leadership skills; demonstrated ability to work collegially and collaboratively with other staff and other organizations; demonstrated ability to work with groups and individuals across the political spectrum.
- Strategic decision-making and the capacity to work independently on many projects at the same time.
- Initiative, vision, and ability to develop and implement short and long-term policy strategies utilizing a broad range of advocacy, education, and partner-based collaborative tactics.
- Understanding of the legislative process and the ability to build respectful, trusting relationships across the political spectrum and in diverse communities.
- Understanding of and commitment to social change through building the capacity and power of low-income people and people of color to change their communities and to participate directly in changing public policies.
Our organization follows a hybrid work structure where employees can work remotely or from the office. This position requires an in-person presence in the Statehouse during the legislative session, and in the office for specific tasks, team meetings, and formal and informal collaboration. This position requires an ability to work long hours during legislative session and commute to meetings and events throughout the state and to national conferences, as needed.
The salary range for this position is $82,500 to $87,500 annually, commensurate with qualifications and experience.
Kansas Action for Children offers a competitive salary and benefits program, including comprehensive, affordable health care, life and disability insurance, retirement benefits, along with a supportive and flexible work environment.
Equal Opportunity Employer
Kansas Action for Children is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce and complies with all applicable Federal and Kansas State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action in its programs and activities. Kansas Action for Children does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, ethnic or national origin, gender, genetic information, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy or parental status and veteran’s status.
Kansas Action for Children recognizes and honors diversity in race, ethnicity, culture, age, abilities, gender, sexual orientation, and places where people live. We strongly encourage applications from people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community, and other underrepresented and historically marginalized groups.
The initial review of applicants will take place August 4, 2023.