Independent Sector recognizes that talented staff are at the center of a successful organization. Join us as we lead, strengthen, and mobilize the charitable community. Apply your passion for making a difference by joining our efforts to advance the common good.

Current Openings

Director, Public Policy and Government Relations

Reports to:                   Chief Strategy Officer
Direct Reports:             Associate

Job Summary

The Director of Public Policy and Government Relations works with the Chief Strategy Officer and the CEO, the internal policy team, and our external public policy committee to set a federal policy agenda that advances the interests of the social sector. The Director has lead responsibility for designing/executing a government relations (GR) program in support of that agenda and takes a leading role in building and managing coalitions that further the organization’s core policy aims.

Throughout its history, Independent Sector has been widely recognized for its ability to work across the sector to define and successfully advance a federal policy agenda that protects and promotes the sector’s interests and position our members and partners for success in their respective missions. As Independent Sector moves into the future, solutions-oriented, public policy leadership is at the core of this organization’s strategy.

This is a high-visibility opportunity for a creative, collaborative, and highly-skilled government relations professional who seeks to play a role in empowering the sector in its work and raising its profile in the federal policy making process.

Responsibilities include:

  • Work in partnership with the Director of Policy Development and Analysis, Independent Sector’s leadership, the public policy committee, and IS members to identify federal policy priorities and determine what legislative or regulatory strategies are required to secure those priorities.
  • Consistently and actively engage members to build a collectively held policy agenda and to secure their partnership in advancing that agenda.
  • Develop and execute a comprehensive government relations program (education and direct lobbying with legislative and administrative branches) to advance the established policy agenda and legislative/regulatory proposals.  Work in partnership with the Director of Policy Development and Analysis to strengthen the GR program through targeted research and advocacy initiatives.
  • Develop and maintain strong relationships and regular contacts with members and senior staff in Congress and the administration to monitor, analyze, and shape legislation and regulations that affect the charitable community.
  • Provide lead oversight of organizational lobbying activities, including work of government relations staff, external lobbyists, and Independent Sector member organizations.
  • Oversee all lobbying-related reporting activities.
  • Define and advance coalition strategies that support policy aims, convene and lead task forces, committees, and other working groups as required.
  • Help analyze and frame Independent Sector’s timely response to outside policy proposals.
  • Ensure that IS leadership, staff, and member organizations have current, accurate information on important legislative and regulatory issues or actions that affect the sector.
  • Prepare necessary written materials (including testimony, reports, fact-sheets, talking points) to support advocacy, education, and lobbying efforts by IS and its members.
  • Represent the organization’s policy agenda in public settings and with media.
  • Actively mentor and manage the advocacy and policy work of associate-level staff on the policy team.
  • Some travel required.
  • Other duties as may be assigned.


Desired Skillsets and Experience

 Must be a forward-looking, agile, and collaborative team player, with a deep knowledge of, and passion for, the policy and political process and the ways it can advance the aims of the charitable, nonprofit sector.

  • Five to seven years Capitol Hill or government relations experience, including senior level experience that demonstrates the ability to plan and implement successful lobbying and advocacy efforts.
  • History of engagement with nonprofit organizations is strongly preferred as is an intuitive understanding of, and commitment to, the role the sector plays in a strong civil society.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of congressional and executive branch procedures; knowledge of tax policy preferred but not required.
  • Strong relationships on Capitol Hill and a demonstrated practice of working across political divides are essential.
  • A relationship and coalition builder with demonstrated skill convening disparate parties or networks and aligning them around a common cause; adept at “leading from the front” and “leading from behind”.
  • An agile and strategic thinker with the ability to rapidly assess threats and opportunities and develop/implement short and long-term legislative and advocacy strategies.
  • Detail oriented and strong ability to prioritize tasks, set clear and measurable goals.
  • Superior oral and written communications skills.
  • Skilled listener with a trained ear to the views, aspirations, and agendas of our members.
  • Committed and insightful mentor to more junior staff across the organization.
  • Bachelor’s degree required, advanced degree preferred.

The salary range for this position is $105,000–115,000.

How to apply

Please email a cover letter explaining your interest in and qualification for the position, and a resume to:

  • To:
  • Subject: Human Resources – [Job Title]

Independent Sector is an equal opportunity employer and we are committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace.


IS team members have access to the services and resources they need to maintain healthy, balanced lives. We offer a variety of rich benefits, ranging from health and welfare to a fun and active workplace.

Health and Welfare

  • Medical Plan
  • Dental Plan
  • Vision Plan
  • Flexible Spending Accounts (Health and Dependent Care)
  • 403(b) Retirement Plan with generous matching program
  • Basic and Supplemental Life Insurance
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Voluntary Short Term Disability Insurance
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • SmartBenefits Program

Paid Time Off

  • Vacation Leave
  • Sick Leave
  • Personal Leave
  • 10 Paid holidays

Workplace Learning and Events

  • In-house training
  • Annual Volunteer Day
  • Regular ongoing social activities – on and off-site