Vacancy Announcement: Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs

The American Council of the Blind (ACB) is seeking a Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs to work in its national office in Alexandria, VA.

The primary duties of this position will include:

  • Leads the promotion and development of ACB's advocacy and legislative agendas (e.g., strategic goals, initiatives).
  • Recommends actions to be taken and policies to be adopted by ACB.
  • Oversees the implementation of resolutions adopted at ACB Conventions.
  • Represents ACB on advisory committees and consultative bodies seeking organizational input.
  • Monitors bills, speeches, and statements of government leaders, political influencers, regulators and legislative bodies.
  • Monitors media, research reports, and analytics on issues of interest to ACB.
  • Leads the drafting of proposed legislative and regulatory language for presentation to Congressional offices, administrative agencies, and other relevant stakeholders.
  • Prepares written comments on pending legislation and proposed regulations.
  • Presents oral comments on pending legislation at public sessions with regulatory bodies and Congressional committee hearings.
  • Develops and maintains ongoing working relationships with members of Congress, Congressional staff and agency administrators to promote ACB's legislative and advocacy agendas.
  • Establishes and maintains cooperative relationships with other disability and civil and human rights organizations to expand ACB’s sphere of influence.
  • Creates and enhances collaborative relationships with corporations and private stakeholders in order to influence the usability and accessibility of their product and service offerings.
  • Plans for and executes annual legislative seminar and Congressional fly in, including securing policy influencers and other stakeholders to present to ACB members.
  • Serves as staff liaison to ACB committees, including ACB’s Resolutions Committee that meets at the annual conference and convention.
  • Provides technical assistance to ACB members and affiliates pursuing advocacy projects.
  • Oversees, and in complex situations responds to, requests for information and advice concerning the rights and/or obligations of individuals and organizations regarding blindness-related issues, and providing referral to other appropriate sources of assistance.
  • Prepares external communication on legislative, judicial, and administrative developments for ACB content channels (e.g., ACB Radio, social media) and external content channels.
  • Ensures that ACB members receive timely communications regarding ongoing legislative and advocacy initiatives.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Executive Director.

The Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs reports to the Executive Director.

The successful candidate must have:

  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including public speaking.
  • Drive to take initiative with limited guidance.
  • Knowledge of service-delivery systems and government programs impacting people who are blind.
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks and priorities simultaneously.
  • Ability to effectively direct and manage the performance of direct reports.
  • Ability to respond promptly and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to locate and quickly comprehend laws and regulations.
  • Knowledge of applicable laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, and executive orders.
  • Knowledge of the democratic political process.
  • General familiarity with assistive devices and technology used by people who are blind or visually impaired.
  • Ability to travel as circumstances require.
  • Ability to work evenings and weekends as needed, including participating in meetings and conference calls with ACB committees and affiliates.

Desirable skills or training include general familiarity with assistive devices used by people who are blind, and a degree in political science or law, or other specific disability-related advocacy training. Experience in the use of social media to communicate organizational messages is highly desired. Salary depends upon experience.

Applicants must send a resume, cover letter, and brief writing sample by e-mail to search-committee@acb.org.

Applications must be received in the ACB national office by no later than December 19, 2018.