25 days old

Vice President of External Affairs

Council for a Strong America
Washington, DC 20005
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Council for a Strong America

Vice President of External Affairs

Reports To

President and CEO


Executive Team

Job Overview

The Vice President of External Affairs oversees our Federal Policy and Communication Teams. The position is responsible for building and deepening strategic alliances, and expanding relationships with media, policymakers, the administration, coalitions, industry leaders, and other influencers and stakeholders. The Vice President of External Affairs will work to expand visibility and attract support and resources for Council for a Strong America's strategic goals. The Vice President of External Affairs, under the leadership of the President and CEO and in collaboration with the Executive Team, will help create partnerships to support and deliver on CSA's mission to build a strong America by leveraging the voices of our membership groups to promote evidence-based policy solutions that ensure children grow up prepared to succeed.

This role coordinates, oversees, and guides the organization's work with national allies and media outlets to increase visibility and influence policy change. The Vice President of External Affairs must be able to translate strategic plans into specific short- and long-term objectives and define metrics. In coordination with the Vice President of State Operations & Policy, this role will coordinate federal and state policy initiatives and co-manage large grants.

The Vice President will set federal advocacy targets, coordinate responsibilities, assure accountability, and allocate resources to ensure results. The Vice President will build strong working relationships and collaborate with stakeholders and internal teams, and establish rapport and open communication with all colleagues. As a member of the Executive Team, this role also works to elevate the profile and the impact of the organization by playing a significant role in strategic planning, fundraising (including, but not limited to prospecting, grant management, and funder relations), and creating a positive, supportive and inclusive organizational culture.

Responsibilities and Duties

The Vice President of External Affairs will:

Serve as a member of the Executive Team

  • Help set organizational goals and advise the President and CEO on key priorities

  • Help improve and maintain an inclusive and positive organizational culture

  • Help support organizational efforts to align work, capacity, and structure with organizational funding and budgets

  • Cultivate and maintain relationships with select major funders and oversee the implementation of program work on select large grants that have a particular focus on federal policy change

  • Be an engaged and informed member of the executive team who is capable of understanding the overall challenges facing the organization and helping to plan responses


  • Oversee the development of the organization's overall federal policy portfolio and strategy in close collaboration with the Director of Federal Policy team

  • Oversee the development of a proactive media strategy in close collaboration with the Director of Communications

  • Develop and mentor staff

Development, fundraising, and external partnerships

  • Along with other senior leaders in the organization, actively prospect for new funders

  • Advise program and development staff on fundraising related to federal policy and visibility efforts

  • Contribute to and review grant proposals related to federal policy and national ally work

  • Serve as a grant lead or key support on national grants that impact federal policy and communications

  • Create or review grant budgets, funder reports, and proposals for federal and communication activities

  • Develop strong relationships with key funders and partners in federal policy advocacy

  • Work to ensure coordination across teams in order to execute on engagement initiatives and campaigns

  • Raise awareness of the organization and its mission through outreach efforts and regular event and donor engagement strategies

  • Perform other related duties as assigned

Federal Policy

  • In collaboration with other senior managers, the Vice President will develop and oversee the federal policy advocacy agenda and strategy for the organization

  • Working with the Director of Federal Policy,oversee the cultivation of relationships on Capitol Hill, at the White House, and with relevant executive branch agencies

  • Serve as the primary contact on major national coalitions important to our federal policy work

  • Facilitate our work with national allies, and cultivate mutually advantageous relationships with coalition partners and other external groups


  • In collaboration with other senior managers, the Vice President will identify target audiences, influencers and partners to drive brand awareness to support organizational objectives, including raising funds, influencing decision-makers and engaging in strategic partnerships

  • Working with the Director of Communications, oversee the development of public relations and thought leadership strategies to stimulate media interest, build brand awareness and convey CSA messages

  • Serve as a spokesperson to key external audiences and support the President and CEO and other leaders with interactions with the media and other key influencers

  • Build contacts in the media and develop relationships to drive high quality coverage of CSA



  • At least 10 years experience developing, leading and implementing federal policy advocacy, communications, and/or marketing campaigns in the non-profit sector.

  • Experience managing a team in an integrated environment

  • Excellent communicator and public speaker capable of representing CSA in front of elected officials, large audiences, and media.

  • Exceptional oral and written communications skills. Dynamic public speaker possessing the ability to communicate with and gain the confidence of people from a variety of sectors and settings.

  • Innovative thinker with a dynamic approach to influencing public policy.

  • Ability to use data, analytics and insights to determine program and initiative success. Understanding of and ability to track the effectiveness of key marketing and brand initiatives, research, programs/events.

  • Demonstrated ability to build strong internal and external relationships.

  • Proven ability to work in a bipartisan manner with a diverse group of stakeholders.

  • Ability to work and communicate effectively in a geographically dispersed and matrixed organization.

  • Working knowledge of nonprofit advocacy and applicable lobbying laws.

  • Strong commitment to our mission and strategic vision.


  • Experience working on Capitol Hill.

  • Experience leading national federal advocacy campaigns.

  • Experience with foundations and fundraising activities.

  • Expertise in education, health, and family policy.

Minimum experience required:

  • 10 years of professional experience in government affairs, public policy, advocacy, and/or communications.

  • 5 years of supervisory experience required and significant experience in managing remote teams.

  • Background in public policy, communications, or marketing, specific to early childhood, education, nutrition, or youth issues is preferred.

  • Comfort with Macintosh computers, SalesForce, Gmail and G-Suite products, and Microsoft Office.


Bachelor's degree required; Graduate degree preferred.


Occasional out-of-state travel is required (aligned with current CDC guidelines):

Overnight: Yes

Duration: 1-3 days


$130,000-$140,000 per year plus benefits, commensurate with experience

Other Duties

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

Application Procedure

Only applications with a cover letter explaining their interest and qualifications for the position included will be considered.

Council for a Strong America is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and strongly encourage all to apply. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment for our employees.


Posted: 2022-05-02 Expires: 2022-06-03

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Vice President of External Affairs

Council for a Strong America
Washington, DC 20005

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