Director of Federal Relations
Scholars Strategy Network

Director of Federal Relations

Washington, DC, US


The Scholars Strategy Network is a membership organization of over 700 scholars at over 190 universities and research institutions dedicated to improving public policy and strengthening democracy. The network is now seeking a Director of Federal Relations. Staff members make connections, foster relationships between researchers and policymakers, and identify specific opportunities for researchers to make a difference.


Position Description

The Director of Federal Relations will lead the Scholars Strategy Network’s federal policy education activities and contribute to overall organizational strategy. The Director of Federal Relations acts as the primary liaison between federal policymakers (including members of Congress and their staffs and the White House) and scholars.  The Director of Federal Relations also maintains relationships with DC-based leaders in civic organizations and networks of grassroots groups. As an organizer, strategist, matchmaker, and coach, the Director of Federal Relations helps SSN researchers become powerful policy players. The Director of Federal Relations reports to the Director for Policy and Organizing who oversees SSN’s federal, state, and local policy activities.


Specific responsibilities include:

  • Leading and managing federal policy relations.
  • Coordinating all of SSN’s federal policy activities and representing SSN in meetings with Congress, the White House, federal agencies, and other entities.
  • Serving as the primary point of contact with congressional staff.
  • Arranging opportunities for SSN member scholars to develop relationships with federal policymakers.
  • Preparing SSN members to speak with federal policymakers and staffers.
  • Preparing SSN members to testify.
  • Coaching national working groups of SSN members on various issues.
  • Developing new policy initiatives in partnership with SSN members and other SSN staff.
  • Meeting with SSN members to develop relationships and identify ways in which they can make a difference in the policy process.
  • Overseeing SSN compliance with lobbying and electioneering rules.
  • Advising the members of SSN’s Washington, DC chapter.



The successful candidate will be dedicated to SSN’s mission and fully understand how to make use of SSN’s structure as a voluntary, federated network of member researchers. Since SSN’s national office is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and the Director of Federal Relations will be based in Washington, DC, the successful candidate will be a self-starter, able to work independently – and also comfortable with frequent day trips to the Boston area. Other travel to SSN regional chapters and events will sometimes be necessary as well.



  • Bachelor’s degree
  • At least six years of relevant experience, or four years experience and a relevant advanced degree
  • Extensive network of relationships with DC-based federal policymakers and staff
  • Experience working with policymakers from both parties
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Strong organizational skills, with the ability to manage several projects simultaneously
  • Superb interpersonal skills; must be comfortable engaging with diverse external stakeholders
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Experience working on federal policy
  • Knowledge of the legislative process and of regulatory procedures
  • Intellectually curious, quick learner
  • Able to understand and translate research into clear language that works for policymakers


Timing: Applications are rolling. An offer will be made as soon as the right candidate appears.


Salary: Commensurate with qualifications and experience


To Apply: Send cover letter, resume, and brief writing sample to Avi Green, and use “Director of Federal Relations” in the subject line.

Get the newsletter