Policy Analyst, Criminal Justice and Public Safety
National Governors Association

The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) seeks an experienced professional to join the Homeland Security and Public Safety (HSPS) Division as a policy analyst to work on a range of criminal justice and public safety issues.

The National Governors Association (NGA) is the bipartisan organization of the nation’s governors. Through NGA, governors share best practices, speak with a collective voice on national policy, and develop innovative solutions that improve state government and support the principles of federalism. The NGA Center is the only research and development firm that directly serves the nation’s governors and their key policy staff. Governors rely on the NGA Center to provide tailored technical assistance for challenges facing their states; identify and share best practices from across the country; and convene leading policymakers, program officials, and scholars. Through research reports, policy analyses, cross-state learning labs, and other unique services, the NGA Center informs governors of what works, what does not, and what lessons can be learned from others grappling with similar issues.

The NGA Center’s HSPS Division provides information, research, policy analysis, and technical assistance for governors and their staff across a range of homeland security and public safety issues. Current focus areas for the division include sentencing and corrections reform, juvenile justice, paroling practices, cybersecurity, opioid abuse and addiction, emergency communications, homeland security, justice information-sharing, and public health preparedness.


The professional’s primary focus will be supporting the division’s work on substance abuse and opioid addiction (heroin and prescription drugs), and juvenile justice. In addition, he or she will support the division’s new initiative, the National Criminal Justice Reform Project, a multi-year effort to support criminal justice reform in up to five states.

Through the initiative, the NGA Center will provide intensive technical assistance focused on one or more areas of state policy and practice, including pretrial release; reentry and offender recidivism; mental health and substance abuse; reducing incarceration; and information sharing and integration of evidence-based practices across the justice system. The initiative supports the NGA Center’s broader goal of helping states improve public safety by making criminal justice systems smarter, fairer, and more cost effective.

Responsibilities of the position include:

  • Provide subject matter expertise and targeted technical assistance to governors and their senior staff, agency directors, and state elected officials.
  • Give presentations and lead panel discussions, state strategy sessions, and other meetings for high-level state officials.
  • Develop and help manage multiple projects related to advancing promising state policy and practice by writing proposals, developing project budgets, working with partner organizations, and ensuring the timely production of deliverables.
  • Write and edit white papers, issue briefs, and memos on policy issues and best practices of relevance to governors and their senior advisors.
  • Organize, participate in and conduct workshops, seminars, and conferences for governors’ senior staff and other key stakeholders on state and national criminal justice policy issues.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with high-level state policymakers and with key individuals and stakeholder groups.
  • Carry out administrative tasks as necessary to meet internal and external timelines; ensure completion of high-quality deliverables; and manage budgets, consultants, and sub-contracts with states.

The ideal candidate will also have:

  • Superior analytical skills, the ability to synthesize complex issues into clear and concise language, and experience interpreting and re-purposing research and best practices for policymakers in a timely and effective manner.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills and a team-oriented, bipartisan approach to working with a variety of colleagues, funders, and state and federal officials.
  • Strong organizational and project management skills, and proven ability to effectively manage multiple responsibilities simultaneously.
  • Knowledge of state and federal criminal justice policy including relevant legislation, programs, and financing.
  • Prior experience working for a governor’s office or state agency.
  • Ability to assume responsibility, take independent action, and work in a fast-paced and high-profile policy environment.
  • Competency in the use of relevant software packages: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, etc. and knowledge of electronic communications.

We are proud to be an EEO/AA employer M/F/D/V. We maintain a drug-free workplace and perform background checks.

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