Policy and Advocacy Director (Full-Time)
Diaspora Rising

Location: Washington, D.C.

Diaspora Rising seeks an experienced Policy and Advocacy Director to spearhead its work on issues affecting African communities in the diaspora, and to strengthen global level advocacy on issues of African concern. This position will support the implementation of Diaspora Rising’s strategic priorities, including shaping a new global advocacy strategy, and designing an action plan to launch various advocacy initiatives as directed by Diaspora Rising leadership.

The ideal candidate understands the political landscape across Africa, the Caribbean and internationally, and is well-versed in the movement of various global governments, including the U.S., U.K., and beyond. This individual is an excellent networker and convener, is at ease in all levels of advocacy influencing, and has a strong commitment to Diaspora Rising’s mission and values. The successful candidate brings strategic, creative and critical thinking, embraces working independently, but also collaboratively, with global teams as well as partner organizations and allies. This is a senior position for an experienced advocate and manager, with a history of delivering outcomes. This role reports to Diaspora Rising’s CEO.

Diaspora Rising (DR) is a new media and advocacy hub dedicated to strengthening the bonds between members of the global Black family.  DR aims to serve as a key vehicle for 21st century Pan Africanism, utilizing modern technology to inspire and facilitate connectivity and the exchange of ideas. Diaspora Rising is grounded in the belief that the African renaissance will be powered by an informed and affirmed diaspora, confident in its ability and preparedness to tackle the challenges of our time and build the future we seek: A strong Africa, at home and abroad!

Role & Responsibilities

  • Lead the development of relationships and partnerships in Washington, D.C. and abroad, and represent Diaspora Rising in key networks. Ensure that participation reflects the perspective of DR’s mission and key policy priorities, and opportunities for engagement are maximized.

  • Build strong relationships with selected country programs; support country programs on specific policy and advocacy initiatives.

  • Develop and host events and social media campaigns, which highlight DR’s programming and advocacy positioning, ensuring key decision makers and stakeholders are present and engaged.

  • Analyze key international political trends and aid policy trends in areas related to DR’s work.

  • Develop briefing notes, talking points, and position papers as requested for both internal and external use on key policy issues, and coordinate research initiatives as required.

Program Leadership & Management

  • Supervise 3 – 4 direct reports and engage a growing group of staff members in advocacy and culture work; oversee program operations and day-to-day duties of Advocacy team members; demonstrate consistent track record of setting and achieving team goals;

  • Recruit and retain high-performing team members; empower team to elevate their professional skill sets, support professional development and support accountability for outcomes; perform yearly evaluations.

  • Guide staff to develop systems to ensure consistent, high-quality project management;

  • Demonstrate leadership in team collaboration, communication and cohesiveness, sustaining culture and supporting staff during organizational growth;

  • Work collaboratively with senior staff to integrate cross-program activities and functions.

Policy Analysis & Legislative Strategy

  • Lead development of legislative strategy to win on Diaspora Rising’s key policy issues on campaigns and other advocacy efforts

  • Be responsible for working with Diaspora Rising’s staff and partner organizations to identify policy priorities and advocacy strategies at the state, national, and international levels.

  • Manage legislative relationships and relationships with elected officials

  • Develop and build relationships with partner organizations; cultivate existing relationships and develop new funder relationships

  • Respond to inquiries about public policy issues and represent Diaspora Rising at meetings and events;

  • Guide drafting of policy-related materials for Diaspora Rising’s campaigns, including but not limited to:

    • Policy papers;

    • Knowledge briefs

    • Fact sheets;

    • Legislative sign-on letters;

    • Talking points for a variety of audiences;

    • Editorials articulating Diaspora Rising’s policy position;

  • Provide trainings and materials to educate Diaspora Rising’s staff and members on important issues and policy developments;

  • Assist in developing advocacy materials for legislative and issue campaigns aimed at community, elected and stakeholder education and mobilization.

Strengthen Internal Operations and Infrastructure

  • Support the Advocacy team to make consistent and progressive steps toward organizational and programmatic sustainability; effectively communicate work plans and priorities derived from the organization’s strategic plan and associated budgets;

  • Enhance organizational excellence by establishing operational benchmarks, timelines, and resources needed to achieve strategic goals, proactively recommending and driving improvements as necessary; set standards for measurements of success;

  • Oversee Diaspora Rising’s evaluation activities including data collection systems, longitudinal evaluation, and all contracts and activities relating to program evaluation and measurement; communicate and prepare all data collection summary reports and evaluation updates for the CEO, Board of Directors, and staff; and,

  • Develop a knowledge management system that ensures maximum sharing of information and learning throughout the organization; create an environment whereby Diaspora Rising is known as a best-in-class learning organization.

Qualities & Attributes

  • Excellent written and verbal skills; knowledge of African cultures/languages a plus.

  • A proven self-starter with the capacity to think strategically, work independently and remotely, and demonstrate sound judgement and who has a track record of managing multiple responsibilities and meeting tight deadlines;

  • An innovative and creative thinker with the ability to prioritize and effectively manage a portfolio of diverse projects;

  • Ability to respond flexibly to changing priorities and to set and work to deadlines;

  • The successful candidate will be expected to demonstrate a high level of commitment to the mission, vision and values of Diaspora Rising, have a positive and professional work attitude, exhibit a very strong work ethic; and be driven to always attain a standard of excellence.

Education & Experience

  • Degree in international relations, anthropology, social/political sciences, law, gender studies, or other relevant field. Advanced degree preferred.

  • 3+ years experience with policy, advocacy, research and/or political representation with an international organization.

  • Demonstrated knowledge and comfort with one or more core programming areas (education, public health, economic inclusion, civic engagement; environmental climate justice, racial equity, etc.) concerning Africa.

  • Strong networking skills and excellent collaboration traits with proven experience in building and managing effective relationships and partnerships.

  • Strong policy analysis, advocacy and influencing experience, including experience in organizing events;

  • Excellent understanding of current policy debates relating to Africa.

  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office, Google Suite, and social media platforms preferred.


Commensurate with experience.

How to Apply

Submit resume and a cover letter detailing your interest in Diaspora Rising and the role of Policy and Advocacy Director to info@diasporarising.org.  In addition, include salary requirements and a writing sample of no more than five pages. The deadline to respond to this job posting is December 4, 2020. No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.

 Diaspora Rising is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.  All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, or current employment status. Diaspora Rising values diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system involvement. We depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission.

 For more information about Diaspora Rising, visit our website at www.diasporarising.org

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