PolicyLink : Senior Associate

 Senior Associate

Program · Oakland, California

Department  : Program
Employment Type  : Full-Time (100% FTE)
Minimum Experience : Mid-level

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About PolicyLink

PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing racial and economic equity by Lifting Up What Works®.  Please visit our website at: www.policylink.org to learn more about our work, values, and impact.


Position Overview


PolicyLink is seeking a Senior Associate to join our Community Safety and Justice team, which works to reduce the harm of policing and prisons and to envision and build a new system of healing and community investment. This position is full time and can be performed remotely.


The Senior Associate will support projects such as the following:


  • Building Beyond Policing supports the alignment and infrastructure for a national movement to transform a system focused on surveillance, punishment, and control to one focused on safety, healing, and repair.
  • Freedom Labs provides resources, training, and technical assistance to grassroots organizers and advocates focused on campaigns to defund/divest from police and prisons and invest in community infrastructure and services.
  • City of Oakland’s Reimagining Public Safety Task Force was established by the Oakland City Council to develop recommendations to increase community safety through alternative responses to calls for assistance and investments in programs, services, and infrastructure that address the root causes of violence and crime with a goal of a 50 percent reduction in the budget allocation to the Oakland Police Department.
  • The People’s Coalition for Safety and Freedom aims to dismantle and replace racist, harmful, and punitive policies—such as those within the 1994 Crime Bill—with policies that invest in communities and decarcerate our country, designed and shaped by people most impacted by the criminal-legal system, including currently and formerly incarcerated people.
  • Addressing Police Union Power to develop and share deeper analysis and strategies related to the barriers and opportunities presented by police unions in the movement to transform the criminal-legal system.


The ideal candidate will have an abolitionist lens and significant experience working with directly impacted people and/or grassroots organizations on campaigns to divest from prisons/police and invest in community, campaigns to close jails/prisons, programs that act as alternatives to policing, and/or related projects. Directly impacted people, including people who were formerly incarcerated, are encouraged to apply. The candidate should have a sophisticated racial analysis, including a passion for racial equity.



  • Manage and propel forward various Community Safety and Justice engagements, including Building Beyond Policing and Freedom Labs.
  • Represent PolicyLink in the People’s Coalition for Safety and Freedom, including staffing at least one coalition working group.
  • Develop and grow expertise on transforming the criminal-legal system and identify opportunities for additional impact.


Skills, Abilities, and Knowledge Required

  • 5-8 years’ experience in a related field, including a demonstrated record of significant contributions to relevant campaigns and/or programs.
  • Superlative diligence, follow-through, and organized project management skills, including tracking and meeting all deliverables and deadlines.
  • The ability to lead and inspire teams and coalitions, including excellent presentation and facilitation skills.
  • Commitment and desire to effectively manage a full, shifting workload.
  • Comfort with communicating and receiving frequent, open, and honest feedback.
  • Sophisticated understanding of—and deep-seated drive to achieve—justice and equity.
  • Mature and nuanced judgment.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills, including the ability to work effectively and efficiently with diverse groups of people.
  • Excellent writing and editing skills.
  • Quantitative and/or policy research skills.


Education and Experience Qualifications

Graduate or professional degree or equivalent experience preferred.


Position Type

Full-time at 100% (exempt)




PolicyLink offers competitive salaries based on the experience and skills of employees. Additionally, PolicyLink provides an excellent and comprehensive benefits package that includes medical, dental, vision, 401k match, ancillary benefits, access to Flexible Spending Accounts, commuter expenses, and generous leave benefits.


To Apply:


We accept online applications only. 

Please note: No phone calls please. Only those selected to participate in our hiring process will be contacted.



PolicyLink strongly values equity and believes in a just and fair society where all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential. We work towards a more inclusive world and as such we are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, skin color, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, marital status, military status, pregnancy, or parenthood. PolicyLink is committed to maintaining a diverse and multicultural working environment.


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