Job Title: Government Relations Manager
Position Status: Full time, salaried, exempt
Work Location: Washington, D.C.
Posting date: 6/8/22
Free Press and Free Press Action work to amplify the voices of people and communities in the crucial decisions that shape our media. We believe that positive social change, racial justice and meaningful engagement in public life require equitable access to technology, diverse and independent ownership of media platforms, and journalism that holds leaders accountable and tells people what’s actually happening in their communities. We work at the intersection of media and technology to strengthen our democracy.
We’re looking for a government relations manager with knowledge of Capitol Hill and legislative processes — and an understanding that changing policy also requires getting outside the Beltway. The government relations manager will educate members of Congress and lawmakers at other government entities and their staff about Free Press’ most pressing issues. They will coordinate Free Press’ legislative outreach and lobbying efforts while tracking the rest of the team’s outreach strategy. They will also convene legislative briefings, and prepare and support Free Press staff when they testify before Congress.
The government relations manager will work with our team’s campaign leads to coordinate D.C. activities with online activism, in-district meetings, constituent visits and other grassroots advocacy activities taking place outside Washington. The government relations manager will also coordinate with coalition allies and partners, as well as industry trade association and company representatives working to advance policy positions that are aligned with Free Press priorities. The government relations manager will analyze legislative, agency and other policy proposals on internet freedom, press freedom, media ownership issues, media reparations, and tech accountability, and will write posts and articles for popular audiences on these topics, along with “leave behind” summaries, one-pagers and vote recommendations for allies and government staff.
The government relations manager reports to the vice president of policy. This job requires flexibility in work schedule, generally aligning to the U.S. East Coast hours. This position may require evening and weekend work during peak campaign cycles or in the lead up to special events, including potential evening and weekend events convened by congressional staff or associated caucuses and foundations. Regular local, regional and national domestic travel may be required, including to events or meetings hosted by others, as and when such events take place in person and subject to COVID safety policies.
Free Press is composed of two separate organizations, Free Press and Free Press Action. Both entities share the same overall mission and employees will have time assigned to one or both entities. This job description refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “Free Press.”
- Manage Legislative Strategy: Coordinate and implement legislative outreach strategies to maximize the impact of Free Press campaigns. Conduct and lead meetings one-on-one with key staff. Schedule and manage meetings with lawmakers and their staff for other Free Press team members and allies, including sending any necessary advance materials and follow up communications
- Hold Strategic Congressional Relationships: Develop relationships with congressional staff, focusing especially on the staff of commerce and judiciary committee members, the progressive caucus and the Tri-Caucus (composed of the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus). Distribute research, filings and articles to relevant committees and personal staff
- Cultivate Congressional Champions: Cultivate existing and new congressional champions on Free Press issues. Support champions to be sponsors, spokespeople and advocates that will promote Free Press’s agenda in Congress and across administrative agencies
- Engage in Campaign Planning: Coordinate with members of Free Press research, legal, communications, and campaign teams to integrate legislative and lobbying efforts into key campaigns. Liaise with Free Press organizing team members to tie Capitol Hill presence together with in-district and grassroots advocacy efforts
- Communicate policy positions —from highly technical to very general — to a wide range of audiences, including staff and allies, government decision-makers, press, and the general public. Promote Free Press’ mission and policy positions through correspondence and meetings. Prepare and/or deliver testimony for legislative and regulatory proceedings
- Lead Winning Coalitions: Represent Free Press at coalition meetings, conferences and other gatherings, maintaining and building ally relationships with a broad range of nongovernmental organizations and activists inside and outside D.C.
- Advance Race Equity: Clearly and consistently articulate an understanding of racial equity and structural racism and the centrality of this analysis to the work Free Press does and how we operate. Integrate that knowledge into work projects and interactions by addressing structural implications and disproportionate impacts of policies, activities and decisions on race, class, gender and other group identities within the context of job responsibilities and projects
- Cross-team collaboration: Engage, through a consultative approach primarily with policy and campaign staff, to address media and technology policy advocacy strategy; contribute to formulation of policy and campaign strategy. Encourage cross-team collaboration and contribute to strategic alignment through communication and engagement with internal teams
Desired Skills and Attributes:
- A commitment to racial equity and experience working with communities of color
- A creative self-starter, able to work independently and with limited oversight to accomplish agreed upon objectives and to evaluate results
- Able to work under tight deadlines, navigate competing priorities and effectively adjust work plans to respond to emergent challenges or opportunities
- Able to remain positive, tactful and composed under pressure
- A team player with a low-ego approach to collaboration with both internal and external colleagues
- Able to develop and maintain relationships with a wide range of external organizations
- Demonstrate excellent interpersonal, written and verbal communication skills
- Value and respect differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, ability and socioeconomic circumstance
- Dedication to Free Press’ mission of fighting for everyone’s rights to connect and communicate, in addition to the overall success of the organization
- The successful candidate will manage Free Press Action's interactions with all lawmakers and their staff, but with special focus on specific committees and caucuses including the Tri-Caucus, and with an emphasis on coordinating legislative outreach efforts with in-district and grassroots advocacy efforts. Fluency in languages other than English is a plus, including in Spanish, Asian/Pacific American languages, or other languages spoken in communities represented by Tri-Caucus members.
Experience and Qualifications:
- No minimum education is required; a bachelor's degree may be an indicator of capacity for this position
- 3 or more years of directly relevant experience in a nonprofit public interest organization or similar setting is required
- Knowledge of and experience working with congressional staff, either as a registered lobbyist or otherwise, including knowledge of compliance to federal lobbying ethics rules and regulations, preferred
- Strong interest in media and technology issues and demonstrated experience working on those or similar issues, willingness to dig into the policy details on all of Free Press’ issue areas.
- Demonstrated capacity for full-charge “ownership” of program or administrative areas that are integral to day to day organizational functions
- Experience supervising volunteers or interns
- Experience liaising with colleagues in allied organizations
- Attention to detail, flexibility and demonstrated capacity to operate in a fast-paced environment
- Must have ability to succeed in a predominantly telework/remote office environment, including working with an off-site manager, adopting and maintaining strong digital security practices, and fostering connection and community with colleagues located throughout the U.S.
All Free Press employees must be fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus or have an approved medical or religious/ethical/moral accommodation.
Free Press is committed to offering competitive pay and generous benefits, including
- group medical insurance
- short- and long-term disability insurance
- employer contribution to retirement plans (no matching required)
- health-reimbursement accounts
- paid family leave
- annual paid time off is a total of nine weeks, including vacation, health-care leave and holidays.
- stipends for business use of personal phones and for home office locations
- all employees receive computers and equipment necessary for the job
This position is categorized as a tier 2 manager position, in the context of five possible functional classifications at Free Press, ranging from coordinator (tier one) to executive (tier five).
The starting salary at Free Press for a government relations manager who meets the above qualifications is $75,000 - $90,000. Starting salary is based on the selected candidate’s qualifications and experience. To counter pay inequality and uphold internal parity, we use a nonnegotiable starting salary system, while benchmarking our pay to competitive markets in the nonprofit sector.
Free Press Is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
We value excellence and diversity in our workforce. People of color, women, people with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender, gender-nonconforming and formerly incarcerated individuals are strongly encouraged to apply.
If you meet some of the qualifications above, we encourage you to apply or to reach out for more information. We know groups subjected to systemic oppression– including people of color, women, people from working class backgrounds, and people who identify as LGBTQ+ – are less likely to apply unless and until they meet every requirement for a job. Therefore, we strongly encourage applications from people with these identities or who are members of other communities who are marginalized.
How to apply:
Complete our online application. Fully answering the application questions is an important part of the application process; 4-5 sentences in response to each question will help us understand your thinking.
Our hiring process includes an initial 20-30 minute interview with one staff person, one or two hour-long interviews with 3-4 staff members, and reference checks after the final interview.
We provide reasonable accommodations for the application, interview, or any other aspect of the employee selection process to applicants with disabilities. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request an accommodation.
Applications submitted by August 18, 2022 will be reviewed with priority; applications submitted after that date will be reviewed on a rolling basis. This search will remain open until the position is filled. The ideal candidate will be available to begin work in September 2022.