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Director of Public Policy & Advocacy

Sep 11, 2020
NAMI Washington
1107 NE 45th St
Ste 330
Director of Public Policy & Advocacy

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. The NAMI organization operates at the national, state and local level. NAMI Washington was established in 1979 and provides educational resources and events, statewide outreach, advocacy and affiliate organizational support. Local NAMI affiliates in Washington offer free peer support, education and outreach programs, and engage mental health advocates in their communities.

This position is responsible for leading NAMI Washington’s advocacy and public policy team. The Director of Public Policy & Advocacy will collaborate with a variety of organizational and community stakeholders to clearly define a path forward in support of our vision for an effective Comprehensive Behavioral Health System, with the goals of (1) increasing access to behavioral health care and ensuring adequate funding resources; (2) decriminalization of behavioral health conditions; and (3) prioritizing prevention and early intervention.

REPORT TO: Executive Director
SUPERVISES: Contract Lobbyist, Interns

●Create and execute a multi-year policy platform and complementary agendas and campaigns in collaboration with Executive Director, contract lobbyist, and Public Policy Committee, for board approval.
● Identify, analyze and monitor key state, and as need local and national, Behavioral Health policy issues.
● Work collaboratively with the NAMI National office to advance nationwide public policy campaigns.
● Develop and implement effective policy and advocacy materials including, but not limited to, talking points, issue briefs, press statements, opinion editorials, action alerts, legislative testimony, and policy reports.

Communications/Grassroots Activism
● Serve as a public policy spokesperson for NAMI Washington for internal and external audiences; represent NAMI Washington at community events, panels, coalitions, key workgroups and trainings.
● Establish and cultivate external relationships with public officials, policy makers, allied organizations and coalition partners, initiate and maintain strategic partnerships to support NAMI Washington’s public policy platform and movement building efforts, attend appropriate partner and community meetings and events
. ● Expand NAMI Washington’s capacity to effectively speak to and engage its varied constituents to mobilize them as advocates and empower them to achieve positive social change.
● Coordinate advocacy activities with appropriate individuals and stakeholder groups
● Manage NAMI Washington’s advocacy training and events, including annual NAMI Lobby Day in Olympia and any NAMI National legislative advocacy work.
● Provide support to NAMI Washington local affiliate policy activities, e.g., legislative breakfasts, candidate forums, etc.
● Conduct presentations on legislative advocacy and Behavioral Health policy both at the state level and nationally in position focus area(s).
● Conduct media outreach for key public policy initiatives and maintain media relations
● Act as primary liaison for public policy issues with NAMI National.
● Organize and facilitate regular meetings of the public policy committee. Ensure weekly meetings during legislative session. ● Other duties as assigned

● Supervise and work directly with the organization’s lobbyist to develop and maximize the effectiveness of the annual advocacy plan
● Ensure that policy staff activities align with NAMI Washington policy goals and statements, and when supervising interns, ensure their work meets their educational requirements.

● Knowledge of state and federal legislative processes and procedures
● Knowledge of Washington State Behavioral Health system, policies and environment
● Knowledge of local, state, and federal, elected officials and their staffs
● Knowledge about behavioral health within Washington and nationally
● Knowledge of lobbying practices, rules and regulations, and political ethics rules.
● Knowledge of grassroots advocacy methods
● Skill in drafting public policy communications
● Ability to translate complex information into understandable terms and communicate those positions to a politically diverse audience
● Skill at public speaking, conducting training, and making presentations.

● Bachelor’s degree in public policy/administration, political science and social services, government, or related field. Postgraduate degree beneficial. Work experience also taken into consideration.
● Minimum 3 years of advanced level work in public policy/advocacy role and direct experience working with elected officials.
● Register as a lobbyist and follow state reporting requirements.
● Experience in supervision and evaluation of staff
● Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite and the use of a variety of social media methods of communication.
● Self starter capable of working independently
● Strong ability to prioritize tasks, handle multiple tasks and work efficiently, with exceptional attention to detail.
● Ability to communicate professionally.
● Experience researching and preparing policy statements, testimony, etc.
● Knowledge of Washington Behavioral Healthcare System including intersection with Housing and Corrections
● Understanding and acceptance of individuals and families living with mental illness.
● Ability to have a flexible schedule and work evenings and/or weekends when needed. ● Ability to lift a minimum of 25 pounds
● Valid WA Driver’s License and reliable mode of transportation
● Flexibility, patience and a sense of humor are highly desired and valued.

Salary: $60,000-65,000 DOE
Benefits include vacation, sick leave, paid holidays, and health care coverage.

Position open until filled.

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS Email Cover Letter, Resume and a minimum of three work-related references to Lauren Simonds, Executive Director at

NAMI Washington is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Applicants are considered for employment without regard to race, creed, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran or any other basis prohibited by local, state or federal laws.

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