Nov 28, 2018

The Position

Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) seeks a Vice President for State Outreach and Engagement . This position, which will report to the President and CEO, will develop and lead the organization’s statewide outreach strategy around the country and provide leadership and management for all day-to-day field operations. Key responsibilities include strategic leadership, outreach to targeted communities and department management.

Building a National Field Program

Americans United plays a prominent role in the national debate over issues that have taken center stage in recent years, including discrimination in the name of religion, LGBTQ rights, reproductive rights, religious freedom, school prayer, and vouchers. As part of its strategy moving forward, AU is seeking a dynamic Vice President for State Outreach and Engagement to build a program that will expand its presence of influential voices across the country, while more fully engaging, educating and mobilizing its members and supporters.

This position will oversee and manage AU’s operations aimed at building a strong and effective nationwide network of influential voices as a way to enhance its advocacy capacity in support of enacting or opposing legislation at the state level, while also demonstrating a powerful national presence. Primary goals include developing a grasstops and influencer engagement strategy to support key statewide legislative initiatives and other organizational priorities, building a coalition of state partners across the country, and managing a team.                                                                                    

Position Responsibilities

The specific responsibilities of the Vice President for State Outreach and Engagement include:

Build and Manage Statewide Networks and Partnerships

  • Oversee targeted state pilot program:
    • Develop strategy to increase engagement at the state level to influence legislation and increase AU’s visibility in the states
    • Build a coalition of stakeholders and influencers in targeted states to activate on advocacy and communications efforts – specifically including progressive organizations, faith leaders, young adults, and elected officials
  • Identify opportunities to test models of engagement in the states
  • Lead efforts to organize statewide partners and target audiences across the country, including, but not limited to, faith leaders, young adults, and religious and racial minorities, to support organizational goals
  • Support efforts to expand and diversify AU’s base of support with new audiences
  • Oversee management, direction and support of AU chapters
  • Assume a leadership role in planning AU’s annual advocacy day, including recruitment of state leaders and partners
  • Enlist the support of colleagues to help craft effective messages and build a system of communication and education that stewards AU’s partners along the ladder of engagement
  • Support other departments in execution of national and local campaigns around issues, legal cases, and federal policy initiatives 
  • Act as an effective ambassador to AU’s supporters, partners and donors

Oversee National Constituency Councils

  • Develop strategy to oversee outreach to targeted communities to expand and deepen their engagement, including creation and maintenance of a National Faith Advisory Council, National Youth Advisory Council, and others as appropriate

Coordinate National Campaign

  • Working with senior team, manage the development and implementation of the national campaign
  • Develop roster of go-to validators and stakeholders to activate during campaign and other advocacy efforts across the country and identify opportunities to activate them

Department Management and Organizational Leadership

  • Serve as a member of AU’s senior management team to advance the goals of AU’s roadmap by contributing to organization-wide strategy in addition to state outreach
  • Manage initially a team of two people – including personnel and budgets – to ensure a high-performing department, and help fundraise to grow the team
  • Cultivate strong working relationships with senior staff and volunteer leaders
  • Promote a collaborative and positive work environment aimed at elevating skills and exceeding targets
  • Assume a public speaking role on behalf of AU in pilot states and elsewhere, as needed

The Candidate

The ideal candidate is a confident and creative advocacy and field professional and systems thinker with an interest in the constitutional principle of church-state separation. The candidate should possess the following specific qualifications:

Experience and Skills

  • Seven to ten years of professional field/organizing experience, including working with an advocacy organization; Hill, state legislative or campaign experience preferred
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and implement a comprehensive advocacy engagement strategy, including building a statewide or national coalition of grasstops or grassroots supporters
  • Demonstrated ability to motivate and manage a team of professionals
  • Solid written and oral communication skills, strong political instincts, comfort with public speaking, knowledge of state legislatures/state politics, and the ability to craft and articulate a persuasive case for advocacy engagement and support
  • Minimum of a bachelor’s degree required; an advanced degree is preferred

Personal Characteristics

  • Support for church-state separation issues with a worldview that aligns with AU's mission
  • Inspirational, equitable and effective as a manager and leader
  • Ability to manage up and work effectively with high-level principal and other senior colleagues in the organization
  • Tact and diplomacy in building strong working relationships with colleagues
  • Capacity to manage multiple tasks and negotiate several priorities simultaneously
  • Ability and willingness to work a flexible schedule, including weekends, evenings and to maintain a travel schedule

Competitive Salary and Generous Benefits: Americans United offers a comprehensive benefit package including health care, dental, vision, life insurance, short-term disability, long-term disability, 401(k) with match and commuter subsidy. Competitive salary and benefits.

About Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Americans United for Separation of Church and State is a nonpartisan educational and advocacy organization dedicated to advancing the constitutional principle of church-state separation as the only way to ensure freedom of religion, including the right to believe or not believe, for all of us. Founded in 1947, Americans United is a diverse and dynamic organization composed of people from all walks of life: lawyers and lobbyists, students and activists, religious leaders and impassioned Americans. AU includes people of faith and people who don’t profess any particular faith. It is a community that includes and welcomes people of all genders, races, ethnicities, religions or beliefs, gender identities, sexual orientations, ages, classes and abilities.

Americans United uses high-impact litigation, powerful lobbying and grassroots advocacy to ensure that:

  • Religion does not dictate public policy.
  • The government does not tell Americans what to believe or how to practice their faith.
  • Discrimination is not justified under the guise of religious beliefs.

Through a strong, diverse national supporter network, both on the ground and online, AU defends the separation of church and state and protects religious freedom for all in communities across the country. Americans United is a 501(c)(3) organization and is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

How to Apply

Please send cover letter, resume and writing sample to hr@au.org. No calls, please.