May 20, 2021

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 outreach strategy around the country and provide leadership and management for all day-to-day field operations. Key responsibilities include strategic leadership, outreach to priority constituencies, 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 manage and grow a program that will expand its presence 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 advocates. Primary goals include developing a state-based grasstops and influencer engagement strategy to support key state and federal initiatives and other organizational priorities, executing a bi-annual conference, building relationships with state partners across the country, and managing staff and their programs.                                                                          

Position Responsibilities

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

Department Management and Organizational Leadership

  • Manage a team of 3 full-time staff plus paid interns, contractors, and consultants
  • Manage department budget and provide reports and proposals in collaboration with development staff
  • Cultivate strong relationships with volunteer leaders
  • Assume a public speaking role on behalf of AU at events across the country
  • Serve as a member of AU’s senior management team to advance the goals of AU’s strategic plan by contributing to organization-wide strategy

Oversee National Constituency Engagement

  • Lead efforts to reach new audiences and expand and diversify AU’s base of support among key constituencies, including faith leaders, young adults, and religious and racial minorities
  • Oversee staff-led constituency programs, which currently include dedicated staff and programmatic content in the areas of youth power building, faith engagement, and grassroots activism and skill building 
  • Work closely with the CEO to convene and engage AU’s faith leader roundtable 

Build and Manage A National Network of Influential Voices

  • Develop a long-term strategy to launch pilot programs in target states to increase engagement at the state level to build a movement, influence legislation, and increase AU’s visibility in the states.
  • Identify opportunities to test models of engagement in the states.
  • Enlist the support of colleagues to help craft effective programs and messages and build a system of communication and education
  • Act as an effective ambassador to AU’s supporters, partners, and donors
  • Represent AU within coalitions and work to increase progressive partner engagement on religious freedom issues

Coordinate National Conference

  • Working with a team of cross-departmental staff, consultants, and vendors, manage all aspects of the development and execution of a bi-annual national conference and Hill day

Assist with National Campaigns

  • Working with the VP of Strategic Communications, assist with the development and execution of national visibility and engagement campaigns
  • Support other departments in execution of national and local campaigns around issues, legal cases, and state and federal policy initiatives
  • 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

The Candidate

The ideal candidate is a confident and creative advocacy or outreach 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 advocacy or outreach experience, including working with an advocacy organization; federal or state legislative experience preferred
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and implement a comprehensive advocacy or outreach strategy, including coalition building, working with directly impacted communities, and event planning
  • Demonstrated staff management skill and an ability to manage across lines of difference
  • 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

Personal Characteristics

  • Support for church-state separation issues and alignment 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. Salary: $120K – $140K depending upon experience.

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. We welcome people who will want to help us protect religious freedom for all and help to protect the separation of church and state, and we recognize that that requires diverse perspectives. 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.

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of this role.