Job Opportunity: Policy and Government Relations Manager

SRCD is hiring a Policy and Government Relations Manager. Join our dynamic team or share if you know of any strong candidates.

Position Description:

The Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) is a professional research society established in 1933 by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences. Our diverse membership of more than 5,700 scientists contributes to the child development field. Within our Policy and Government Relations team, we advance our members interests in science advocacy, we implement a federal, Congressional and state-level Fellowship program, and we advance evidence-based policymaking.

We are looking for a motivated and skilled Policy and Government Relations Manager to join our Policy and Government Relations Team and help us improve the lives of children and families. You will be joining us at an exciting moment for our policy work, where you will be helping us to design and implement new initiatives that have come out of our strategic plan for policy. Specifically, you will drive forward our science advocacy efforts, help build our members’ capacity to engage on policy issues, and play a crucial role in advancing evidence-based child and family policymaking. You will join a network of people working to improve evidence-based policymaking.

You will report directly to the Director for Policy and work collaboratively with colleagues across the organization to achieve these goals.  You will be an ambitious policymaker or government affairs professional, with a passion for evidence-based policymaking. You will have several years of experience in federal advocacy or policymaking, either on Capitol Hill or within Executive Agencies. You will be driven to make children and families’ lives better, and by advancing science funding and diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives across the federal government. You will be a go-getter who can work independently as well as part of a small team. You will need exceptional communication skills, both written and oral, and the ability to make smart decisions to guide our advocacy and policy work. This work is dynamic, collaborative, and has real-world impacts on child development.

Major Duties and Responsibilities Include:

  • Build and maintain relationships with key stakeholders on key issue areas, including federal and Congressional staff, think tanks, advocacy organizations and coalition groups, and others
  • Drive forward our science advocacy agenda, including science funding, diversity & inclusion in the scientific workforce, and more
  • Connect and support our members to engage on child & family policy issues, including translating scientific work into policy-relevant language and connecting members with relevant advocacy and policy groups
  • Monitor science and child & family policy advocacy activities in relevant agencies, in Congress and at the state-level
  • Conduct advocacy activities, such as sign-on letter opportunities, fly-in days, Congressional briefings and more
  • Strategically consider how SRCD can drive forward change
  • Author and co-produce policy briefs and other materials (e.g., fact sheets, memos, briefings, presentations, website content)
  • Develop targeted dissemination plans for policy-related products tailored to key policy audiences
  • Respond to member requests to engage on ad hoc policy issues
  • Help build member capacity on policy and advocacy by delivering training programs
  • Supervise a Policy Associate(s) and/or Policy Intern
  • Assist in tracking performance metrics of policy products and activities relative to SRCD’s goals
  • Assist in the coordination of SRCD’s other policy-related activities and events, as needed

Required Skills (these will be assessed in your written and interview applications)

We strive to use diversity, equity and inclusion best practices at SRCD. This means we will use a skills-based interview system. This system looks for that spark of potential, based on concrete examples of the skills you need to do this job. We are fully transparent with you on what we are assessing you on and what you need to get this job. We will score you on a 0-5 scale (with 5 as the highest) on the following four skills, based on the definitions listed below.

  • Communication: Excellent written and oral communication skills. Communicate in a straightforward, honest and engaging manner, choosing appropriate styles to maximize understanding and impact. Encourage the use of different communication methods, including digital resources, icons and visual displays. Ensure communication has a clear purpose and adapts to people’s individual needs. Share information as appropriate and check understanding. Ensure that important messages are communicated with colleagues and stakeholders respectfully, taking into consideration the diversity of interests.
  • Decision making: Analyze and use a range of relevant, credible information from internal and external sources to support decisions. Understand your own level of responsibility and empower others to make decisions where appropriate. Invite challenge and where appropriate involve others in decision making. Consult with others to ensure the potential impacts on end users have been considered. Display confidence when making difficult decisions, even if they prove to be unpopular. Present strong recommendations in a timely manner outlining the consideration of alternative options, costs, benefits and risks.
  • Strategic thinking: Develop and maintain an understanding of economic, social and political developments to ensure activity is relevant in the child development field. Ensure plans and activities in your area of work reflect wider strategic priorities and communicate effectively with senior leaders to influence future strategies. Adopt an organization-wide perspective to ensure alignment of activity and policy. Bring together views, perspectives and diverse needs of stakeholders to gain a broader understanding of the issues surrounding policies and activities.
  • Leadership and potential: Promote diversity, inclusion and equality of opportunity, respecting difference and external experience. Welcome and respond to views and challenges from others, despite any conflicting pressures to ignore or give in to them. Stand by, promote or defend own and team’s actions and decisions where needed. Seek out shared interests beyond own area of responsibility, understanding the extent of the impact actions have on the organization. Inspire and motivate teams to be fully engaged in their work and dedicated to their role.

Education and Experience (these will be assessed in your written application)

  • Minimum of 4-6 years of professional policy or advocacy experience required at the federal level working with U.S. federal policymakers and/or Congressional staff; child and family policy or science advocacy experience strongly preferred
  • Master’s degree in public policy or related discipline (for those without a Master’s degree, we will accept 3 additional years’ experience, for a total of 7-10 years, of relevant work)
  • Technical skills (strongly preferred): Ability to assess the strength of evidence and understand the basics of quantitative and qualitative methodological approaches. You do not need to be a statistician, but rather to be able to question and challenge why researchers have made the choices they have and the limitations and applicability of findings to policy contexts. This may be demonstrated through formal learning (e.g. a degree) or in your professional experience. Ensure you speak to how, exactly, you have gained these skills. 

To Apply:

To apply, please send (1) a resume and (2) cover letter to We will score you based on your communication skills and on the education and experience required for this position (as defined above). The cover letter should clearly outline how you possess the skills and required years of experience for this position. Please cite specific examples of times you have exhibited the communications skills we are searching for. It should not be longer than two pages. Please do not send writing samples or other documents – they will not be reviewed.

If you are invited to interview, you will be assessed on all four skills, as defined above. We will send more information to candidates ahead of the interview.

We encourage applications from people with diverse backgrounds. We strive to be an inclusive employment environment, building diversity, equity and inclusion into all of our work. The Society for Research in Child Development is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or disability.

Compensation and benefits

This is a full-time position in Washington, D.C. We are currently working in a hybrid pattern, with employees in person at our downtown office on Wednesdays and Thursdays of each week.

The salary range is $75,000-$82,000, depending on years of experience. We offer an exceptional paid time off allowance, which is currently over 7 weeks per year (288 hours total) in employees’ first years, increasing with the length of service. This is in addition to federal holidays and an office-wide closure between Christmas and New Year. We strongly support employees to participate in school events for their children and maintain a culture of work-life balance. We are a friendly and welcoming team, who strive to place diversity, equity, and inclusion at the center of our interactions and work.

SRCD also offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes medical, dental, vision, disability, and life insurance coverage. For employees with children, a tax-free savings plan can be used to help cover childcare expenses. Employees are eligible to participate in a retirement savings plan with a competitive match, plus a monthly commuting expense stipend.

Application Deadline:

Applications will close on Wednesday, June 28th 2023 at 11:59 p.m. We will aim to conduct interviews in early July.