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Director of Public Policy & Advocacy

Austin, TX

How to Apply

Application Process:

To apply, please email your resume and cover letter to [email protected] with the subject line “Director of PPA Application.” 

If you require accommodations to effectively participate in the application process, please contact us via email or call 1-800-252-9729.

Organization Overview:

The Arc of Texas promotes, protects, and advocates for the human rights and self-determination of Texans with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Since our founding in 1950, The Arc at the local, state, and national level has been instrumental in the creation of virtually every program, service, right, and benefit that is now available to over one million Texans with IDD.

The Arc of Texas is a statewide public policy and advocacy organization focused on systems change that fosters the inclusion people with IDD in all aspects of society. Our work centers on four policy pillars: quality community services and supports, inclusive education, competitive integrated employment, and access to civil rights and justice.

Position Summary:

This position requires an individual committed to the cause of promoting, protecting, and advocating for the human rights and self-determination of Texans with disabilities. The Director of Public Policy & Advocacy (the Director) is responsible for coordinating and evaluating public policy activities, supporting The Arc of Texas’ Local Chapters, oversee programmatic efforts, and leading grassroots advocacy efforts to advance the mission and vision of The Arc of Texas. The Director will be expected to have experience in the political process and have dynamic skills and effective relationships to be a key leader of the public policy and advocacy function of the organization.

The ideal candidate:

  • Possess a strong executive presence while demonstrating exceptional written and verbal communication skills.
  • Demonstrates a non-partial, unbiased perspective in political environments.
  • Expresses analytical and political acumen to understand how legislative and regulatory decisions impact individuals with IDD and provide policy consultation and proposals in key areas of interest.
  • Execute a high degree of judgment and tact.

This role requires experience with government and regulatory agencies, political affairs, public policy, grassroots advocacy, social justice, and working alongside people with disabilities. This position reports to The Arc of Texas’ Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and is responsible for supervising the Public Policy & Advocacy (PP&A) Department. The Director is the primary liaison with The Arc’s PPA Committee. The Arc of Texas’ office is in Austin, Texas. The Director must be located in the Austin metropolitan area within their first 60 days of employment.


Areas of Responsibility: 

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Direct the overall public policy and advocacy activities of The Arc of Texas to advance its mission, policies, and positions.
    1. Evaluate and intervene in state legislative, executive, and judicial developments that impact our constituency.
    2. Coordinate with committees, staff, and members to develop biennial policy pillars.
    3. Coordinate with staff to identify, analyze and monitor policy issues effecting Texans with IDD across our core issue areas.
    4. Attend and/or coordinate the department coverage of meetings of the Texas Legislature, state agencies, and other relevant stakeholder meetings.
    5. In conjunction with the Communications Department, oversee advocacy-related communications with internal and external stakeholders.
    6. Produce legislative status Board and committee reports, lobbying reports, and other administrative reports.
  2. Ensure Local Chapters of The Arc of Texas, allies, and other stakeholders are informed and involved in policy decisions and advocacy efforts.
    1. Serve as a liaison between The Arc of Texas, grassroots members, the legislature, state agencies, and other stakeholder groups.
    2. Assist chapters and grassroots members in understanding and fulfilling their roles in working with their legislators on core issue areas.
    3. Help witnesses connected to The Arc of Texas prepare and deliver legislative testimony or appear before and participate in state agency committees.
    4. Develop trainings and educational materials in conjunction with PPA staff on policy issues, services and supports, and advocacy.
    5. Facilitate and empower allies to participate in systems advocacy.
  3. Oversee and inform programs related to public policy and advocacy activities.
    1. Support the sustainability and success of existing grant projects.
    2. Provide technical assistance, research, analysis, and networking in correlation to policy expertise and strengths.
    3. Assist with compliance of funding agreements including reporting requirements and development of continuation applications.
  4. Other duties as assigned by the CEO.

Percentage of Time - Core Responsibilities

In-Office - 45%

Community Based - 15%

Remote - 40% 

Educational Background: 
Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with major course work in public policy, political science, public relations, sociology, social work, or other related fields.
At least four (4) years of professional experience, successfully supporting and managing public policy and advocacy initiatives. Prior work with individuals with disabilities and families is preferred.

Qualifications for the Director of Public Policy & Advocacy:

  • Leadership experience, including demonstrated ability to motivate others to advance goals, and the ability to effectively manage multiple projects or roles.
  • Excellent analytical ability, including demonstrated experience with legislative or regulatory issues or activities.
  • Ability to work with members in the development of policy goals and deployment of advocacy tactics with the aim of furthering The Arc of Texas’ priorities.
  • Understanding of legislative processes and regulatory programs that impact The Arc of Texas’ mission and its stakeholders.
  • Ability to navigate high-impact and complex situations.
  • An eagerness to execute a hands-on approach to build credibility, relationships, and knowledge.
  • Outstanding personal communicator with the stature and presence to represent the organization at presentations and events, legislative and administrative arenas with stakeholders, partners, and other avenues.
  • The ability to persuasively communicate complex concepts and programs into concise and credible messages.
  • Professional presence and strong verbal, written and public speaking and presentation skills, for both internal and external audiences.
  • A collaborative, interactive style with the courage and conviction to challenge and defend ideas and strategies; ability to offer creative pathways or alternative solutions both internally and externally.
  • Excellent analytical and organizational skills.
  • Connection to and experience working with or for underserved populations, particularly people with disabilities.

Working Conditions:

  • Approximately 22 coworkers in relatively close quarters.
  • Approximately 40% of this job takes place remotely, with approximately 45% occurring in-office, and remaining 15% in community-based settings (e.g., committee hearing at State Capitol, public meeting at state agency, etc.).
  • Job requires the Director to relate to representatives of other organizations who do not support, or outright oppose, our positions. Such relationships cause stress.
  • Occasional weekend or night work is required. During the Texas Legislative Session (every two years), extra night and weekend work may be required.

Compensation and Benefits:

The Arc of Texas values its employees, and as such, strives to offer a competitive total compensation package which includes both cash compensation and benefits. This position is eligible to participate in the following benefits.

  • Employer sponsored health and dental insurance
  • Retirement plan benefits and employer matching up to 5%
  • Twenty-three (23) days of vacation leave each year (accrued by pay period)
  • Twelve (12) days sick leave each year (accrued by pay period)
  • Employer paid long-term disability, short-term disability, and life insurance benefits
  • The Arc of Texas observes sixteen (16) days of holiday which includes a weeklong winter break

Salary Range: $75,000 - $90,000 annually (commensurate with experience)

The above is intended to describe the general content of and requirements for the performance of this job and is not a guarantee of employment. This document is not to be construed as an exhaustive statement of duties, responsibilities or requirements. Nothing in this job description restricts The Arc of Texas’ right to reasonably assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to/from this position at any time. Texas is an “employment-at will” state; therefore, employment as a team member of The Arc is considered to be “at-will” and may be terminated by you or the employer at any time. The Arc provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics, gender identity, or any other characteristics protected by applicable federal, state, or local laws.

How to Apply: 

Application Process:

To apply, please email your resume and cover letter to [email protected] with the subject line “Director of PPA Application.” 

If you require accommodations to effectively participate in the application process, please contact us via email or call 1-800-252-9729.

Job Function: 

Organization Info

Listing Stats

Post Date: 
Jul 4 2024
Active Until: 
Aug 3 2024
Hiring Organization: 
The Arc of Texas