Job Opening – Director of Policy

To apply, please send your resume and cover letter to [email protected] Resumes without a cover letter will not be considered.

Please read the position description and requirements carefully. Note that this position is based in New York City, and we are not considering remote candidates.

Department: Public Policy
Job Reports To: Executive Director

About Athlete Ally

Athlete Ally is a nonprofit organization inspiring athletes to act as leaders championing LGBT equality. In the last five years, Athlete Ally has made unparalleled and groundbreaking progress in sports, working to create more inclusive cultures and helping athletes to use their voices to support LGBT equality. Athlete Ally has engaged hundreds of college and professional athletes, organized international campaigns around LGBT inclusion in sports, partnered with professional sports leagues like the NBA, WNBA and MLB, co-authored with Dr. Pat Griffin the NCAA’s first LGBT policy guide for college coaches, athletes, and administrators, and helped organize significant platforms for athletes and sports institutions to advance LGBT civil rights (including mobilizing Boston Sports teams to support the Mass Public Accommodations Bill, work with the NBA, NCAA, and ACC to move games and championships out of NC over HB2). Since the time of Athlete Ally’s founding in 2011, LGBT inclusion in sports and the role that athletes play in the global battle for LGBT rights have become major conversations in mainstream media and in sports organizations at all levels of competition.

Job Summary

The Director of Policy will play a leadership role in advancing policy change through Athlete Ally’s advocacy program.

The Director will work with Athlete Ally’s programmatic and funding partners to lead state-based civil rights efforts involving sports participants and institutions, including identifying policy change opportunities, developing a strategic plan around the role of sports in LGBT civil rights efforts within key battleground states, participating in research and writing about policy issues, developing issue campaigns and cultivating sports-based participation therein, and helping identify and mobilize partners.

The Director will also support college and campus policy work in connection with Athlete Ally’s collegiate programming.

The Director will represent Athlete Ally before nonprofit and funding partners as well as partners across professional and collegiate sports.

The Director of Policy will be a key member of the management team who will participate fully in establishing and accomplishing program priorities, developing and managing the budget for policy programs, and assisting in raising funds to carry out the programs.

Major Responsibilities/Activities

Policy Leadership: (40%)

  • Develop and implement a strategic policy agenda for each established issue priority, including achievable goals and quarterly performance measures;
  • Build and direct strong, well-designed, well-defined awareness and engagement programs with sports participants and institutions in key battleground states around public policy;
  • Coordinate organizing strategies and tactics;
    • Work with nonprofit, funding and sports partners to analyze sports-based implications of federal, state and local legislation and litigation affecting LGBT people;
    • Coordinate with the Executive Director, Director of Communications, and Research and Program Coordinator on policy advocacy communications including social media campaigns, opinion pieces, email alerts and press releases;
    • Conduct and oversee policy research, including efforts with external research partners;
      • Build and nurture effective multi-organizational coalitions and alliances on priority issues and campaigns as appropriate;
      • Lead the development and management of effective working relationships with key organizations and sports participants;
      • Work with programming staff to support campus policy work around LGBT inclusion;
      • Assist in raising funds to effectuate the programs.

Management and Supervision: (30%)

  • Develop and maintain relationships with all Athlete Ally staff and across its projects and Board of Directors;
  • Actively supervise and evaluate the programming and communications work of junior staff and work in collaboration with senior staff;
  • Recruit, train and supervise interns and new staff members as appropriate;
  • Prepare regular/quarterly reports for the Board of Directors and support board activities as appropriate;
  • Participate in developing the annual budget for Athlete Ally’s policy work;
  • Assist with fundraising activities;
  • Assist with ongoing operational needs.

Policy Outreach: (30%)

  • Spearhead athlete-based campaigns designed to extend the impact of the organization’s legislative, legal and policy awareness programming;
  • Draft and edit press materials, including press releases, advisories and background memos;
  • Working collaboratively with the Director of Communications, develop and manage related dynamic content for the organization’s websites, e-communications, blog and social media;
    • Oversee development of online activist campaigns and other web organizing campaigns as well as affirmative media opportunities around Athlete Ally issues;
    • Edit major reports and other publications, including newsletters.

Minimum Requirements

  • Demonstrated commitment to LGBT civil rights, sports inclusion, allyship and the mission of Athlete Ally.
  • Working knowledge and broad understanding of LGBT civil liberties issues and advocacy strategies.
  • Minimum 4 years experience in public policy advocacy, public policy research and analysis, coalition building, and field work; significant professional experience in strategic communications and media relations or significant experience working in professional or collegiate sports.
  • Demonstrated skill and comfort in proactively building relationships with diverse audiences, including athletes, reporters and editors, community leaders, coalition partners and the public.
  • A commitment to working in a start-up environment.
  • Willingness to work remotely with video conferencing.
  • Willingness to travel as necessary.
  • A commitment to diversity; a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, ability, health, and socio-economic circumstance, and able to work with diverse individuals within the organization and broader community.

Essential Functions

  • Excellent writing, speaking and analytical skills.
  • Understanding of LGBT civil rights and civil liberties issues.
    • Substantive knowledge and understanding of organized sports, particularly on the collegiate and professional levels.
  • Strong self-motivation; ability to meet tight deadlines; adaptability.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with diverse communities and people.

Desirable attributes and experience

  • Experience serving as a spokesperson for campaigns or organizations.
  • Experience in the nonprofit sector.
  • Experience with professional and/or collegiate sports.
  • Writing and editing experience with a variety of print and online communications media.
  • Fluency in Spanish.
  • Photoshop experience
  • Online campaign experience.

Equipment and Programs Used

  • Computer, mobile phone, telephone, copier, fax.
  • Google Hangout, Skype, Powerpoint, Microsoft Word.
  • Extensive new media experience.


Please send a resume and cover letter directly to [email protected]