Executive Director for Government and Community Relations

  • The Catholic University of America
  • Washington, DC
  • Mar 17, 2022
Full time Communications / PR Government Affairs / Relations

Job Description

Executive Director for Government and Community Relations


Job ID: 2022-11146







Reporting to the Vice President for University Advancement, the Executive Director of Government and Community Relations will oversee all aspects of the University’s government relations and community engagement objectives for Catholic University, building upon existing work and infrastructure to fashion a comprehensive government relations program. The position will interface with multiple offices and stakeholders across campus, including the President’s Office, General Counsel, Finance, Provost’s Office and Sponsored Research, Communications, and other offices within University Advancement, in order to fulfill the institution’s policy and advocacy-related priorities. The position will oversee the work of external firms conducting lobbying and advocacy activities on behalf of the University with the goal of advancing policy goals and funding of University priorities from federal and local government sources. The position will serve as the lead official for government relations, representing the University and its leadership with key lawmakers, leaders, and staffers in federal, state, and local government. The Executive Director will also oversee the work of staff, including the Associate Director position.




  • The position leads all advocacy and public policy work for the University, coordinating with campus stakeholders including the President's Office, General Counsel's Office, Finance, Academia, and offices within University Advancement, to meaningfully advance a set of legislative priorities for the institution. These priorities will include meaningful work undertaken both within and outside of the federal appropriations process, to position the University as recipient of significantly increased research and project-based funding. The Executive Director will create and follow a work plan developed annually, which will include performance metrics based on activity and outcomes. S/he will closely align with the grantseeking work of Advancement's Institutional Partnerships team.
  • Oversees the work of outside firms or contractors commissioned by the University to engage in official lobbying / advocacy on the University's behalf. This includes establishing priorities and work flows for achieving advocacy objectives and overseeing the contracting and procurement process for engaging these entities.
  • Works with University leadership, (President, COO, VP for University Advancement, Provost, others), to establish and periodically refresh the institution's legislative agenda. Prepares members of University leadership for participation in meetings / calls with lawmakers and government leaders, working with staff to produce background materials and briefings for these interactions.
  • Building alumni advocacy network, working with the Office of Constituent Engagement and other departments, (Politics / Arts and Sciences / Law School), to engage alumni in building and growing the University's government relations program through networking / engagement opportunities with alumni working on Capitol Hill, within federal and state funding agencies or in public service.
  • Responds to needs for government relations engagement around the institution, particularly with regard to the academic units and needs of individual schools and departments. These needs will extend to other aspects of campus, including Facilities and permitting / process needs for capital projects underway. The government relations function exists as a service bureau for the entire university.
  • Manages and supports the Associate Director position and hires / trains additional team members as needed in order to accomplish the University's advocacy goals. Serves as a supportive role model to staff, discussing potential career pathways with them and modeling the division's core internal values.




Bachelor’s Degree and a minimum of ten (10) years of progressively responsible government relations and advocacy experience within a large, highly complex non-profit business environment. Previous experience working on Capitol Hill preferred. Higher Education experience is strongly preferred. Excellent communications skills, including writing and presenting. Should have a minimum of five (5) years demonstrated experience in supervising and developing staff. Must have some budget and financial analysis experience.


Strong knowledge of federal and local, (DC, MD, and VA) policy and a firm background in higher education policy. Demonstrated abilities working and collaborating with leaders and faculty members at all levels within an institution. Ability to learn new disciplines quickly and understand / synthesize complex sets of information.


Possession of current and valid U.S. driver’s license appropriate to the type of university vehicle and an acceptable Motor Vehicle Driving Record (MVR) as stipulated in the Vehicle Guidelines and Procedures Manual administered through the office of Environmental Health and Safety. Annual clearance of MVR check through the Office of Environmental Health and Safety.


Must have highly effective interpersonal skills, the ability to lead and obtain results from peers and subordinates, and excellent oral and written communication skills, including editing experience. Must have effective planning skills. Proficiency in Microsoft Office, including: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Familiarity with generally accepted office procedures, and ability to utilize internet for research-related duties.


To apply, visit https://apptrkr.com/2930490


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