The American Humanist Association (AHA) advocates for progressive values and equality for humanists in the United States. Our motto is: Good Without a God. Based in DC, we conduct our work through legal and government advocacy, education initiatives, and by supporting our membership including 35,000 members and supporters and more than 240 local humanist groups.
Humanism is an outlook on life that focuses on human potential and goodness within all of us. We are a community of activists and individuals who aspire to the greater good without the need for theism to guide us. We encourage anyone interested in working with us to explore our website to learn more.
About the role:
The Legal and Policy Director leads the AHA’s extensive work to advance humanist values through legal activity and federal and state policy—ranging from preserving the secular nature of our democracy to racial equity to reproductive justice to climate justice to reparations to LGBTQ equality and more. The person in this role will understand that realizing a multi-racial democracy is the intersectional issue of our time. They will have the ability to apply political analysis to legal, policy, and advocacy work that is anti-racist and in alignment with justice-centered values. A successful candidate will have a deep understanding of the judiciary and federal/state legislative and rule-making processes, and be able to effectively intervene in those processes to enact humanist policies and build greater influence for our movement.
What you will do:
- Work with the Executive Director to integrate the AHA’s legal and policy objectives in line with the Strategic Plan, mission, and goals of the organization
- Manage the development and implementation of the AHA’s goals, objectives, and strategies to advance humanist values in Congress, the White House, state and local governments, and the judiciary at all levels
- Represent the AHA with colleagues, in coalitions, at meetings, and as a spokesperson
- Oversee activity to involve the AHA community in organizing and activism about our legal and policy priorities
- Advise and assist staff across departments on legal and policy issues
- Work with AHA’s Communications staff to promote AHA’s legal and policy objectives and activities; engage with the press in interviews (TV, radio, podcasts) surrounding legal and policy activity
- Work with the AHA’s Development staff to coordinate fundraising activities that support legal and policy work
- Serve as a speaker at conferences, chapter meetings, webinars, and similar events
- Manage and coach a team that currently includes the Staff Attorney, Paralegal, Policy Coordinator, and, at times, an intern and/or legal fellow
- Participate in AHA leadership activities including the staff/board Management Committee
- Develop a sound legal strategy that informs the AHA’s litigation and other legal activities
- Oversee the legal intake process, including determination of whether to move forward with each inquiry and planning and strategizing the best course of action for those that are undertaken
- Maintain cooperating attorney relationships and take steps to expand list so that there is a strong roster of attorneys
- Develop strategies for legal work on state and local levels
- Coordinate strategy for amicus brief opportunities
- As necessary and appropriate, coordinate legal strategy with partners and coalitions
- Ensure all advocacy and policy priorities are equitable and justice-centered
- Lobby Congress, executive branch agencies, and state and local governments on policy related to constitutional issues, the separation of church and state, religious freedom, civil rights, reproductive healthcare, LGBTQ rights, education, scientific research, and other topics
- Build and maintain relationships with policymakers, their staffs, and coalition partners to ensure the AHA maintains its position as a resource for policymaking
- Organize congressional briefings, receptions, and lobby days to educate elected officials and their staffs on pending legislation and our policy priorities
- Author legislation, testimony, comments for the public record, issue briefs, etc.
- Propose and draft organizational policy statements to keep AHA’s portfolio up to date with progressive policy
- Oversee AHA’s participation in partner conferences and events, and involvement in the United Nations
What you bring to the role:
- Juris Doctor and bar admission (must be eligible for D.C. bar admission)
- A progressive legal and political analysis of race, class, and gender
- A deep understanding of constitutional issues on religious freedom and democracy
- A passion for building power for communities historically excluded from legal and policy implementation and outcomes
- 5+ years of experience in organizing and/or activism
- 5+ years of professional experience working in a management capacity
- 5+ years of experience in federal and/or state policy, either through working in government or as an advocate
- Understanding of humanism and willingness to support the mission of the AHA
- Demonstrated time management skills with the ability to prioritize work effectively
- Ability to work independently to further the aims of the AHA
- Strong verbal, written, listening, and interpersonal communication skills
- Ability to resolve conflicts, and balance criticism and praise
- Commitment to creating and sustaining a positive, respectful and inclusive work environment
- The ability to provide mentorship and professional development to staff and interns
$100,000 – $120,000 with a generous benefits package that includes:
- 18 days of PTO in the first year, with an additional day for each year of service to the AHA, 11 scheduled paid holidays, and one week off for winter break
- Employer-paid health/dental/vision; short-term and long-term disability, and basic life insurance for the employee, and 1/2 employer-paid coverage for partner and dependents
- Employer-paid Employee Assistance Program
- Flexible Spending/Dependent Care Accounts, DC Commuter Benefits, and 3% 403(b) match
- Flexible hybrid schedules (with supervisor’s approval) including 2 hours of personal time each week
We are currently operating under a flexible/hybrid in-office and remote work plan. The ideal candidate is based in the DC area, but if you are outside of the DC area we are willing to offer a reasonable relocation package. To apply, please submit PDF copies of your resume, cover letter, and a 1-4 page writing sample for which you are the sole author and editor (preferably one that argues a legal or policy position, but a business letter/academic essay will suffice) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and must be complete to be considered.
The AHA takes a holistic approach to diversity and is intentional about building and maintaining a diverse and inclusive staff. We strongly encourage all qualified candidates to apply.