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Director, State and Local Government Affairs

Job Details

Full-time, regular


Reports to: Vice President, Government Affairs

Department: Advocacy and Outreach

Staff reporting to this position: Senior Manager, State and Local Government Affairs

Position classification: Exempt, full time; Nonunion - Level 7

Salary range: $92,000$110,400

Work site: Hybrid (on-site two days per week, Washington D.C., office)



American Progress is seeking a Director of State and Local Government Affairs to lead the organization’s engagement with state and local officials, their staff, and key partners. State and local governments have long served as “laboratories of democracy,” leading to both significant gains and unfortunate setbacks on progressive policies. American Progress is one of the few progressive organizations with the capacity to engage on a broad range of policy and advocacy efforts with elected officials at all levels of government.


This is an exciting opportunity for a professional with significant experience working in or with state and local governments to lead and build a program that can help achieve progressive policy wins in every corner of the country. Strong candidates for this role will have a keen desire to build new relationships, understand how to strengthen and grow existing relationships, and find opportunities for American Progress’ policy research to affect all levels of state and local government. Candidates for this role should also have significant political experience and should feel comfortable interacting with high-level principals and their staff.


The successful candidate will be driven by American Progress’ mission to improve the lives of all Americans through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action, with the aim of not only changing the conversation, but changing the country. The Director will be part of a dynamic team that both works to advance American Progress’ policy priorities throughout the country and plays a key role in the Advocacy and Outreach department’s political and communications strategies. 

As an American Progress employee, the Director will focus their work across the organization’s five crosscutting priorities:

  • Building an economy for all
  • Restoring social trust in democracy
  • Advancing racial equity and justice
  • Tackling climate change and environmental injustice
  • Strengthening health


  • Lead and manage all the organization’s engagement with state and local elected officials, agencies, and progressive partners, and serve as the primary point of contact within the organization for all issues that affect state and local officials.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with officials at all levels of state and local government and represent American Progress with governors, other state and local elected officials, and staff.
  • Build and maintain strategic relationships with both partisan and nonpartisan organizations that represent or directly engage with state and local officials and develop strategies to partner on policy initiatives or communication strategies. 
  • Work directly with American Progress senior leadership and policy departments to develop strategies for helping state and local leaders implement progressive policies and initiatives that align with organization priorities.
  • Work with American Progress’ Advocacy and Outreach department to create new opportunities for digital and communications engagement with state and local elected officials, their staff, and other political partners.
  • Help ensure that elected officials and state and local government staff consider American Progress as a resource when they consider developing legislative language on issues in which American Progress has expertise.
  • Identify and engage with new organizations and target groups of state and local officials for the purpose of advancing American Progress’ policy priorities.
  • Identify and pursue opportunities to promote American Progress’ President and CEO and policy staff as expert witnesses for state and local hearings and meetings.
  • Regularly update American Progress staff on news and events related to state and local affairs and respond to requests for information from staff.
  • Produce policy outreach materials, internal tracking sheets, and other materials necessary to carry out job functions; help develop contact lists and internal databases to carefully track state and local work.
  • Develop and help oversee state- and local-focused events that uplift and amplify initiatives of elected officials and advocates along with external partners.
  • Work with policy teams to integrate external campaign activities with the Center for American Progress Action Fund to maximize impact.
  • Perform other duties as assigned, including assisting other members of the Government Affairs team.

Requirements and qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and experience; a master’s degree is a plus.
  • A minimum of seven years working with the executive branch, a congressional office, and/or the office of a state or local elected official, or comparable experience. Experience with state and/or local elected officials is required.
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills.
  • In-depth knowledge of state and local branches of government and relevant organizations.
  • Understanding of state and local policy issues and the political landscape.
  • Proven ability to work in a fast-paced environment, both independently and as part of a team.
  • Experience working with 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations is a plus.
  • Experience working with political campaigns is preferred.
  • Commitment to American Progress’ mission and goals.


American Progress offers a full and competitive benefits package. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. This position is not represented by a union and has a salary range of $92,000–$110,400.

American Progress’ hybrid work policy is posted on our Jobs page. Please visit this page for updates. Any changes to this policy will also be communicated at the time of hire.