National Director, Government Relations and Advocacy
Job Details
Washington DC Office - Washington, DC
Optional Work from Home
$150,000.00 - $180,000.00

Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) is the global organization's presence in the United States. We campaign and advocate for the United States government and U.S. corporations to advance human rights. As a member-led movement, we work with hundreds of thousands of members and activists in all 50 states and DC, who are part of a larger global movement of 10 million people in 150 countries. We are a democratically governed, grassroots membership organization, which means that our members vote on key policy issues and elect our Board of Directors. Some of our members are experts on specific human rights issues, parts of the world, or advocacy areas, and they serve as volunteer leaders. Others are volunteer leaders of local or student groups in towns, universities, states, or regions of the country. Amnesty International USAs elected Board members, staff, and members work together to lead the organization. We have just launched a new Strategic Framework (2022-2026) outlining our priorities.


The National Director of Government Relations (ND) is responsible for developing and driving Amnesty International USAs policy agenda to protect and advance human rights around the world through influencing the US government. Supervising a staff of Advocacy Directors who cover different regions around the world, the ND ensures that the Government Relations (GR) team maximizes the influence and human rights impact of Amnesty USA with all branches of the US Government that impact human rights overseas. The ND works in partnership with AIUSAs volunteer leaders and partners to craft and implement strategies for advancing human rights in countries, regions and globally. The ND will collaborate with Amnesty colleagues across the global movement and with US-based human rights organizations to advance our policy agenda. The ND will build and maintain strong relationships with foreign policy leadership in the White House, the National Security Council, the State Department and other branches of the Administration that impact human rights, and with Members of Congress, and key Congressional committees and staff that shape the impact of the United States government on international human rights. The ND will help strengthen a culture of collaboration and trust across AIUSAs staff and volunteer leaders and will work closely with the Executive Director, and the Executive team.


The ND will work in the Strategy and Impact Department along with the National Directors for Research, Marketing and Communications, Campaigns, and Programs. While our Programs Unit focuses on delivering United States government (USG) policy reforms that deliver domestic human rights impact, our Government Relations team works largely on delivering USG policy reforms that deliver human rights impact internationally.



  • Lead and manage all of Amnesty's advocacy with the US Government, primarily through supporting and mentoring our GR Advocacy Directors (AD) to develop and manage key US government relationships for their different countries, regions and issue areas of expertise, and through insuring best practices for staff and volunteer leaders in how we engage with US government counterparts.

  • Lead and manage the government relations team in its advocacy with the US Administration and Congress on AIUSAs key priority issues and programs in our strategic framework (see above) with a particular focus on supporting human rights impact overseas that may be country-specific, regional or global.

  • Build and maintain relationships with key leaders who impact US human rights policy in the world, in the Administration (including the White House, NSC, State Department, USAID, the Department of Defense) and in key Congressional Committees (including SFRC and HFAC) and leaders in the House and Senate to advance these priorities. Support ADs to build and maintain relations with USG country, regional and issue experts within their areas of responsibility.

  • Work in partnership with other organizations and build coalitions with varied and diverse stakeholders.

  • In delivering those priorities, support the GR team to continue working collaboratively with other staff and volunteer leaders to implement effective advocacy campaigns, including communications and field strategies.

  • Contribute to the growth of AIUSAs grassroots and grasstops advocacy network, engaging members directly in online and offline activities and through social networks.

  • Represent AIUSA before Congress including testifying at hearings, organizing briefings, and advising lawmakers.

  • Organize annual lobby days bringing hundreds of AIUSA activists/members to Capitol Hill to lobby Congress.

  • Oversee production of communications with the Administration and with Congress, including periodic human rights updates for key staff in the Administration and key staffers on Capitol Hill.

  • Help coordinate with Amnesty Internationals global and regional offices and other country sections to promote global human rights priorities and to advance key AIUSA priorities.

  • Work with the Marketing and Communications team to develop and implement strategies and tactics that make use of both traditional media and social media outlets to advance our human rights priorities. As appropriate, and together with ADs, the Executive Director, and the Chief Strategy and Impact Officer, serve as a key spokesperson on US Government policies, actions and proposals affecting human rights overseas.

  • Manage a staff of at least five advocacy directors who bring deep expertise in human rights issues, countries and global regions.

  • Support outreach to members of the House/Senate from key states during campaign spikes for AIUSAs priority campaigns (domestic and international).

  • Perform additional duties as assigned.

Qualifications & Skills
  • BA/BS or equivalent in relevant years of experience required.
  • 10 years of government relations/advocacy-related experience required, specifically working in a nonpartisan manner with key policymakers in the federal government around policy issues affecting human rights, foreign policy, civil rights, and/or racial justice.
  • 5 years of direct people management experience required.

  • Expertise required in a number of human rights areas in our strategic framework, which could include expertise in: protecting human rights defenders and individuals at risk (Outcome 1), holding corporations accountable for their global human rights impact, e.g. in the tech sector or pharma space, (Outcome 2); defending freedom of speech and protest, particularly in crisis settings (Outcome 3), challenging gun violence and racial injustice overseas in ways that link to our domestic agenda on these issues (Outcome 4); confronting global migration and refugee crises (Outcome 5); or engaging on climate, inequality and economic and social rights crises (Outcome 6).

  • Demonstrated ability to embed inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) best practices into both strategy, leadership and operations.

  • A deep understanding of how USG institutions make and implement policies impacting human rights overseas including through the White House, NSC, State Department, USAID, the Department of Defense and in key Congressional Committees (including SFRC and HFAC), caucuses and leaders in the House and Senate to advance these priorities required.

  • An understanding of the complex processes, politics, timelines and forces at play in developing, passing (or defeating) legislation, the appropriations and authorizing process, executive orders and other Administration-led policy making required.

  • Demonstrated skill and success influencing the international human rights impact of the U.S. Administration and Congress. Experience working in the Administration or Congress is a plus.

  • Demonstrated ability to develop, implement and adapt effective strategies to deliver human rights impact and to mentor others and bring teams together around those strategies. Also demonstrated ability to influence the strategic planning of other teams in the Department (campaigns, marketing and communications, research and programs) to strengthen alignment of priorities and collaboration across the department and in the organization.

  • Ability to support the leadership, success, and professional development of staff members, with a commitment to utilizing power to ensure equitable access and opportunities for staff of color and other underrepresented identities.

  • Passion for engaging our grassroots membership and volunteer experts in human rights advocacy is essential.

  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills, including public speaking and media interview skills required.

  • Ability to power map where human rights impact is possible in the current and upcoming political climate and be able to work across parties, coalitions and interest groups to advance our human rights agenda required.

  • Demonstrated senior leadership and management skills and abilities in department-level planning; excellent record as a people manager.

  • Demonstrated commitment to continuous self-learning and growth, especially related to the development of strong equity competencies and managing diverse teams and modeling this approach with others.

  • Established relationships with foreign policymakers in the US federal government required, e.g. White House, NSC, State Department, USAID, the Department of Defense, key Congressional Committees and caucuses required.

  • Ability to build trusting and collaborative relationships inside and outside the organization, with staff and volunteer leaders, valuing differences of race, ethnicity, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstances required.

  • Occasional travel required, e.g. staff retreats, regional office visits, AIUSA conferences and overseas to locations where the human rights impact of US government policy and practice is significant.

  • Ability to occasionally work evenings and/or weekends required, e.g. Board meetings, member calls.


We recognize the valuable skills that can be gained through internships, fellowships, volunteer work, and non-traditional work experience. This experience helps build competencies and knowledge that may translate to our job openings. We seek a diversity of experience and skills for our workplace and encourage people from all backgrounds to apply to our openings.



Dismantling white supremacy is central to the fight for human rights in the United States and around the world. As we mobilize staff and activists and work with partners to help transform the multiple systems where oppression operates in the world around us as part of our human rights mandate, anti-racism must be integral to our work. What does that mean for Amnesty International in the United States? It means using our people power to fight injustice and centering the voices and experiences of those most impacted by racist structures, beliefs, and laws. Fundamentally, it means doing our human rights work differently than it has been done before, because we know that who we work with, how we work, the work we do, and ultimately who we are, are all interconnected.

As an international, intercultural, intergenerational and intersectional movement of activists committed to protecting and advancing human rights for all, Amnesty is deeply committed to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Accessibility (IDEA). To learn more about how we integrate these concepts into our work and workplace visit:


COVID-19 Consideration

Because the health and safety of our employees and candidates are a top priority, we are currently conducting our hiring process virtually. We are currently starting our positions as fully remote but will transition to a hybrid work environment when our offices re-open, expected to be in Fall 2022.

What do we want?