Director of State Legislative Reform
The Innocence Project, affiliated with the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, was founded by Barry C. Scheck and Peter J. Neufeld in 1992 as a non-profit legal clinic and criminal justice resource center. We work to exonerate the wrongfully convicted through post-conviction DNA testing, and develop and implement reforms to prevent wrongful convictions. We only handle cases where post-conviction DNA testing can yield conclusive proof of innocence.
The Innocence Project is planning a significant expansion of its state policy reform efforts to maximize its effectiveness in driving legislative and practice reform in three central areas: (1) post-conviction DNA access; (2) eyewitness identification procedures; and (3) the recording of interrogations. The Director of State Legislative Reform will direct the efforts to secure legislative reform in states that are “ready” for significant change through targeted legislative campaigns.
The Director of State Legislative Reform reports to the Policy Director. (S)he works closely with the Director of State Policy Reform, the Communications Associate, and state-level advocates. The Director of Legislative Reform will manage a Campaign Associate.
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:
(1)Planning and establishing state-based campaigns to achieve legislative reform
- Developing a plan for a campaign to achieve a specific legislative reform, in consultation with other IP policy staff with experience in past reform efforts and relationships in states where campaigns are to be launched
- Directing execution of plan and adjusting strategy as necessary
- Establishing support for reform campaigns from key individuals and organizations within target states
- Identifying resources and funding necessary for each campaign to succeed, including but not limited to: tools, staff and expertise time needed in state
- Monitoring and assessing progress of various campaigns daily
- Identifying and engaging appropriate lobbyists, public relations firms, and campaign specialists in multiple states
- Carefully deploying and managing the efforts of contracted vendors and managing contract budgets
- Coordinating efforts in support of local actors in campaign states
- Directing the work of appropriate policy staff in support of state campaigns
- Representing the Innocence Project at legislatures when necessary
The Director of Legislative Reform Campaigns must be able to travel as required for standard domestic business travel.
QUALIFICATIONS & EXPERIENCE:
- At least six years experience lobbying in state legislatures, with at least four of those years spent in leading specific legislative efforts, with ideally at least one year lobbying on behalf of a non-profit organization
- Proven experience directing/executing successful state legislative campaigns
- Experience vetting and engaging lobbyists, public relations firms, and other advocacy vendors
- Experience managing social and traditional media in support of legislative campaigns
- Experience identifying and managing a team of employees
- Experience establishing and managing a budget
- Experience selecting, negotiating contracts with, and managing lobbyists and public relations professionals
- Deep knowledge of the legislative processes, including fundamental political concerns at each stage thereof
KEY COMPETENCIES, SKILLS AND ABILITIES:
- Ability to lead a team, eliciting strong performance from all members, including remotely
- Demonstrated ability to successfully work with coalition partners
- Ability to direct legislative campaigns from remote locations
- Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and in concert with fellow staff
- Understanding of role of all forms of media as pertaining to legislative success
- Demonstrated ability to identify and employ various advocacy strategies to overcome obstacles to legislative victory
- Proven relentlessness in pursuing victory, while never burning bridges
- Flexible and collaborative work style, resistance to stress, and ability to function effectively in a demanding environment
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Superior skills in organization, planning and attention to details
- Able to demonstrate initiative and reliability
- Grace and a sense of humor
Please email a brief cover letter and resume, as one attachment, to: email@example.com, with “Director of State Legislative Reform” in the subject line. All .zip file attachments will be deleted without being read. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled; preference will be given to applications received by May 7, 2012.
No phone calls, please. We appreciate all applicants, but please be advised that we can only respond to those we intend to interview.
Candidates must be authorized to work in the U.S. if not a U.S. Citizen.
The Innocence Project is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to workplace diversity.