Director of Public Policy - Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), Silver Spring, MD

Posted: Wednesday, November 22, 2017

AUCD, a leading national disability organization that has a direct impact at the local, state, national, and international levels to advance policy and practice, is seeking a Director of Public Policy to help formulate and implement the Association's legislative and federal advocacy priorities and strategies. In strong partnership with senior leadership and the association's Public Policy Committee, the Director plans, coordinates and conducts activities that educate the AUCD network and our diverse stakeholders on policy issues, and provides analysis of the impact of federal and state legislation and regulatory changes for its members and persons with disabilities and their families. The Director develops and maintains working relationships with Members of Congress and their staff; prepares testimony for Congressional hearings and uses other appropriate methods of communicating the Association's views and positions. The Director works with internal and external stakeholders to advance the AUCD's policy goals.

This is a high-visibility opportunity for a creative, collaborative, and highly-skilled policy professional who seeks to play a role in empowering people with disabilities through the work of AUCD members, while raising the agency's profile in the federal policy making process.

AUCD promotes and supports a national network of interdisciplinary centers on disabilities. Its members represent every U.S. state and territory and include 67 University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), 52 Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Programs and 14 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Centers (IDDRC). Together, these organizations advance policy and practice through research, education, leadership, and services for and with individuals with disabilities, their families and communities in support of independence, inclusion, and a fulfilling life.

The AUCD office is located in downtown Silver Spring, MD, one block from the red line Silver Spring Metro station. This is a full-time position.

The Director of Public Policy supervises a Policy Analyst and reports to the Associate Executive Director for Research and Policy.

Major Responsibilities

  • Develop and execute policy and governmental relations strategy
  • Serve as primary representative on the Hill, building relationships to advance policy goals
  • Consistently and actively engage network members in policy activities
  • Articulate policy positions in briefing papers, testimony, AUCD publications, online, and at internal and external policy meetings
  • Identify, monitor, and analyze relevant policy trends and issues of importance
  • Actively mentor and manage the work of the Policy Analyst and others on the internal policy team
  • Active mentor diverse emerging leaders in policy advocacy within and outside the AUCD network
  • Serve as lead staff liaison to the Public Policy Committee
  • Some travel required

Required Qualifications

  • Completion of a bachelor's degree in a social science, education, administration, policy, or related field
  • Ability to work independently and as a team player, take initiative, and manage multiple tasks and projects
  • Experience and competence in working with individuals with disabilities, including individuals with intellectual disabilities, and people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds

Required Knowledge and Skills

  • An agile and strategic thinker with the ability to assess both threats and opportunities and develop short- and long-term plans to address them
  • Demonstrated effectiveness in bipartisan legislative advocacy as applied to the issues and concerns related to children and adults with disabilities
  • Intimate knowledge of federal legislative and executive regulatory processes, especially federal budget and appropriations processes
  • Knowledge of current developments in the field of disability policy, education, health, and social services legislation as it relates to the work of AUCD Centers and programs
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills with experience using electronic tools for information exchange and consensus building
  • Ability to supervise and manage program staff including interns, fellows, and issue workgroups
  • Passion for and commitment to AUCD's mission are essential

Preferred Knowledge and Skills

  • Familiarity with the capacity and activities of the national network of University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs); Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND); and Intellectual and Developmental Disability Research Centers (IDDRC)
  • Knowledge of key federal agencies, especially ACL, HRSA, NIH, and the CDC
  • Familiarity with national disability, health and educational advocacy groups
  • Hill experience
  • Master's degree or equivalent related to public policy, health, education, social services, or law
  • Direct experience in working with children and adults with disabilities and their families
  • Experience in higher education settings


Highly competitive salary based on education and experience; health, retirement, and life insurance benefits; and three weeks of paid vacation. Opportunity to be involved in a broad range of disability related issues, to work in a fast paced yet relaxed office atmosphere and to have the potential to truly make a national impact. AUCD is committed to an inclusive culture that values all types of diversity, and as such has experience accommodating a wide range of disability and related workplace needs.

Application Procedures

Please submit: (1) a letter of interest, (2) a resume of relevant experience, (3) names and contact information of at least three professional references, and (4) any accommodations needed for the application and interview process to Ingrid Jernudd with "Application for Public Policy Director" as the subject line. Applications will be accepted and reviewed immediately. The position will remain open until filled.

AUCD is an equal opportunity employer. Persons from diverse cultures and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.