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Director for Advocacy

August 28, 2019 - November 30, 2019
Location:Washington DC, MD
Benefits:Excellent Benefit Package Offered
Employment Type:Full Time

If you are passionate about transforming communities with a mission-driven organization, then we have the opportunity for you!

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) is seeking a Director for Advocacy. Reporting to the President & CEO, the Director for Advocacy is the lead LIRS strategist on advocacy, ensuring that the organization achieves its key overall advocacy goals. This role establishes the advocacy priorities through a consultative process and deep listening so that they reflect cross-departmental and network-wide advocacy needs. They inform, inspire and engage colleagues and networks and maintains strong coalition partnerships and effectively leverages coalition action. The Director works to influence policy-makers in the Executive and legislative branches of the federal government to promote integration, protection and justice for migrants and refugees.


  • Provide strategic leadership in LIRS advocacy. Identify and build strategy and support to bring about desired change in policies and practices. With clarity regarding the strategic landscape, identify and pursue priorities and approaches that will have the greatest impact
  • Supervise Advocacy staff. Provide ongoing supervision of work, allocate responsibilities and adjust priorities for better impact, assess progress, provide and receive feedback, coordinate work, plan for the future
  • Maintain excellent ongoing communication and coordination with the LIRS Baltimore office and especially with Outreach, Communications and the President's Office.
  • Ensure that internal LIRS responsibilities are met by the Advocacy unit, including contributions to planning, compliance with established procedures, provision of regular updates, provision of input into relevant decisions, etc.
  • Meet and communicate with Congressional and Administration staff and officials, advocate that they promote and implement fair and humane refugee and immigration laws and policies, advance LIRS advocacy priorities, build LIRS credibility on key issue areas, raise up stories of migrants and refugees, serve as a resource to policy-makers
  • Ensure that LIRS is represented in nonprofit advocacy coalitions, align with other nonprofits in promotion of LIRS advocacy issues, broaden consensus amongst other organizations, build and solidify support for the policies we endorse, prioritize and leverage coalition power to influence decision makers, the media and the public
  • Ensure that LIRS is represented in working groups that address issue priority areas and where LIRS will have an impact; establish appropriate priorities for such participation
  • Empower LIRS staff members to be advocates, channel their expertise to inform LIRS policy positions and improve advocacy recommendations, understand how laws and policies impact refugees, migrants and children, as well as our network partners
  • Lead the Stand for Welcome campaign, educate empower and mobilize a growing number of Lutherans, refugees, migrants and other constituents around protection and integration of migrants and refugees
  • Draft statements, letters, web site content, or resources on refugee and immigration policies or legislation targeted at Congressional committees, policy-makers and the public
  • Plan advocacy convenings, collaborative events, workshops and advocacy meetings to facilitate constituent and partner participation and leadership in advocacy
  • Serve as the primary liaison between LIRS and the ELCA Washington Office, ensuring a strong, effective and well coordinated working relationship that builds on each other's strengths.
  • Deep commitment to LIRS's core values and the ability to model those values in relationships with colleagues and partners
  • Bachelor's degree in political science, international affairs, or other related field; law or master's degree or equivalent experience strongly preferred and seven years of increasingly responsible advocacy work experience with a demonstrated track record of success; expertise in federal legislative and administrative advocacy
  • Expertise in immigration law and policy, and an interest in and passion for advocacy on behalf of refugees and migrants
  • Ability to maintain and nurture collegial relationships with congressional staff, administration officials, coalition partners, non-profit partners and constituents
  • Track record of successfully mobilizing constituents to take action
  • Significant experience in successful nonprofit coalition work
  • Excellent communication skills, especially writing and public speaking, and demonstrated ability to adjust communication styles to be clear and persuasive with different audiences
  • Experience in training and supervising staff, interns and volunteers
  • Ability to work collegially across departments and units
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications and relationship management software
  • Experience with and commitment to working in a diverse workforce
  • Ability to work well with others in small teams; effective meeting facilitation skills
  • Travel domestically (up to 10%) to meet and learn from LIRS constituents, church leaders, network partners and migrants and refugees
  • Flexibility and a sense of humor



Organization Summary:

Headquartered in Baltimore's beautiful Inner Harbor, with offices in Washington, DC, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) is a national faith-based organization with an 80-year history, a budget of $45 million per year, and approximately 80 headquarters staff.

LIRS is widely-recognized for its expertise in implementing federal programs on behalf of refugees and migrants living within the borders of the United States. Working with and through partners across the country, LIRS resettles refugees, reunites children with their families or provides loving homes for them, conducts policy advocacy, and pursues humanitarian alternatives to the immigration detention system.

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service provides equal employment opportunities to all without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics.

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