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VP of Government Relations, Advocacy and Community Engagement

Washington, DC, USA | Anti-Defamation League

  • Industry:
    Non-Profit / Social Enterprise
  • Position Type:
  • Functions:
    General Management
  • Experience:
    7-10 years
Job Description:
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ADL (Anti-Defamation League) is a leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today ADL continues to fight all forms of hate both on-line and off, regardless of whether such hate emanates from the left or right of the political spectrum, with the same vigor and passion.ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur.A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.

ADL builds bridges of communication, understanding and respect among diverse groups, carrying out its mission through a network of 25 regional offices in the United States and an office in Israel.In an era of rising anti-Semitism in the United States and abroad, and an alarming increase of hate incidents and crimes carried out against minorities and vulnerable communities, the work of ADL is more important than ever.

For the fourth consecutive year, ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt has been named one of the top 50 nonprofit executives in 2019 by the NonProfit Times, a leading industry trade and business publication for nonprofit management.


The Vice President of Government Relations and Community Engagement (VP GRACE) directs and oversees legislative advocacy and other policy and programs aimed at or involving government offices and officials and also oversees certain community engagement activities for ADL. Representing ADL and lobbying on behalf of its interests and policy concerns before Congress, the Executive Branch, foreign governments, and community leaders at the state and local levels, and supporting the policy activity of ADL’s regional offices, the VP GRACE is a leader who possesses a 360 degree perspective of the role and can reach and build strong relationships with a broad array of constituencies that will serve to advance ADL’s mission.The VP GRACE will be a leader in advancing ADL’s core equities: fighting anti-Semitism and extremism, countering bigotry and discrimination, safeguarding religious freedom and the separation of church and state, and defending and promoting the rights of immigrants and refugees. The ability to reach across political divides and advance ADL’s mission in a challenging, polarized political environment is crucial to the success of the VP and of ADL.

In consultation with other senior staff, the VP GRACE will take a lead role in: 

Timely and proactively tracking, analyzing, and reporting to ADL’s leadership on legislative and policy developments that impact ADL’s domestic and international policy agendas – in particular, with regard to anti-Semitism, the delegitimization of Israel, extremism, religious freedom, discrimination and immigration.

Raising public awareness and initiating or providing necessary support to both “grasstop” and grassroots advocacy campaigns, crafting advocacy strategy and helping formulate legislative priorities for ADL, and generating funding through engaging donors and identifying funding opportunities.

Engaging in an ongoing analysis of developments in Washington, providing guidance to ADL’s CEO and other staff and leadership (national staff, regional directors, area civil rights counsel, national and regional board members, national commissioners) on important developments and trends in government policy relevant to ADL’s work.

Developing and implementing strategies for advancing ADL’s agenda with Congress, the administration, and local governments. Maintaining proactive, ongoing relationships with key government offices.

Supporting ADL regional office engagement to promote ADL’s programmatic and policy agenda with key state and local government officials.

Leading ADL strategy, outreach and partnerships with diverse religious communities to advance the understanding of Jews and Judaism, to advance efforts to combat racism, anti-Semitism and other forms of religious intolerance throughout the US (including, but not limited to, Islamophobia), and advance efforts to combat the delegitimization and demonization of Israel (as opposed to criticizing a particular government or policies of the State).

Leading ADL strategy, outreach and partnerships to engage with diverse civil society groups, including civil rights and liberties groups, to advance ADL’s work, to engage effectively and sensitively where we have differences, and to form and maintain strong coalitions and alliances with other organizations seeking to promote equality, justice and fair treatment.

Overseeing strategic planning and the development, coordination and management of programs that engage ADL with other ethnic communities including identifying, building and expanding partnerships at the national level and supporting regional offices in their local community engagement initiatives.


Direct and oversee all policy and programs for ADL’s Government Relations office and, with ADL’s Programs Division as appropriate, oversee certain key Community Engagement activities.

Provide guidance to ADL CEO, the SVP Policy, and other staff and leadership (national staff, regional directors, civil rights area counsels, national board members, regional board members and Commissioners) on important developments and trends in government policy relevant to ADL’s work.

Staff key national commission committees (e.g., Government Relations and Community Engagement Committee)

Build strategic relationships with Administration officials and staff, Senators and Representatives, public policy experts, foreign embassies, civil rights and other coalition partners, as well as with other key stakeholders critical to the achievements of ADL’s policy goals.

Develop effective relationships with communities of other faith traditions and minority groups; create partnerships and collaborative endeavors to enhance relationships, foster understanding and achieve meaningful impact.

Propose, initiate, analyze and monitor legislative and executive initiatives of interest or concern to ADL.

Serve as ADL’s leading advocate in Washington for ADL policy positions and mobilize Congressional response and grassroots support.

Direct and supervise policy, programmatic, and special event projects, activities and written materials.

Provide guidance and training to regions and leaders regarding local advocacy with legislators, including in-person advocacy during Congressional recess periods.

Be a catalyst to establish new relationships between ADL leaders and key government, community and interfaith officials, and monitor and help sustain such relationships

Represent ADL at intergovernmental conferences in Washington, meetings with foreign officials visiting Washington and coalitions on a range of ADL policy issues.

Travel as appropriate to regional offices to provide training on how to advocate effectively for ADL policy positions, as well as meetings with donors, regional boards and committees and coalition partners.

Develop thematic, program and speaker ideas for the annual Leadership Summit in DC and oversee advance work for lobby days and lobbying training throughout the year.

Be part of a senior staff team for policy to ensure integration of the Government Relations and Community Engagement agenda into other departments (e.g. Civil Rights, Center on Extremism, Education, Communications, Brand and Marketing, Center on Technology and Society), as appropriate.

Identify areas for ADL growth and impact and participate in development strategies to grow ADL’s presence in Washington.

Integrate and assimilate the work the entire organization does and interpret it for Congress.

Directly hire, mentor as necessary, and supervise professional and administrative staff, including setting goals, work plans and performance management.

Other duties as may be requested by ADL leadership.



The VP GRACE may have diverse career experience including some combination of government, non-profit and corporate leadership and will possess:

At least seven years of prior Washington/Hill leadership experience focused on communication and advocacy that connects to ADL’s mission. (For example, may have been senior staff to Members of Congress, Committees, senior government relations/advocacy position at national organization with lobbying presence.)

Experience as a lobbyist/advocate before Congress and federal agencies.

Experience dealing with the media.

Experience working with diverse coalition partners.

Exceptional networking, public speaking, writing and communications skills.

Preferred: familiarity with various methods of digital and media communications.

Sophisticated understanding of and experience in the Washington political and policy-making environment.

Experience with and knowledge of national and, preferably also state and local advocacy groups.

Experience as an effective builder of, and participant in, coalitions to advance policy goals; effective at navigating coalition politics and participating as both a leader and an ally.

Preferred: extensive knowledge of Jewish community affairs and US—Middle East policy and issues.

Preferred: crisis management experience that may have been earned from diverse environments – government, non-profit or corporate.

Ability to identify and analyze key national and international events and trends and how they might impact ADL’s agenda.

Ability to work alongside Congressional members on both sides of the aisle, and across the political spectrum to further ADL’s initiatives.


Natural leader and advocate.

Open-minded. Can see multiple sides of issues and be nonpartisan, while adhering to ADL’s mission and having a sophisticated understanding of the agendas of proponents of various positions on issues.

Able to navigate in challenging and polarized political environments, advancing ADL’s mission and goals across political divides.

Strong, confident and persuasive and can interface and build relationships with prominent people in the Administration, Congress, and with other leaders and key influencers.

Highly effective leader and team builder. Able to lead collaboratively.

Entrepreneurial and can thrive in a fast-paced and stressful environment, remaining cool under pressure.

A commitment to ADL’s mission and work.


Advanced degree preferred, with a solid background in political science, Jewish Studies or Middle East Affairs. 

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