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Federal Government Affairs Manager (Office of Policy Impact)

Urban Institute

Urban Institute

Washington, DC, USA
Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2023

About Urban Institute:

At the Urban Institute, we believe in the power of evidence to improve lives and strengthen communities. As a nonprofit focusing on social and economic policy, our researchers and policy entrepreneurs open minds, shape decisions, and identify transformative solutions to the most pressing issues of our time.

Our Mission

To open minds, shape decisions, and offer solutions through economic and social policy research.

Our Values

Collaboration, Equity, Inclusivity, Independence, and Integrity

For more information on the Urban Institute, please visit https://www.urban.org.

The Opportunity:

Urban Institute’s Office of Policy Impact is seeking a Federal Government Affairs Manager to conduct strategic outreach to federal policymakers, staff, and stakeholders. This position is designed to ensure Urban’s research reaches federal policymakers and stakeholders, to foster ongoing, interactive communication and relationships with federal policymakers and stakeholders, and to support Urban’s business development efforts in the federal arena.

The ideal candidate will have a keen understanding of the federal policymaking process and ecosystem along with excellent communication and interpersonal skills. This position reports to the Senior Director of Government Affairs and will work closely with research staff in developing and maintaining relationships with policymakers across the federal government.

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What you’ll do:

  • Develop and execute strategic outreach and communications plans to increase the impact and visibility of Urban Institute research and researchers with federal policymakers in Congress and/or the Executive Branch;

  • Monitor actions across the federal government relevant to Urban research to identify strategic opportunities and provide regular updates and briefings to Urban researchers;

  • Regularly convene Urban researchers who are engaged in federal research to collaborate and share insights;

  • Conduct legislative and administrative research and analysis on emerging issues, including in response to requests from researchers and members of the Executive Team;

  • Advise and coach researchers on best practice for communications and engagements with policymakers to allow researchers to share the policy / programmatic implications of their findings;

  • Represent Urban Institute at external events and briefings with policymakers and stakeholders;

  • Develop and maintain relationships with federal policymakers, staff, and stakeholders at relevant membership organizations;

  • Track metrics to measure performance and report on progress toward team and organizational goals using internal systems;

  • Work closely with the Events team on tracking and supporting invitations to federal policymakers and work closely with the Stakeholder Outreach team on building federal audiences for bodies of work across Urban;

  • Support outreach to additional policymakers and other External Affairs functions as needed.

Who you are:

The successful candidate will possess:

  • B.S. or B.A. in public policy, political science, history, communications, or other related field; master’s degree in public policy or public administration a plus; and 5-6 years of professional experience working with government, public policy, or advocacy at the federal level;

  • Extensive experience working, communicating, and building relationships with federal policymakers in Congress and/or the Executive Branch, including translating complex policy materials into relevant documents or key points;

  • Experience working with or knowledge of the issues Urban works on is a plus;

  • Familiarity with congressional procedure, appropriations, the regulatory and budget process, and executive action;

  • Ability to prepare subject matter experts (i.e. economists, researchers) for testimony, briefings, and policymaker meetings;

  • Excellent written and oral communications skills; demonstrated ability to communicate within the policy development ecosystem (e.g. with program staff, stakeholders, elected officials, advocates, etc.);

  • Ability to work independently, coordinate working groups, and manage day-to-day operations;

  • Astute judgement combined with ability to work under conflicting deadlines and differing work streams;

  • Ability to diplomatically and effectively cultivate relationships and exchange information with internal colleagues, policymakers and their staff, and outside stakeholders – including both peers and organization leadership;

  • Ability to juggle competing priorities and demands across teams.

  • Ability to approach projects with an attitude of cultural humility, given the nature of research and working with and on behalf of vulnerable populations

Please include cover letter with application.

    What You’ll Experience:

    No matter your role with Urban, you will contribute to meaningful work that makes a difference for people and communities across the country. And whether you call the Washington, DC area or elsewhere home, you can expect to be part of a welcoming and hybrid workplace. We are committed to cultivating a community and working in a manner defined by collaboration, equity, inclusivity, independence, and integrity.

    Urban’s greatest asset is our people.

    The salary range for this position is $ 115,000–$ 140,000. Salary offered is commensurate with experience and considers internal equity. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. Salaries are just one component of Urban Institute’s total compensation package.

    Urban is committed to supporting our staff’s physical, emotional, and financial well-being through a robust benefits package for yourself, eligible dependents, and domestic partners. It includes generous paid time off, including nine federal holidays, medical (including prescription), dental and vision insurance, and transit benefits. Urban is unique in that we offer 403(b) retirement plan participation immediately after you’re hired and a generous employer contribution after six months of service and 500 hours, with immediate vesting. You’ll also have access to a health advocate, personal finance coaching, an Employee Assistance Program, and educational assistance for undergraduate and graduate degree programs. This position may have the opportunity to be fully remote.

    With the conclusion of the government-issued COVID-19 national public health emergency, Urban has updated our COVID-19 safety guidelines. All Urban Institute employees working from our onsite location must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and comply with any masking requirements. Fully vaccinated is defined as receiving the primary series of US approved COVID-19 vaccinations (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen) with the addition of at least 1 COVID-19 booster. Employees who are working onsite may request exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement based on a medical condition or a sincerely held religious belief that prevents them from being vaccinated. Where such an exemption is approved, Urban will discuss potential accommodation with the employee. These guidelines do not apply to employees who are teleworking or other offsite staff.


    The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of the work being performed by the people assigned. This posting is not an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, and requirements. Urban management reserves the right to amend and change duties, responsibilities, and requirements to meet business and organizational needs as necessary.


    The Urban Institute is an equal-opportunity employer and is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. All qualified candidates will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender or gender identity, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, veteran status, pregnancy or family responsibilities, matriculation, disability, political affiliation, or any other protected status under applicable law. The Urban Institute is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer Minorities/Women/Disabilities/Veterans