Director | Income and Work Support
The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) is a national, nonpartisan, anti-poverty organization that centers racial equity. We advocate for public policies and programs at the federal, state, and local levels that reduce poverty, improve the lives of people with low incomes, and advance racial and economic justice. CLASP understands that poverty in America is inextricably tied to systemic racism. Our solutions directly address the barriers that individuals and families face because of race, gender, ethnicity, low income, and immigration status.
Over more than 50 years, we have kept our vision alive through our trusted expertise on policy and strategy, deeply knowledgeable and committed staff, partnerships with directly impacted people and grassroots leaders, and approaches to economic and racial justice that are bold, innovative, and inclusive. CLASP is seeking to hire a Director for the Income and Work Supports team, one of CLASP’s five policy teams.
Racial equity is a core value at CLASP. We have made a commitment to centering racial equity in all aspects of our organizational culture and the way we think about and approach our policy, issue, and advocacy areas.
Income and Work Supports Team
The Income and Work Supports team advocates for investment in and effective implementation of programs and policies that help people with low incomes to meet their and their families’ basic needs. Our work consistently includes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and the Child Tax Credit (CTC). It may include additional programs such as Health Insurance Marketplace subsidies, Supplemental Security Income, child support enforcement, or housing programs depending on the opportunities we see to make a difference in the lives of people with low incomes.
We think about these programs both individually and as they interact with each other, with the realities of low-wage work, and with systemic inequities in our society. We promote policies and practices that connect people with the full package of benefits for which they are eligible. We fight for laws that improve and expand benefit programs, but also work on implementation and administrative advocacy to ensure that programs deliver as promised, at the national, state, and local levels. And we close the policy feedback loop by bringing information on what is and is not working in practice back to our legislative work. We work closely with CLASP’s Immigration and Immigrant Families team and the Protecting Immigrant Families campaign on access to benefits for immigrants; with our Education, Labor and Worker Justice team on SNAP and TANF work programs and subsidized jobs; and with the organization’s Youth and Child Care and Early Education teams on benefits for young adults and parents of infants and toddlers.
All our work is shaped by CLASP’s commitment to center racial equity in our work and our partnerships with people who have lived expertise with anti-poverty programs. Our partners with lived expertise have been clear that current policies and systems are failing to provide economic security, let alone justice. We are committed to fighting for improvements that are possible in today’s political environment (and defending against attacks) and to holding space to reimagine systems and develop restorative, transformational policies.
The IWS team is currently staffed by two Senior Policy Analysts, three Policy Analysts and a Research Assistant.
This position is an opportunity for a committed and creative leader and manager to build on the existing work of an effective team and make strategic choices about how we can have the greatest impact on the lives of people with low incomes in the United States.
The IWS team works on a broad range of issues, and we do not expect that the successful candidate will be an expert in all of them. A successful candidate will likely bring deep policy knowledge and expertise on one or more of the core public benefit programs covered by the IWS team, along with a willingness to learn about the others and leverage the expertise of team members. The ideal candidate will be someone who can think broadly in terms of strategy and build bridges across the team and the organization, as well as externally.
A big part of the job is setting priorities, given the many possible areas and types of work that the IWS team could be doing. We are looking for someone who can be strategic about how CLASP can have the most impact, both in responding to immediate opportunities and threats, and in building a long-term vision and agenda—as an organization and as part of broader campaigns, coalitions, and networks. The Director will also work with the Development team to make the case to funders to support this work and with the Communications team to lift up our message and shape the narrative. While most of the job’s focus is on the IWS team, the Director is also part of CLASP’s Leadership Team and will have the opportunity to weigh in on broader organizational directions as well as to lead cross-team projects and activities.
The position will report to the Deputy Executive Director for Policy, with significant involvement with the President/Executive Director and the Leadership Team.
- Demonstrated commitment to improving the lives of people with low incomes, to racial justice, to partnering with people with lived experience, and to CLASP’s vision, mission, and values.
- Deep policy knowledge and recognized expertise on one or more of the core public benefit programs covered by the IWS team, paired with interest in the full range of programs.
- Substantial experience advocating for or implementing public benefit programs, whether in an advocacy organization, as a legislative staffer, through leadership on these issues within government or with an employer, through lived experience, as an organizer, or several of the above.
- Ability to effectively manage diverse staff including both senior and early-career workers in a hybrid work environment.
- This includes the ability to delegate work effectively; to supervise and provide ongoing feedback and advice; to set goals, evaluate performance and hold staff accountable; and to mentor and support staff in their interests and professional growth.
- It also includes managing personal and team workloads and deadlines to support staff well-being and retention in the face of a constantly shifting and often demanding policy environment.
- Director is also responsible for working with HR to recruit, hire, and onboard new team members.
- Proven ability to identify, develop, and implement advocacy strategies and campaigns and cultivate relationships with partners and networks.
- Strong communication skills, including writing policy briefs or reviewing team members’ writing; presenting to advocates, elected officials or other policymakers; representing an organization in coalitions; speaking with the media; providing effective assignments and feedback; and writing grant proposals and reports.
- Willingness to engage in self-reflection, learning, experimentation, and receiving feedback, as well as in supporting team members in doing so.
- Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 9 years of related experience or a master’s degree or other advanced degree and 7 years of related experience.
- Candidates must be based in the Washington, D.C. area or willing to relocate. (Hybrid work schedule available).
Assets: these are not required, but are a plus, and the successful candidate is likely to show some of these qualifications.
- Knowledge of multiple benefit programs and cross-program implementation issues.
- Lived experience with public benefit programs.
- Experience partnering with and elevating the voices of people with low incomes and communities of color.
- Experience with partnerships between national organizations, state groups, and grassroots groups.
- Experience developing and growing diverse multi-sector partnerships
- Existing relationships with national and state advocates, public officials, legislators or their staff, and journalists working on public benefits.
- Demonstrated success in fundraising and managing relationships with funders.
We have a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy as a condition of employment (applicable accommodations apply).
114,000-145,000 (Salary is commensurate with experience.)
CLASP offers exceptional benefits, including several health insurance options (most that currently require no employee-paid premiums). In addition, we provide the following benefits that currently require no employee-paid premiums: dental insurance, vision insurance, life insurance, short- and long-term disability insurance, and long-term care insurance. Additionally, we offer a 403(b)-retirement program with employer contributions, flexible spending accounts, and a no-cost gym onsite at our D.C. office. Finally, we provide generous vacation (4 weeks in the first year), paid sick leave (3 weeks annually), two personal days a year, paid family and medical leave, and paid holiday schedule.
Please include both a Cover Letter and Resume. NO PHONE CALLS, PLEASE.
CLASP is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws.