State Director, Texas

The Texas State Director for Policy and Advocacy position is housed in UnidosUS’ Policy and Advocacy component.

UnidosUS’ Policy and Advocacy component is one of the most influential and visible national advocacy think tanks championing public policy on behalf of Latinos. UnidosUS Policy and Advocacy work leverages policy and program expertise, communications and polling, Affiliate and voter engagement, and core elements of policymaking to achieve transformational social policy change nationally and at the state level.

The State Director will lead, manage, and execute efforts to advance UnidosUS’ state and state-federal policy agenda, including issue and electoral campaigns. S/he will work with and maintain strong relationships with allies, stakeholders, policymakers, UnidosUS Affiliate leaders, and others to influence state policy agendas and advance the organization’s policy goals. UnidosUS national policy agenda includes education, health, economic empowerment, and immigration/civil rights policies, and works to expand Latino civic participation. State policy efforts will focus on a mix of these areas.

This position will work collaboratively with various UnidosUS teams across the institution and with staff and Affiliate leaders in the state, to build successful issue and voter engagement campaigns. S/he will set strategies in collaboration with issue area Directors and leads, and with the Legislative Affairs team.

The Texas State Director will report to the Senior Vice President of Policy and Advocacy. This position is based in Austin, TX.

Essential Functions

  • Build high level relationships with state policymakers, represent UnidosUS in the state capitol, and serve as a spokesperson on policy priorities.
  • Track state legislative and agency activity, policy, and media developments on key issues, to provide strategic advice in response to threats and opportunities to launch and scale campaigns.
  • Develop policy and advocacy agenda, set policy priorities, develop strategy and tactical plans (including legislative, administrative, electoral, and other elements as appropriate) to advance policy goals, in collaboration with component’s senior leadership.
  • Conduct state and national issue campaigns, working with multiple teams, managing staff and consultants, and leveraging UnidosUS policy, program, and network assets to achieve policy outcomes.
  • Advance Latino issue priorities through communications, presentations, and earned and paid media.
  • Build, sustain and expand partnerships with UnidosUS Affiliate Network, state coalitions, allies, and elected officials to advance policy priorities, and represent UnidosUS in those settings.
  • Collaborate with issue and communications teams to develop issue analyses, position statements, talking points, and public information materials that energize Latino participation, elevate Latino issue priorities, and educate partners and policymakers.
  • Organize policy/advocacy activities, including roundtables, town halls, and legislative visits, and provide technical assistance and issue support to develop spokespeople.
  • Identify and cultivate in-state funding opportunities and manage ongoing communications with existing funders, including developing proposals and report submissions, and working to identify and pursue new funders.
  • Supervise staff and manage consultants and vendors.

Qualifications & Requirements

Education & Experience

  • Seven (7) to ten (10) years of experience developing and executing high-impact issue advocacy campaigns, combining policy, legislative, field and communications strategies, and tactics.
  • Robust understanding of the Latino community, commitment to social justice and to UnidosUS mission.
  • Experience working in Austin and engaging state policymakers.
  • Substantive knowledge of and ability to effectively maneuver the legislative and policymaking process, and federal and state government structures (e.g., legislative/administrative process, budget, state agencies, etc.) to advance policy goals.
  • Excellent writing skills and ability to synthesize information and present it in a variety of formats and styles (e.g., issue one-pagers, position letters, blog posts, op-eds, talking points).
  • Excellent verbal communication skills and ability to represent UnidosUS effectively in various settings (e.g., trainings, presentations, press conferences, interviews, and legislative testimony).
  • Experience engaging a wide range of stakeholders (coalition partners, legislators and their staff, media, foundations, business, and academics), working in coalition, and building high-impact partnerships.
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously and thrive in a complex environment with multiple priorities and tight deadlines, working both independently and as part of a team.
  • Ability to self-start and manage up, as well as communicate effectively across multiple teams and with multiple staff members in various locations around the country.
  • Adapt information to the state level as appropriate and produce and present it in a variety of formats and styles (e.g., issue one-pagers, position letters, blog posts, op-eds, talking points).
  • Bilingual ability (English/Spanish) strongly preferred.

Skills & Abilities

  • Steadfast commitment to UnidosUS mission, vision, and values of (Excellent, Accountability, Respeto).
  • Commitment to U.S. Latino community, Latino non-profit organizations, and the Latino market.
  • Demonstrated experience working in non-profits, community-based organizations, and diverse communities.
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Commitment to excellence and high standards.
  • Ability to work independently and as a member of various teams and committees.
  • Advanced proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite more specifically, Office 365.
  • Acute attention to detail.
  • Bilingual (English/Spanish) skills a plus.