Center for Reproductive Rights
  • 22-May-2018 to 21-Aug-2018 (EST)
  • US Policy Advocacy
  • Washington, DC, USA
  • Full Time

Job Title: Senior Federal Legislative Counsel/Strategist

Department: U.S. Policy and Advocacy, Federal

Center Background: The Center for Reproductive Rights (the Center) is the premier global legal organization dedicated to advancing women's reproductive health, self-determination, and dignity. Its mission is straightforward and ambitious: to advance reproductive health and rights as fundamental human rights that all governments around the world are legally obligated to protect, respect, and fulfill. Headquartered in New York City, the Center has regional offices in Bogota, Geneva, Kathmandu, Nairobi, and Washington, D.C. and a diverse staff of more than 150 professionals.  Its annual operating budget is approximately $29 million, the result of an extraordinary growth trajectory. The Center is now poised for a new phase of significant expansion through its current and next Strategic Plan.

The Center's game-changing litigation and advocacy work, combined with its unparalleled expertise in constitutional, comparative, and international human rights law, have transformed how reproductive rights are understood by courts, governments, and human rights bodies worldwide. It has played a key role in securing landmark legal victories in the U.S., Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe on issues including access to life-saving obstetrics care, contraception, safe abortion services, and comprehensive sexuality information, as well as the prevention of forced sterilization and child marriage.  It has brought ground-breaking cases before national courts, U.N. Committees, and regional human rights bodies, has led the development of historic, proactive legislation advancing robust protections for reproductive rights, and has built the legal capacity of women's rights advocates in more than 55 countries.

To learn more about the Center for Reproductive Rights, go to

The Role:

The Senior Federal Legislative Counsel/Strategist will play a central role in the Center's federal policy and advocacy work, developing and implementing all federal legislative strategies to ensure protection for reproductive rights and access to reproductive healthcare. This position reports to the Chief Counsel, Federal Policy and Advocacy, partners closely with the Senior Federal Policy Counsel, and will coordinate legal strategies as appropriate with the Ligitation, Judicial Strategies, and Human Rights teams (which are based in New York). 

This is a supervisory role, and will have both direct reports and responsibility for supervising matters staffed by junior and mid-level federal policy staff.  The Senior Legislative Counsel/Strategist will operate as lead on federal legislative strategy and advocacy.  They will marshal the resources of the federal team to provide legal analysis on relevant legislation and develop proactive strategies for advancing the Center's priorities on Capitol Hill and with other audiences.   

The Senior Legislative Counsel/Strategist will be joining the Center at a critical time, as we are moving into a new phase of work relating to the Women's Health Protection Act.  A key aspect of the Senior Counsel/Strategist's work will be designing and managing a large-scale campaign, in coordination with the Act for Women Campaign Manager and external groups, to push for passage of this bill.

Position placement:  Washington, D.C.


  • Drafting and analyzing legislation and advancing legislative strategies that will protect and expand the right and access to abortion care and promote access to the full range of affordable reproductive health, including abortion, contraception, maternal health, and assisted reproduction;
  • Monitoring and responding to legislative developments, including hearings, markups, staff briefings, and other events;
  • Developing appropriate advocacy strategies that support our policy priorities;
  • Coordinating with other coalition partners, progressive allies, and pro bono partners;
  • Serving as primary liaison to the Hill and providing legislative analysis and strategic guidance to staff across the Center;
  • Managing all activities relating to the Women's Health Protection Act, including working with the Act for Women Campaign Manager to implement an ambitious campaign to promote and pass this legislation;
  • Advising and collaborating with cross-departmental teams on legislative aspects of our work;
  • Translating complex federal statutes, policies, and practices into accessible communications for diverse audiences including lawmakers and their staff, advocates and coalition partners;
  • Helping develop public messages and media responses as appropriate, in partnership with the Senior Director for Communications, and serving as a Center spokesperson on key federal issues;
  • Drafting materials for use in lobbying activities and outreach, including legislation, hearing testimony, bill analyses, fact sheets, and legal memoranda;
  • Preparing internal and external updates and other written analysis of legislation and other key events or initiatives;
  • Identifying inflection points and advocacy opportunities and leading efforts to take advantage of those moments in partnership with relevant members of the federal and communications teams;
  • Maintaining a high level of substantive expertise on the evolving federal policy landscape;
  • Presenting at professional and advocacy conferences and meetings to lead public discourse on reproductive rights;
  • Advancing relationships with policy makers and coalition allies and ensuring the Center is a go-to resource on reproductive rights;  
  • Organizing events on aspects of our work in DC.

Experience & Qualifications:

  • Strong commitment to the Center's mission, purpose, and values;
  • J.D. strongly preferred; other advanced degrees will be considered;
  • Minimum of 7 years of relevant experience;
  • At least 2 years supervising, training, or mentoring junior attorneys or individuals with different levels of experience;
  • Demonstrated track record in developing and implementing federal legislative strategy;
  • Expertise on the structure and processes of federal lawmaking;
  • Significant, senior level experience on the Hill and strong existing relationships with members of Congress and their staff;
  • Effective public speaking skills and writing skills;
  • Outstanding legal analysis skills;
  • Excellent organizational, project management and time management skills;
  • Expertise in reproductive rights specifically, or health policy more broadly, strongly preferred;
  • Experience in working with or building coalitions; leadership within coalitions of social justice movements strongly preferred;
  • Experience working with media and integrating communications strategies into advocacy campaigns.
  • Demonstrated experience working collaboratively within and across teams and with external partners.

Critical Position Qualities:

  • Collaborative: Brings a track record of working effectively with various and diverse individuals and groups. A willingness to actively listen and invite different views and opinions across all levels of the institution to build alignment in support of a common goal.
  • Innovative: Demonstrated ability to be innovative and highly productive, with a focus on excellence in a high energy, fast moving, deadline orientated environment
  • Initiative: Effectively responds to pressure or crisis situations and acts professionally.  Uses resources well.  Follows through on ideas, assignments and open issues.
  • Commitment to learning: Applies a growth mentality to their own and their supervisees' development and pushes self and others to work out of comfort zone.  Promotes a culture of learning by modeling inquisitiveness and an openness to viewing mistakes as an opportunity to learn and improve
  • Integrity: Possesses impeccable integrity and personal and professional values that are consistent with the Center's high standards and mission.
  • Transparency: Consistently applies openness and honesty in communicating decisions and plans to team members
  • Adaptive/Flexible: Has a can do/will do attitude and demonstrates comfort with ambiguity and calculated risk-taking.
  • Empathy: An empathetic, approachable team player who engenders trust and confidence, with an inherent ability to interact positively with all members of the Center staff.
  • Independent Worker/Thinker: Must have the ability to work independently and in a team setting. 
  • Confident:  Must possess and exhibit a level of confidence in themselves and his/her work, but be able to take direction and criticism professionally. 
  • Results Oriented: Ability to achieve results and complete assignments in a timely manner.

Compensation:  The Center offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience and a comprehensive benefits program.

How to Apply: Please click on the link below to apply. A cover letter, resume, writing sample, and contact information for three references must be included in your application in order to be considered for this position. Please include these application materials as attachments.

Deadline for Applications:  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

The Center for Reproductive Rights is an equal opportunity employer, committed to inclusive hiring, and dedicated to diversity in our work and staff.  We strongly encourage people from all groups and communities to apply.

Center for Reproductive Rights
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