Employment Opportunity

External Relations Officer - Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.

The External Relations Officer – Washington, DC will be responsible for coordinating and overseeing outreach and engagement with key audiences in the Washington, DC area, including Congress, the administration and federal agencies, and organizations and professional societies that share Academy goals.

The External Relations Officer – Washington, DC will support and advance the Academy’s efforts to increase visibility and impact with DC stakeholders, including outreach on behalf of projects and commissions from the Academy’s five program areas: American Institutions, Society, and the Public Good; Education and the Development of Knowledge; Global Security and International Affairs; The Humanities, Arts, and Culture; and Science, Engineering, and Technology.

A principal focus over the next few years will be to support the American Institutions, Society, and the Public Good program area to advance the recommendations in the recent report, Our Common Purpose: Reinventing American Democracy for the 21st Century. The recommendations cut across political institutions, civil society, and civic culture with the goal of strengthening our constitutional democracy.  The Academy is committed to making significant progress on all 31 of the report’s recommendations by 2026, the 250th anniversary of the nation’s birth.

The External Relations Officer – Washington, DC will report to the Director of Strategic Implementation and will work closely with the Chief Program Officer and relevant Program Directors.

Due to COVID-19, the Academy is currently operating remotely through August 2021, after which time, the position will be based at the Academy’s Washington, DC office.



  • Work closely with the Director of Strategic Implementation to plan for outreach and impact with Washington, DC area audiences.
  • Advise Academy staff and project leaders on outreach opportunities with key Washington, DC stakeholders, including Congress, the administration, federal agencies, and potential partner organizations.
  • Develop strategies to educate key audiences and advance Academy recommendations in keeping with the Academy’s status as an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization.
  • Build relationships with congressional offices, administration officials, federal agency staff, and partner organizations.
  • Track events, hearings, committee meetings, and legislative activity related to Academy projects and recommendations and provide updates to colleagues and project leaders.
  • Coordinate meetings and follow up opportunities for Academy project contributors, fellows, and staff with congressional offices, the administration, federal agencies, and potential partner organizations in the Washington, DC area.
  • Develop talking points for Academy colleagues and project contributors participating in meetings, briefings, and committee testimony with policymakers.
  • Create content summarizing the key messages, findings and recommendations of Academy work for policymakers.
  • Develop and lead Academy events in the Washington, DC area to engage local audiences with our work and increase the Academy’s visibility and influence.
  • Track and provide reports on engagement activities in Washington, DC to Academy colleagues, stakeholders and governance.


  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree in a related field preferred (e.g. public policy; law)
  • At least five years of relevant professional work experience.
  • Experience working in government as congressional or executive branch staff or in government relations for a nonpartisan policy center, think tank, or other non-profit organization preferred.
  • Commitment to the Academy’s mission to remain independent and nonpartisan, and to provide content and expertise of value to policymakers with a diversity of views.
  • Interest in, and passion for, democracy reform issues a must; related experience or expertise in this area a plus.
  • Experience and comfort collaborating with congressional staff from both major political parties.
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills, including an ability to synthesize, summarize, and present research findings and recommendations for a policymaker audience.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively engage with a wide variety of internal and external groups including policymakers, scholars, and civil society leaders.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with diverse constituencies and stakeholders and a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.
  • Ability to prioritize opportunities and balance the needs of various internal stakeholders.
  • Strong track record of collaboration and contributing to a team environment.