Director of External Affairs and Policy

San Francisco, CA
Commensurate with experience
Sep 10, 2018
Oct 10, 2018
Position Type
Full Time
Degree Level
Willingness to Travel
Not willing to travel
Experience Level

Organization:           Compass Family Services helps homeless and at-risk families to achieve housing stability, economic self-sufficiency and family well-being. Our services include intake and referral to shelter, emergency shelter, transitional housing, rental assistance, and childcare—in addition to a broad spectrum of counseling, parenting education, prevention, and support services. The organization has a budget of $10 million and a staff of more than 100+ full-time, part-time and on-call employees.

Reports to:                Executive Director

Classification:           Salaried, exempt

Organizational Core Competencies:

  • Accountable
  • Adaptable
  • Client-centered
  • Collaborative
  • Committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Resourceful

POSITION SUMMARY: The Director of External Affairs & Policy works closely with the Executive Director and the development team to develop, plan, organize, and implement Compass Family Services' external affairs and policy strategy. This person will lead Compass’ efforts to: 1) influence family homelessness policy dialogue and direction, 2) keep family homelessness in the forefront of public thought, 3) promote the visibility of Compass and its work, and 4) pursue and highlight collaborative synergies.


Organizational Leadership

  • Demonstrate and communicate a passion for the mission of Compass Family Services.
  • Represent Compass Family Services to the external community.
  • Work in partnership with senior leadership team and Board of Directors to determine and execute the agency’s strategic priorities.
  • Participate on the senior leadership team and help provide leadership and direction for Compass Family Services’ policies, programs and operations.
  • Participate on Compass Family Services’ development team.

Government and Community Relations

  • Develop and hold a broad understanding of family homelessness and other issue areas relevant to Compass’ work, on local, state and national levels.
  • Serve,with Executive Director, as key contact and spokesperson on policy issues.wi
  • Work with Compass' leadership team, board, and staff to define the organization's policy agenda and keep the organization up-to-date on developments in policy that can affect the sector, including legislative proposals, enacted policies, regulations and trends that affect Compass' clients.
  • Build and maintain strategic relationships with local non-profit leaders, policy makers, leading experts, and constituents that are important to the development and execution of Compass’ policy agenda.
  • Participate in relevant coalitions, committees and forums.
  • Work with Compass leadership to advocate for Compass’ policy agenda.
  • Set up meetings, as appropriate, for members of the Compass leadership team with key officials, and prepare briefing materials for those meetings.

Communications and Public Relations

  • As a member of Compass’ development team, participate in the development and implementation of campaign public relations plan.
  • Track and assess external communications and public relations efforts.
  • Work with staff to tell effectively Compass’ story through various communications and media.
  • Create powerful written internal and external communications products including website, print publications, newsletters, online communications, media and public relations.
  • Work closely with the agency’s Corporate Relations & Communications Manager to develop and manage agency’s online and social media voice
  • Train Board, Leadership Council and external facing staff on key messaging
  • Present to a variety of audiences to elicit support, create partnerships, and promote Compass Family Services’ brand awareness.
  • In concert with the agency’s Corporate Relations & Communications Manager, manage and oversee public and media relations including acting as a media spokesperson.
  • Resolve public relations issues.


  • Bachelor's or higher degree preferred
  • Knowledge of family homelessness and the political landscape with 5 years of experience in related field
  • Experience in government, politics and/or policy-making, and community relations
  • Self-directed, self-starter able to manage multiple priorities
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to convene and lead meetings, deliver presentations, give speeches, and represent Compass to external audiences
  • Excellent project management skills – ability to manage large, long-term, complex projects
  • Exercise the authority of the position with diplomacy, honest, integrity, humor, and tact

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