Associate Vice President of Public Affairs

Washington D.C.
Jun 05, 2019
Jul 05, 2019
Focus Areas
Position Type
Full Time
Willingness to Travel
up to 25%
Experience Level

Associate Vice President, Public Affairs

R Street Institute

Washington, D.C.


Are you a forward thinker? Do you have great ideas about nonprofit branding and communications? Are you inspired by a dynamic work environment and passionate, well-reasoned peers? Do you have a record of getting results and leading dynamic, talented teams?  Are you committed to free markets and real solutions? If your answer is unequivocally yes, then the R Street Institute needs you as our Associate Vice President of Public Affairs to oversee our outreach and communications efforts.

This is not a typical communications or government affairs job and the R Street Institute isn’t a typical think tank. This position will focus on managing and leading; it is not a role as our chief media spokesperson or person who does the most outreach on the Hill. This role requires a visionary who can put all of the pieces together to increase our impact and build a great think tank brand.

About us first: We’re a quirky, right-of-center libertarian think tank with a budget of over $10 million, nearly 70 full-time staff and a great work culture that landed us on Washingtonian Magazine’s Great Places to Work list in April 2019. We have offices around the country, although most of our staff are in Washington, D.C. Our staff frequently testifies before Congress and has its work published by the nation’s leading media outlets.

You will be charged with bringing already successful communications and outreach efforts to the next level by building an integrated branding and marketing strategy for us as an institution. This job involves leading a team and integrating our public affairs and outreach strategies to maximize our impact on public policy. In ways consistent with our brand and desired impact, you will strive to improve impact metrics such as testimonies before Congress and op-eds placed in top publications.

Your typical day at R Street may include coordinating with our director of state government affairs to figure out which hearings to target for engagement over the next month, working with our communications  and digital heads to ensure that a new advertising campaign on Facebook is consistent with our brand, helping interview a new communications staffer,  reviewing progress on a new strategy to increase the number of invited testimonies we give before Congress and helping our commercial freedom team figure out how best to deploy resources for a new effort on birth control access.


Other Aspects of Your Role

  • Oversee the directors of communications, federal and state affairs and, in doing so, the entire government affairs and communications staffs.
  • Serve as chief architect and custodian of R Street’s brand.
  • Coordinate, in concert with team members, communications and legislative educational outreach strategies to spread R Street’s work both federally and at the state level.
  • Oversee efforts to build and manage issue-based coalitions.
  • Assure the timely, high-quality completion of deliverables associated with the communications, federal affairs and state affairs teams.


Skills, Qualifications and Everything Else You Should Have

  • The number one criterion is management experience, especially involving primary responsibility for full-time staff in a public-policy-oriented setting.
  • Experience in communications, outreach and/or public relations.
  • Ability to communicate clear performance expectations and motivate staff to drive results.
  • A passion for mentoring and developing talent.
  • A dedication to producing high-quality outputs that delight our stakeholders.
  • No specific educational background is required, although we expect that most people we select to interview will have at least a bachelor’s degree, and many will have an advanced degree as well.
  • A passion for free markets and limited, effective government.
  • A sense of humor and a desire to grow with a dynamic organization.


We understand that people gain skills through a variety of professional, personal, educational and volunteer experiences. If you believe you have the transferable skills necessary to fulfill the responsibilities of this role, we encourage you to apply. Proven ability to get results can always substitute for formal credentials, but no credentials can substitute for a record of achievement.


This is a full-time job based in Washington, D.C. and requires a daily presence in our office as well as some travel throughout the United States. R Street is growing rapidly but remains a close-knit team.


R Street strives to provide a compensation package superior to those at other think tanks and nonprofits. In addition to a competitive salary, we provide a health insurance option entirely paid by the employer (even for families), wellness benefits, an employer-subsidized mobile phones benefit, 401(k) contributions with up to a four percent match (fully vested from the beginning) and an exceptionally generous vacation policy.


R Street does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, era of military service, gender identity, relationship structure or anything else that's illegal, immoral or stupid to use as a basis for hiring.


We currently plan to accept applications for this job until filled. We will contact ideal individuals for video conference interviews and conduct them on a rolling basis. Following these interviews, individuals will be asked to complete an assessment and we will hold longer in-person interviews in our Washington, D.C. office for selected candidates.


Don’t wait any longer! To apply, please upload a cover letter and resume in Microsoft Word or PDF format.