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Senior Advocacy Associate, Ending Girls' Incarceration

Vera Institute of Justice

Vera Institute of Justice

Brooklyn, NY, USA · Washington, DC, USA
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2023

Who we are:

The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, is a nonprofit criminal justice organization that strives to build just government institutions and safe communities free from the scourge of racism, white supremacy, profit, and inequity that is pervasive in this country’s legal systems. We are an “inside” lane organization that drives change at scale with ambitious public sector leaders who share our commitment to building anti-racist, reparative systems that deliver justice. We leverage our access to government to transform these systems and work collaboratively with stakeholders across many movements—including advocacy, grassroots, and grasstop organizations. Our role is to pilot solutions that are transformative and achievable, harness the power of evidence to drive effective policy and practice, and use advocacy and communications to change narratives and norms.

Vera has a staff of 300 people and offices in New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. We are an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace. We expect our staff to embody respect, independence, collaboration, commitment, anti-racism, and equity—both in our outward-facing work and the internal culture of our workplace. We value a range of experiences in people’s educational backgrounds and encourage people who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system to apply.

Who you are:

The EGI Senior Advocacy Associate will advance EGI’s efforts to effect policy change and programmatic investment with our current sites and lay the foundation for expansion into new state-level work. This will include sustaining and building relationships with government and community partners, sustaining and building on reforms and solutions, tracking and responding to potential barriers and challenges, and pursuing local and state-wide campaigns that address disparities for girls and gender expansive youth of color within the youth legal system and advance their well-being in the community. The Senior Advocacy Associate for national work will report directly to EGI’s Program Manager.

What you'll do:

Lead implementation of EGI’s strategies in current sites and support statewide and national work to execute on priorities

  • In collaboration with EGI leadership and with direction from Vera’s Advocacy and Partnerships department, plan and implement EGI’s strategy to execute on strategic goals at the state and local level as the program scales nationally. This includes developing and managing workplans for each jurisdiction. Focus for the first year could include New York, Maine, Hawaii, and/or Santa Clara County, CA.
  • Collaborate with state and local government and community leaders to map and track changes in juvenile legal systemsincluding reforms implemented as part of our work—and help government leaders course-correct or develop strategies when faced with challenges or obstacles to reducing girls’ incarceration.
  • Facilitate conversations and collaborations across a range of stakeholders—including government agencies, advocates, service providers, and directly impacted young people.
  • Cultivate, maintain and grow relationships with relevant government leaders, advocates, and providers in the youth justice reform movement and aligned movements and fields in EGI-priority jurisdictions, including working collaboratively with EGI’s current partners.
  • Represent EGI’s priorities within relevant coalitions and alliances at the local, state, and national level.
  • Educate, build strong relationships, and advocate directly with elected officials and other government officials as needed to advance EGI's work.
  • Where advocacy campaigns are pursued, develop and manage campaign processes, including collaborating with lobbyists as needed.

Writing and Editing Technical Assistance and Campaign Materials

  • Draft fact sheets, talking points, testimony, model policies, legislative language and other education and outreach materials, in collaboration with EGI leadership, Vera’s Advocacy and Partnerships department, Vera’s federal policy team, and Vera’s communications department.
  • Collaborate with EGI leadership and research staff to gather relevant data and sourcing.
  • Collaborate with Communications to produce relevant communications materials to influence state and local stakeholders and public audiences (blog posts, social media content, op-eds etc.)
  • Delegate, support, and review writing by associate-level EGI staff.

Policy Research

  • Monitor and analyze legislation, regulatory change, and associated news that impacts EGI’s advocacy and technical assistance priorities
  • Monitor federal, state, and local budget developments relevant to EGI’s priorities for programmatic investment.
  • Provide relevant updates to the team based on research and escalate strategic opportunities or potential threats to EGI’s progress
  • Propose strategies to influence government and elected officials
  • Collaborate with other EGI team members on model policy and blueprinting potential solutions to end incarceration nationally based on progress at the state level

Training delivery and coordination

  • Prepare and deliver webinars, interactive workshops and trainings for government and other stakeholders in collaboration with EGI’s technical assistance staff both at the local and state level
  • Participate in training and facilitation of EGI’s California Action Network as needed

Leadership within EGI team and Vera:

  • Promote team’s overall impact by building team leadership and knowledge (including hosting brown bags on relevant topics like campaign management, policy matters etc.)
  • Join with Vera’s advocacy practice and learning community to share and workshop goal-setting, strategies, and tactics
  • Contribute to the professional development of colleagues (such as through providing guidance to associate-level staff)

What qualifications are we looking for?

  • Bachelor's degree + at least four years of legal, government, or policy work experience in youth justice. (In lieu of a Bachelors degree, applicable work or life experience may be considered.)
  • Experience engaging government and community leaders around youth justice reform issues
  • Experience building and managing complex technical assistance projects and/or advocacy campaigns


  • Experience developing and executing effective campaigns on youth justice reform or similar issue.
  • We value diverse experience in people’s educational backgrounds and encourage people who have lived experience with the criminal legal and immigration systems to apply

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities you'll bring:

  • Strong knowledge of the youth legal system and drivers of youth incarceration;
  • Strong race and gender analysis;
  • Strong communication and facilitation skills
  • Demonstrated understanding of the process for managing legislative campaigns
  • Strong writing and policy research skills
  • Strong project management skills, including ability to multitask and manage multiple projects and priorities simultaneously, as well as balance travel responsibilities with office-based responsibilities
  • Ability to work collaboratively with a national, remote team
  • Ability to identify needs and gaps in network and to proactively and creatively develop solutions and resources, as appropriate
  • Ability to travel across the country, as needed. This position would roughly require at least 4-6 site visits per year.

Technical knowledge we need you prepared to use:

  • Microsoft Office Suite; Zoom; Cloud-based project management programs (can learn on job)


Please note this role will report to our Brooklyn, NY or Washington, DC office. Vera employees adhere to a hybrid schedule and are in-office on an alternating schedule that generally amounts to 10 days per month.

Compensation and Benefits

The compensation range for this position is $91,500 – $96,500. Actual salaries will vary depending on factors including but not limited to experience and performance. The salary range listed is just one component of Vera Institute’s total compensation package for employees. As an employer of choice in our field, supporting Vera staff—both personally and professionally—is a priority. To do this, we invest in the well-being of our staff through other rewards including merit pay, generous paid time off, a comprehensive health insurance plan, student loan repayment benefits, professional development training opportunities and up to $2,000 annual for education costs and fees relevant to Vera work, employer-funded retirement plan, and flexible time. Please note Vera employees adhere to a hybrid schedule: two days in office their first week and three days in office every alternating week. To learn more about Vera’s benefits offerings, click here.

Applications may also be faxed to:

ATTN: People Resources / Senior Advocacy Associate National, EGI
Vera Institute of Justice
34 35th St, Suite 4-2A, Brooklyn, NY 11232
Fax: (212) 941-9407
Please use only one method (online, mail or fax) of submission.
No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.

As a federal contractor, and in order to ensure a healthy and safe work environment, Vera Institute of Justice is requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccine before their start date. Employees who cannot receive the vaccine because of a disability/medical contraindication or sincerely-held religious belief may request an accommodation (e.g., an exemption) to this requirement.

Vera is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status.

Vera works to advance justice, particularly racial justice, in an increasingly multicultural country and globally connected world. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission.

For more information about Vera, please visit www.vera.org