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Advocacy Manager, Advancing Universal Representation

Vera Institute of Justice

Vera Institute of Justice

Washington, DC, USA
Posted on Sunday, October 22, 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 Advocacy Manager would be based in Washington, D.C. and play a key role in executing our federal strategy in the Advancing Universal Representation Initiative and the Fairness to Freedom Campaign. The Advocacy Manager would report to the Associate Director of Advocacy, who is the Fairness to Freedom Campaign lead. They would manage and execute our Congressional and Administrative outreach and represent Vera for UREP in DC and national advocacy spaces, working with the campaign lead to manage and expand the overall coalition. They would also support advocacy efforts in priority states and localities to advance the goals of the Fairness to Freedom Campaign.

What you'll do:

Federal Advocacy

  • Work with associate director of advocacy and the associate director of policy and design to manage and execute our federal legislative outreach on the Fairness to Freedom Act to increase awareness and support in Congress.
  • Work with associate director of advocacy to draft annual federal advocacy plan for Fairness to Freedom Campaign and assess regularly for progress and suggested updates.
  • Manage and execute federal strategy on advancing funding for legal representation.
  • Plan and assist with campaign events aimed at building legislative support in Washington, DC in collaboration with colleagues and partners.

Coalition work and movement building

  • Work with the associate director of advocacy to lead the development of the advocacy and partnership/coalition strategy, participate in coalition spaces on immigration and other strategical areas, particularly in the DC- advocacy community.
  • Provide and inform training on advocacy for colleagues and partners to improve the success of universal representation advocacy.
  • Plan and assist with movement building events in support of Fairness to Freedom campaign.

Liaise with Vera federal policy team and across policy/advocacy spaces on immigration at Vera.

Other projects and duties as assigned.

What qualifications are we looking for?

  • Experience with grass tops advocacy, federal lobbying, and federal campaigns. Experience in immigration policy. Experience working on Capitol Hill strongly preferred.
  • Bachelors degree + 7 years of relevant experience. In lieu of a Bachelors degree, applicable work or life experience may be considered.
  • JD/Ph.D.
  • 5 years of policy and advocacy experience in the immigration reform space, building coalitions, allies and national strategy.
  • Experience working on Capitol Hill.

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities you'll bring:

  • Excellent writing and communication skills
  • Experience in public advocacy campaigns
  • Experience working in coalition spaces
  • Legislative drafting, research, or tracking
  • Ability to work collaboratively with a national, remote team
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite
  • Ability to identify needs and gaps in initiative and to proactively and creatively develop solutions and resources, as appropriate

Technical knowledge we need you prepared to use:

Microsoft Office Suite; Zoom; Slack, Cloud-based project management programs used at Vera.


Please note this role will report to our Washington, D.C. 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 $114,000 - 117,000. 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. To learn more about Vera’s benefits offerings, click here.

Applications may also be faxed to:

ATTN: People Resources / Advocacy Manager, Advancing Universal Representation
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.

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.