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Director of Advocacy in Washington, DC at Muscular Dystrophy Association

Date Posted: 4/21/2018

Job Snapshot

Job Description


Our Values are our strength:  We believe in MUSCLE:     

Mission:  We’re driven to accelerate progress for families and muscle health.

Understanding:  We’re attentive to our constituent’s needs and each other’s.

Stewardship:  By investing precious resources wisely, we drive the best possible outcomes.

Collaboration:  We foster win-win partnerships and build communities.

Learning:  Knowledge powers our success and empowers our people.

Excellence:  We strive to do our best and exceed constituents’ expectations.


Position Description:

The Director of Advocacy reports to the Sr. Vice President, Chief Policy & Community Engagement Officer. This individual will have experience with national level policy and advocacy and will help lead, manage and support MDA’s public policy and advocacy efforts. The Director of Advocacy will oversee the department and will manage the Advocacy Specialist in day to day efforts, and will represent MDA in multiple functions including, but not limited to, coalition efforts, meetings with policy makers, and other engagements.


  • Lead and manage MDA’s public policy and advocacy efforts at the national level.
  • Represent MDA at meetings, symposia, Congressional hearings, and other events as requested.
  • Monitor and report on status of relevant national policy developments, including legislation, regulations, and policy proposals.
  • Work closely with MDA’s research, communications, and other departments on an ongoing basis in developing and executing outreach and messaging to stakeholder groups.
  • Build and maintain relationships with community stakeholders and policy makers. .
  • Participate in speaking engagements and on panel opportunities as requested.
  • Track, evaluate and prepare regular reports around policy and advocacy efforts in which MDA is engaged or monitoring.
  • Implement and manage the coordination of Grassroots initiatives
  • Manage Advocacy Specialist.
  • Collaborate and assist with preparing and disseminating member communications, public relations, marketing materials, and publications.
  • Prepare correspondence to Congressional offices, executive agencies, advocates, and others as requested.
  • Manage MDA’s national Policy & Advocacy conference and MDA’s regional advocacy efforts in alternating years.
  • Participate in MDA training and educational activities and events.
  • Coordinate with MDA’s national and state ambassador program.
  • Perform other related duties as required and assigned.


  • Leadership- Exhibits confidence in self and others; Inspires and motivates others to perform well; Effectively influences actions and opinions of others; Accepts feedback from others; Gives appropriate recognition to others.  
  • Communication Skills - Clearly and persuasively communicate, listen and seek clarifications; participate in meetings, write clearly and informatively, comfortable with public speaking.
  • Professionalism - Work well in a fast-paced environment; treat others with respect and consideration; accept responsibility for own actions. Understand business implications of decisions, align work with strategic goals, complete administrative tasks and develop strategies to achieve organizational goals.
  • Teamwork – Balances team and individual responsibilities; Exhibits objectivity and openness to others’ views; Gives and welcomes feedback; Contributes to building a positive team spirit; Puts success of team above own interests; able to build morale and group commitments to goals and objectives: Supports everyone’s efforts to succeed.
  • Visionary Leadership –Displays passion and optimism; Inspires respect and trust; Mobilizes other to fulfill the vision; Provides vision and inspiration to others.
  • Organizational Support - Follows policies and procedures; Completes administrative tasks correctly and on time; supports organization's goals and values; Supports affirmative action and respects diversity.


  • Bachelor’s degree required; master’s degree required, with a minimum of 5 years of public policy, advocacy, or relevant experience at the national level.   
  • Capitol Hill, federal agency, and/or campaign experience preferred
  • Ability to synthesize complex information and communicate in an accessible format
  • Ability to coordinate with multiple organizations and participate in large coalition efforts.
  • Ability to manage multiple high level tasks and initiatives in a fast paced environment
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong computer skills, including Microsoft Office, and ability to use (or learn) advocacy software platforms and patient management platforms
  • Working knowledge of how to use social media platforms.
  • Ability to analyze complex policy scenarios and understand the implications for the neuromuscular disease community.
  • Ability to work collaboratively
  • Ability to multi-task.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Ability to communicate in a consistent, proactive and inclusive manner.

MDA is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status.