The National Conference of State Legislatures is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and legislative staff of the nation's 50 states, its commonwealths and territories. NCSL provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues. Our mission is to serve state legislatures and other intergovernmental groups by providing support, promoting fresh ideas, connecting legislators and staff with experts and each other, and provide a strong, cohesive voice in the federal system. Since its founding in 1975, NCSL's staff has grown from 15 employees to over 150 employees in its offices in Denver, CO and Washington, D.C.
NCSL’s Transportation Program is seeking a Policy Specialist or Senior Policy Specialist with expertise in transportation funding and financing policy issues. This includes performing legislative research, analysis, writing and program planning. This person will assist with providing quality, unbiased information to state legislators and legislative staff through publications, legislative tracking, meetings and other efforts.
The Policy Specialist/Senior Policy Specialist will develop expertise, create written and in-person programming and answer information requests from state legislators, legislative staff and other policy stakeholders on transportation funding and financing issues. Areas of focus will include motor fuel taxes, vehicle registration fees, road usage charge programs, private-public partnerships, tolling, bonding and other mechanisms to fund and finance surface transportation programs and assets. They will also develop expertise and assist with other topics such as truck and rail freight, highway operations and maintenance, congestion mitigation, passenger rail, transit, autonomous and connected vehicles, smart city policies and other transportation issues as assigned and needed.
The Policy Specialist/Senior Policy Specialist will update online bill-tracking databases, draft publications, assist with meeting coordination, assist with presentations, compile and summarize legislation, and complete research for program projects including publications, NCSL meetings and off-site trainings and presentations. This professional position requires demonstrated competence in research, writing, communication, public policy and analytical skills.
This position will work as part of a team funded through grants and is subject to reduction in percentage of time covered or elimination if grant funding becomes unavailable. This position will also perform fundraising and grant management duties, including grant writing, communications with funders, and writing grant reports.
The position is non-advocacy and requires expertise in transportation policy research, analysis, writing, speaking to legislative audiences, program planning, and development gained through progressively more complex and more in-depth work over several years. The position will require varying amounts of out-of-state travel by plane to meetings and to individual states to provide technical assistance. The ideal candidate has state legislative experience, can handle a diverse range of tasks on several projects that cover multiple transportation policy topics, and can contribute to fundraising and grant management activities. The key distinctions between Policy Specialist and Senior Policy Specialist are in knowledge gained through experience, the degree of independence in performing duties, the program-wide scope of responsibilities, and a consistently outstanding degree of comportment, achievement and effort.
RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES:
Anticipates emerging issues of importance to state legislatures and initiates research, technical assistance, or seminar programs to respond, in line with funding sources available.
Conducts complex, integrative research projects with an understanding of their political context and can provide substantive advice and intricate policy interpretations to legislators and legislative staff.
Develops and maintains networks with other public interest groups, the private sector, and state, federal or other governmental officials, thus helping to promote NCSL positions, activities or programs.
Coordinates research efforts among projects in an NCSL program and with other organizations to enhance policy formulation and program development.
Participates in planning, work plan development and issue identification for a program.
In consultation with program leaders, identifies opportunities and initiates ideas for presentations, publications, technical assistance workshops, video, letters, memos, newsletters and articles, in line with funding sources to support the work.
Writes skillfully and with minimal need for editing for the full range of publications including policy briefs, webpages, blogs and magazine articles.
Initiates innovative approaches to technical assistance programs, concurrent sessions, and seminars.
Independently plans, organizes and conducts comprehensive and balanced technical assistance programs, major state or regional conferences and national seminars and may play the lead role in coordinating the work of other professional staff in large, multi-topic seminars.
Independently manages multi-state or particularly complex technical assistance efforts.
Provides technical assistance to states that goes beyond general information dissemination and includes state-specific policy analysis and options, and in-depth problem solving.
Develops concepts for new projects in one's own and other subject areas, initiates proposals for new activities or funding opportunities, and independently develops complex project budgets and grant applications.
Assists with developing relations and conducting negotiations with new funding sources.
Establishes and maintains effective relations with leaders, legislators and legislative staff involved with difficult issues, states, or special constituencies.
Represents NCSL in substantive discussions and can explain and interpret NCSL programs and policies.
Performs other responsibilities as assigned.
May supervise one or two professional staff or interns on an ongoing basis or serve as coordinator of a team of other professionals on a short-term project.
This job operates in a professional office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as laptop computers, copy machines, scanners and smartphones.
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.
This is largely a sedentary position that requires the ability to speak, hear, see, lift small objects up to 50 lbs., open filing cabinets and bend, stoop, or stand on a stool as necessary. Requires the ability to travel locally, regionally and nationally, including overnight and weekends.
Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.
Experience and Education
Bachelor's degree plus five years (for policy specialist) or six years (for senior policy specialist) of relevant and progressive work experience.
Up to three years of post-baccalaureate education (i.e., master’s degree, advanced professional degree or doctoral degree) may be substituted for some of the required work experience.
The following work experience or some equivalent combination is preferred:
At least one year (for policy specialist) or two years (for senior policy specialist) of professional experience with NCSL or with a state legislature or government,
Two years (policy specialist) or three years (senior policy specialist) of professional public policy experience.
Subject-specific knowledge or experience.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
Skill and competence in a wide range of research skills and tasks.
Excellent writing, speaking, research, analytic and organizational skills.
Skill and competence in working effectively with legislators and legislative staff and dealing with politically sensitive constituencies.
Able to maintain confidentiality and handle politically sensitive work.
Skill and competence in working independently and under pressure on multiple projects.
The ability to supervise and lead others.
NCSL offers an outstanding benefits package including low cost health, dental and vision coverage, a 401(a)-retirement plan with 10% contribution after 6 months and full vesting, life & disability insurance, 3-weeks paid vacation with 5+ years of paid full-time work experience, paid leave, 35-hour work weeks, telework, pet insurance, discounted bus / train passes, in-office dry cleaning pick up, access to 24-hour fitness memberships, and more!
Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume highlighting skills and qualifications to: https://ncsl.applicantpro.com/jobs no later than Thursday, March 7, 2019.
NCSL IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER.
About National Conference of State Legislatures
Since 1975, the National Conference of State Legislatures has been the bipartisan voice of legislators and legislative staff in the states, commonwealths and territories of the U.S. Our mission is to serve state legislatures by providing support, promoting fresh ideas, connecting legislators and staff with experts and each other, and providing a strong, cohesive voice in the federal system.
Legislators and legislative staff turn to us for up-to-date, nonpartisan information on critical state legislative issues, including health care, budgets, elections, transportation, education and more. We work to protect state sovereignty and flexibility, fight against unfunded mandates and oppose unwarranted federal pre-emption of state authority. Our experts and their research are regularly cited by prominent national news outlets, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and NPR.
NCSL’s success depends on its dedicated and talented staff. Our staff serves a diverse community of legislators and legislative staff, and NCSL values a diverse workforce that reflects that community. We strive to recruit, develop and retain the most talented people by valuing their varied skills and ...experiences. Employees work in a challenging, often fast-paced environment where they assist legislators and legislative staff in their work to promote the common good of the citizens of the states.