Company: American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Job description:

The Government Relations Officer – Washington, DC will be responsible for coordinating and overseeing outreach and engagement with policymakers in the Washington, DC area, including Congress and the administration and federal agencies, as well as state and local government where relevant to Academy work.

The Government Relations Officer – Washington, DC will support and advance the Academy’s efforts to increase visibility and impact with policymakers, including outreach on behalf of projects and commissions from the Academy’s five program areas: American Institutions, Society, and the Public Good; Education; Global Security and International Affairs; The Humanities, Arts, and Culture; and Science, Engineering, and Technology.

A principal focus, and the majority of time, over the next few years will be to support the American Institutions, Society, and the Public Good program area to advance the recommendations in the Academy report, Our Common Purpose: Reinventing American Democracy for the 21st Century. The recommendations cut across political institutions, civil society, and civic culture with the goal of strengthening our constitutional democracy.  The Academy is committed to making significant progress on all 31 of the report’s recommendations by 2026, the 250th anniversary of the nation’s birth.

The Government Relations Officer – Washington, DC will report to the Director of Strategic Implementation and will work closely with the Chief Program Officer, Program Directors, and other Program staff.

This position will be hybrid and based at the Academy’s Washington, DC office. Occasional travel (typically less than 10%) and some nights and weekends are required to support project activities.


  • Work closely with the Director of Strategic Implementation to plan for outreach and impact with Washington, DC area policymakers as well as state and local government, when relevant to Academy projects
  • Advise Academy staff and project leaders on outreach opportunities with key Washington, DC stakeholders, including Congress, the administration, federal agencies, and potential partner organizations. Develop strategies to educate key audiences and advance Academy recommendations in keeping with the Academy’s status as an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization.
  • Develop and lead Academy events in the Washington, DC area to engage policymakers and other leaders with our work and increase the Academy’s visibility and influence.
  • Build relationships with congressional offices, administration officials, federal agency staff, state and local policymakers, and partner organizations.
  • Track events, hearings, committee meetings, and national and state legislative activity related to Academy projects and recommendations and provide updates to colleagues and project leaders.
  • Coordinate meetings and follow up opportunities for Academy project contributors, fellows, and staff with congressional offices, the administration, federal agencies, state and local policymakers, and potential partner organizations in the Washington, DC area.
  • Develop talking points for Academy colleagues and project contributors participating in meetings, briefings, and committee testimony with policymakers.
  • Create content summarizing the key messages, findings, and recommendations of Academy work for policymakers.
  • Track and provide reports on engagement activities with policymakers to Academy colleagues, stakeholders, and governance.


  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree in a related field preferred (e.g. public policy; law)
  • At least five years of relevant professional work experience.
  • Experience working in government as congressional or executive branch staff or in government relations for a nonpartisan policy center, think tank, or other non-profit organization required.
  • Interest in and passion for democracy reform issues a must; related experience or expertise in this area preferred.
  • Commitment to the Academy’s mission to remain independent and nonpartisan, and to provide content and expertise of value to policymakers with a diversity of views. Experience and comfort collaborating with policymakers from both major political parties.
  • Strong track record of collaboration, contributing to a team environment, and working across multiple teams within an organization.
  • Entrepreneurial mindset and ability to take initiative and manage ambiguity.
  • Experience organizing in-person and virtual events to engage policymakers.
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills, including an ability to synthesize, summarize, and present research findings and recommendations for a policymaker audience.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively engage with a wide variety of internal and external groups including policymakers, scholars, and civil society leaders.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with diverse constituencies and stakeholders and a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.
  • Ability to prioritize opportunities and balance the needs of various internal stakeholders.

About the Academy

The American Academy of Arts & Sciences was founded in 1780, by leaders of the movement for American independence, including John Adams and John Hancock, and 60 other scholar-patriots who understood that the new republic required institutions to advance knowledge in service to the public good. The Academy, based in Cambridge, is an honorary society and independent nonpartisan policy center convening people from across disciplines, professions, and perspectives to address significant challenges facing the country and the world.

The Academy membership encompasses over 5,600 members and reflects the full range of disciplines and professions: math and physical sciences, biological sciences, the social sciences, humanities and the arts, journalism, business and philanthropic leaders, educational, scientific, and cultural administrators as well as public affairs and public policy.

Academy projects bring together members and other leaders from diverse backgrounds to address topics of critical importance to the nation, from strengthening America’s research and development enterprise, to navigating the challenges of the new nuclear age, to uplifting the value of the arts in American life.

Commitment to Diversity

The American Academy is committed to the diversity of its staff and membership. As a scholarly organization and research center, the Academy recognizes that diversity of thought, class, experience, sex, gender, race, physical or mental ability, age, religion, national origin, and sexual orientation is a value to uphold and is central to the mission and work of the organization. A more pluralistic staff embracing diversity of thought, approach and life experience fosters a more nuanced understanding of contemporary issues facing the nation and the world. Working together in a climate of respect and openness models the civil discourse that is fundamental to the work of the Academy.

Job type: Full Time

Fully remote: Hybrid

Salary range: $85K- $95K, plus a full benefits package including time off, medical, dental, and vision insurance, a 403(b) plan, parental leave, and more.

Location: Washington, DC


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