Director of Policy and Advocacy

Full time
Locationbay-area Calendar04/01/2021   Full time

Founded by Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg in 2015, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) is a new kind of philanthropy that’s leveraging technology to help solve some of society’s toughest challenges – from eradicating disease, to improving education. Across our core initiatives of Science and Education, we’re pairing engineering with grantmaking, impact investing, policy work, and advocacy, to progress in our mission of building an inclusive, just and healthy future for everyone.

Our Values

We believe we can help build a future for everyone.

  • We aim to be daring, but humble:  We look for bold ideas — regardless of structure and stage — and help them scale by pairing engineers with subject matter experts to build tools that accelerate the pace of social progress.
  • We want to learn fast, but build for the long-term: We want to iterate fast and help bring new solutions to the table, but we also realize that important breakthroughs often take decades, or even centuries.
  • Stay close to the real problems: We engage directly in the communities we serve because no one understands our society’s challenges like those who live them every day.  

Our success is dependent on building teams that include people from different backgrounds and experiences who can challenge each other's assumptions with fresh perspectives. To that end, we look for a diverse pool of applicants including those from historically marginalized groups — women, people with disabilities, people of color, formerly incarcerated people, people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or gender nonconforming, first and second generation immigrants, veterans, and people from different socioeconomic backgrounds.

The Opportunity

At CZI, we believe that housing affordability plays a key role in education, health outcomes, community cohesion, and equal opportunity. Addressing housing affordability will enable more people to pursue their full potential. In the Bay Area especially, the crisis has reached a tipping point and we believe there is an opportunity to play our part in addressing housing affordability in our backyard. We want to take fundamentally new approaches to housing and engage with affected communities to ensure that they are at the center of their own solution-making from problem definition to solution execution. We believe our strengths in advocacy, technology, and investing position us to infuse innovation and to help scale proven solutions in housing. To help execute on projects across our housing portfolio, we’re looking for a dynamic and experienced manager to join our team.

The Director of Advocacy will lead the Housing Affordability team’s advocacy strategies related to building public and political will for housing across California. The role oversees grantmaking responsibilities, project management and oversight, and supervision of one Advocacy Associate. In this position the individual will partner with key internal and external stakeholders to build out project plans, help the team execute on program strategy, support the Director of Housing Affordability through partnership and strategic advising and help scope and execute grants and projects to deliver against team priorities.

The ideal candidate is a senior advocacy professional with an established track record of success in building, managing, and advising issue and policy campaigns. A successful candidate is a fast learner, flexible and outgoing, possesses exceptional interpersonal relationship management skills, organized and process oriented, will be energetic, detail-oriented, a problem solver, and will be able to plan around and through ambiguity. Familiarity with California politics, policy, and issue advocacy preferred.

You will

  • Direct the advocacy strategies of the housing affordability program
    • Design and implement all policy, advocacy, organizing, campaign, and capacity-building projects
    • Manage and execute grantmaking budget and responsibilities directing funds strategically and in alignment with program priorities utilizing existing team tools and processes
    • Own and manage consulting budget for advocacy related grantee support  
    • Lead portfolio evaluation of advocacy grantees including grant lookbacks, grantee surveys, etc.
    • Develop and maintain relationships with grantees and California advocacy groups including movement leaders, government officials, funders and foundations
    • Draft new strategies and design ecosystem interventions to support growing a powerful movement for housing reform across California
    • Infuse campaign and movement best practices and methodology internally and represent CZI externally 
  • Manage a team and support an initiative Director
    • Supervise a skilled Advocacy Associate serving as a project manager on advocacy strategies currently including narrative change and grantmaking operations
    • Report to the Director of Housing Affordability and provide partnership in developing advocacy strategies
    • Contribute to team-building, management, and operations as a senior member of the Housing Affordability team working collaboratively on systems, budgets, reporting, evaluation, and culture setting within the organization
  • Project Management and Execution
    • You will take on new projects as assigned, designing innovative strategies and creative approaches to leverage CZI resources to create effective, durable solutions to California’s housing crisis
    • Develop awareness of the California ecosystem of issue advocates, funders, and policymakers coupled with a political and policy power analysis in order to manage existing projects towards successful outcomes and design new projects
    • Manage and develop an annual grantmaking process that is responsive, innovative, and strategic using tools for careful and thorough diligence, learning, and evaluation
  • Be an ambassador for community based solutions, social movement best practices, and power-building strategies both internally and externally
    • Add rigor, mindfulness, and an equity mindset to the team’s problem solving and strategy setting
    • Know that this role is more behind the scenes, not on the front line and essentially in service to grantee partners. You aren’t driving the agenda necessarily but rather a facilitator.

You have

  • More than 10 years experience as an advocacy professional with experience in campaigns, coalitions, organizing, issue advocacy, social movements, lobbying, and public policy
  • Experience in California policy and advocacy - doesn’t have to be in Housing but must have California experience
  • Some basic understanding of housing affordability and justice issues - the challenges, political dynamics, solutions, etc. 
  • Comfort with ambiguity in a rapidly changing environment and the ability to flex and adapt
  • Excellent project management, organizational, and time management skills
  • Experience managing others - this could include non direct reports (ie. consultants, staff, interns or peers in a structured way)
  • Excellent attention to detail and follow through. Clear decision making process 
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills -- the ability to build strong and productive relationships quickly with a diverse group of people.
  • Commitment to social justice, equity, and enthusiasm for complex problem solving
  • Experience with the following office tools a plus: Gmail, Google Calendar, Docs, Spreadsheets, Slack, Salesforce
  • Funder, fundraising, philanthropic experience (nice to have)
  • Sacramento based political experience (nice to have)