Director of Policy and Federal Relations
SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition - Washington, DC

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SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (www.arl.org/sparc), is an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to promote a more open and equitable system for sharing the results of research. Developed by the Association of Research Libraries in 1998, SPARC is a catalyst for change. It’s pragmatic focus is to leverage digital technology to promote the sharing of research results – from Open Access to research articles, to Open Data to Open Educational Resources.

SPARC works in collaboration with a broad group of stakeholders – including researchers, universities, funders, federal agencies, commercial ventures and students - to advance the conduct and communication of research, accelerate the pace of discovery, and fuel innovation. Our programs focus on educating stakeholders about challenges and opportunities in the scholarly communication arena, and advocating for policy changes explicitly recognizing that communication is an essential, inseparable component of the research process, that works together to maximize the distribution of results.

SPARC is widely recognized as a leader in advocating for federal policies (in the U.S. as well as internationally) that support these goals. The Director of Policy and Federal Relations will be responsible for working with the executive and legislative branches of government, contributing to the development of policy priorities, and providing leadership, planning, management and oversight in meeting the organization’s public policy priorities. Working closely with the Executive Director, the Director will coordinate and implement strategies, tactics, messaging, and communications to support the organization’s policy objectives.

Areas of Responsibility:
The Director of Policy and Federal Relations will work closely with the Executive Director, the SPARC Steering Committee and our extensive coalition network to develop overarching policy priorities and execute strategies to implement these priorities.

Public Policy Work
The Director of Policy and Federal Relations Director will:

  • Identify, anticipate, develop, and direct legislative and administrative advocacy opportunities while anticipating potential threats;
  • Provide leadership in the development and implementation of both affirmative and defensive legislative strategies;
  • Direct advocacy responses regarding proposed rules, policies, operating procedures, initiatives and other administrative proposals;
  • Monitor key legislative and political developments and trends affecting SPARC’s key issue areas, and analyze the political impact of breaking events;
  • Provide leadership by working with SPARC’s partners to develop short and long-term campaigns for promoting positive legislation and defeating negative legislation;
  • Draft and promote model legislation including comprehensive bills, amendment language, and report language in response to requests from Congressional staff in developing such legislation;
  • Provide leadership for SPARC’s primary coalition, and engage diverse stakeholders to develop and execute legislative strategies;
  • Maintain and manage relationships with external consultants as appropriate. Federal Relations Work

The Director of Policy and Federal Relations Director will:

  • Oversee SPARC’s outreach to Capitol Hill and the Administration to ensure the continuation of strong, ongoing, bipartisan relations with Congressional offices, and maintain and strengthen relationships with the Administration with particular emphasis on federal agencies;
  • Represent SPARC’s position to Congressional members and staffers, respond to requests for assistance, provide talking points, testimony, advocacy materials, and other guidance as needed;
  • Make recommendations to Congressional members and staffers regarding legislation and legislative strategies, and prepare legislative updates, articles and other relevant information for SPARC and related coalition websites;
  • Develop and coordinate a legislative message with SPARC staff and partners to ensure that SPARC and coalition member’s materials are consistent and appropriately focused;
  • Oversee SPARC’s web-based advocacy activities, including extensive social media campaigns;
  • Oversee grassroots efforts including mobilization of members on key legislation; coordinate activities with allied organizations on legislative and policy initiatives;
  • Organize and lead Legislative Day events and all other member lobbying activities.

Other General Responsibilities
Speak at conferences and other public forums and liaise with the media when appropriate.

Candidate Qualifications
Bachelor’s Degree required; advanced degree preferred. Five to ten years experience in a non- profit organization, on Capitol Hill, in a lobbying firm, or in the executive branch. Direct legislative and administrative lobbying/advocacy experience strongly preferred.

Candidates should posses:

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to identify issues, formulate policy recommendations, and develop and present

clearly and concisely corporate legislative strategies

  • Demonstrated track record in achieving policy goals
  • Ability to work on projects independently as well as to foster and develop a variety of

personal working relationships and contacts, and to interact effectively with groups having common purposes and goals

  • Strong interpersonal skills and established leadership experience
  • Ability to prioritize and finish multiple tasks quickly

While candidates must be located in the immediate D.C. area, SPARC provides a very flexible work environment. Please send cover letter, resume and salary requirements and include Director, Policy in the subject line. ARL is an Equal Opportunity Employer Committed to Diversity in the Workplace.


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