Organizational Description: The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law provides national leadership in advancing laws and policies that secure justice to improve the lives and opportunities of people living in poverty and advance racial equity. The Shriver Center brings together lawyers, policy advocates, community leaders, and allies from across the country as the nation’s leading advocate for people living in poverty. We work toward a future where people living in poverty have income security, equal opportunity, and a voice in what happens in their communities.
We put race front and center in our work. We recognize that inclusion of diverse voices, perspectives, and experiences is essential to understanding and addressing complex issues in our advocacy and within our organization. To that end, we focus on issues that deeply affect the lives and social mobility of people living in poverty and communities of color: economic justice, housing justice, healthcare justice, and community justice. Our advocacy is driven and informed by the communities we serve. We also lead, equip, and mobilize multi-state networks to advance an anti-poverty, racial justice agenda. Through training and leadership development programs designed to foster innovation and collaboration, we strengthen core competencies of advocates across the country.
Position Description: The Shiver Center is seeking a Director of Economic Justice to provide organizational leadership and management oversight of the Shriver Center’s work to ensure that low-income people have access to the public benefits (with a focus on TANF and SNAP), work supports, and equitable workforce policies needed to be successful as well as a state budget that is fair and inclusive of the needs of low-income people. The Economic Justice Director supervises a team of lawyers tasked with improving the economic stability of low-income households in Illinois and nationally and challenging those systems and structures that create and perpetuate racial inequities. The Economic Justice Director ensures that the advocacy of the team is community-driven and with direct community input. The Economic Justice Director also participates in the formation and conduct of coordinated multi-state advocacy campaigns, which could include litigation, legislative, and administrative advocacy strategies, and helps to form and manage interactions and coordinated projects with other local, state and national networks. The Director of Economic Justice is also responsible for program and staff evaluations, including collecting data and information and implementing appropriate program adjustments.
Provides strategic leadership on the economic law and policy efforts of the Shriver Center by providing program direction and contributing to the development and implementation of strategies, plans, and goals
Provides guidance and active supervision to attorneys, interns, and volunteers to ensure they have the skills and tools necessary to advance the Shriver Center’s economic justice agenda
Promotes and facilitates relationships with current and potential partners and represents the Shriver Center in local, state and national coalitions, working groups, commissions, and task forces
Leads the policy and administrative advocacy agenda on economic justice issues at the local, state, and national level
In consultation with the Senior Director of Litigation, advances systemic litigation and represents clients as appropriate
Collaborates with the communications department to engage in media and public relations campaigns to advance the advocacy agenda and serves as Shriver Center spokesperson on economic justice advocacy positions
Collaborates with the Shriver Center’s multi-state networks and other local, state, and national networks and allies to support economic justice agenda
Serves as a strategic partner to the development team in fundraising efforts for the economic justice programs, including proposal preparation, budgeting, and reporting
Collaborates with the Advocacy Resources & Training department to support training opportunities for advocates
Evaluates the progress of the economic justice team consistent with team and organizational goals
Travels in Illinois and national conferences and meetings as needed
Opening/Closing Date: Open immediately; closed when filled.
Applications: Send resume and cover letter to Kate Walz at email@example.com. Please send materials as a single and searchable PDF attachment.
Requirements: We’re seeking candidates who excel in relationship-building and collaboration, are results-oriented, who understand how to advance a focused advocacy agenda, know how to develop staff, and have strong project management skills.
Licensed to practice law with a minimum 5 years legal experience
Experience and expertise with public benefits programs and related advocacy; experience with workers’ rights advocacy is desirable
Demonstrated commitment to and success advancing advocacy campaigns on the legal and policy issues affecting people living in poverty and communities of color, including experience working with organizers, media, lobbying and other aspects of issue campaigns
Ability to motivate and experience managing diverse groups of people; ability to work well as a team member while also holding team members accountable
Self-direction and self-motivation, creative in problem solving, and the ability to work collaboratively and independently
Willingness and ability to travel as needed (est. 25%)
Complex litigation experience preferred
Multilingual skills are a plus, but not required
Additional Salary Information: This position offers a competitive annual salary and a comprehensive benefits package.
About Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law provides national leadership in advancing laws and policies that secure justice to improve the lives and opportunities of people living in poverty. We put race front and center in our work. We recognize that inclusion of diverse voices, perspectives, and experiences is essential to understanding and addressing complex issues in our advocacy and within our organization. To that end, we focus on issues that deeply affect the lives and social mobility of people living in poverty: economic justice, housing justice, health care justice, and community justice. We lead, equip, and mobilize multi-state networks to advance an anti-poverty and racial justice agenda. Through training and leadership development programs designed to foster innovation and collaboration, we strengthen core competencies of advocates across the country.