Associate Director of Health Policy

Job Description

The Scholars Strategy Network (SSN) is seeking an Associate Director of Health Policy. The Associate Director of Health Policy’s primary job is to connect scholars and their research to civic organizations and policymakers at the federal, state, and local levels across the US. As a strategist, matchmaker, organizer, and coach, the Associate Director of Health Policy will help scholars become powerful policy players to increase the likelihood that research is used to inform policy. Across a broad array of topics that shape health, the Associate Director of Health Policy will field requests from policymakers and civic organizations for connections to scholars or research. The Associate will also proactively identify policy opportunities and activate scholars around policy opportunities, and help individual scholars seeking advice on how to engage with their research. 

The Associate Director of Health Policy will work closely with other SSN staff to convene health policy researchers from diverse backgrounds for workshops (virtually, at least until in person travel and meetings are safe). This includes learning and facilitating existing SSN curricula, including Training Researchers to Improve Policy (TRIP) workshops, and creating new workshop modules based on new needs. 

The Associate Director of Health Policy is a full-time position with an annual salary between $60,000-$70,000, based on qualifications and experience. This is designed as a significant position for a rising leader with a deep interest in helping to increase the use of research to drive better public decisions in many areas that impact health. SSN’s highly competitive benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance; 403b retirement plan with employer match, generous paid time off, flexible hours, remote work options, and opportunities for professional development. Before COVID-19, this was not meant as a fully remote position, however, SSN is working remotely at present, and continued remote for some time is expected -- and will be supported. SSN has offices which we hope to re-open eventually in Inman Square, Cambridge.  This position reports to SSN’s Director of Policy, Lizzy Ghedi-Ehrlich. This position begins as an 18-month assignment, with hopes that the Associate will have their role extended and continued based on success during the first 18 months.

 

About the Scholars Strategy Network 

The Scholars Strategy Network is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that connects journalists, policymakers, and civic organizations to America’s top scholars and their research. Together they inform news and help solve the nation’s toughest policy problems. Learn more at www.scholars.org

 

Responsibilities 

As a relatively small organization, SSN has a lean, productive staff supporting and creating opportunities for our members.  SSN staff members are flexible team players willing to take on new responsibilities as needed. Among other tasks the Associate Director of Health Policy will: 

  • Track federal and state policy debates, legislation, regulation changes, and impact litigation on issues that impact health to identify opportunities for scholars to engage.
  • Mobilize scholars to seize opportunities to provide research to inform important decisions on issues including housing, environmental justice, Medicaid and Medicare, public health, and more. 
  • Support and coach scholars on how to engage in the policy process, including how to reach out to policymakers and civic organizations to create meaningful relationships. 
  • Edit and give feedback on written documents like public comments, research briefs, testimony, and research round-up memos responding to a question or request posed by a policymaker or civic organization.
  • Respond to requests from policymakers and civic organizations for connections to scholars and research. 
  • Build relationships and communicate directly with policymakers and civic organizations to identify opportunities for scholars to engage and inform policy with research.
  • Support researchers as they conduct in-person meetings with decision makers and civic organizations to inform policy with research evidence and to learn skills for the long-term.
  • Oversee the planning and logistics of a convening of 12-18 health policy researchers for a three-day workshop (or virtual equivalent) where they will receive one-on-one training and project assistance from both SSN staff and other researchers on both academic and public engagement skills.
  • After appropriate training, co-facilitate in-person and webinar-based trainings for SSN chapters and researchers across the country, especially SSN’s Training Researchers to Inform Policy (TRIP) workshop. 
  • Travel across the U.S., especially to Washington DC and the locations where SSN regional chapters are based, to lead trainings and facilitate other policy team work. 
  • Coordinate with other departments on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and work to ensure that efforts on health policy and work with health researchers in the network, grow in ways that are inclusive and equitable – with a particular focus on channeling resources to historically disadvantaged groups.

 

Qualifications

The ideal candidate for this position would be:

  • An individual with 3-5 years or more of experience in policy, advocacy and/or organizing; or at least 1 year of experience and a relevant advanced degree.
  • Someone with a solid understanding of policymaking processes (e.g., legislative processes, administrative/agency processes, implementation and evaluation, etc).
  • Comfortable -- and ideally have some experience -- working with policymakers on both sides of the political aisle. 
  • Experienced in how to do basic research, especially legislative and policy research.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, Google Docs, Dropbox, virtual meeting channels like Zoom..
  • Able to prioritize a variety of short- and long-term responsibilities, and manage follow-up. 
  • An excellent writer and proofreader, capable of translating complex concepts into easy-to-understand language. 
  • A good facilitator and excited to teach others new skills and information. 
  • Comfortable with occasional travel when safe (approx. 8-10 times a year, for 1-3 days each trip). 
  • Organized, detail-oriented, and willing to ask questions.
  • Excited to work as part of a diverse and energetic team. 
  • Self-motivated and able to work independently. 
  • Committed to SSN’s mission and fully understand how to make use of SSN’s structure as a voluntary, federated network of member researchers.
     

How to apply

Email a cover letter, resume, short writing sample, and names and contact information of two references to Cindy Houle at  [email protected] with subject line “ Associate Director of Health Policy - [Your Name].” Applications are being reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. 

SSN is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, class, color, disability, ethnicity, faith, gender, national origin, race, sexual orientation, or gender identity. People of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ individuals, and women are strongly encouraged to apply. Candidates who fill some, but not all of the qualifications above are still encouraged to apply. We encourage you to view SSN’s statement on diversity, equity, and inclusion, located here.