Policy Associate

Washingon, D.C.

Overview of AJWS

Inspired by the Jewish commitment to justice, American Jewish World Service (AJWS) works to realize human rights and end poverty in the developing world. AJWS promotes civil and political rights; advances sexual health and rights; defends land, water and climate justice; and aids communities in the aftermath of disasters. AJWS pursues lasting change by supporting grassroots and global human rights organizations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and by mobilizing supporters in the U.S. to advocate for global justice. Working together, the AJWS community strives to build a more just and equitable world.

Founded in 1985, AJWS is the first and only American Jewish organization dedicated solely to alleviating poverty, hunger and disease in the developing world.  Since its founding, AJWS has supported more than a thousand grassroots social change organizations and has granted $360 million to support human rights. Today AJWS has a budget of more than $50M. There are over 100 U.S.-based employees located in five offices (New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.), and over 25 country representatives in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.  The organization has more than 190,000 supporters across the U.S. and around the world.

Overview of Department

The Advocacy Department is charged with leading AJWS’s advocacy efforts with the U.S. government, multilateral and philanthropic institutions. The Department is comprised of Government Affairs (GA), which advocates in Washington, DC on U.S. foreign policy, and International Advocacy (IA) that works with multilateral diplomatic, development and philanthropic institutions.  AJWS’s current priority issues include:

  • Advancing the Rights of Women, Girls and LGBTI People;
  • Protecting Access to Food, Land and Livelihoods; and
  • Defending Civil and Political Rights
  • Responding to Disasters and Humanitarian Crises.

Job Summary

The Policy Associate ensures the smooth and efficient operations of our Advocacy team based in both DC and New York.  This is job includes administrative management for the Advocacy team, including overseeing all financial and budgetary processes, event planning, special project management and frequent formal and informal thematic collaboration across the team and organization in both DC and New York, as well as research and programmatic support when needed. This position will also oversee the government affairs and international advocacy strategies, including managing database systems to document Congressional relationships and identifying opportunities for AJWS impact on priority issues as they arise, such as tracking legislation on key issues and international and domestic policy spaces.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:


  • In partnership with the Advocacy Directors, overseeing all financial and budgetary processes relating to the Government Affairs and International Advocacy work, including tracking spending on behalf of the Advocacy team.
  • Scheduling both internal and external advocacy-related meetings and calls, making travel arrangements, preparing agendas, note-taking, etc.
  • Manage and improve systems to enable the team to function efficiently, including the development of internal calendars to manage advocacy issues.
  • Manage all monitoring and evaluation processes related to Advocacy Outcome Monitoring Forms, in partnership with SLRE.
  • Represent the Advocacy Team on AJWS’s internal working group for the advocacy mapping tool and external affairs.
  • Support processes for strategy development and management, including overseeing goal, outcome, and milestone mapping across thematics for the Advocacy team to revise and/or ensure accuracy of strategy and reporting.
  • Assist Development and Communications teams with requests of the Advocacy team, including engaging major gifts donors and their family members on AJWS issues.
  • Oversee all administrative aspects of the Washington, D.C., office, including
    all external vendor/account relationships, maintenance of office functions and supplies and e-files.
  • Serve as the primary liaison between AJWS’s DC and New York headquarters on administrative, HR and finance functions, including tech support, recordkeeping and budget compliance.


  • Manage special projects, such as coordinating visits from AJWS grantee partners to support them to realize their advocacy priorities and event planning in DC and NY, including to:
  • Organize and attend Hill meetings with partners and coalition partners on issues related to sexual health and rights and civil and political rights, including prepping of talking points and practicing advocacy requests
  • Assist in conference, meeting, and event planning, including potentially in tandem with partner visits
  • Research and prepare materials on advocacy issues for a wide range of audiences, including grassroots activists, policymakers, AJWS staff and others. Projects include:
  • Author the bi-weekly Advocacy Newsletters to keep AJWS staff and supporters informed about movement on AJWS advocacy priorities
  • Draft policy briefs, talking points, questions for the record and one-pagers, as relevant, for advocacy purposes
  • Working with Communications to manage communications processes for the Advocacy team, including to ensure the creation, design, and printing of advocacy-related materials and communications
  • Serve as the primary point of contact for the Advocacy department, routing external and internal advocacy requests as appropriate to the appropriate policy staff, including:
  • Serve as the AJWS point of contact for DC coalition partners such as InterAction and USGLC, including coalition lobby meetings, appropriations work, and ensuring rights-based language is included in all materials
  • Attend relevant briefings and meetings when needed to represent AJWS and ensure rights-based approaches are considered
  • Assist in coordinating the DC Rabbinic Advocacy Convening, including securing Congressional meetings – including those with Senators and Representatives, organizing lobby groups and scheduling, developing policy materials related to lobbying, and designing schedules for Executive Team and Board members to build grasstops advocacy work.
  • Develop tracking tools for Congressional engagement including grasstops relationships and interactions with Congressional partners.


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work/internship experience required;
  • Two years of relevant work or campus experience, ideally in an advocacy organization, Capitol Hill, or in a federal agency focused on U.S. foreign policy. Internships may be substituted in lieu of paid employment;
  • Detail-oriented and well-organized, able to manage multiple complex tasks;
  • Motivated self-starter capable of working independently as well as with a team;
  • Flexible work style with the ability to work under tight deadlines and shifting priorities;
  • Thorough knowledge of Microsoft Office suite including MS Excel;
  • Exceptional writing, editing and proofreading skills required;
  • Prior research experience and familiarity with the legislative process preferred;
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills;
  • Experience working with faith communities a plus; and
  • Experience working on global justice issues and/or living in the developing world a plus.

Compensation and Benefits Information:

  • Competitive compensation commensurate with experience and the market;
  • Paid Time Off: 15-21 Federal and religious holidays off each year in addition to generous vacation and sick days;
  • Full health benefits coverage with minimal contribution by employees;
  • 403(b): 4% company match (safe harbor);
  • Flexible Spending Account and Commuter Benefits;
  • Workplace flexibility and generous leave policy.

Additional Considerations:

People of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex, trans and gender non-conforming people; women; and differently abled people are encouraged to apply. We also encourage applications from people of diverse religious, spiritual and cultural backgrounds.

Authorization to work in the US is required.

How to Apply

For immediate consideration, apply below.

Applications submitted without a resume and personalized cover letter will not be considered.

We thank you for your interest in career opportunities with AJWS. Due to high volume, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls please.