State Policy Network (SPN) is a national nonprofit organization pursuing a vision of an America where personal freedom, innovation, opportunity, and a more peaceful society help all Americans flourish. Our mission is to catalyze thriving, durable freedom movements in every state, anchored with high-performing, independent think tanks.
SPN seeks a Policy Specialist to advance its mission by working closely with state-based affiliates and our national partners to mentor policy professionals, build a peer network among them, and increase the effectiveness of SPN members’ policy work so that they can successfully champion state-based solutions that will create lasting change at the state and local level. This position is part of SPN’s Leadership Development Initiative (LDI) Team and the Advance Policy Team.
Leadership Development Team – 70% of Policy Specialist’ time
The LDI Team identifies and helps cultivate leaders for the freedom movement; works with state-based stakeholders to incubate and develop new state think tanks; and works alongside existing state think tanks to help strengthen their organizational capacities in leadership, operations, development, communications, policy research, and government affairs.
Advance Policy Team – 30% of Policy Specialist’ time
APT works alongside our independent state think tanks to quickly share best practices, train issue specialists, create practical state level policy toolkits, connect issue experts, and build active working groups so that we can most effectively identify the greatest opportunities to advance free enterprise at the state level.
Policy Specialist Duties
To help accomplish these objectives, the Policy Specialist has these principal duties:
- Cultivate a thriving community of policy experts among SPN’s Affiliate organizations and like-minded colleagues across the network. Connect and coordinate policy research and experts. Identify and cultivate leaders in the policy arena. Coach and mentor policy professionals.
- Work with Affiliates to accelerate their effectiveness related to policy research, including dissemination, communication, evaluation, and adoption of liberty-oriented policies. Stay abreast of major policy initiatives and research among affiliate organizations.
- Work with others at SPN to help state think tanks build strong teams, with good alignment.
- Identify and facilitate opportunities to leverage the policy work and successes of the SPN Affiliate network and help connect state think tanks with relevant national and regional organizations.
- Effectively lead a multi-state coalition of state and national organizations advancing a critical policy reform.
- Plan, set up, and lead policy-related meetings, workshops and annual events, ensuring they are aimed at accomplishing SPN’s strategic objectives.
- As needed, provide in-person, on-the-ground support—or real-time, virtual help—in key states.
- Help Affiliates grow in their ability to select and promote high quality policy work.
- Network with national policy organizations and attend relevant meetings. As appropriate, serve as an SPN spokesperson at events.
Policy Specialist Ideal Attributes
The ideal candidate will possess the following attributes:
- A broad understanding of, and deep commitment to, the principles of limited government, personal responsibility, and free enterprise.
- 3+ years of experience and expertise in free-market policies: state-based policy expertise is a big plus.
- Service-oriented, self-starter, entrepreneurial, hard-working, energetic, good with people, able to give public acclaim for a job well done to others—specifically Affiliate staffs.
- Ability to teach and mentor, and a strong commitment to helping others succeed.
- Able to think strategically, not just tactically.
- Familiarity with state-based organizations and the state legislative process.
- Able to facilitate coalition meetings and drive participants towards an outcome.
- The ability to prioritize the best opportunities among the many that are available.
Travel is required for this role: expect roughly 20% travel, and perhaps more during busy times of the year.
Responsibilities and compensation will be commensurate to experience.
Qualified candidates should submit the following in a) one PDF with b) your full name in the file name:
- Cover letter detailing interest in the position, the mission of SPN and salary requirements
- Names and contacts of at least three professional references
Please include “Policy Specialist, SPN–[Your Name]” in the subject line of your email.
Materials should be emailed in a PDF document to Lauren Skiver with Talent Market, who is assisting with the search: firstname.lastname@example.org.
While we thank all applicants in advance for their interest in this position, we are only able to contact those to whom we can offer an interview. No phone calls please.
Founded in 1992 by South Carolina entrepreneur Thomas Roe at the urging of Ronald Reagan, SPN supports the growth of a collaborative and entrepreneurial network of 66 independent state think tank affiliates and over 80 national partners by:
- Incubating think tanks and accelerating their development through strategic planning, training, and coaching;
- Connecting talented state leaders so they can learn, challenge, and grow together, with the aim of cultivating state solutions that collectively yield national impact; and,
- Defending the 50-state think tank network by disseminating best legal practices, providing critical resources when members are attacked, and fighting organized assaults on free speech and donor privacy.
Talent Market is a nonprofit entity dedicated to promoting liberty by helping free-market nonprofits identify talent for critical roles. We provide free consulting and recruiting services to free-market think tanks, policy organizations, research centers, and capacity-building institutions dedicated to advancing the principles of limited government and free enterprise.