The Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) is seeking a seasoned leader to oversee its Outreach team, which encompasses both government affairs (80%) and donor outreach (20%). This team is responsible for the relationships with all FGA’s key audiences: federal executive officials, members of Congress, governors, state agency leaders, state legislators, and donors. The Outreach team includes about a dozen staff and nearly thirty high-level contractors, mostly government affairs professionals, and its 2019 budget is $7 million.
In 2014, Joe Maddon became the coach of the Chicago Cubs. A year later he won Manager of the Year and two years after that he led the supposedly cursed team to its first World Series title in 108 years. How? Not because he was the best baseball player—he never made it past the minor leagues—but because he was capable of building a team that truly functioned as one, with the trust, clarity, focus, and accountability needed to turn a collection of individual stars into a championship team.
We’re looking for the FGA version of Joe Maddon. We aren’t cursed, but we do have a team of highly talented individuals operating in an increasingly complex environment. Five years ago, FGA’s portfolio included a few policy reforms in a dozen states. Now, it includes a dozen reforms in thirty-five states with an equal amount of work at the federal level. This opportunity is huge and is limited only by our ability to seize it. Like the Cubs, we need someone whose greatest talent and joy is coaching and leading an elite team to achieve incredible results.
“Outreach” is akin to a sales team in a for-profit environment. FGA’s Outreach team develops the long-lasting partnerships with both policymakers and donors necessary to enable us to successfully change public policy. This includes finding new partners, asking those partners to champion our ideas or fund our work, and cultivating a lasting relationship with them.
The successful candidate must be skilled in this process and fully understand what it takes to be successful at it. He or she will be responsible for taking the big vision articulated by FGA’s CEO and turning it into sales strategies for the Outreach team to execute with each key audience. FGA has a big vision for achieving significant policy wins at the federal and state level, and for a major increase in funding over the next three years.
FGA has built an enviable brand as one of the most innovative and impactful public policy groups in the free market movement, and this role offers an opportunity for a leader to take the reins of a team that is changing the policy landscape of the nation and giving millions of Americans a better opportunity for success.
Our reputation and impact are due in large part to the quality of the talent FGA attracts. Stepping into a leadership role for this team will not be easy. In fact, it will likely be the most challenging—and yet most rewarding—job you’ll ever have.
The ideal candidate will:
- Have at least 5 years of experience successfully leading/building teams marked by trust and the ability to accomplish big outcomes.
- Be able to embrace major changes, with a track record of successfully adapting strategies to deal with new challenges and seize new opportunities
- Have at least 5 years of experience successfully getting difficult things done with one or more of our policymaker audiences (federal, state executive, or state legislative). Experience with donors is not required but is a plus.
- Match FGA’s Core Values (described below)
CULTURE AND FIT
Success at FGA depends not only on a person’s skills, but also on their ability to fit the culture of FGA. We describe our culture with five Core Values:
- Candid to Solve – being willing to have tough conversations in order to solve issues or build trust
- Grow or Die—we don’t have a neutral gear; we must consistently challenge ourselves and each other to grow in our talents and skills
- Politically Savvy—policy doesn’t change in a vacuum, but in a political reality that we must understand and account for
- Partnership-Oriented—internal and external relationships are not transactional. That starts with our team members and the perspective that we need the rest of the team to succeed in order to win personally
- Bought in to Win—we’re at FGA because we want to change policy. No one is counting hours or widgets, we are here to get results, and sometimes that will require going the extra mile or doing a job that isn’t technically ours.
It might help to think about the following list of questions. If you answer “yes” to all of them, you may be a fit for the team if your skill sets match the requirements below. The vast majority of those who don’t get hired or don’t last at FGA are due to a lack of fit with these values. Be prepared to have very candid conversations about them in our interview process.
- Do you wholeheartedly agree with the policies that we advocate (see thefga.org for a full description) and the underlying principles that people’s lives are made better through work, not government welfare, and that a free market creates greater freedom and equality than any command-and-control government system?
- Do you agree that embracing the realities of politics is necessary to have success in changing public policy?
- Do you tend to be the one who initiates conversations with colleagues, rather than waiting for them to come to you?
- Are you comfortable creating your own structure for work, such as setting work hours, your own priorities, and creating clarity and a workplan from a broad goal?
- Does it motivate you to think about working with a team of world-class professionals who are held to a very high standard of achieving results?
- Do you seize opportunities to try new things or improve a skill that’s relevant to your company or role?
- Are you able to build meaningful relationships (creating trust) with people you only see face-to-face a few times a year?
- Do you tend to lead teams by creating clarity about goals and progress, rather than proscribing the steps they need to take?
- Are you aware of your strengths and weaknesses, and do you have a practice of getting help from others to mitigate your weaknesses?
- Does it bother you if others take all the credit for the work you do?
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The job entails five major roles:
- Leadership & management of the Outreach team — Finding, training, and growing the necessary talent to execute the vision. Help each member become the best version of themselves and help the team leverage each other to achieve far more than they would alone.
- Create Outreach strategy — Creating annual and quarterly goals for the team, developing meaningful ways to measure progress, changing the strategy when needed to address threats or seize opportunities, and being accountable for the results.
- Managing the Outreach pipeline of key relationships — For each of FGA’s key audiences, the Vice President of Outreach must understand the pipeline of how we find prospects and turn them into long-term partners and champions. They must also ensure that pipeline is always filled.
- Handling critical, high-level meetings — The Vice President of Outreach will join or lead meetings with high-level partners such as governors, major donors, legislative leaders, and top federal officials. Occasionally he or she will also take highly-leveraged speaking engagements with the goal of finding new potential partners.
- Setting priorities for the team — The Vice President of Outreach will manage resources like money, people, time, and bandwidth to ensure the team is agile and prepared to seize opportunities.
TIMING, LOCATION, AND COMPENSATION
FGA is seeking to fill this position as soon as possible. Location is flexible. While FGA’s headquarters are in Naples, FL, nearly all FGA’s staff work remotely. It is important to note that all of our staff currently live in the Central or Eastern time zones, therefore, candidates in another area may face more lengthy travel requirements. Fairly significant travel will be required, likely 12-15 trips per year. Many of the trips will be pre-planned, and last-minute trips should be rare. All travel expenses are covered.
FGA offers a competitive salary and benefits package, including a retirement program, a health benefit, and a generous paid leave plan.
Qualified candidates should submit the following application materials in one PDF document:
- Cover letter expressing the following:
- your interest in this role and the mission of the Foundation for Government Accountability;
- specific example(s) describing how your leadership experience has prepared you to head and challenge a world-class team such as this;
- a succinct explanation of why you believe you’ve been able to achieve difficult results within the realm of government affairs or sales
- your preferred location for a virtual office; and
- your salary requirements.
Applications should be submitted to Talent Market via this link:
Questions can be directed to Lauren Skiver, Talent Manager with Talent Market, who is assisting with the search: [email protected].
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. Only direct applications will be considered. No phone calls, please.
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.