Policy Director

CHANGE Illinois Seeks a Policy Director 

CHANGE Illinois (the Coalition for Honest and New Government Ethics) and the CHANGE Illinois Action Fund seek a Policy Director who will lead the nonpartisan organization’s good government and voting rights policy development, analysis, and agenda setting. Additionally they will lead our engagement with policymakers at the state and local levels. 

Our vision 

We believe in the power of Illinoisans. We believe that if more of us participate in state and local government and seek more equity, responsiveness, transparency and accountability, we can succeed in improving Illinois. 

Our mission

We champion equitable democracy, ethics and efficiency in government and elections in Illinois. Through people-powered listening, policy research, civic engagement and advocacy, CHANGE Illinois works to achieve an Illinois with ethical and efficient governments, including fair maps, competitive ballots and vibrant elections. 

Job description 

The Policy Director reports to the Executive Director and will work closely with our tight-knit team.

The successful candidate for this position will have experience analyzing and drafting policy, working with policymakers at the state level and in the City of Chicago, working in a fast-paced environment with multiple ongoing projects, and being a credible public spokesperson. The Policy Director’s primary goal is to develop CHANGE Illinois’ legislative agenda, build support for our agenda, and keep the team apprised of legislation in good government reform space. The Policy Director is responsible for working directly with elected officials, state agencies and city departments, and other stakeholders to successfully pass and enact laws and regulations that further the organization’s mission. The Policy Director will oversee and develop strategies to increase the organizations’ policy efforts through utilizing four levers of engagement: community empowerment through listening and mobilizing, position development, media, and engaging with policymakers.  This work is done by developing policies that address the needs of people and communities’ most affected by systemic and historical barriers for participating in democracy. 

She/He/They will be required to travel to the Illinois State Capitol during the legislative session and throughout the state on as needed basis, depending on projects. In addition to travel, some night and weekend work will be required on occasion.

The successful candidate will be someone who understands and values both the census and independent redistricting, as well as the need for voting access, equitable democracy and ethical and efficient government reforms throughout Illinois.

The director will work with staff to inform and keep them apprised of public policy issue campaigns; will manage internal and external relationships; collaborate with allied groups, community organizations, policymakers, and other key stakeholders involved with identified issues; and execute advancing and growing support for our policy campaigns.

The Policy Director’s work will include periodically publishing research, articles, op-eds and other pieces (including graphics and data tools), advocating for change with the public and government officials and compelling them to act in favor of good government and politics.

She/He/They will be expected to develop materials and resources to drive public education, engagement and activism, which further empowers us to push for and achieve policies that lead to fair, efficient, accountable, and transparent government and politics. This work is accomplished through digital media, physical meetings, relationship building and organizing physical events that may include podcasts, forums, training and explanatory and analytical website pieces.

The successful candidate will maintain a working knowledge of the media landscape and legislative activities on state, county, and city levels with an in-depth knowledge of ethical government, fair redistricting and elections. The Policy Director ensures that all material she/he/they publishes is accurate, complete, and clearly communicated to the public. In order to further the mission of the nonprofit, the Policy Director will be called upon to represent CHANGE Illinois in public meetings with various stakeholders, on TV, radio, print, and other mediums on an as-needed basis.

The ideal candidate will have experience in:

  • Collaborating with community leaders, legislators, lobbyists, government officials and organizational leaders
  • Researching, developing, and writing policy proposals
  • Managing multiple priorities simultaneously
  • Working independently and taking initiative
  • Project, event and logistics management
  • Knowledge of election administration, census and voter registration processes
  • Engaging youth and immigrant communities, communities of color, low-income communities, and other populations that historically are underrepresented in democracy
  • Managing vendors

Pay will be commensurate with experience, but likely will range between $60,000 and $70,000. CHANGE Illinois offers full medical, dental, retirement, holiday and vacation benefits for this full-time position. We are fully remote, but convene as a team regularly. Convening in person will be required during the onboarding process and may be required periodically in downtown Chicago for long-term planning and goal setting. 

CHANGE Illinois is an independent, nonpartisan 501(c)3 organization committed to working on a statewide basis with, and in support of, collaborative efforts. Its affiliated CHANGE Illinois Action Fund is a nonpartisan 501(c)4 organization committed to advocating for government reform. CHANGE Illinois is an Equal Opportunity Employer—people of color, people with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

We are committed to racial equity. CHANGE Illinois calls for racial equity to be centered in all of the policy areas for which we advocate, and we acknowledge that we do not have all the answers. We will rely on and work with people in the communities most burdened by unjust policies and practices and will remain steadfast in our commitment to collaboration.

Interested applicants should send a resume, cover letter and no more than three writing samples to info@changeil.org. The application window will remain open until the position is filled.