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Associate Director, Policy Research

A Shared Vision

Service Year Alliance believes that a service year should be a common expectation and opportunity for every young American, and works everyday to realize that vision. The force of service years at scale can repair broken cities, uplift and educate children at risk, and empower communities struggling with poverty. It could unite the most diverse nation in history, binding people of different backgrounds through common cause. It can inspire young Americans to serve for a year, and in the process, forge them into the leaders for life our nation needs.

Our Vision

A service year becomes a common expectation and common opportunity, and within a generation, every year, one million young Americans engage in a service year, solving important problems while transforming their own lives.

Why Now: Broken Citizenship and Pressing Challenges

Today, the need for a common experience of citizenship in our country is more poignant than ever. We are drifting apart. Contrary to the illusion of constant connectivity, Americans are isolated from one another—geographically, ethnically, economically, religiously, and culturally. Traditional forms of civic participation have atrophied. Many Americans’ sole contribution to the country is through paying taxes—not nearly enough to bind people to their communities. Only one in three eligible voters turned out in the last election. Less than one percent of Americans serve in the military. There’s a chance—right now—to inspire a renewed sense of citizenship capable of solving our biggest challenges and creating the leaders our nation needs.

Neither the idea of national service nor our vision are new, but this moment in time tells us they are both deeply needed and never before more achievable.      

Position Description

The major responsibilities of the Associate Director, Policy Research will include working  with the CEO and the Director, Government Relations to coordinate Service Year Alliance policy and advocacy work internally and with organizational members of the Alliance’s Policy and Advocacy Committee, co-chaired with Voices for National Service. The Associate Director will be responsible for helping to refine and advance a policy agenda to increase funding for service year programs.


  • Draft legislative specifications, white papers, letters, and testimony in support of policy ideas
  • Serve as the lead expert at Service Year Alliance on evaluations and research relating to service
  • Actively participate on the Service Year Alliance policy and advocacy team, including working closely with members of the Service Year Policy Council
  • Develop policy ideas to provide additional federal resources for service year programs and increase the value proposition for corps members to serve
  • Support the development of partnerships with think tanks, organizations with expertise in areas of common interest, and others in the service field
  • Plan and coordinate events and briefings in support of the Service Year policy agenda
  • Help educate Congress, the Administration, and others about Service Year policy proposals
  • Supervise consultants and policy fellows working on policy and advocacy


  • Deep belief in service years to tackle our most pressing challenges, transform the lives of those who serve, and change the course of our country
  • The ability to develop social, education, and workforce policy
  • Experience writing policy papers and other materials for public distribution
  • Knowledge of the policymaking process, including the role of think tanks and other thought leaders in advancing policy
  • Strong learning mindset
  • 3 - 5 years of professional experience or an advanced degree in public policy or a related field


  • Experience planning and managing public events and convenings
  • Knowledge of evaluation methodology, evidence-based policy
  • Substantive experience in Washington DC in a Congressional office, think tank, or federal agency
  • Knowledge of national service encouraged but not required
  • Knowledge of more than one policy area outside of national service
  • Familiarity with CRM systems (such as Salesforce)


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