Legislative Director for Militarism & Human Rights

Friends Committee on National Legislation
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Sep 18

Position description

The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) seeks an experienced lobbyist to lead our Congressional advocacy to repeal the 2001 blanket authorization for war, promote respect for human rights and international law, and reduce armed U.S. interventions around the world. The Legislative Director for Militarism and Human Rights will join our team of lobbyists who develop and lead strategies to advance our legislative priorities in Congress and with the administration.

We’re looking for someone who shares our Quaker community’s fierce commitment to a world free of war and the threat of war and is passionate about defending human rights and the rule of law both domestically and internationally. The legislative director must also have a clear-eyed understanding of what is possible with Congress and the administration, a demonstrated ability to focus and achieve legislative success and an ability to work collegially with a large, faith-based advocacy community around the country.

The Organization
FCNL lobbies from a basis of spiritual and ethical purpose and seeks to change government policy and practice for the better, playing a key role in lobbying initiatives on Capitol Hill that focus on racial and economic justice, peace, stewardship of the environment, and election integrity.

FCNL’s lobbyists have extensive connections with Congressional offices and currently conduct focused legislative campaigns on the following priorities: peacebuilding, human rights, nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, curtailing endless war, criminal justice sentencing reform, immigration reform, refugees, solutions to climate change, economic justice and Native American issues. With direction from our General Committee, FCNL approaches each of these priorities by identifying, exposing and working to eliminate institutional racism, sexism, and militarism in order to promote genuine equality of opportunity and communities in which everyone can safely live, learn, work, worship and love.

Its dedicated grassroots network brings constituent perspectives into congressional offices—both in Washington at two major lobbying events each year, and in local district offices. FCNL informs and educates its network through newsletters and collateral materials and activates its grassroots network through a robust website, email, and social media outreach.

FCNL’s national network includes people from many different faiths and backgrounds who are activists and donors. The organization is dedicated to growing the network with a particular emphasis on building effective relationships as a path to policy change. In the past three years, FCNL increased the number of in-person visits from its constituents to legislators by 50%. Headquartered on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, FCNL is governed by a General Committee of 190 Quakers from across the country and employs a staff of 51, including 20 registered lobbyists.

FCNL has brought Quaker values to bear on national policy throughout its 75-year history through congressional testimony, Capitol Hill visits, grassroots lobbying, and educational initiatives. Its strategic direction in the coming years is to create a bigger presence for FCNL—through media and marketing, as well as through its growing and vibrant network of activists.

The Position

The Legislative Director for Militarism and Human Rights is the lead FCNL lobbyist charged with identifying specific, achievable steps that Congress can take to end the war in Afghanistan and repeal the post-September 11, 2001 laws that provide a blank check for war, indefinite detention, and other violations of internationally-recognized human rights. 

The Director will spend the bulk of his/her time on Capitol Hill, working with members of Congress and their staff members on strategies to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan, repeal the 2001 and 2002 authorizations for the use of military force, reduce the use of armed drones, end and prevent overseas military deployments and armed interventions, close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and promote U.S. respect for human rights and humanitarian law.  The director will also help to mobilize FCNL’s constituents around the country to advocate on these issues in their districts.

The Legislative Director for Militarism and Human Rights is a vital member of FCNL’s legislative team, reporting to the Legislative Director for Foreign Policy.  He/She will also work closely with the Strategic Advocacy team to develop focused campaigns in the states of senators and districts of representatives who are key decision-makers on war powers and human rights priorities.

Key Priorities and Responsibilities

  • Represent FCNL to Congress and the Executive Branch:  Develop and expand FCNL’s contacts with key legislative and executive branch officials to advance FCNL's lobbying priorities on Militarism and Human Rights.
  • Develop a focused change strategy:  In consultation with other designated staff, the Legislative Director for Militarism and Human Rights will be responsible for developing and implementing change strategies. This staff person must also articulate this change strategy in a manner that is transparent and accessible to our staff, governors and fundraisers and arrange for periodic assessments and evaluations.
  • Coordinate with other FCNL lobbyists: The Legislative Director will meet regularly with other FCNL staff lobbyists to coordinate on lobby visits, intersecting programs (particularly military policy) and communications with the Hill and the Administration.
  • Work with our colleague organizations: FCNL is a leading voice in several important coalitions working on authorizations for the use of force and protection of human rights. We expect the legislative director will continue to engage specific coalitions that are relevant to FCNL’s change strategies.
  • Develop expertise:  This legislative director will become our staff expert on war powers, interventionism, human rights and humanitarian law. Working with the Legislative Directors for Foreign and Domestic Policy, he/she will develop expertise on these issues and on other issues assigned by the Legislative Director for Foreign Policy. This includes monitoring legislative and policy developments; preparing and distributing fact sheets, background papers, editorials, newsletter articles, and other educational materials for general distribution; overseeing maintenance of web pages on assigned legislative issues.
  • Correspond with Congress:  He/she will draft letters to and for members of Congress, sign-on letters for relevant coalitions, legislative action messages to grassroots, and sample email texts and phone scripts for use by local advocates.
  • Represent FCNL positions in the media: Research and draft op-ed columns, letters to the editor, and reports, in coordination with the other designated staff to have the same published, distributed, or posted in a timely way and as appropriate.
  • Help to advance Friends policy and practice: He/she will work with other FCNL staff and committee members and other Quaker organizations to address the challenges to the Friends Peace Testimony presented by deadly atrocities, genocide, failed states, and the assertion of doctrines for preventive war.
  • Cooperate with Development Team: He/she will work with FCNL’s grant writer to seek grants or other institutional support for FCNL’s legislative program activities on issues relevant to this position.  For projects that are supported by foundation grants, he/she will fulfill the terms of grant agreements in a timely and professional manner.  He/she will also assist the FCNL Development Team to incorporate updates and analysis relating to his/her work into direct mail and other fundraising appeals.
  • Manage Young Fellows: He/she will be assigned a program assistant and will be responsible for ensuring that the assistant has appropriate and meaningful work, opportunities for professional growth, and constructive oversight and direction. 
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


Experience and Attributes

  • Highly-motivated leader.
  • Five or more years’ legislative experience, either as a congressional staff member or as a legislative advocate on Capitol Hill, and a solid familiarity with congressional process. Applicants with fewer than five years of legislative experience may be considered for this position at the Legislative Manager or Legislative Representative level.
  • Strong, bipartisan Congressional contacts, particularly focused on armed services, foreign relations, government oversight, intelligence and/or appropriations committees.
  • High motivation and demonstrated ability to design and lead effective change-strategies.
  • Excellent research, analytical, writing, editing, public speaking and media skills.
  • Flexibility and organization to manage numerous tasks and deadlines and adjust to rapid and unpredictable change.
  • Collegial and consultative approach to preventing and solving problems.  Readiness to take initiative and responsibility.
  • Familiarity with Quaker values and practices.
  • Commitment to involving, promoting and respecting participants from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives.

Compensation and Work Expectations

Salary is commensurate with experience.   This is a full-time exempt position, based on a 37.5 hour work week. Benefits include health and dental insurance; disability insurance; life insurance; paid holidays; vacation; sick leave; maternity/paternity leave; and a generous retirement plan.


How to Apply

Send cover letter and resume to [email protected] (only electronic submissions will be accepted).


FCNL seeks to create a diverse workplace. We are actively soliciting applicants from different ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds.

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