Benefits Data Trust (BDT) is a non-profit organization that improves health and financial security by harnessing the power of data, technology, and policy to provide dignified and equitable access to assistance. Together with a national network of government agencies and partners, BDT efficiently connects people today to programs that pay for food, healthcare, and more while helping to modernize benefits access for tomorrow. Centered on equity, BDT envisions a world that connects people to essential benefits and services while treating them with dignity and respect.
Since its founding in 2005, the organization has screened more than 1.2 million households for benefits and submitted more than 1.1 million benefit applications on behalf of families across the country, securing more than $9 billion in food, housing, healthcare and other assistance for families and individuals nationwide. BDT’s current theory of change leverages direct assistance to individuals to drive innovation in benefits access, provide credibility, engage and equip other sectors, and help government streamline access. The provision of direct assistance is part of what makes BDT unique among organizations seeking to create systems change.
BDT now seeks a Director of Policy to advance state and national policies to provide dignified and efficient benefits access with the goal of improving health, increasing economic mobility, and creating a more equitable society. The Director of Policy (Director) informs the organization’s overall strategy to scale impact and develops and oversees BDT’s federal and state policy roadmap, cultivates opportunities to provide technical assistance to the government, and secures funding. The Director also leads the Policy team that provides technical assistance, writes and promotes policy briefs and playbooks, and informs BDT’s products and services. Reporting to the Chief Strategy Officer, the Director influences the field through thought leadership, engaging in the national dialogue about poverty, equity, and public benefits modernization, and shares what BDT has learned and can offer. The Director builds and strengthens relationships with policy leaders and key people in the field to promote the adoption of evidence-based policy and practice changes and identifies opportunities to test new scalable, human-centered, and equitable solutions.
BDT seeks candidates who are seasoned policy professionals with national systems level experience. Responsible for managing seven policy staff located in Philadelphia and other locations, the ideal candidate will also demonstrate superior relationship building, emotional intelligence, and diplomatic skills in leading the policy team and serving as a key member of the BDT leadership team. They will have a strong personal commitment to BDT’s mission to transform the way benefits and services are delivered to those in need, and the desire to grow with the organization as BDT continues to scale for impact.
ABOUT BENEFITS DATA TRUST
BDT began in 2005 in Philadelphia focused solely on providing efficient and effective phone-based benefit application assistance at scale. It quickly hired a policy staff to support this direct assistance to families and individuals. Over time, BDT has developed into a national nonprofit that provides data-driven outreach and assistance to people in need and seeks to streamline benefit access nationwide through systems change.
At BDT, the team of outreach specialists, data scientists and policy analysts work every day to improve the health and financial security for families. Some spend time on the phone taking older adults, veterans, and single mothers through a benefits screening process. Some are software and data engineers who look for efficient ways to comb through data to determine how best to connect people to benefits they’re missing out on. Yet others work closely with public servants to improve government service delivery. Since its founding, the BDT team has facilitated nearly 800,000 benefit enrollments, securing more than $9 billion in food, housing, healthcare and other assistance for families and individuals nationwide. Since 2019, BDT has streamlined access to benefits for 3 million people through policy and practice changes. In 2021, BDT worked with 12 states to streamline access to benefits for eligible households and helped to secure an average of $2,465 in benefits per enrolled household.
BDT now works with states nationwide. The organization is working in at least 13 states currently and has ongoing operations in the 7 states with benefit centers. Having established itself as a social change agent and thought leader in the benefits access sector with a proven impact model, BDT is committed to solving the benefits access problem for good.
The Director of Policy will be a forward-looking leader with the ability to advance evidence-based policy and practice changes, and to identify and seize opportunities to accelerate benefits access modernization. This role will include the following responsibilities:
• Develop and execute on BDT’s federal and state policy and practice roadmap with a focus on advancing equity.
• Cultivate new opportunities to promote BDT products and services to government and philanthropy.
• Oversee technical assistance to federal, state, and local agencies to streamline benefits access and the creation of playbooks and other products to motivate and assist government agencies and others in providing dignified and efficient access to assistance.
• Strengthen BDT’s role as a thought leader in benefits access modernization and health and human services equity through conference presentations, testimony, webinars, press, policy and research briefs, public, and blog posts.
• Inform the evolution of BDT’s products and services and provide policy advice to other departments.
• Identify opportunities to test new scalable, human-centered, and equitable solutions.
• Supervise and support the professional development of BDT’s policy staff.
• Maintain and strengthen relationships with national and state policy leaders.
• Build and maintain a strong knowledge of laws and regulations related to public benefits.
QUALIFICATIONS OF THE IDEAL CANDIDATE
While no one person may embody all of the qualities enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:
• At least ten years of increasing leadership experience working in or with government to modernize health and human services.
• Detailed knowledge of policies to reduce poverty and improve health, with a focus on public benefit programs, particularly SNAP and Medicaid.
• History of innovation and willingness to experiment and push boundaries to overcome the status quo in public benefits service delivery.
• Demonstrated track record of securing policy and practice changes and using research to advance reforms and build public will.
• Experience interpreting and commenting on state and federal regulations.
• Existing relationships with policymakers, advocates, and other anti-poverty or health care organizations.
• Success managing and coaching a talented and highly motivated staff, ideally including remote employees.
• Excellent interpersonal skills and social awareness, including the ability to build trust and credibility with team members, peers, and senior leaders.
• Exceptional writing and communication skills, including writing for diverse audiences and experience presenting to public officials and at conferences on complex material.
• Attention to detail and ability to manage multiple initiatives in a fast-paced environment.
LOCATION: Location Flexible (Philadelphia, PA or Washington, DC preferred). While BDT prefers candidates from the Philadelphia or Washington DC areas, other locations are also welcome to apply.
For more information about Benefits Data Trust, please visit: www.bdtrust.org
This search is being led by Linh Nguyen of NPAG. Given the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Candidates may submit a cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume via NPAG’s website (https://npag.com/benefits-data-trust-director-policy).
BDT has adopted a mandatory vaccination and testing policy to safeguard the health of our employees from the hazard of COVID-19. Employees may request an exemption from the policy by providing documentation for medical or religious reasons if needed.
Benefits Data Trust is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.