Government Relations Director

Government Relations Director, The Independence Fund

Background:
The Independence Fund helps catastrophically disabled veterans, their Caregivers, and their families achieve greater levels of independence, and to regain as much of their mobility as possible. The Independence Fund also supports Caregivers and family members, especially children, adjust to the realities of their veterans’ catastrophic disabilities, to optimize the support they can give their Veterans, and to maximize their own personal potential.

The Independence Fund prides itself on being a disruptive influence in what could be considered a somewhat staid Washington, DC Veterans policy community, possibly too comfortable in accepting the failures of the status quo. Because of that, The Independence Fund is strongly committed to increasing substantially individual Veteran’s authority to choose their own health care provider. Given that, The Independence Fund believes this belief in individual Veterans’ choice falls along a generational line rather than a political or philosophical line.

The Government Relations Director, reporting to the Chief Advocacy Officer, But who will also work closely with the Chief Executive Officer, will lead The Independence Fund’s government relations team to highlight and reform those failures in the VA, maximize individual Veteran’s choice in health care options, responsibly expand the Caregiver program, and integrate The Independence Fund as closely as possible in Department of Veteran Affairs, Department of Defense, and Department of Health and Human Services advisory programs.

This job must be done in Washington, DC on a full-time basis, and applicants should reside within 25 miles of the US Capitol Building to be considered. We are looking for a “shoe-leather” lobbyist who already has good relationships with Members of Congress, Senators, and their staffs, and spends more time on Capitol Hill than in The Independence Fund’s offices.

Further, The Independence Fund is unique in that most of the Veterans it serves are eligible for DoD benefits as medically retired military personnel, and for Medicare and Social Security Disability Income because of their catastrophic disabilities. Therefore, the Government Relations Director will also need to work with the Department of Defense and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Responsibilities:
• Establish and enhance the visibility and reputation of The Independence Fund (TIF) as a veteran service organization, with Congress and Executive Branch agencies through relationship building, meetings, and technical assistance.
• Work to develop strategic government affairs and excellent advocacy capabilities in the area of Veterans health care and Caregiver support.
• Direct Government Relations
o Propose and monitor Veterans’ and relevant national security legislation in Congress.
o Develop and maintain relationships with legislative staff in both the House and Senate.
o Recruit TIF client Veterans, Caregivers, and supporters to attend meetings on Capitol Hill, testify before Congress, and submit written comments to Congress and regulatory agencies.
o Provide TIF Board, leadership, and client Veterans, Caregivers, and Supporters with regular legislative updates.
o Plan and execute lobby days.
o Collect and provide stories to Congress and appropriate agencies that demonstrate the need for expanded Veteran health care choice and responsibly expand the Caregiver benefit.
o Recruit and provide witnesses for Congressional hearings.
o Prepare testimony for Congressional hearings and for Agency meetings and regulatory processes.
o Draft white papers and fact sheets on pertinent policy issues for Congressional offices and Executive Branch agencies.
o Attend Congressional hearings that pertain to NACA’s priority issues.
• Support the Chief Advocacy Officer to conceive, design, and execute grassroots campaigns with TIF client Veterans and Caregivers, as well as with TIF supporters, to influence government actions.
o Partner with national advocacy groups (Veteran, Caregiver, Military, Disability, etc.) and local organizations in key regional areas to assist with building a grassroots and legislative movement around key TIF issues.
o Help facilitate strong partnerships between TIF and other advocacy groups.
o Create and disseminate action alerts.
• Strategic Partnerships
o Actively participate in the umbrella organization, The Military Coalition, National Military and Veterans Alliance, and other organizations with which TIF may be involved.
o Participate in ongoing coalition meetings pertaining to relevant Veterans issues priorities include: VA health care choice, access and care standards for the catastrophically disabled, wheelchair and prosthetic programs, ALS treatment, and Caregiver support.
• Develop, monitor and update strategic plans.

Qualifications:
• Honorably discharged Veteran, currently serving Reservist or Guardsman, Caregiver, or a military/veteran spouse with at least three years experience with the spouse military member while on active duty or actively drilling.
• Concur with the overall position of The Independence Fund to increase Veterans’ authority in choosing their health care providers.
• 7+ years of experience in prior Congressional, politically appointed Executive Branch, or political experience, preferably with Democratic Members or Administrations.
• Mission accomplishment mentality, ability to lead small teams, and ability to own outcomes.
• Experience with health care issues, preferably with the Veterans Health Administration.
• Bachelor’s degree preferred. Masters in a relevant field will make the candidate more competitive.
• Strong understanding of the Congressional and Executive Branch budget processes, the Administrative Procedures Act, and the Federal Acquisition
• Proven ability to review and develop a position on issues involving some level of legal or regulatory complexity.
• Highly motivated and task-oriented individual.
• Strong digital communications skills, especially with political or advocacy campaigns.
• Very strong understanding of lobbying laws, both with regards to the Lobbying Disclosure Act and the Internal Revenue Code with regards to 501(c)(3) charitable organizations. Also a very strong understanding of political compliance activities.

B.Carey@IndependenceFund.org
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