State Government Affairs Director
Job Type

The Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) is seeking a state government affairs director. This is an exciting opportunity for someone who has a passion for good public policy, experience working with state legislatures and governors’ offices, and a background in managing complex projects. The right person for this role is an exceptional communicator and strategic thinker, while also being organized and detail oriented. 

The state government affairs director will be responsible for all of FGA’s government affairs operations in a portfolio of multiple states, including serving as the primary policy and political point of contact in those states, cultivating stakeholder relationships, managing on-the-ground contractors, coordinating assets, and creating and executing on all policy reform initiatives.


This role requires adept project management skills, prompt follow-up habits, and a comfort level with using multiple technology platforms to organize and track data, manage projects, and communicate internally. At a high level, the director will have to quickly analyze complex political and legislative situations, assess opportunities, and pivot when change is necessary, while simultaneously building trusted relationships with policymakers and their staff in multiple states.

An ideal candidate will have eight to 10 years of relevant legislative and/or advocacy experience, a track record of successful people management, and a proven ability to communicate with internal teammates and external partners in a way that builds rapport and trust. They will have a deep comprehension of and experience in the state legislative and executive decision-making process, as well as an understanding of how politics impacts policy. Contenders for this position will be flexible and able to thrive in a dynamic, fast-paced environment. Significant travel is required.

Culture and Fit 

Success at FGA depends not only on a person’s skills, but also on his or her ability to fit the culture of FGA. We describe our culture with five Core Values:

  1. Candid to Solve—being willing to have tough conversations in order to solve issues or build trust.
  2. Grow or Die—we don’t have a neutral gear. We must consistently challenge ourselves and each other to grow in our talents and skills.
  3. Politically Savvy—policy doesn’t change in a vacuum, but in a political reality that we must understand and account for.
  4. Partnership-Oriented—internal and external relationships are not transactional. That starts with our team members and the perspective that we need the rest of the team to succeed in order to win personally.
  5. Bought in to Win—we’re at FGA because we want to change policy. No one is counting hours or widgets, we are here to get results, and sometimes that will require going the extra mile or doing a job that isn’t technically ours. 

It might help to think about the following list of questions. If you answer “yes” to all of them, you may be a fit for the team. The vast majority of those who don’t get hired or don’t last at FGA are due to a lack of fit with these values. Be prepared to have very candid conversations about them in our interview process.

  • Do you wholeheartedly agree with the policies that we advocate (see for a full description), and the underlying principles that people’s lives are made better through work, not government welfare, and that a free market creates greater freedom and equality than any command-and-control government system?
  • Do you agree that embracing the realities of politics is necessary to have success in changing public policy? 
  • Do you tend to be the one who initiates conversations with colleagues, rather than waiting for them to come to you?
  • Are you comfortable creating your own structure for work, such as setting work hours, setting your own priorities, and creating clarity and a work plan from a broad goal? 
  • Does it motivate you to think about working with a team of world-class professionals who are held to a very high standard of getting results?
  • Do you seize opportunities to try new things or improve a skill that is relevant to your company or role?
  • Are you able to build meaningful relationships (creating trust) with people you only see face to face a few times a year?
  • Do you tend to lead teams by creating clarity about goals and progress, rather than prescribing the steps they need to take?
  • Are you aware of your strengths and weaknesses, and do you have a practice of getting help from others to mitigate your weaknesses?

Roles and Responsibilities

The state government affairs director will have three primary responsibilities: 

  1. Serve as the internal and external point person for all government affairs operations for the portfolio of states. This includes liaising with policymakers, staff, and third-party coalition members in the portfolio, as well as internal stakeholders on the Federal Affairs, Development, Policy & Research, and Communications teams. 
  2. Manage in-state contractors and well as state government affairs manager(s) in his/her portfolio of states.
  3. Create and execute on a policy priority sales strategy for each state in the portfolio. This process includes evaluation of the political environment and policy needs, alignment with stakeholders, management of collateral needs, and shepherding of initiatives through the legislative or executive process from start to finish. 

Timing, Location, and Compensation 

FGA is seeking to fill this position as soon as possible. FGA’s staff work remotely, therefore the location for this position is flexible. This position requires regular travel to an assigned region of states, various legislative conferences, as well as one staff meeting per quarter. Travel expenses are covered. FGA offers salary and benefits that are very competitive, including a retirement program, a health benefit, and a generous paid leave plan.