International Rescue Committee Kansas Advocacy Coordinator in Wichita, Kansas
Requisition ID: req14580
Job Title: Kansas Advocacy Coordinator
Sector: Advocacy & Government Affairs
Employment Category: Fixed Term
Employment Type: Part-Time
Open to Expatriates: No
Location: Wichita, KS USA
The Policy & Advocacy Department is a dynamic team focused on driving transformational change in the humanitarian sector. The Resettlement, Asylum, and Integration (RAI) Policy and Advocacy team supports federal and state advocacy on U.S. refugee resettlement policy and advocacy (as well as wider issues of concern to the IRC’s U.S. Programs team), including by bolstering the capacity and expertise of our 25 field offices across the United States. Our efforts include direct coordination with and leadership of coalition efforts such as RCUSA and the Refugee Advocacy Lab (the Lab), for which IRC is a co-founder and leads state and federal legislative advocacy efforts. The Lab is a multi-stakeholder partnership led by the IRC, Refugees International and the International Refugee Assistance Project to grow the diverse constituency for US leadership on refugee protection. This role will contribute directly and significantly to Lab efforts to advance state-level advocacy and partnerships.
Job Overview/Summary: In the past several years, US field offices have experienced and overcome the strengthened organization and political influence of anti-resettlement grassroots actors. In early 2016, fuelled by measures against refugee resettlement in the U.S. Congress as well as moratoriums on resettlement declared by 31 Governors, the IRC witnessed an increase in state legislation opposing refugee resettlement. Through diligent and targeted engagement that trend has been reversed, as evidenced in 2019 when 43 Governors across the United States publicly affirmed that refugees were welcome in their state. In the years between, IRC field offices and other partners throughout the United States have strengthened their education, outreach, and advocacy work at the state and local levels - influencing legislation, securing funding and gathering resolutions of support - by lifting up the contributions of refugees and the strong support of local communities that our programs enjoy.
The IRC and Refugee Advocacy Lab now see to build on and sustain these successes in targeted states. The Kansas Advocacy Coordinator will coordinate advocacy activities around the state of Kansas, setting strategic goals, building relationships and strengthening capacity to provide direct advocacy support by providing tools, resources and learning support on behalf of IRC and the Lab. With an empowered network of support, we aim to cultivate and strengthen relationships within the state legislature, and in some cases members of Congress, to drive pro-refugee initiatives. The Kansas Advocacy Coordinator will lead local partners and coalitions to build a strategic advocacy plan and provide critical technical support and direction, engaging directly with legislators where necessary.
As part of the RAI/Lab advocacy team and in close partnership with RAI leadership including Regional Directors, the US field network and specific US field offices in priority states, the Kansas Advocacy Coordinator will:
•Support advocacy efforts directed by the Regional Advocacy Lead (based in Colorado) to implement advocacy and engagement goals.
•Facilitate introductions to the Kansas based resettlement agencies for the Regional Lead
•Build relationships with state and local elected officials.
•Assess impact of state legislative activity and policies on refugees and other immigrant communities in Kansas.
•Help to identify opportunities to advance pro-refugee policies and legislation.
•Serve as a local point of contact for new partners.
•Facilitate connection with local refugee groups and organize skill building & advocacy opportunities on behalf of the Regional Lead.
•Assist with driving forward advocacy deliverables at the state level including but not limited to: generating partner & grassroots support and coordination; content creation; and other supporting tasks as need.
•This is a temporary position set for 1 year with possibility of extension.
•Bachelor’s degree or higher in a related field
•1-2 years supporting resettlement advocacy efforts, preferably with experience at the local level as well
•Experience communicating with elected officials and sharing approved messaging and creating effective messaging tools
•Experience in storytelling as a tool for advocacy
•Experience working in coalition to advance an agenda
Demonstrated Skills and Competencies:
•Understanding of the U.S. resettlement program and/or and knowledge of policy issues related to U.S. immigration is highly desirable
•Excellent writing skills and the ability to translate complex material and data into coherent narratives
•Ability to communicate effectively and diplomatically with internal and external stakeholders
•Strong public speaking, presentation and networking skills
•Ability to travel and to work on tight deadlines
•Ability to work as a team player with remote supervision and multiple lines of internal communication and accountability
•Initiative and ability to work independently on fast-paced issues
•Commitment to the IRC’s vision, missions and values
•Lived experience with resettlement, asylum, immigration or migration is an asset in this role.
Working Environment: Standard office work environment. Up to 20 % travel required when safe and appropriate.