Director, Public Policy (PNY)


Reports To:                      President

FLSA Status:                     Exempt

Supervises:                      Public Policy Fellows, Consultants as needed


Philanthropy New York is a nonprofit membership association of more than 280 foundations and corporate giving programs based in the New York metropolitan region. Philanthropy New York supports and strengthens the foundation sector’s practice of effective philanthropy for the public good. We do this primarily by providing our members with knowledge and resources that facilitate strategic, collaborative grantmaking. For more information on our work and a preview of our learning calendar, please visit


Summary of Responsibilities:

Philanthropy New York currently presents more than 180 programs, group meetings and conferences each year ranging from short panel discussions to multi-part program series and conferences. PNY also nurtures professional interest groups for foundation administrators and foundation CEOs and issue- based working groups for professionals focused on education, health, gender equity, and justice reform. And, PNY engages in public policy work by:

  • Creating programs and roundtables to facilitate dialogue between government leaders with influence over policy on issues of greatest concern to our members,
  • Taking official policy positions on key issues affecting the sector and communicating those positions to key government officials, and
  • Convening foundation leaders to collaboratively explore common goals and


The Director of Public Policy leads this work by:


  • Developing and monitoring an annual policy slate approved by the Public Policy Committee and the Board that identifies the key issues that might affect the sector in the coming year
  • Creating programs aimed at helping members understand how foundations can support advocacy on the issues they fund
  • Overseeing the work of two Public Policy fellows who are responsible for coordinating and elevating the work of PNY’s policy-focused working groups, including program and project development; and
  • Working collaboratively across departments to support strategies that ensure the organization’s membership is engaged in the timely and critical discussions that impact their funding strategies.


This is a full-time exempt position that reports to the President.


Primary Responsibilities:


Public Policy Responsibilities


  • Develop and execute public policy strategies and activities
  • Support the organization’s existing public policy working groups (Health, Education, Justice, Gender Equity) and overseeing the development of an overall strategy for these groups
  • Monitor legislative and regulatory activity to inform members and other external audiences of pending issues at the federal, state, and city levels that may impact philanthropy and nonprofits
  • Serve as a key organizational and sector voice in informing and educating public policymakers about the scope and impact of foundation and corporate giving in New York; work with the President and Board to engage foundation leaders in this work as well
  • Represent the organization externally in New York City and New York State coalitions
  • Serve as the liaison and coordinator of the Board’s Public Policy Committee
  • Establish and maintain contacts with key state and city officials and annually attend Foundations on the Hill to build relationships with federal officials
  • Develop and implement a strategy, including communications and programs, that continues to strengthen our members’ appreciation for the critical need for philanthropy’s engagement in public policy, and the central role Philanthropy New York plays in fostering that engagement


Public Policy Fellowship Oversight:

  • Annually run a competitive process designed to identify a promising recent graduate student from a diverse background who will join PNY’s staff for a two year fellowship commitment
  • Supervise the fellows to help them achieve organizational goals in the following areas:
    • Research and write issue guides on topics at the nexus of the government, philanthropic and nonprofit
    • Produce content and identify resources for org, New York PhilPost and PhilTV.
    • Developing and executing issue-focused programs, including working group educational events, PNY’s annual conference and other events as they
    • Preparing materials for and attending Foundations on the Hill, the annual gathering of sector leaders to meet with federal officials on issues of concern to the philanthropic community.
  • Support the fellow’s professional development by helping to identify two mentors and overseeing the mentor relationship


Communications Responsibilities

  • Advance, promote, and develop resources for research publications that arise out of the coordinated work of PNY’s members
  • Develop program descriptions and marketing materials for policy-related programming as needed



  • Partner with the Director of Finance and Administration to annually prepare and manage a budget for Public Policy work
  • Work collaboratively with the COO to develop an annual operations plan that reflects the work that the public policy department will do in the upcoming year to help the organization achieve the goals outlined in its strategic plan
  • Remain up-to-date on policies, procedures, and grantmaking practices, current and possible future needs of New York’s private and family foundations
  • Support the Sr. VP of Membership in membership retention and recruitment efforts


  • Provide monthly written reports of activity to the President and Board of Directors


Skills and Knowledge:

  • Superb written communication skills adaptable to a variety of settings and styles
  • Strong public speaking skills necessary
  • Excellent ability to work with diverse constituencies, maintain diplomacy, and negotiate successfully at all levels of management and leadership is
  • Skilled at facilitating groups to achieve organizational goals
  • Commitment to personal growth and development on issues of racial equity and diversity
  • Strong member service orientation
  • Ability to analyze information, discern key issues of interest to grantmakers, and communicate clearly and concisely
  • Experience with or strong interest in organized philanthropy, including a knowledge of private and family foundations
  • Excellent organizational, planning, project management and administrative skills
  • Demonstrated commitment to helping junior staff grow in responsibility and experience
  • Proficient with databases and communications platforms


Qualifications and Experience:


  • A minimum of 7-10 years of experience in public policy, legislative lobbying, or related work
  • Four-year college degree, and a Master’s Degree a plus - or demonstrated complex analysis, writing, and project management skills equivalent to higher education
  • Experience and deep knowledge around public policy issues in New York City and/or New York State a plus
  • Experience in or understanding of the role of a membership association
  • Understanding of structural racism and policy a plus


Salary and Title commensurate with a candidate’s experience in the field. Salary range: $75,000 -

$90,000, based on experience.


Please send a resume and a cover letter via email outlining your interest in the position, your skills and your qualifications. Please include your salary requirements.


Kathryn O'Neal-Dunham Chief Operating Officer Philanthropy New York

Email: [email protected]


No phone calls, please. Please note that due to the high volume of resumes we receive, we are unable to respond to all candidates. We will be directly in touch with candidates for first round telephone interviews.


Philanthropy New York is committed to creating a more equitable workplace. We value diversity and are dedicated to the recruitment, inclusion and retention of individuals of diverse backgrounds, sex, race, religion, gender preference and sexual orientation.

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  • Biz Ghormley
    published this page in Job Board 2018-10-11 10:36:14 -0400