United Neighborhood Houses

Job Title


Job Description

Career Opportunity:  POLICY AND ADVOCACY DIRECTOR, United Neighborhood Houses of New York

December 10, 2018


United Neighborhood Houses is the membership association of 40 New York City settlement houses and two upstate affiliate members, who collectively reach more than 765,000 people of all ages annually at 680 locations—670 of these in New York City. For 100 years UNH has been the voice of underrepresented New Yorkers and the neighborhood-based organizations working with them to achieve economic security, quality education, and access to health services, housing, food, the arts, recreation and more. UNH strengthens neighborhoods by mobilizing communities, advocating for good public policies, and promoting practices that keep neighborhoods resilient and thriving. The goal of our work is to strengthen and sustain UNH members’ contributions to the economic vitality, health, and cultures of their communities, and New York City as a whole.


Drawing on the collective experience of UNH’s member settlement houses and the voices of the community members they serve, the Policy and Advocacy department advocates for equitable policies, fair human services investments, and thoughtful implementation of government-contracted services in New York City and State. Mirroring the breadth of services and approach of member settlement houses, the P&A team advocates for a range of issues including early childhood education, after-school, and youth employment programs, adult literacy, behavioral health and older adult supportive services, neighborhood affordability policies (affordable housing, economic development, workforce development), and procurement issues. In addition, the department supports and promotes civic engagement of settlement house staff and community members by leading nonpartisan voter registration training and mobilization efforts, organizing grassroots rallies, and providing information on ballot measures and other issues of public interest.

To carry out its work, the P&A Department:

·        Analyzes and responds to governmental budgets, policies and trends,

·        Creates, leads and/or participates in advocacy coalitions and campaigns,

·        Organizes, facilitates and presents at forums, workshops, press conferences and public hearings,

·        Serves as an intermediary between our members and government, provides technical assistance and convenes peer groups,

·        Authors policy briefs, reports, op-eds, and other advocacy materials, and

·        Leads issue-specific peer groups of settlement house staff, focused on shared learning and collective action.


Through this work UNH stands as one of the leading policy and advocacy organizations engaged in human services issues at the City and State levels of government.


The Policy & Advocacy Director is responsible for:

·        Assessing opportunities and challenges in the human services sector in order to guide the overall strategic direction of the department,

·        Leading and developing a team of 4-5 staff and interns, managing UNH’s relationship with a contracted lobbyist and managing department workflow and product creation,

·        Building and maintaining relationships with UNH member executive directors, elected and appointed government officials, and key sector collaborators and stakeholders,

·        Maintaining and advancing a policy portfolio consisting of nonprofit contracting issues, and

·        Contributing to the overall leadership of the organization as a member of the senior staff team.

Applicants must have:

·        3-5 years of experience of successfully supervising and developing staff,

·        Experience developing and/or leading advocacy campaigns and policy research projects,

·        Excellent written and verbal communication skills,

·        An orientation toward collaboration as well as the ability to work independently and manage multi-time sensitive projects and quickly emerging issues,

·        A master’s degree or equivalent experience in public policy or a related field, and

·        A belief in the mission of United Neighborhood Houses, the settlement house movement, and the communities they serve.


Additionally, competitive applicants will have:

·        Knowledge of New York City and New York State government,

·        Experience working with elected and appointed government officials, and

·        A master’s degree or equivalent experience in public policy or a related field.

Salary Information

UNH offers a competitive salary and benefits package as well as excellent medical, dental and retirement plans. We value diversity, equity, and inclusion, and welcome applicants of diverse backgrounds including race, ethnic culture, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, and physical abilities.

To Apply

email cover letter, resume, writing sample and salary expectations to: unhjobs@unhny.org, or send to UNH P&A Search Committee, United Neighborhood Houses, 45 Broadway, New York, NY 10006. No inquiries please.

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