Policy Manager

The Center for Rural Affairs is seeking a full-time Policy Manager to work in a rural community in Eastern, Nebraska serving as a team leader and working on key Nebraska state policy efforts.

The ideal candidate will be passionate about small towns, networking, advocacy, and the legislative process. They will oversee and direct others toward achieving specific policy outcomes that impact rural citizens and communities in Nebraska. They will have knowledge and experience in rural communities and be comfortable one-on-one or in large groups. 

Who We Are

The Center for Rural Affairs is a dynamic, energetic non-profit organization working to build a better rural future for all. We’ve done this work for more than 49 years, and we do it from rural places. Our work creates opportunities for beginning farmers, new business owners, and first-time advocates. The Center’s work is fueled by our compassionate, mission-driven staff who work for the betterment of rural communities, stewardship, and the next generation. Additional information can be found at www.cfra.org.

What You’ll Do

The Policy Manager reports to the Policy Director, directs team members around a body of work, and is responsible for:

  • You will lead and direct one of the policy team’s major efforts which include creating project plans, prioritizing tasks, being strategic, and adjusting strategies as needed.
  • You will direct and guide others in achieving project plans, providing training, support, regular check-ins, and strategic direction for plan completion.
  • You will supervise staff, support them in their professional development, conduct quarterly and annual reviews, and engage in goal setting.
  • You will conduct research that informs policy work, becoming the topic expert, and using various mediums to communicate your work.
  • You will collaborate with the Senior Communications Associate to draft and edit media communications that include blogs, letters, press releases, and reports.
  • You will be the trusted go-to person for resources, referrals, and policy initiatives as you build relationships and partnerships across the state.
  • You will collaborate with leaders from across the state to advance the policy outcomes that improve life in rural communities.

Who You Are & Keys to Success (the must-haves)

To be successful in this job, you will excel in five areas:

  • Relationship-building: You develop and maintain strong, collaborative working relationships with a diverse group of stakeholders and can bring in allies and partners from communities statewide, such as people of color, people with disabilities, low-income families, military veterans, immigrants, farmers, and entrepreneurs. You know how to build alliances and find points of collaboration even when there are competing interests.
  • Drive to achieve results: You have a track record of accomplishing ambitious goals and getting results even when there are obstacles. You set a high bar and meet it because you think three (or 30) steps ahead to anticipate hurdles and come up with pragmatic solutions. You plan backward and involve stakeholders appropriately.
  • Inclusive leadership and management: You approach leadership with a collaborative mindset and regularly include others in decision-making. You seek out those who have the experience to guide, advise, and plan how you approach the work.
  • Setting and managing priorities: You have experience managing multiple projects and keeping tasks from slipping through the cracks. You use resources wisely and can provide clear direction to staff, partners, consultants, and volunteers to leverage time and talent for impact.
  • Commitment to racial equity and social justice: You recognize the role of race, income, age, immigration status, and other identities in addressing disparities. You recognize how your own identities show up in the work, and welcome feedback with an eye toward continuous learning about race, ability, and other lines of difference.

If you have past experience with research, writing, project management, and supervision this is valuable.

If you were here right now, you would be:

  • Networking with state legislators about a priority piece of legislation that affects constituents in rural communities.
  • Doing research on a priority topic and then writing a blog post that will be distributed through Center communication channels.
  • Directing your staff team in completing tasks associated with a key policy project.Working collaboratively with the Senior Communication Associate to complete a publication about a key rural issue. 
  • Serving as the first person state and local leaders come to for technical support, creative approaches to problem-solving, and general rural issues for the projects you work on.

What Else You Should Know

This is a full-time exempt position based in an existing, newly established, or home office in a rural community in Eastern Nebraska. This position will require occasional travel by car throughout the state to meet with communities and individuals and include both overnight and out-of-state travel on occasion. This position has a salary range of $55,600-$64,300 with top-notch benefits that have a cash value of $10,000 to $29,500, depending on family status and tenure with the Center.

The Center for Rural Affairs is an Equal Opportunity Employer and participates in E-Verify.

How to Apply

If you would like to work for an organization that has a national reputation as one of the top organizations in the country working to make rural communities more vibrant, apply by sending your resume, cover letter, and three professional references by clicking here. In the cover letter, please include how your personal and/or professional experiences have positioned you for success in this role and any Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion or Racial Equity-related work, skills, or expertise you want us to know about. Let us know how you heard about this position and why you want to work for the Center.