Catholic Relief Services
Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. CRS works to save, protect, and transform lives in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. As part of its mission, CRS seeks to distill its experience and that of its extensive local partner network in 115 countries into US foreign policy and foreign assistance recommendations that contribute to greater peace, justice, and integral human development. The Government Relations Team advances those recommended policy and legislative changes with the US Government.
Based in Catholic Relief Services’ Washington, DC office, the Senior Director of Government Relations will direct the Gove rnment Relations (GR) team to advance relevant U.S. policy and legislation through direct education and advocacy, and working to cultivate influential Catholic leaders to advocate for CRS priorities with their elected officials. The Senior Director will guide strategic planning with the rest of the division and agency, as well as direct tactical implementation of the GR team, who leads on engaging members of Congress, their staffs and the U.S. Administration, including the White House, Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development and other U.S. Government entities.
The Senior Director will work closely with the Senior Leadership team of the Mission and Mobilization division, to develop strategic approaches to advance the policy and advocacy work of the division. The Senior Director will help create advocacy priorities for Congressional 2-year time periods, reflecting the work of the agency, and help position CRS as an influential voice. The Senior Dire ctor will coordinate strategy and tactics appropriately with the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Senior Director will also be responsible for advancing and measuring progress on political strategies for the division, the campaign, as well as day to day tactical direction for how to utilize different aspects of the division to further change.
Topics that CRS currently advocates on include (but are not limited to):
- Global hunger and food security, including the reform, structure, operation, and funding levels of Food for Peace; oversight and reauthorization of the Farm Bill; advancing annual food security appropriations, and oversight and reauthorization of the Global Food Security Act, among others.
- Climate change adaptation and US policy addressing the impacts of climate change on the most vulnerable.
- Funding for and appropriate US foreign assistance responses to address the impacts of climate change on vulnerable p opulations, through areas of CRS’ work including agriculture, WASH, DRR, et al.
- Addressing global health needs, including funding, oversight, and programmatic approaches for COVID, HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB and other diseases.
- Addressing humanitarian needs, including those forcibly displaced, in an effective and efficient manner, while also addressing operational impediments, including civl-mil relations.
- Localization and local leadership to shift the power dynamics, and make foreign assistance more effective.
- Prioritizing peacebuilding approaches in US foreign policy, and working across the Humanitarian, Development and Peace nexus.
- Maximum funding for foreign assistance priorities in annual budget resolutions as well as foreign operations and agriculture appropriations bills.
- Play an active role in the divisions’ Senior Leadership team, providing polit ical insight and vision for the advocacy work of the division, creating connections and creating a culture of mutual accountability.
- Champion the agency’s vision, mission and strategy and provide a roadmap for how Government Relations work can put these into practice.
- Effectively represent CRS positions to Congress and the Executive branch at a high level and position CRS Executive leadership for appropriate representation and advocacy.
- Oversee CRS’ participation in congressional briefings and hearings, including managing development of testimony and preparing witnesses.
- Lead and manage the process with Senior Director of Policy to identify policy priorities for 2 year period, and planning to carry out the work.
- Oversee GR’s role in supporting M2 campaign and chapter work, lead on the political strategy to advance the Advocacy strategy and relevant issue-based campaigns.
- Oversee the Grasstops Advocacy Advisor’s cultivation and engagement of influential/grasstops leaders in CRS’ network,
- Lead engagement with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on advocacy strategies, coordinating and collaborating where needed.
- Oversee the CRS DC office and ensure efficient operations by closely coordinating with CRS HQ.
- Effectively manage and supervise staff. Manage team dynamics and staff well-being. Provide coaching and mentoring for team members, strategically tailor individual development plans and complete performance assessments for direct reports. Oversee the portfolio management between staff members, and oversee any consultants.
- Supervise Government Relations team to:
- Develop, implement, and communicate comprehensive advocacy strategies for achieving CRS policy and legislative change, working internally with policy, media, constituency engagement, and Overseas Operations strategies.
- Undertake timely and effective MEAL (Monitor, Evaluate, Assess and Learn) efforts, including utilizing the CRM, qualitative feedback and reporting to EVP and Board.
- Identify, develop, and coordinate opportunities to build strong relationships with relevant personal and committee staff and Members, from both parties.
- Actively participate in issue planning meetings, working groups, and strategy sessions with Interaction, USGLC and other coalitions and partners to implement effective advocacy strategies.
- Issue advocacy sign-on/letters, messages, calls and visits as needed
- Initiate and arrange Administration and Hill meetings for CRS executives, senior managers, and visiting CRS field staff and partners as part of advocacy strategy.
Key Working Relationships:
Internal: Mission and Mobilization: Executive Vice President for Mission and Mobilization, Directors for Policy; Church Engagement; Campaigns, Chapters and Hispanic Engagement and Strategy and Operations; Overseas Operations’ Country Representatives, Regional Directors and other relevant staff.
External: Members of Congress, committee and personal staff, Executive branch staff, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, InterAction, U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, and other PVO/NGO Government Relations colleagues and working groups.
Catholic Relief Services carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. Our Catholic identity is at the heart of our mission and operations. We welcome as a part of our staff and as partners people of all faiths and secular traditions who share our values and our commitment to serving those in need.