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State of Massachusetts Director of Constituent and Legislative Affairs in Boston, Massachusetts

The Education Secretariat is committed to equity and valuing the unique and diverse characteristics and experiences of every member of its workforce. We encourage an authentic workplace where colleagues show up as their full selves, where collaboration, innovation, and connections are key to realizing our mission that all children, youth, and families thrive socially, academically, and economically. We seek teammates who are committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive work environment, where everyone is valued and engaged. We encourage you to apply and identify your strengths in these areas. * * Director of Constituent and Legislative Affairs The Director of Constituent and Legislative Affairs will play a vital role in advancing the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education's (DHE) mission to promote excellence and access to higher education by building and fostering strong relationships with the legislature and constituent groups. This role will be responsible for leading DHE's legislative strategy, collaborating with key stakeholders, and advocating for policies that align with DHE's mission. The Board and Department of Higher Education _ _ The Massachusetts Board of Higher Education (“Board” or “BHE”) is the Commonwealth’s state higher education authority with coordinating and regulatory authority over all public and private higher education institutions operating in the Commonwealth and authorized to grant degrees. The BHE is staffed by the DHE, which is run by a Commissioner who serves as the executive and administrative head of the department. Together, the BHE and DHE are the leading voices and advocates for post-secondary education in the Commonwealth, serving critical roles as the state’s regulator of state authorization and consumer protection. The Massachusetts System of Public Higher Education (“System”) serves approximately 290,000 students annually. The System consists of 15 community colleges, 9 state universities, and 5 University of Massachusetts (“UMass”) campuses. Each community college and state university institution has its board of trustees, while the 5 UMass campuses are overseen by the UMass board of trustees. The BHE has coordination and oversight responsibilities for the entire System, including the responsibility to analyze the present and future goals, needs, and requirements of public higher education and to establish goals to achieve a well-coordinated, quality system of public higher education. M.G.L. c. 15A, §1 et seq. In addition, the BHE’s authority includes administering state financial aid and federal grants; managing and responding to consumer complaints; conducting financial assessments of institutions; managing employee relations and benefits for public higher education employees; managing collective bargaining contracts with state university and community colleges employees; and approving degree-granting authority for all public and most private higher education institutions operating within the Commonwealth. Currently, there are 82 private institutions of higher education operating in the Commonwealth and authorized to grant degrees. EssentialJobFunctions _ _ Strategy and Outreach · Develop and execute a comprehensive legislative strategy that aligns with DHE's mission and goals. · Monitor and analyze, in partnership with the DHE team state and federal legislative proposals, bills, and regulations related to higher education, providing timely updates to senior leadership. · Represent DHE at legislative hearings, meetings, and pertinent events to advocate for the agency's positions. · Act as a lead contact for all state legislative matters by ensuring the Department takes a proactive role with the Legislature, including the Joint Committee on Higher Education and the Committee on Ways and Means, to support the agency’s mission. · Explain to legislative personnel and other interested parties the impact and/or status of proposed legislation through oral and written communication. · Collaborate with staff to ensure compliance with legislative-related deadlines, such as required report submissions. · Prepare correspondence, recommendations, reports, and/or memoranda on matters about legislation and legislative activities. · Partner with the Director of Strategic Communications to ensure a consistent message and coordinated response to media or stakeholder inquiries. · Review or, as needed, prepare drafts of remarks, speeches, talking points, press releases, issue summaries, or other written materials requested by the Commissioner, Senior Deputy Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner for Policy, and other members of the Commissioner’s Office. · Partner with campus colleagues to plan campus visits that advance Department and local priorities. · The Director will work with Department subject matter experts on materials needed to be presented to the legislature. Policy Advancement · Collaborate closely with DHE teams to support the development of legislative proposals. · Partner with the Deputy Commissioner of Policy and agency leadership on legislation affecting the budget and appropriation accounts. · Coordinate and assist in the drafting of legislation on matters related to agency policies and operations, including reviewing legal and legislative documents and conferring with the staff to gather pertinent data. · Closely monitor the annual state budget process. · Build effective partnerships with agency subject matter experts. Constituent Affairs * * · Act as a point of contact for individuals and organizations seeking information, assistance, or engagement with DHE on constituent higher education matters. · Collaborate with teams to develop and implement mechanisms for tracking, documenting, and addressing constituent issues and inquiries. · Develop and maintain a regularly updated spreadsheet of legislative districts, legislators, and staff mapped to each college/university geographic location to expeditiously execute legislative outreach plans. · Cultivate and foster strong relationships with legislators, government officials, and key stakeholders to advance DHE's policy priorities. · Oversee the Department’s responses to constituent inquiries, including by the legislature and public. · Collaborate with staff to implement practices that foster transparency and accessibility, enhancing the agency's reputation as an attentive and responsive organization. · Perform other duties as assigned. Please direct inquiries related to the posting or hiring process to _ _ * _Required Qualifications_ · A bachelor’s degree. · A minimum of five years experience working in higher education advocacy, Massachusetts government, Massachusetts legislative affairs, or a similar field. · Political acumen and a deep understanding of the legislative process. · Significant experience in project planning, management, and execution. · Proven exceptional written and verbal skills. · Experience working with legislators. · Demonstrated commitment to centering decision-making around data and evidence. · Ability to coordinate the work of others. · Ability to understand, apply, and interpret the provisions of the laws, rules, regulations, policies, procedures, specifications, standards, and guidelines governing the agency and its operation. Reliable Transportation _Preferred Qualifications_ _ _ · An earned post-graduate degree. · Experience in a state-level higher education system or higher education coordinating board working in governmental or legislative affairs. · Experience in a state, regional, or national organization focused on higher education policy. · Experience in conducting research and preparing policy briefs. _Skillsand attributes_ _ _ · Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with others and achieve consensus and progress on complex issues. · Superior analytic and presentation skills (both written and oral). · Ability to take initiative, use sound judgment to make decisions, resolve problems, and work effectively with all levels of staff and constituents. · Ability to understand, apply, and interpret the provisions of the laws, regulations, policies, and procedures governing agency operations. · Demonstrated commitment to public higher education and education equity and justice. · High ethical standards and a commitment to transparency and integrity. _Reporting Location and Travel_ _ _ · One Ashburton Place, Boston, Massachusetts. · In-state hybrid work. · In-state travel to campus and partner organizations. · Out-of-state travel to attend national conferences and events. * * * * * * * * * * _Comprehensive Benefits_ When you embark on a career with the Commonwealth, you are offered an outstanding suite of employee benefits that add to the overall value of your compensation package. We take pride in providing a work experience that supports you, your loved ones, and your future. Want the specifics? Explore our Employee Benefits and Rewards! *An Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer. Females, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. The Commonwealth is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, national origin, veteran status, or any other basis covered by appropriate law. Research suggests that qualified women, Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color (BIPOC) may self-select out of opportunities if they don't meet 100% of the job requirements. We encourage individuals who believe they have the skills necessary to thrive to apply for this role. Job: Education* *Organization: Department of Higher Education *Title: *Director of Constituent and Legislative Affairs * Location: *Massachusetts-Boston-1 Ashburton Place Requisition ID: 23000E40