Director of Advocacy

Organization: The Municipal Art Society of New York

Posted: April 11, 2019 | Closing: May 3, 2019

Job Description

For 125 years, the Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) has worked to educate and inspire New Yorkers to engage in the betterment of our city. As a non-profit advocacy organization, MAS mobilizes diverse allies to focus on issues that affect our city from sidewalk to skyline. Through three core campaign areas, MAS protects New York’s legacy spaces, encourages thoughtful planning and urban design, and fosters inclusive neighborhoods across the five boroughs.

 Summary of Position

The MAS seeks a full-time Director of Advocacy to help advance an ambitious urban agenda. The Director will lead efforts to translate MAS’s vision for New York City into concrete policy initiatives and strategies that leverage coalition building and communications to achieve change. The position provides key staff support to the organization in the areas of public policy development, planning, legislative and regulatory advocacy, partner engagement and training. S/he will also work with external stakeholders, such as legislators and political leadership throughout New York City, including experts and researchers.

The successful candidate will effectively demonstrate a broad understanding of current New York City planning, land use issues, and policies combined with strong writing, presentation, and communication skills. The ideal candidate will have a range of talents and expertise. They will be passionate, strategic, engaged, team-oriented, adept at communicating to diverse audiences, and eager to work in a fast-paced environment.

Position Description

Under the guidance of the Vice President of Policy & Programs and in coordination with the planning team, the Director of Advocacy will:

  • Develop and carry out strategies to support the MAS policy agenda;
  • Advocate for the adoption or passage of critical legislation, city ordinances, and government regulations, promoting land use decisions that benefit NYC communities;
  • Organize targeted community engagement events relaying these issues to a diverse audience, including managing and delivering content for the MAS Livable Neighborhoods Program;
  • Build and maintain extensive outreach to community groups, other non-profits, City agencies, and elected officials, developing relationships and identifying opportunities for partnership;
  • Serve as a liaison with other coalitions and campaigns to identify needs that support external cross-program initiatives;
  • Analyze legislative and policy proposals to determine their impact;
  • Work with communications staff to present advocacy issues to media and public audiences, including through press releases and the MAS website, newsletter, and social media; and
  • Attend evening and weekend meetings and events on occasion.

Minimum Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree. Graduate degree in public policy, public administration, political affairs, urban planning, historic preservation, or related field strongly preferred, although extensive related work experience can substitute;
  • A minimum of five years designing and implementing issue-based advocacy campaigns;
  • Excellent strategic judgment and the energy and drive to develop and effectuate challenging campaigns;
  • Exceptional coalition building and interpersonal communication, networking, and social skills; ability to connect authentically with diverse groups of people, including constituencies that may be seen as opposition;
  • Ability to facilitate effective meetings and build excellent working relationships with colleagues, community groups and policymakers;
  • Strong external communication skills, including experience giving media interviews, public speaking, and preparing/supporting others to do so;
  • Working knowledge writing and analyzing complex legislation and other policies;
  • Must be a collaborative team player, strong supervisor, direct and open communicator; be extremely organized, accurate, responsible, flexible, diplomatic; and able to able to handle multiple simultaneous priorities and work well under pressure in a fast paced environment;
  • Strong organizational ability, including the capacity to juggle multiple projects and meet deadlines, while maintaining a high attention to accuracy and detail;
  • Commitment to hard work in a professional and fun workplace;
  • Dedication to the MAS mission and ideals of a more equitable, resilient, economically and culturally vibrant New York City; and
  • Proficiency in a second language is desirable.

How to Apply

Application Instructions
To apply, please email a resume, cover letter, and work sample (such as portfolio, writing samples, or research papers, no more than 20 pages or 20MB) to, with the subject line “Director of Advocacy.” No phone calls please.

For more information about MAS, visit The Municipal Art Society of New York is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to a diverse workforce; women and individuals of all ethnic and racial backgrounds, gender identities and sexual orientations are encouraged to apply.

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