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Director of Movement Strategy, Advocacy and Partnerships

Director, Movement Strategy


Vera seeks a senior-level candidate to fill an important new position in the Advocacy and Partnerships Department as the director of Movement Strategy. In this role, the Director of Movement Strategy will serve as a senior advisor across the organization on navigating partnerships, coalitions, and relationships with other advocacy, community, grassroots, grasstops, and movement organizations. 


This position can be based in our New York, Los Angeles, New Orleans, or Washington, DC, office. The director will report to Vera’s Vice President of Advocacy and Partnerships.


Who we are

The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, is a nonprofit criminal justice organization that strives to build just government institutions and safe communities free from the scourge of racism, white supremacy, profit, and inequity that is pervasive in this country’s legal systems. We are an “inside” lane organization that drives change at scale with ambitious public sector leaders who share our commitment to building anti-racist, reparative systems that deliver justice. We leverage our access to government to transform these systems and work collaboratively with stakeholders across many movements—including advocacy, grasstops, and grassroots organizations. Our role is to pilot solutions that are transformative and achievable, harness the power of evidence to drive effective policy and practice, and use advocacy and communications to change narratives and norms.


Vera has a staff of almost 300 people and offices in New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. We are an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace. We expect our staff to embody respect, independence, collaboration, commitment, anti-racism, and equity—both in our outward-facing work and the internal culture of our workplace. We value a range of experiences in people’s educational backgrounds and encourage people who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system to apply.


Advocacy at Vera

Vera’s Advocacy department is responsible for coordinating the vision, strategy, and staff development across Vera’s initiatives to pass legislation, change policy, and create change at scale. We work to ensure that the goals of our advocacy campaigns align with the people and communities most impacted by criminal justice and immigration policies, and we collaborate with movement and advocacy partners to produce the right knowledge and ideas needed to change policies and legislation at the right time.


Four core functions exist under Vera’s advocacy department:

  • Vera Action, a newly established, independent (c)(4) entity that is aligned with Vera and will support strategic priorities through lobbying efforts and strategic campaigns;
  • Vera Insights, a rapid response data and evidence team responsible for developing and producing data and knowledge to key partners and audiences;
  • A federal policy team that will lead Vera’s advocacy strategies in DC; and
  • Embedded senior resources within Vera’s multi-year initiatives to develop, lead, and execute an advocacy strategy.


Who you are

You are passionate about social and racial justice, motivated to drive change, and unafraid to challenge the status quo. You are enthusiastic, collaborative, curious, and kind. You have an extensive and nuanced understanding of the criminal and immigration legal systems, the workings of local, state, and federal policy, and demonstrated experience in leading strategic advocacy in the social justice and criminal justice fields. You enjoy and thrive in fast-paced campaign-oriented work, and you believe in the value of doing “inside” lane work in partnership with advocates, organizers, and people who are formerly incarcerated and directly impacted by the system.


In this role, you will:

  • Work with Vera’s Director of Advocacy and Partnerships and other members of the Advocacy and Partnerships department to set an agenda for and deliver on the organization’s most pressing advocacy campaigns, including some campaigns that are already in motion, such as an effort to repeal the federal Pell ban to support high-quality college education behind bars, and others that are still in development, such as universal legal representation for immigrants in deportation proceedings, bail reform, budget justice, and ending rural mass incarceration, among other priorities.
  • Partner with Vera staff on campaign and advocacy strategy, provide guidance and insight on partnership and coalition work, share expertise on leveraging political influence, and serve as a resource across Vera on the levers of political change, including partnerships with advocates and organizers and influencing government and elected officials.
  • Support strategy and tactics, including lobbying efforts, in campaigns being led by staff in our multi-year initiatives, and lead select campaigns that live outside a specific initiative but are central to Vera’s overall mission and priorities.
  • Manage Vera’s spending and accounting of (c)(4) funds, including tracking of lobbying time and dollars.
  • Serve as one of the public faces for Vera’s advocacy efforts, including with community partners as well as government and elected officials.


What qualifications do you need?

  • Most of all, you must be committed to transformational change and share the belief that for Vera’s advocacy work to be effective, it must be rooted in anti-racism and aligned with the priorities of people and communities most impacted by this country’s criminal and immigration legal systems.
  • You have 10+ years of experience in advocacy, organizing, and campaign work, and a track record of working effectively to move legislation, policy, or public sentiment on criminal and immigration justice issues.
  • You hold credible, deep relationships with leaders, advocates, and organizers who work on the same array of criminal and immigration legal issues that Vera focuses on.
  • Your role is brand new and you must be comfortable shaping it into a meaningful one at Vera as an advisor across the organization on navigating advocacy and partnerships. That means you must truly enjoy—not just tolerate—working with others to shape Vera’s advocacy.
  • You are flexible and able to multi-task, prioritize, and manage multiple activities in a fast-paced environment.

How to apply

Please submit a resume and cover letter. Online submission in PDF format is preferred.


However, if necessary, materials may be mailed or faxed to

ATTN: People Resources / Director of Movement Strategy, Advocacy & Partnerships

Vera Institute of Justice

34 35th St, Suite 4-2A

Brooklyn, NY 11232

Fax: (212) 941-9407


Please use only one method (online, mail or fax) of submission.

No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.


Vera is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.  All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status or current employment status. 


Vera works to advance justice, particularly racial justice, in an increasingly multicultural country and globally

connected world. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission.


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