Federal Policy Analyst, Advocacy and Partnerships 

Vera Institute of Justice | Washington DC

About Job

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, grassroots, 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.

Who you are:

This person will serve as a policy analyst and keep track of and analyse relevant bills, executive orders and other policies related to Vera’s federal policy priorities to advance criminal legal reforms and immigrant justice. This person will help coordinate federal advocacy engagements including meetings, public testimony, and other federal affairs efforts. Additionally, this role will help coordinate the logistics around the presentation of Vera reports, research, and projects to a wide variety of DC stakeholders in both formal and informal settings. And keep staff prepared, informed, and engaged on federal advocacy efforts including support drafting fact sheets, briefing materials-including background information, and talking points to prepare Vera staff for meetings or testimony.

In this role, you will:

  • Serve as a policy analyst and keep track of and analyze relevant bills, executive orders and other policies.
  • Analyze and assist in drafting relevant bills, executive orders and other policies relevant to Vera’s federal policy priorities.
  • Track and relay legislative progress and relevant information on Vera’s policy priorities to colleagues and partners in a timely, clear and action-oriented format.
  • Coordinate federal advocacy engagements.
  • Support federal advocacy efforts with timely drafts and distribution of necessary materials for meetings and engagements related to federal advocacy
  • Support the federal advocacy team with meeting scheduling, follow up and other necessary coordination.
  • Help draft and develop hearing testimony and other written products.
  • Play supporting role in drafting testimony and other written materials for a federal audience.
  • Help keep Vera staff prepared, informed, and engaged on federal advocacy efforts.
  • Serve as a support to the federal policy team and Vera staff on issues and needs related to federal policy.
  • Draft supporting materials to make sure Vera staff and partners are prepared for DC meetings and hearings.
  • Partner with Vera staff to develop a federal policy agenda and priorities.
  • Work with federal policy team and Vera initiative staff to develop and advance federal policy priorities.
  • Serve as a policy expert and thought partner to Vera staff and partners as needed to advance Vera’s federal policy priorities.
  • Support, develop ideas, and organize Congressional briefings, meetings, and events involving high-level federal and non-governmental participants and stakeholders to highlight Vera’s work.
  • Pro-actively support planning DC events, meetings and other high value moments to advance Vera’s policy priorities.

What qualifications do you need?


  • Knowledge of the Justice Ecosystem including local and federal policy related to criminal legal reform and immigration justice.
  • Knowledgeable and experienced at researching and analyzing federal policy and legislation, familiarity with federal affairs functions, familiarity with the Senate and House Judiciary Committees and other committees of jurisdiction related to Vera’s legislative agenda.
  • Bachelor’s degree and at least 3 years of relevant experience. In lieu of a Bachelors degree, applicable work or life experience may be considered.
  • Ability to engage broad networks and build partnerships on and off Capitol Hill to advance Vera’s legislative agenda.
  • Skilled communicator, collaborator, team player who takes initiative.
  • A demonstrated commitment to racial justice.

List of Required Software applications: 

  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite or similar software