The HR Team
  • Washington, DC, USA
  • $95,000 – 105,000, depending upon qualifications and experience.
  • Salary
  • Full Time

The AAG provides a generous and comprehensive employee benefits package, including group health, dental and vision plans, life/AD&D and long-term disability insurance, matching 403(b), flex plans for medical and dependent expenses, commuter Smart Benefits, and paid sick and annual leave

Questions of geography-where, and why there?-lie at the heart of humanity's greatest challenges, from sustainable development to human rights to climate change. The American Association of Geographers (AAG) is a nonprofit scientific and educational society with professional and student members from nearly 100 countries who are at the forefront of academic and applied geography globally. AAG members share interests in the theory, methods, and practice of geography, which they cultivate through the AAG's annual meeting, scholarly journals, and other events and communications, including affinity groups and more than 70 specialty groups. Now in its second century, the AAG is in the midst of a transformation to serve its members more effectively and advance geographical expertise and viewpoints in local, national, and global discussions of public policy, education, urban and transportation planning, environmental monitoring, sustainability, and other fields.

Location: Hybrid Position (Washington, DC and Remote) This hybrid position requires at least 1 week/month at AAG headquarters in Washington, DC. Due to the important nature of this position, location in the Washington, DC metro area is not required, but strongly preferred.

Position: The Director of Advocacy and Engagement provides strategic leadership to advance the AAG's Strategic Plan and the JEDI Strategic Plan. The Director will lead the Elevate the Discipline Program, which will provide members with advocacy and media training and opportunities to connect their academic work to non-academic audiences. Working collaboratively across the association, the Director will also determine and promote the AAG's public policy priorities at the federal, state, and local levels. This position will serve as a leader, strategic partner, and champion for advocacy by leveraging deep subject matter expertise and by keeping abreast of key issues and best advocacy and engagement practices. The position requires strong project management skills including research, planning, organizing, developing, and participating in and/or leading cross cultural/functional teams. In addition, this role requires collaboration and experience in problem solving with a balance of empathy and pragmatism and someone who is a team player and leads by example to build trust and credibility. This position will report to the Chief Program Officer.



Leads the Elevate the Discipline program, an emerging three-tiered program that will offer opportunities to train and connect the work of all members to public and policy arenas. By showcasing geographers engaged in the world's most pressing issues, the AAG will help educate the public about why geography matters, college students looking for a major, decisionmakers looking for insights and solutions, and funders in common cause with the challenge. By connecting academic work to the media and policy worlds, we amplify the impact of the work and value to the world. Three tiers are envisioned to reach as many geographers as possible.

  • The Cohort Tier will focus intense training and support on 10-15 applicants working on a specific theme each year.
  • The Program Tier will offer virtual and in-person training to members working in any area.
  • The Resource Tier will offer multimedia materials for any member to consult and use at any time.


  • Designs and implements a comprehensive grassroots advocacy strategy, collaborating with the policy team to employ advocacy tactics, and building support to advance AAG's legislative priorities.
  • Tracks Congressional activity within the legislative cycle and monitors appropriations funding of AAG-relevant agencies such as NSF, NIH, etc.
  • Ensures key policy issues and policymakers are researched, monitored, analyzed and tracked.
  • Provides stakeholder input via educational material to federal agencies or Members of Congress and their staff and maintains open lines of communication to offer subject-matter expertise on relevant pending regulations and legislation.


  • In collaboration with the Communications Team, directs and supervises multi-channel advocacy communications and crafts rapid response crisis communications on public policy matters that threaten or concern the geography community, including drafting statements from AAG leadership.
  • Drafts reports, briefings, and position statements on key policy issues.
  • Directs/supervises the crafting of high-quality communications, toolkits, blogs, fact sheets, and other materials necessary to support advocacy activities, consistent with the AAG's brand and message strategy.
  • Partners with Communications staff to build and effectively manage a thought leadership program and digital community for Elevate the Discipline cohort members.

Supervision, Collaboration, and Member Services

  • Serves as an authoritative resource to AAG members, Council, and staff on matters relating to government and public policy.
  • Cultivates and maintains relationships among senior policy makers within relevant committees in Congress and government leaders and represents AAG to major stakeholders and partners.
  • Organizes and leads policy calls and meetings with key stakeholders.
  • Supports planning for high-level speakers in positions of national influence to address the AAG's Annual Meeting and year-round virtual offerings.
  • Builds out advocacy networks (such as Geo-Advocates) through recruitment and ongoing engagement as part of a larger Association effort to build a robust constituent base.
  • Serves as staff liaison with partner and affiliated organizations as needed.
  • Leverages existing relationships, builds new ones, and works with AAG allies to continue to build and lead meaningful and mutually beneficial collaborations that advance shared goals and big wins for the discipline of geography.
  • Represents the AAG in a variety of public and private events and briefings.
  • Directly supervises the Policy Program Assistant in support of the AAG's advocacy and strategic goals.



  • Bachelor's degree or higher in a related field
  • 5-7 years of progressive experience working in state or federal policy and advocacy
  • 3-5 years of supervisory experience
  • Strong strategic and policy planning skills and commitment to processes that ensure transparency and communication in carrying out the work to achieve policy and advocacy goals
  • A proven track record of leadership that resulted in wins, and experience developing, writing, and executing successful legislative plans
  • Deep understanding of national advocacy campaigning
  • Knowledge of lobbying reporting requirements
  • Familiarity with larger progressive movement, players, partners, and allies
  • Demonstrated experience and success in facilitating groups of varying size, scope, and stakeholder composition
  • Excellent relationship-building skills with an ability to prioritize, negotiate, and work with a variety of internal and external individuals and organizations
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills with a demonstrated ability to clearly convey information and ideas both verbally and in writing
  • Personal qualities of integrity, honesty, credibility, and dedication to the mission of AAG
  • Commitment to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace and society, and an understanding of the intersection of JEDI and policy issues


  • Experience working in and with academia, non-profits, or research institutes strongly preferred
  • Experience working in at least one of the following policy areas: higher education, federal research funding, climate change, or justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion
  • Experience fundraising for programs and working with development staff
  • Demonstrated experience working with media outlets and communications teams

Travel: minimum of 4-6 times per year, including to the AAG's Annual Meeting each spring.

Salary Range: We anticipate the starting salary range for this position to be $95,000 - 105,000, depending upon qualifications and experience.

AAG encourages applications from traditionally underrepresented groups such as women, minorities, Indigenous peoples, people identifying as LGBTQ2SI, veterans, and people with disabilities. Applicants from private or public sector and nonprofit organizations are welcome.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with the first review beginning on January 9th, 2023.

If selected for this position, a background check will be conducted.


To Apply: Please submit your resume, cover letter, and desired salary requirements for consideration.

AAG is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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