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Senior Policy Advisor

Department: Policy and Advocacy
Location: Washington, DC

About KIND:

Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is a global leader in the protection of unaccompanied refugee and migrant children. Launched in 2008, KIND champions a world in which every childís rights and well-being are protected throughout their journey to safety. KIND has provided over 20,000 unaccompanied children with high quality representation in their immigration proceedings, performed trainings of over 50,000 attendees, including attorneys, paralegals, and law students, in pro bono representation of this vulnerable population, and cultivated pro bono partnerships with over 640 law firms, corporate legal departments, law schools, and bar associations across the country.

KINDís social services program ensures that migrant and refugee children Ė who have often endured trauma Ė receive counseling, educational support, medical care and other comprehensive services.

To address the root causes of child migration from Central America and strengthen protection of unaccompanied children, KIND advocates for policy changes and educates lawmakers, the media, and the broader public on the conditions that drive these children to flee their home countries. KIND supports children returning to their home countries by connecting them to essential support services and sponsors gender-based violence prevention programs in Central America to protect children in countries of origin and transit.

KIND is also building upon its expertise in the protection of unaccompanied children to encourage the development of pro bono initiatives across Europe in partnership with European NGOs.

 

Position Summary:

KIND seeks a Senior Policy Advisor to lead our advocacy efforts, ensuring that unaccompanied children receive fair and appropriate treatment while in the US immigration and refugee systems. The Senior Policy Advisor will promote law, policy, practices, and procedures to promote awareness of KIND's work and services on behalf of unaccompanied minors.

 

Essential Functions:

  • Act as the senior policy expert on unaccompanied children and childrenís immigration at KIND.
  • Formulate and execute administrative and legislative advocacy with U.S. government agencies addressing humanitarian legal relief, federal custody, and border reception.
  • Collaborate closely with the Policy and Advocacy team and the Communications team to develop strategy and identify priorities for public advocacy.
  • Brief members of Congress, their staff, and federal agencies on KIND policy issues.
  • Provide Congressional staff with technical expertise for hearings and developing legislation and appropriations.
  • With guidance from the Vice President for Communications, serve as spokesperson and subject matter expert for KIND to media when appropriate.
  • Collaborate with stakeholders in working groups that are focused on issues affecting unaccompanied children and separated families, such as custody conditions with ICE, CBP, and ORR, access to border reception, access to counsel and due process, etc.
  • Analyze legal and policy issues related to KINDís mission and develop written products to be used as part of KINDís advocacy.
  • Provide strategic advice to high level Administrative staff working for agencies that interact with unaccompanied children as well as Congressional offices to develop legislation and federal spending bills that will enhance childrenís protection.
  • Confer regularly with KIND Legal Services and International staff to identify needs and develop KINDís advocacy positions related to domestic and international issues affecting children on the move.
  • Participate in internal strategy meetings and assist in the development and implementation of action plans.
  • Collaborate closely with the VP of Policy and Advocacy to identify, develop and lead relationships with strategic partners and coalitions.

Qualifications and Requirements:

  • JD degree
  • 10+ years of experience in a legal or advocacy role
  • Spanish proficiency preferred
  • Knowledge of the administrative and legislative processes and an ability to leverage relationships to meet advocacy goals
  • Working knowledge of childrenís immigration issues (particularly unaccompanied children) and experience with U.S. and international organizations serving immigrants and refugees
  • Experience working on Capitol Hill or in a relevant agency preferred
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills and ability to communicate well with a variety of stakeholders, including media
  • Strategic thinker with an ability to anticipate challenges and address roadblocks as they arise
  • Passion for KINDís mission of supporting unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children, and the ability to communicate this effectively to others
  • Ability to travel as assigned
  • Ability to work within an office environment or remotely and have regular interaction via telephone, videoconference, IM, and email with KIND's team

 

Application Instructions:

Please be advised that an employment application will need to be submitted along with your resume and cover letter, in order to be considered for the desired role.

KIND has an organization-wide commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We strive to create a work environment where everyone has a sense of belonging. Individuals from historically underrepresented or underserved communities are strongly encouraged to apply.

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