Government Relations Manager
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Build relationships with state, county, and city government officials and their staff in areas served directly by Houston Food Bank (HFB) and its Partner Distribution Organizations in order to create stronger partnerships in the fight against hunger and poverty. Research and analyze policies and communicate this information to internal and external stakeholders to further HFBs vision of “a world that doesn’t need food banks.” Work with key stakeholders to illicit input on systems change and create opportunities to enhance their advocacy skills so they can provide input to policymakers. Collaborate across departments to develop advocates throughout HFB, and partner on special projects to further the mission of providing food for better lives. Work with HFB Government Relations Department staff to prepare issue briefs, bill summaries, testimony, talking points, presentations, and other appropriate communiques to inform elected officials about what is occurring in their area and support the Government Relation Officer’s (GRO) work at all levels of government. Assist the GRO during times of disaster as a liaison between local government entities and HFB departments.
- Build relationships with county and city government officials
- Serve as a liaison to government officials and their staff for areas served directly by HFB and through its Partner Distribution Organizations. Specifically: state elected officials, those who serve the 17 counties neighboring Harris, and the City of Houston
- Assist in connecting government officials with HFB or community stakeholders/resources that can meet the needs of their constituents
- Help to move joint HFB-Government projects forward in partnership with other HFB departments
- Work with elected offices to arrange for tours of HFB, PDOs, and HFB partner organizations
- Maintain database of government officials and their staff
- Provide government officials with information pertinent to their constituents including data on food insecurity, HFB partners in their district/precinct, pounds of food distributed, etc.
- Research and analyze policies that impact PDOs, HFB partner organizations, and their clients, and communicate this information to internal and external stakeholders
- Research and track information from various sources and stakeholders that could impact HFB’s operations or its client populations and report this information to government officials
- Identify opportunities for local government funding that would support HFB’s work and clients
- Track and report on state and local election cycles
- Work with HFB Communications and other Government Relations staff to maintain and update content for Advocacy webpage, including updated data on hunger and poverty, calls to action, and advocacy alerts on pertinent policy and legislation
- Work with key stakeholders to illicit input on systems change and create opportunities to enhance their advocacy skills and provide input to policymakers.
- Collaborate with HFB’s Outreach Services Department to identify and train client advocates and create opportunities for community dialogue about hunger and poverty related challenges and potential systemic solutions.
- Provide advocacy training for PDOs and HFB partner organizations in neighboring counties.
- Maintain consistent communication with PDOs and HFB partner organizations in neighboring counties to identify policy solutions that further HFB’s vision of “a world that doesn’t need food banks.”
- Assist Government Relations Officer in serving as a disaster liaison to government entities
- Maintain up-to-date knowledge of resources and needs of internal and external stakeholders through consistent communication with County offices of Emergency Management and other key stakeholders in the City of Houston and areas served by PDOs and counties neighboring Harris County
- Ensure factors necessary for successful implementation of Government Relations Department COOP are in place and can be executed during times of disaster
- Assist in maintaining relationships with emergency management personnel across the 17 counties neighboring Harris County and in the City of Houston
- Participate in Incident Command Team meetings to ensure successful alignment of the expertise and operation of HFB departments such as Partner Services and Procurement with government officials during times of disaster
- Performs other duties as assigned
- Fluency in local, state, and federal issues related to hunger and poverty
- Regular contact with government officials and their staff
- Key HFB staff are kept up to date on important hunger and poverty-related issues
- Government officials commit to increase food access and positive anti-poverty policies
- Partner agencies are engaged in advocacy activities
- Fluency in state and federal issues related to hunger and poverty
- Regular community speaking engagements
- Bachelor’s Degree or higher in Political Science, Public Affairs or related degree, and 3-5 years related experience
- Strategic interaction with elected officials; fluency in government policy and funding processes, particularly at the state and local levels of government
- 3-5 years in public policy or related work
The successful applicant will possess:
- Excellent communication skills (writing, editing, and speaking)
- Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to effectively work and communicate with a diverse array of stakeholders
- Ability to prepare memos, reports, and essays using proper punctuation, spelling, and grammar also required
- Attention to detail
- Strong work ethic
- Ability to manage multiple priorities in a dynamic, fast-paced work environment
- Ability to think strategically
- A passion for equity and ending poverty
- Exceptional organizational and logistical skills
- Excellent analytical skills (quantitative and qualitative)
- Experience with Microsoft Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Excel
- Flexibility to adapt to changing priorities and to work as part of a team
- Ability to speak/write in Spanish, Mandarin/Chinese, Vietnamese, or other languages is positive but not required
It is the policy of the Houston Food Bank to provide equal employment opportunities to all qualified applicants for employment and employees in compliance with federal, state, and local laws. This means that the Houston Food Bank does not discriminate on the basis of a person’s race, sex, sexual orientation, color, religion, national origin, age, military and/or veteran status, disability or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, and local laws. This Policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, hiring, placement, training, promotion, termination, layoff, leaves of absence, and compensation.
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Filling pantries. Filling lives.