Government Relations Specialist

Madison, Wisconsin
Public Policy - Advocacy
Full Time

At Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, Inc. (PPWI), we work to provide quality, affordable health care services, comprehensive education, and strong advocacy.  We serve over 60,000 patients annually in 21 health centers statewide, making us the largest and most trusted reproductive health care provider in Wisconsin.  Our goal is to help keep Wisconsin safe, healthy and strong!

This is an excellent opportunity for an Government Relations Specialist (40 hrs./wk.) at our Doty Street Administration Office in Madison, Wisconsin.

The Government Relations Specialist is responsible for assisting in the development of and executing strategic relationship building and public policy strategies at the federal, state and local level. The GR Specialist is a primary holder of external relationships critical to the success of PPWI’s strategic agency goals. Individual will assist in the creation of and implement plans to keep internal and external constituencies apprised of the most recent research and data regarding reproductive health care and other relevant public policy matters, including direct lobbying at the state and local levels. They are responsible for developing and implementing an infrastructure (e.g. technologies, processes and systems) that support ongoing tracking of policy research and data and managing that infrastructure. The Specialist will develop and maintain strategic, high level relationships in the community that inform and support PPWI’s policy work and overall strategic plan. 
Must be committed to excellent customer service and the vision and values of PPWI. The person must possess a strong commitment to comprehensive, voluntary, family planning programs and a person’s freedom to make personal health care decisions, including abortion. 
Must have the ability to communicate effectively, both in writing and verbally, about public policy issues. Must have the ability to develop and maintain interpersonal relationships with multiple constituencies. Must be able to understand and communicate about the legislative and regulatory process. Must be able to handle information confidentially and use professional discretion. Must have the ability to organize constituencies into action and have strong interpersonal skills. Should have the ability to work independently and collaboratively, in a fast-paced and challenging environment. 
A bachelor degree and at least five years related experience which includes at least one year experience in public policy, public affairs, government relations, development, or project management. An equivalent experience combination of education and experience in public policy, social work, or other related discipline may be considered. 
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The position is predominantly sedentary requiring the ability to sit, bend, stand and walk. May require occasional stooping, reaching, stair-climbing. Requires repetitive motions of the hands and wrist related to writing and typing on a keyboard. Rarely requires kneeling, pushing/pulling and repetitive motions of the feet. 

Physical demands of the position necessitate hearing, talking, handling and grasping regularly. May require lifting up to 30 pounds. Specific vision conditions include close vision reading. Requires the ability to operate a computer, telephone, fax, copy machine and adding machine or calculator. 
The position is generally performed in an office environment but involves frequent interruptions. The work environment characteristics are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations, however, may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform said essential functions. 
Long hours, evening and/or weekend hours may be necessary. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

    • Relationship building 
    • Build and manage relationships with partners in the public health, civil service, and public policy community to support the work of PPWI. 
    • Build and manage relationships with grassroots and grasstops supporters as appropriate. 
    • Identify potential relationships for PPWI with community partners. Make connections with other internal stakeholders and facilitate process when appropriate. (e.g. local support/funding of PPWI services or training contracts) 
    • Serve as an agency spokesperson when needed. 
    • Represent PPWI at coalition meetings, with community partners and at state or national conferences, with a focus on reproductive health care policies and health finance issues. 
    • Work with PPWI staff and coalition partners to advance social justice, reproductive justice and racial equity in our communities. 

    • Research and Lobbying 
    • Execute PPWI’s lobbying and research strategies in alignment with the department’s strategic plan and overall agency mission. 
    • Serve as a lobbyist registered with the state of Wisconsin. 
    • Attend and participate in legislative hearings, committee meetings, work group meetings and public forums that address legislative issues of importance to PPWI. 
    • Serve as the PPWI lead in communicating with legislators and staff; building relationships with legislators and staff; acting as a resource for legislators and staff on issues related to PPWI’s work; 
    • Oversee, and implement systems to monitor and track federal, state and local policy developments that impact PPWI’s interests. 
    • Develop, implement and/or oversee students/interns to implement the department’s research infrastructure, including compilation and tracking mechanisms, reporting templates, etc. 
    • Establish and oversee related business relationships (e.g. database and software vendors) 
    • Research public policy matters of interest and provide Director of Policy & Legal Advocacy and other staff members with memos, background information and analysis of data and information relevant to PPWI policy goals. 
    • Draft and compile legislative materials on relevant public policy matters. 
    • Execute legislative issue work plans based on the strategic plan, or as issues arise when needed. Include targets, tactics, budgets, timelines. 

    • Department Planning and Compliance 
    • Monitor and maintain PPWI’s lobbying registration and positions on the Government Accountability Board (GAB) web site. 
    • Develop and oversee PPWI’s lobbying reporting activity to the GAB, including gathering staff lobbying time. 
    • Oversee student interns and/or work study positions as necessary. 
    • Develop and implement internal mechanism for monitoring and reporting on opposition activity and tactics. 
    • Assist with department activity tracking related to strategic plan goals. 
    • Participate in writing legislative and public policy campaign plans; the annual PA planning process and implement such plans with the support of the PA staff. 
    • Protect 501(c)(3) tax status of PPWI by complying with external and internal restrictions and seeking guidance as needed. 
    • Other duties as assigned.