Two Positions: Chief of Staf & Legislative Director
With Democrats holding large majorities in both houses of the legislature, Senator Brian Kavanagh and his colleagues have been advancing sweeping progressive change through legislation, policy advocacy, and effective representation of diverse communities, in New York State’s most productive legislative term in recent memory.
Senator Kavanagh chairs the Senate Housing Committee and is a leader in advancing solutions to the housing and homelessness crisis in the wake of the economic disruptions caused by the COVID 19 pandemic, while maintaining a longer-term focus on transforming housing policy that began with the nation-leading tenant protection laws enacted in 2019. Additional priorities include gun violence prevention, climate change and environmental protection, election and campaign finance reform, economic and social justice, and privacy and consumer rights—as well as the many community issues the Senator tackles on behalf of more than 330,000 residents of Senate District 26, encompassing lower Manhattan and the western part of Brooklyn.
The office seeks to fill two leadership positions: Chief of Staff and Legislative Director. The Chief of Staff will be based in New York City and the Legislative Director will be based in New York City or Albany, but work may be performed remotely, and other accommodations may be made, on an ongoing basis to ensure safety until COVID-19 pandemic restrictions are lifted.
CHIEF OF STAFF
The Chief of Staff supervises, directs, and supports an interdisciplinary team that includes Directors of Communications, Community Affairs, Legislative Affairs, the Housing Committee, and Scheduling, as well as legislative aides, community liaisons, and numerous interns. The Chief of Staff serves as a primary political and strategic advisor to the Senator, facilitates effective decision-making, and oversees all aspects of day-to-day operations.
- Work with the Senator and staff to develop and implement strategies to advance legislative, policy, and community priorities.
- Oversee all personnel matters, including recruiting, hiring, training, managing, and evaluating employees in the district and legislative offices. Assign and direct work; supervise work product and track long-term projects to completion; ensure effective internal communication and a collegial work environment.
- Facilitate effective collaboration with the offices of city, state, and federal officials and the leadership and staff of the Senate.
- Develop and maintain relationships with constituents and community leaders, advocacy organizations, and other stakeholders.
- Significant personnel and project management experience.
- Experience with the functions of a legislative office, including government oversight, legislation, policymaking, advocacy, and politics—ideally, but not necessarily, in New York.
- Ability to travel occasionally to Albany as needed (currently subject to COVID-19 restrictions).
- Knowledge of the Senate district preferred, but not required.
- Additional qualifications below.
The Legislative Director develops and drives an ambitious, progressive legislative, budgetary, and policy agenda, working alongside the Housing Committee Director & Counsel, who manages the housing and homelessness agenda, and in collaboration with the Senator, staff colleagues, other elected and government officials, constituents, and advocacy organizations.
- Drive a legislative agenda, develop advocacy strategies, and build and manage coalitions. Research legislative, budgetary, and policy issues. Draft and advance bills through the legislative process.
- Engage and negotiate with advocates and colleagues in and out of government. Represent the office and staff the Senator at meetings and public events.
- Manage legislative aides, fellows, and interns.
- Draft correspondence, briefings, talking points, presentations, and other materials.
- Experience managing projects and multi-tasking in a complex environment.
- Experience with government and politics, ideally state-level legislative, budgetary, and
- policymaking processes, preferably but not necessarily in New York.
- Familiarity with one or more of the priority policy areas mentioned above.
- Law degree or other relevant advanced degree preferred but not required.
- Ability to work in Albany weekly during the January-June legislative session, and occasionally during the remainder of the year, or to travel occasionally to New York City if Albany-based. (Travel currently subject to COVID-19 restrictions.)
- Additional qualifications below.
- Very strong oral and written communication and analytical skills.
- Exemplary judgment and political sensitivity.
- Agile and deadline-oriented.
- Ability to work long hours, and some evenings and weekends as necessary.
- Commitment to economic and social justice.
Salaries are competitive and commensurate with experience. The positions come with an excellent benefits package including health, dental, optical, transit, and retirement benefits.
Please email a cover letter, resume, and writing sample, and references if you would like to provide them at this stage of the process, as a single document in PDF format, to email@example.com, with “Chief of Staff” or “Legislative Director” in the subject line. Please do not apply through a third-party website. All applications will be kept confidential. Applications will be accepted until the positions are filled. The New York State Senate is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified candidates are encouraged to apply. No calls please.