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JOB TITLE:           Policy Specialist                     
PROGRAM:           Employment, Labor & Retirement    
LOCATION:         Denver - Hybrid
SALARY:           $65,710 annually
STATUS:                  Full-time

Are you ready to join an organization with an extraordinary mission? The National Conference of State Legislatures offers careers where you can use your skills, knowledge, and experience to truly make a difference. NCSL’s mission is purposeful – strengthening the legislative institution. From informing effective policies and promoting communication among state legislatures, to ensuring states have a strong, cohesive voice in the federal system, our team works in service of legislatures. And, with a commitment to constantly innovating all resources and services to meet the evolving needs of members, NCSL has earned the reputation as the nation’s most trusted bipartisan membership organization for legislators and legislative staff. Our success serving NCSL members relies on our team of passionate, dedicated professionals who work diligently to strengthen the legislative institution. Join our team and contribute to this unique, essential mission. NCSL has a flexible remote work policy. Building and maintaining our organizational culture is critical and we do so by bringing staff together, in person, for four days each month. The remote work policy provides the freedom to work from anywhere with the requirement that staff come to the NCSL office once a month for team meetings and professional development. 

NCSL’s Employment, Labor & Retirement (ELR) Program seeks a policy specialist to cover topics around employment, pension and/or retirement. The ELR Program is a group of motivated, nonpartisan, fun and flexible individuals dedicated to tracking state policy developments, supporting state legislators and staff, and building expertise on complex, evolving topics.

The ideal candidate has experience in policy analysis, is familiar with state legislative operations, and has some knowledge of employment, labor, and retirement issues. Successful candidates possess skills and experience with legislative processes and government structures, including the ability to analyze legislation and spot legislative trends. The ideal candidate demonstrates excellent organizational, communication, and analytical skills and brings initiative, passion, and an ethic of service to the work.

This position will report to a project manager in the ELR program, and work with several other policy staff on collaborative projects.

  • Collects and analyzes legislative data; interprets and identifies legislative implications and trends; develops comparative 50-state legislative data sets. 
  • Develops subject matter expertise on a variety of issues related to public and private sector retirement, employment and labor, among other topics, and assists legislators and legislative staff with their research and information needs. 
  • Conducts research on federal, state, and local actions that impact the work of legislatures, such as executive and administrative actions, relevant case law or judicial interpretations, and intergovernmental actions. 
  • Translates detailed and complex information in the most effective format using a variety of methods, e.g., verbal presentations, publications, technical assistance workshops, webpages, podcasts, webinars, meetings, memos, newsletters, articles, and others.
  • Plans technical assistance programs, small-sized meetings, and educational sessions at larger meetings and assists with overall planning for larger meetings with supervisor oversight. May contribute to planning tasks, such as speaker identification, agenda development, and on-site support. 
  • Creates substantive, engaging, and interactive presentations for legislators, legislative staff, and others on state or federal topics within a specific portfolio with the ability to respond to questions. 
  • Prepares concise, accurate, and nonpartisan written products for a variety of purposes and audiences including communications with members (emails, memos), reports, webpages, articles, blogs, and others as needed. 
  • Participates in peer review editing of colleagues’ work as needed. 
  • May assist with coordination, management, and facilitation of a standing committee, task force, professional staff association, or subcommittee and maintains effective relations with key legislators and legislative staff involved as needed. 
  • May assist with the development of new projects in assigned subject areas, including assisting with concept papers, proposals, and grant applications. 
  • May assist with funder relations and completes high-quality, timely assigned project deliverables, under the direction of supervisor. 
  • Travels domestically for meetings, technical assistance, and other project activities as needed.
  • Performs other responsibilities as needed. 
This position is mostly performed in an office environment, on or off-site, with prolonged periods of sitting at a desk and working on a computer. Employees routinely use standard office equipment such as laptops, printers, scanners, copy machines, and smartphones. Occasional travel by airplane, including overnights and weekends, is required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.

  • Bachelor's degree plus four years of work experience with state legislatures, government, public policy or another relevant field.
  • Knowledge relevant to labor, employment, retirement and pensions, or related fields.   
  • Proficient writing and presentation skills and the ability to clearly and credibly communicate information to a variety of audiences. 
  • Aptitude for working both collaboratively and independently. 
  • Proven ability to build and maintain relationships with legislators, legislative staff, national experts, funders and others, under the guidance or mentorship of supervisor(s). 
  • Ability to work in a politically neutral manner and maintain confidentiality when required. 
  • Strong research and analysis skills, including accessing and assessing a variety of resources and research; synthesizing data and legislation; and analyzing and summarizing policy options and legislative activities. 
  • Strong organizational skills, including the ability to manage multiple tasks and deadlines under the guidance of supervisor(s). Ability to work under deadline pressure and adapt to changes in workload. 
  • Proficient knowledge of state legislative and political processes and the separation of power between the branches of government. 
  • Ability to travel by air up to 6 times per year, with most trips being 1-3 nights, as well as work extended hours, possibly evenings and weekends, usually associated with events/travel.

NCSL has a flexible remote work policy. Building and maintaining our organizational culture is critical and we do so by bringing staff together, in person, for four days each month. The remote work policy provides the freedom to work from anywhere with the requirement that staff come to the NCSL office once a month for team meetings and professional development. We are committed to offering a full range of other benefits for you and your eligible family members, including domestic partners.

Your total compensation goes beyond the number on your paycheck. Our outstanding benefits include low-cost health, dental and vision coverage, a 401(a)-retirement plan with 10% contribution after 6 months and full vesting, life & disability insurance, 3-weeks paid vacation with 5+ years of paid full-time work experience, generous time off plans and paid family leave, floating holidays, identity theft protection, employee assistance programs, pet insurance, paid time off the volunteer, and more! Relocation assistance provided for out-of-state candidates.

If you are a purpose-driven, dedicated professional looking to give as much as you get – submit your resume and cover letter by 11:59 PM MT, February 9th, 2023.  Learn more about working with NCSL by visiting our careers page: We are looking forward to receiving your application!

NCSL is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and is committed to developing a diverse, dynamic team and inclusive workplace. NCSL does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, disability, or any other status protected by law or regulation.