Job Title: Chief Policy Officer (*note: this title is subject to change)

Location: Washington, DC or surrounding area strongly preferred; remote – ability to set up a home office is required.  This position may be hybrid in the future.

Reporting to: Executive Leadership

Salary: $115,000-$122,000 annual salary


Family Equality advances legal and lived equality for current and future LGBTQ+ families through building community, changing hearts and minds, and driving policy change. We envision a future where:

All LGBTQ+ families and youth live in communities that recognize, respect, protect, and value them.
Everyone has the right and opportunity to form and sustain a loving family.
Systems of service and support are free of discrimination and maximize opportunities for LGBTQ+ families & youth.

As an organization, we have prioritized anti-racism and integrating racial equity into every facet of our work. We acknowledge our history as a predominately white organization and are committed to ending white supremacy. Doing so is essential to our objective of full equality for all LGBTQ+ people. The Chief Policy Officer position is a full-time, leadership level position in the organization, and there is a strong preference that the person hired resides primarily in the Washington, DC metro area.

Position Summary:

As the leading national center for LGBTQ+ family policy expertise, the Department of Public Policy sets and advances a proactive agenda for family recognition and creation,  family-inclusive non-discrimination and safety reform; lobbies in support of legislative and policy changes at all levels of government that are beneficial to and affirming of LGBTQ+ families and LGBTQ+ youth seeking family formation; drafts and passes model family-inclusive legislation; and provides legislative drafting and other technical assistance to national, state and local partners and elected officials. The Policy Department’s four priority areas include: family formation and protection, defense of marriage, schools, and child welfare.

Family Equality is a distributed organization, with employees in every part of the country. The Chief Policy Officer, who will preferably be based in the Washington, DC metro area, will work closely with the Chief Executive Officer and the organization’s leadership team to conceive, expand, and implement Family Equality’s organizational strategic plan and priorities. The Chief Policy Officer is responsible for implementing the Policy Department’s strategic plan; developing and overseeing the advancement of Family Equality’s policy platform and legislative and advocacy priorities at the federal, state and local levels; continuing to build the organization’s influence within the public policy community; cultivating relationships with strategic partners, policy makers and elected officials; shepherding Family Equality’s response to legislative and regulatory developments impacting LGBTQ+ families; overseeing Family Equality’s amicus curiae brief strategy in partnership with our pro bono law firm; and engaging LGBTQ+ families, friends and allies in advancing social and legal reform. The Chief Policy Officer directly supervises the Policy Department staff, which consists of legal and policy experts in LGBTQ+ family law and policy, education law and policy, and child welfare. The ideal candidate will have extensive federal policy experience and relationships, as well as at least some state policy experience. They will set and track the Policy Department budget, and oversee the general operations of the department. The Chief Policy Officer serves as part of the senior leadership team for the organization, assisting the Chief Executive Officer and other team members with the strategic management, direction and resource identification for the organization, and attending meetings of the Board of Directors.


  • Oversee and implement the Policy Department’s current strategic plan and make strategic updates and shifts as the policy and legal landscapes require;
  • Develop and drive Family Equality’s federal, state, and local legislative, policy and institutional priorities (both proactive and defensive), legal and legislative research, tracking and drafting, lobbying activities, and relationship building;
  • Implement and oversee current Policy Department priorities, strategy, and goals and set strategic plans and priorities moving forward; lead Policy Team in creating and executing work plans in key priority areas including schools, child welfare, marriage, and family law (family formation and protection).
  • Build the influence, reach and visibility of Family Equality as the national family policy, education and engagement expert;
  • Identify innovative new relationships with key partners, networks and coalitions that can help achieve policy, education and engagement goals;
  • Oversee the provision of legislative drafting and other technical assistance and resources to supporters, community and institutional leaders, and policy makers working on legislative, policy and systems change issues affecting LGBTQ+ families;
  • Educate a range of audiences about LGBTQ+ family policy, education and engagement strategies through conferences, workshops, trainings and other public speaking (some travel required);
  • Supervise, mentor, and support policy staff and interns;
  • Participate in leadership team and staff meetings;
  • Participate in organizational development and strategic planning processes;
  • Prepare and manage departmental budget;
  • Assist with fundraising by helping prepare advocacy and education grants, participating in donor outreach and education, and identifying and stewarding new and existing funding;
  • Prepare and present written and verbal reports to Board, members, funders and public;
  • Provide guidance and support to the development of communications for advocacy campaigns, press releases and other media interfacing related to key advocacy and education initiatives;
  • Participate in teams with Family Equality staff working on organizational priorities;
  • Represent Family Equality and its mission in the community;
  • Other responsibilities as assigned by the Chief Executive Officer.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • All candidates must have a “can do” attitude, enjoy a fast-paced environment, be highly organized without losing sight of larger objectives, and be committed to justice and equality for LGBTQ+ families. Qualifications include:
  • An advanced degree in law or policy;
    Minimum of  ten years of relevant policy or legal experience, preferably directly with legislative and legal advocacy, research, drafting, policy analysis and/or lobbying at the national or state level;
  • Federal policy experience is strongly desired.
  • Experience in management of senior-level staff and proven ability to provide clear direction, delegate well and assume ultimate responsibility;
  • Experience managing budgets and administration;
  • Demonstrated experience building healthy and productive coalitions;
  • Experience working effectively with broadcast, online and print media, including serving as an organizational spokesperson;
  • Knowledge of the full range of policy, institutional and engagement challenges facing Family Equality’s supporters;
  • Ability to think “big picture” in developing policy strategy and operations as well as translate those ideas into realistic, actionable plans;
  • Experience in creating and implementing advocacy campaigns;
  • Experience with resource development;
  • Interest in working with the Chief Executive Officer and other leadership team members to raise funds to support the organization (some travel required);
  • Exceptional writing, verbal and interpersonal skills, including public speaking;
  • Keen analytical skills and attention to detail;
  • Ability to handle and prioritize appropriately multiple tasks in a timely, efficiently and flexible manner;
  • Ability to collaborate on projects with staff from other departments, and a high level of personal investment in contributing to the priorities of the organization as a whole;
  • Willingness to travel;
  • Relationships within the LGBTQ+ movement is strongly desired;
  • Ability to work from a fully-connected home office (or secure own office space) in the Washington D.C. metro area, preferably;
  • Desire to grow with the organization;
  • Demonstrated experience working in the LGBTQ+ or allied movements is preferred; commitment and desire to work in a multicultural environment where diversity based on race, ethnic origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, physical ability, family status and other characteristics is an important and practiced value is essential.
  • Benefits Summary:

Family Equality is 100% committed to revolutionizing the workplace, with a goal of demonstrating to the larger LGBTQ+ Movement that a human-centered workplace based in equity and justice is an effective workplace, where we can thrive as we work to change the world.  Here is an overview of our benefits, plus below are some new ideas that we are working on:

  • 100% employer-paid health premium for individual employee
    FSA / HSA options
  • 3 weeks paid vacation, 10 days health time, 3 personal days, 13 paid holidays; prorated according to start date
  • Offices closed one week each for Summer Break and Winter Break
  • 1% employer 401k Match (plus discretionary 1% additional match when finances allow); eligible after 90 days
  • Paid Family Medical Leave
  • “No meeting” Fridays

The entire staff is currently evaluating various options to radically transform our work lives.  These ideas are in the evaluation phase as they will require a radical transformation of how we define work and hold ourselves accountable:

  • A 4-day minimum workweek (or a workweek with 5 shorter days)

To apply, please submit a resume and letter of interest, with any salary requirements you may have, via Idealist.

Anticipated Search Timeline: applications will be considered on a rolling basis, and serious applicants are strongly encouraged to apply immediately. Interviews will begin on July 31.

  • July 3 – July 26: Applications reviewed on a rolling basis
  • Week of July 24: Interviews scheduled
  • Week of July 31: 1st Round Interviews
  • August 9 and 10: 2nd Round Interviews
  • August 11 [if needed]: Final meeting with CEO
  • Anticipated Start Date: As soon as possible; ideally, by September 18 at the latest

For questions, please contact Kim Simes at ksimes@familyequality.org. Please do not submit application materials outside of Idealist as they will be deleted without notice.

Family Equality provides a team-based environment, and we value the benefits of a diversified workplace.

Family Equality provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants without regard to race, color, religious creed, sex, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, pregnancy, childbirth, (or related medical conditions, including, but not limited to lactation), physical disability, mental and/or intellectual disability, age, military status or status as a Vietnam-era or special disabled veteran, marital status, registered domestic partner or civil union status, gender (including sex stereotyping and gender identity or expression), medical condition (including, but not limited to, cancer-related or HIV/AIDS-related), genetic information, or sexual orientation in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws.

Women, people of color, transgender individuals and members of other underrepresented populations are strongly encouraged to apply.

Family Equality performs background checks on all volunteers and staff members as a condition of employment. However, Family Equality also supports and encourages people who were formerly convicted to be active in their community.

Background checks results that indicate a conviction do not necessarily disqualify you from employment – Family Equality reserves the right to request further information to fully assess an applicant’s candidacy in relation to the job duties associated with the position.

Staff Travel Expectation:

Family Equality staff will be required to travel occasionally within the country and attend events in-person. Such travel may include all or some of the following events, depending on your role: Family Week (ALL STAFF; Provincetown, MA), annual Staff Retreat (ALL STAFF; location varies), quarterly board meetings (two meetings coincide with annual galas in New York City and Los Angeles), Night at the Pier (NYC), LA Impact (LA), annual Officer’s Retreat (location varies), periodic small fundraising events (house parties, dinners, etc.; locations vary), and other trips as necessary to establish, build, and nurture relationships with key stakeholders and partners.

COVID Vaccination Information:

Family Equality is a remote organization where our entire staff works from their homes in numerous states across the country. While there is not a physical office space that any one staff member is required to visit at this time, Family Equality does hold events in various locations nationwide that include members of our staff and/or board. Accordingly, all new hires, interns, and volunteers will be required to be fully vaccinated from the time they start working or volunteering. Vaccination exceptions may be made for medical or religious exemptions.

For more information about Family Equality, please visit our website at www.familyequality.org.

About Family Equality

Family Equality connects, supports, and represents the three million parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender in this country and their six million children. We are changing attitudes and policies to ensure that all families are respected, loved, and celebrated—including families with parents who are LGBT. We are a community of parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren that reaches across this country. For 30 years we have raised our children and raised our voices toward fairness for all families.