Vice President for Government & External Relations Available until position is filled Full Time, Exempt Washington, DC
The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) seeks an individual with a strong commitment to Christian higher education to help pursue the public policy positions of the CCCU and oversee the government & external relations teams. We seek a proactive candidate who is prepared to dive into the issues and become well versed as quickly as possible to move our portfolio ahead. The CCCU’s primary policy portfolio contains issues of religious freedom and institutional autonomy; higher education and student aid policy; and tax policy affecting higher education and the nonprofit sector generally. The CCCU also supports other policy positions that have broad support within the Christian or higher education communities or where the voice of Christian higher education can uniquely make a difference. Ideally, candidates will have extensive knowledge of at least one of our issues and familiarity with some of the others. Candidates who will thrive in this role must be eager to learn about new topics, be comfortable being a generalist, and enjoy the variety and rapid change of priorities this job brings. The CCCU takes a problem-solving approach to public policy issues. The CCCU also actively engages in legislative and regulatory issues that CCCU institutions face.
The Vice President for Government & External Relations serves on the President’s Cabinet and supervises the Government Relations Team and the Director of Communications & Public Affairs. This role is also expected to serve as a public spokesperson for the CCCU (in Hill meetings, journalist interviews, at conferences & events, etc), representing the CCCU’s policy positions as well as the role and value of Christian higher education in the public square.
Employees of the CCCU work to understand not only their own particular work but also the work of the entire organization. This allows all employees to pray for and work for the success and flourishing of their colleagues and their work.
Candidates are advised to review the CCCU’s website to learn more about the CCCU’s public policy positions.
The CCCU is a higher education association of more than 185 Christian institutions around the world. With campuses across the globe, including more than 150 in North America and nearly 30 more from an additional 18 countries, CCCU institutions are accredited, comprehensive colleges and universities whose missions are Christ-centered and rooted in the historic Christian faith. Most also have curricula rooted in the arts and sciences. The CCCU’s mission is to advance the cause of Christ-centered higher education and to help our institutions transform lives by faithfully relating scholarship and service to biblical truth (www.cccu.org).
Reporting to the President, develop and execute the government relations positions and strategy of the CCCU.
Develop and maintain the portfolio of public policy issues and develop long and short-term goals and objectives for government relations that support the strategic plan of the CCCU in a meaningful and sustained way to further the interest of CCCU institutions. Actively engage in the critical long-term goal of representing and furthering the CCCU’s mission to advance the cause of Christ-centered higher education.
Monitor relevant regulatory, political, and judicial developments and represent and support the organization in responding to them.
Participate in relevant policy debates and development; positioning the CCCU as a thought leader; developing relations with relevant Congressional and Executive Departments of government as well as NGO, educational, and other stakeholders interested in similar policy issues.
Write supporting materials and briefs on policies and issues of importance to the CCCU.
Prepare supporting material on policies and issues for the CCCU generally and the President specifically.
Work with member schools to establish and maintain contacts with relevant campus-based leaders on government relations and subject specific issues.
Prepare presentations and speeches to promote the position of the CCCU to members and affiliates, government and NGO entities as appropriate to the issues.
Oversee multiple databases; one with Congressional contact information; one containing members and friends who have special relationships with Congressional members/staff members, agency staff members, or others who may be in a position to assist with public policy education and advocacy on topics of importance to our movement.
Oversee constituent engagement efforts such as fly-ins or the “Hill Day” during D.C.-based conferences.
Oversee the development and efficient management of the department’s annual budget.
Supervise the Government Relations team.
Supervise the Director of Communications and Public Affairs
Oversee the communications team that manages media relations, CCCU branding, the CCCU and BestSemester websites & social media accounts, conference and professional development marketing and communications, email marketing, and content and design for all print materials.
Serve as the primary liaison to the Campus Attorneys peer group and possibly handle additional commission responsibilities. Work collaboratively to set agenda for annual conference, conduct research and host twice annual commission meetings.
Support and advance the office of the President and its initiatives.
Collaborate with all other CCCU and BestSemester departments to accomplish not only government and external relations goals and objectives, but CCCU-wide goals and objectives; especially those related to strategic priorities and membership retention and recruitment.
Provide support for annual Presidents Conference, New Presidents Institute, Governance Institute, and mentoring program for new presidents.
Persons applying for the position should:
Have a strong appreciation for the Christian mission and purpose of the CCCU and its BestSemester programs.
Minimum of 5 years of directly-related experience. Have a deep familiarity with the legislative and regulatory process from experience on Capitol Hill or in a similar advocacy role and/or be well-versed and have experience in at least one of the CCCU’s core issues which include but are not limited to: religious freedom, higher education policy, financial aid, immigration, etc.
Must have prior leadership experience managing a team of employees.
Naturally connects and builds strong relationships with others, demonstrating strong emotional intelligence and an ability to communicate clearly, persuasively, and diplomatically. Advanced verbal, written and presentation abilities.
Demonstrated ability to develop cooperative and effective relationships with members of the media, Hill officers, and other strategic partners.
Demonstrated track record of recruiting, developing and motivating top talent, celebrating diversity, delegating effectively, and managing performance.
The ability to persevere in the face of challenges and exhibit a steadfast resolve and relentless commitment to winning the day on behalf of CCCU institutions.
Be proactive and a self-starter.
Be highly organized, able to multi-task effectively, and re-prioritize as needed due to the fast-paced nature of this role.
J.D. preferred; extensive Hill experience would be an acceptable alternative.
Application should include:
A statement of your Christian faith including the story of how you came to faith and how your relationship with Christ has shaped your vocation and decision to apply for this position
Other requirements include:
As an executive role, the successful candidate would have the ability to work on the weekends or into evenings for events or when a heavy project load or urgent matter requires attention.
Ability to travel at least once a month.
Ability to work for long periods of time at the computer.
Application process: Applicants should apply online through this posting. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. No paper applications or phone calls please.
About Council for Christian Colleges & Universities
The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities is a higher education association of more than 180 Christian institutions around the world. With campuses across the globe, including more than 150 in the U.S. and Canada and nearly 30 more from an additional 18 countries, CCCU institutions are accredited, comprehensive colleges and universities whose missions are Christ-centered and rooted in the historic Christian faith. Most also have curricula rooted in the arts and sciences. The CCCU’s mission is to advance the cause of Christ-centered higher education and to help our institutions transform lives by faithfully relating scholarship and service to biblical truth. For more information about our organization, visit our website: www.cccu.org. Learn more about our BestSemester programs at: www.bestsemester.com