Policy Counsel

NIRH Seeks: Policy Counsel

Reports to: VP of Political and Government Affairs

The National Institute for Reproductive Health

The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) and the National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund (NIRH Action Fund) are advocacy groups that fight for just and equitable access to reproductive health care and build political power for reproductive freedom. We launch campaigns, change policy, and elect candidates, all by working hand-in- hand with reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations in states and cities across the country. We work in the communities the need is great and we can make a difference, so the fabric of reproductive freedom is harder to tear apart.

At the national level, we go where others don’t, engaging in groundbreaking public opinion research, proactive policy initiatives, and innovative advocacy campaigns to shape a new national conversation about reproductive freedom. Our political arm, the NIRH Action Fund, works in parallel to change state and local electoral and policy landscapes.

We don’t just push back against restrictions on abortion and contraception; we fight for a society in which everyone has the freedom and ability to control their reproductive and sexual lives.

The National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund, with associated PAC’s and IEC, conducts nonpartisan advocacy and electoral engagement to advance reproductive health, rights and justice in states and cities across the country.

Job Title: Policy Counsel

Position Summary: This role is part of the Political and Government Affairs unit at NIRH. The Policy Counsel will, among other responsibilities, provide strategic guidance and technical assistance to organizations throughout the country working to advance reproductive health, rights, and justice. One of the primary roles of the Policy Counsel is to work within the Program team, state partners and national partners to develop and coordinate state and local level strategies, with an emphasis on the development and advancement of proactive policy and advocacy opportunities, while also employing creative strategies in countering attacks to reproductive rights and health access. The Policy Counsel will play an integral role with our state level initiatives, work with state-based organizations to develop and support proactive and defensive advocacy campaigns tailored to their state’s context and needs, build effective coalitions, and strengthen their organizational capacity. The Policy Counsel will also represent NIRH on national coalitions and at conferences and other speaking engagements.

The ideal candidate will bring a creative and strategic advocacy perspective to an interdisciplinary team. Detailed below are responsibilities executed in this role, though they may change as the team and organization evolves.

The Policy Counsel reports directly to the Vice President of Political and Government Affairs and is a full- time position presently located in New York, NY. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this position will begin as fully remote but will transition to an onsite position when the office fully reopens.

Preferred Start Date: September 1, 2021. For more information on NIRH and the NIRH Action Fund, please visit https://nirhealth.org.

Role and Responsibilities: The Policy Counsel will be accountable for but not limited to the following major responsibilities:


  • Develop expertise on core policy issues, with a focus on abortion, contraception, and the elimination of racial and economic disparities in health and outcomes.
  • Provide technical assistance to partners at state level, including specific policy research and drafting, coalition support, political strategy, and other related areas.
  • Provide technical assistance to local policy partners on specific policy issues.
  • Co-manage bill tracking system
  • Co-lead the creation of annual Gaining Ground proactive policy state legislative reports and any other related publications, including drafting and production.
  • Bring lenses of diversity, equity, and inclusion, particularly around race and gender, to policy work.


  • Engage with national and state partners about NIRH’s policy priorities in an ongoing way to ensure that NIRH stays at the forefront of policy development and innovation and has an ability to influence key allies on core issues.
  • Consistently use racial and gender equity analysis in considering new and existing decisions with and by coalition, national and state partners.
  • Represent NIRH at conferences and other speaking engagements.


  • Manage NIRH state policy partnerships as assigned.
  • Co-manage hiring and supervision of legal interns.
  • Contribute to building and managing a culture of inclusion and equity at an increasingly diverse organization.

Other Duties As Assigned

Preferred Qualifications

  • J.D. Required, with three to seven years of relevant legislative, political, policy or legal experience.
  • Experience reading and analyzing legislation and regulations at the federal, state and local level, and explaining content clearly and engagingly to variety of audiences both orally and in writing.
  • Comfort with working with communications professionals to translate policy goals into persuasive messaging.
  • Ability to analyze the legal implications of legislation, including its constitutionality and relationship to other similar legislation; interest in getting “in the weeds” on policy issues.
  • Ability to draft new legislation/regulations and amend proposed or existing laws to ensure that policy goals are met.
  • Ability to understand, adapt to and help others navigate political implications of policy proposals.
  • Experience providing advice and support to others to help them achieve a concrete goal, ideally

    regarding policy and while working in coalition.

  • Experience using communications, policy and organizing strategies to achieve policy and political change.
  • Experience and comfort with speaking regularly in front of diverse audiences.
  • Ability to travel regularly throughout the country, on planes and trains, for meetings and conferences (approximately 25 – 30% travel time) (Travel will be limited or will not occur during the COVID pandemic).
  • A demonstrated commitment to using policy to advance progressive social justice goals, ideally related to reproductive justice, health, or rights.

Compensation & Benefits: Competitive benefit package and salary commensurate with experience: salary range $80,000 to $90,000. Benefits include: A comprehensive benefits package including the option of employer-paid health insurance; dental insurance; a 401k retirement plan with employer contribution after 6 months; TransitChek benefits; generous paid time off; and Summer Fridays (half days) from July until September.

Application Procedure: Send resume, cover letter and a writing sample to [email protected] by August 1, 2021. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

EEO statement: The National Institute for Reproductive Health and NIRH Action Fund is an equal opportunity employer. NIRH and NIRH Action Fund strives to build and support an equitable work community that attracts, develops, and retains exceptional people. As a member of the reproductive freedom movement, NIRH aims to foster leadership and raise the voices of historically marginalized people, including but not limited to Black people and people of color, indigenous/native peoples, LGBTQ and gender non-conforming people, disabled/differently abled people, immigrants, and low-income people. We strongly encourage candidates of these and other diverse backgrounds to apply.

Equity Statement: NIRH and NIRH Action Fund staff and board have committed to racial equity, and as such have been engaged in a multi-year process to adopt a racial equity lens across the organizations. We are a reproductive health and rights organization that incorporates reproductive justice values into our work. We recognize the interconnectivity of identities, such as race, socio-economic status, immigration status, ability, and sex, including sexual orientation, and gender identity, and how they interact with systems of oppressions to shape and impact a person’s freedom and ability to control their reproductive and sexual lives. As a result, this person will join an organization that’s currently engaged in shifting its institutional framework.