Organizational Summary

The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) builds power at the state and local level to change public policy, galvanize public support, and normalize women’s decisions about abortion and contraception. Using a partnership model, we provide state and local advocates with strategic guidance, hands-on support, and funding to create national change from the ground up. We are a force multiplier – we form strategic partnerships with a wide range of organizations to expand abortion access in every state where it is possible, explore opportunities in cities to protect abortion access and improve residents’ ability to get the care they need, break down barriers to contraceptive access, and invest in young people so they can be healthy and empowered leaders of the reproductive health, rights, and justice movements of tomorrow.   Since 2008, NIRH has provided direct grants and hands-on support to nearly 150 reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations in 39 states and 56 localities across the country. In 2020, NIRH is working with partners in 25 states, including 19 cities and counties, to advance proactive reproductive health, rights, and justice policies

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.

Position Summary

This role is part of the Policy and Strategic Partnerships team at NIRH.  The team works closely together to choose and work with our partners as well as produce resources for the field and the public.  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, with a particular emphasis on abortion access. One of the primary roles of the Policy Counsel is to work with the PSP 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 and on the PSP team, though they may change as the team and organization evolves.

The Policy Counsel reports directly to the Director of Policy, and is a full time position 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: October 5th, 2020. For more information on NIRH and the NIRH Action Fund, please visit

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

Policy Expertise and Policy Materials

  • Develop expertise on core policy issues, with a focus on abortion, contraception and the relationship between racial justice and reproductive health access 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.
  • Manage bill tracking system.
  • Oversee 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.

Represent NIRH to External Audiences

  • 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.

Management of Partnerships and Staff

  • Manage NIRH state policy partnerships as assigned.
  • 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 two to five 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 $75,000 to $85,000. 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 June until September. 

Application Procedure: Send resume, cover letter and a writing sample to [email protected] by August 14, 2020.  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.