National Conference of State Legislatures
  • 03-Oct-2018 to 18-Oct-2018 (MST)
  • Denver, CO, USA
  • Full Time

JOB TITLE:                            Policy Specialist

PROGRAM:                          Center for Legislative Strengthening

LOCATION:                          Denver, CO

SALARY:                               4428+/month depending on experience



The National Conference of State Legislatures is a nonpartisan organization that serves the legislators and legislative staff of the nation's 50 states, its commonwealths and territories. NCSL provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues.  Our mission is to serve state legislatures by providing support, promoting fresh ideas, connecting legislators and staff with experts and each other, and provide a strong, cohesive voice in the federal system.   


Since its founding in 1975, NCSL's staff has grown from 15 employees to over 150 employees in its offices in Denver, CO and Washington, D.C. Our growth has been due to the increasing activity and responsibility of the nation's state legislatures and the complexity and diversity of issues that legislators face.  Employees work in a challenging, often fast-paced environment where they assist legislators and legislative staff in their work to promote the common good of the citizens of the states. 



The Policy Specialist is a highly responsible professional position requiring knowledge of state legislatures and fluency in the concepts of representative democracy, separation of powers, American federalism and related topics. The successful candidate will demonstrate superior communication skills including writing, public speaking and presentations along with strong research skills including experience with survey design, data compilation and analysis and the ability to summarize findings in concise documents and innovative formats. Experience with contemporary research tools and software, GIS, webpage management and spreadsheet design is preferred. Demonstrated passion for NCSL's mission to strengthen state legislatures is essential along with abilities and skills necessary to build relationships and networks of similar-minded state legislators and legislative staff.  





  1. Collect, maintain and analyze 50-state data on various aspects of state legislative operations, procedures, practices, policies, personnel and membership.
  2. Conceptualize, design and administer informational and instructional programs for NCSL's Legislative Summit and for other national, regional or state-based trainings.
  3. Provide on-site testimony to legislative committees, task forces or other groups on various institutional issues, trends and practices.
  4. Develop expertise and status as a national expert on human resource management practices, policies and trends in state legislatures.
  5. Maintain, update and improve web-based resources on various institutional topics that may include session schedules, committee processes and structures, term limits or other trends in state legislatures.
  6. Participate as a team member on technical assistance projects as requested by specific state legislatures.
  7. Establish and maintain active relationships with, and networks of legislators, legislative staff, academics and other stakeholders who share NCSL's interest and passion for strengthening state legislatures.



This position has no direct supervisory responsibilities but does serve as a coach and mentor for other positions in the department.



This job operates in a professional office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as laptop computers, copy machines, scanners and smartphones.



The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.


This is largely a sedentary position that requires the ability to speak, hear, see, lift small objects up to 50 lbs., open filing cabinets and bend, stoop, or stand on a stool as necessary.  Requires the ability to travel locally, regionally and nationally, including overnight and weekends.



Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice. 



Experience and Education

  • Bachelor's degree plus five years of relevant and progressive work experience or three years of experience and post-baccalaureate / graduate degree (i.e. masters degree, advanced professional degree or doctoral degree).
  • The following work experience or some equivalent combination is preferred: at least one year of professional experience with NCSL or with a state legislature or government, two years of professional public policy experience.
  • Subject-specific knowledge or experience may be required.


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Skill and competence in a wide range of research skills and tasks.
  • Skill and competence in a variety of written and oral communications.
  • Competence in the interpersonal skills needed to work effectively with legislators and legislative staff.
  • Able to maintain confidentiality and handle politically sensitive work.
  • Skill and competence in working independently and under pressure on multiple projects.
  • The ability to supervise and lead others.



NCSL offers an outstanding benefits package including 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, paid leave, 35-hour work weeks, telework, pet insurance, discounted bus / train passes, in-office dry cleaning pick up, access to 24-hour fitness memberships, and more!



Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume highlighting skills and qualifications to: no later than Thursday, October, 18, 2018.



National Conference of State Legislatures
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 NCSL is an Equal Opportunity Employer. If you need assistance applying for a position with our organization, please call 303-856-1380


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