Penn State Page Banner
About Us

Position Announcement: Associate, Public Affairs & Governmental Affairs

Title: Associate, Public Affairs & Governmental Affairs
Department: Office of Public Affairs and Office of Governmental Affairs
Supervisor: Senior Vice President, Public Affairs (primary) & Vice President, Governmental Affairs
Level: Associate
Status: Full-Time; Non-Exempt
Location: Washington, DC
Application Deadline: Accepting applications until the position is filled (preference will be given to applications submitted by March 31, 2023)

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) seeks an Associate to support both the Office of Public Affairs and the Office of Governmental Affairs. Within the Office of Public Affairs, the Associate will assist with social media, event planning, graphic design, video editing, member services, and administrative duties, including providing logistical support for the Council of Strategic Communications, which is comprised of senior communications leaders from APLU member institutions. Administrative support for the Office of Governmental Affairs will include performing a broad array of administrative tasks to ensure effective office and project operations including scheduling meetings and coordinating calendars and overseeing the payment of invoices and other finance administrative responsibilities.

The Associate will also help serve as a bridge between the two offices to advance APLU’s advocacy work through various communications tools, including newsletters, media, and online presence as well as providing dedicated communications support for social media, graphic design, and web-based content that helps support the association’s advocacy work. Additionally, the Associate will provide logistical and administrative support to APLU’s Advisory Group of General Counsels, including scheduling meetings and coordinating agendas for monthly virtual meetings.

The successful candidate will be a strong writer, creative, and well-organized with strong social media experience, graphic design experience, an understanding of media and politics, an interest in public higher education issues, and a great sense of humor. This full-time position is based in Washington, DC. The incumbent must reside in DC, MD, or VA, be up-to-date with their COVID vaccinations, and pass standard background checks. The incumbent will be eligible for a hybrid work arrangement.

APLU is a research, policy, and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. With a membership of more than 250 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and affiliated organizations, APLU’s agenda is built on the three pillars of increasing degree completion and academic success, advancing scientific research, and expanding engagement. Annually, member campuses enroll 5.4 million undergraduates and 1.4 million graduate students, award 1.5 million degrees, employ 1.3 million faculty and staff, and conduct $51 billion in university-based research.

APLU’s Office of Public Affairs is responsible for promoting the work of APLU and its members to a wide array of internal and external audiences. The office works closely with senior communicators at member institutions to help support their work and coordinate messaging on issues related to public higher education.

APLU’s Office of Governmental Affairs leads the association’s engagement with Congress and the Executive Branch to advance policy that furthers the ability of public universities to impact society through their education, research and community engagement missions. As a membership association with institutions in all 50 states, APLU is uniquely positioned to effectively advocate for its policy priorities. APLU’s advocacy is conducted in close collaboration with member institutions through its Council on Governmental Affairs, which consists of university federal relations officers.

The responsibilities of the Public Affairs & Governmental Affairs Associate will include, but not be limited to, the following:

Office of Public Affairs (75%)

  • With guidance and direction from others in the Office of Public Affairs, including the Senior Associate, help execute APLU’s day-to-day social media activity on its main accounts as well as its government affairs account, which will include regular posting of relevant, engaging content; monitoring accounts; and coordinating with others to further amplify APLU’s message.
  • Coordinate APLU’s daily Morning News Scan e-mail to members.
  • Provide graphic design support, including developing graphics for use on social media and elsewhere, assisting with laying out and designing project briefs and reports, etc.
  • Maintain the Council on Strategic Communications (CSC) membership list to facilitate the engagement of senior communications leaders at member institutions.
  • In conjunction with the Senior Associate, plan and coordinate the logistics for in-person CSC meetings and events, including coordinating with meeting venues and serving as the point person for logistics.
  • Edit short videos for use on social media and at conferences.
  • Maintain and contribute to the development of a diverse, comprehensive media lists that include specialized lists – identifying reporters to reach out to in a timely fashion and new media outlets and opportunities to share APLU’s work.
  • Promote and market APLU events – meetings, policy forums, etc. Assist with photography and videography as requested.
  • Help with the curation of APLU’s website, particularly for governmental affairs-related content.
  • Help identify new opportunities to share APLU’s message.
  • Perform other administrative duties as assigned, such as submitting expense reconciliation reports and scheduling executive committees for the CSC.

Office of Governmental Affairs (25%)

  • Provide general administrative support for the Office of Governmental Affairs (OGA), including scheduling meetings for the Vice President and Associate Vice President, notetaking, submitting expense reconciliation reports, etc.
  • Draft and edit documents, emails, and other communications. Take and distribute meeting notes as needed.
  • Schedule meetings of APLU’s Advisory Group of General Counsels (GC) and coordinate between the Office of Governmental Affairs, Office of Academic Affairs, and GC leadership to organize meeting agendas.
  • As requested, assist the Senior Associate, Governmental Affairs, with logistics for in-person and virtual OGA meetings and events.
  • Provide other administrative and logistical support as needed to support the goals and objectives of the office and APLU.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Communications and/or administrative support experience. Work experience at a college/university, a higher education organization, a non-profit organization, or a non-profit involved with relevant issues is a plus.
  • Understanding of how the news media, Congress, and the Executive Branch work.
  • Extremely strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Excellent organizational and prioritization skills with a keen attention to detail.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work well in a team and navigate relationships with individuals from diverse backgrounds at all levels of the organization and contribute to an inclusive, welcoming, and collegial workplace.
  • Creative thinker.
  • Experience using social media – Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn – to strategically communicate and advance organizational goals.
  • A great sense of humor.
  • Experience with Adobe Creative Suite of products (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, etc.).
  • Experience planning and coordinating events, including workshops, webinars, and conferences.
  • An interest in issues related to public higher education.
  • Willingness to learn new skills, show initiative, and take on new challenges.
  • Did we mention a great sense of humor?
  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • Additional skills that would set candidates apart include: familiarity with Microsoft Office, Dynamics 365, and Zoom; experience with photography, videography, email marketing systems, or content management systems; and/or, fluency in Spanish.

To Apply
Please send a letter of interest (maximum of 2 pages) and resume to APLU’s Human Resources Department at resume@aplu.org with the subject line: Public Affairs & Governmental Affairs Associate. The letter of interest should focus on how the candidate’s education and/or professional background has prepared them to meet the qualifications and perform the job responsibilities described above. Preference will be given to applications submitted by March 31, 2023.

APLU is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and is committed to recruiting, employing, training, compensating and promoting staff regardless of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.