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University of Michigan
Government Relations
Posted: 05/09/2023
Executive Director, Federal Relations

A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.

The University of Michigan’s Office of Federal Relation seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of our commitment to serve the diverse people of Michigan, to sustain the excellence of the university, and to offer our students richly varied disciplines, perspectives and ways of knowing and learning.


The University of Michigan’s Office of Federal Relations, sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Government Relations and the Office of the Vice President for Research, works with campus leadership to create a strategy and set the agenda for the University’s federal research and higher education advocacy and outreach priorities. The federal relations team is responsible for developing key relationships with stakeholders who support the advancement of these priorities.

The University of Michigan is seeking the next leader of the Office of Federal Relations. This position will be the Executive Director of the office in Washington D.C., currently reporting to both the Vice President for Government Relations and the Vice President for Research, and includes the following duties:

  • Participate in the executive and legislative branches authorization, budget and appropriations process and seek policies and funding support for university priorities;
  • Provide timely feedback on legislation and Congressional inquiries impacting research universities;
  • Advise university faculty and administrators on relevant national priorities/activities and assist them in creating strategies to advance academic objectives, and other areas of opportunity and concern, with the legislative and executive branches of the federal government;
  • Engage with funding agencies.  advisory groups (e.g., National Academies), and member associations (e.g., AAU, APLU) to identify emerging opportunities and priorities;
  • Track and analyze the potential impact of federal legislative, programmatic and regulatory developments on the University;
  • Facilitate and provide staffing for meetings for university administrators and faculty with members of Congress, appropriate congressional staff, and agency officials;
  • Stay apprised of congressional and agency priorities and align university expertise to inform policy agendas; find opportunities to inform and educate staff on how university expertise can be leveraged to benefit their goals and objectives;
  • Support faculty testimony, round tables, and other formal engagements with Congress
  • Coordinate university events with members of Congress, federal officials, education associations, and the Washington DC Alumni Club;
  • Coordinate university faculty and staff compliance with the Lobbying Disclosure Act;
  • Lead the Office of Federal Relations, including budgetary oversight and supervision of staff.

Required Qualifications*

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • At least 10 years of increasingly impactful experience with government relations for a research university or related fields.
  • Substantial and extensive expertise in federal research appropriations.
  • Experience in supervising high-functioning, and diverse teams.
  • Ability to explain and interpret complex federal processes and procedures to diverse audiences.
  • Demonstrated strong interpersonal and leadership skills including expertise in building and managing complex relationships across organizational boundaries.
  • Ability to effectively collaborate with faculty and staff in units that vary greatly in size and organizational structure.
  • A demonstrated commitment to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • A strong sense of accountability, including a commitment to organizing, prioritizing, and planning work activities according to established timelines and schedules, and to anticipating issues in accomplishing work and communicating in advance to affected parties.
  • A commitment to personal and professional integrity.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days.  The review and selection process may begin as early as the eighth day after posting. This opening may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.