Position: Policy & Advocacy Director
Reports to: Executive Director
Contract Range: DOE and Contracted Hours.
Responsibilities: The Policy and Advocacy Director is responsible for utilizing the state legislative and budget processes to advance the advocacy agenda of BHAM and its member agencies.
Overview: Provide legislative, policy, and advocacy services as established annually by the Executive Director and BHAM Board of Directors serving as BHAM’s legislative and public policy advocate on state behavioral health bills, budget items, and other priority issues affecting nonprofit behavioral health contractors. Activities include testifying on said items/issues as necessary, providing legislation analysis, coordinating appearances by BHAM representatives at legislative and regulatory hearings, participating and providing input to policy committees addressing mental health issues, providing materials regarding designated legislative matters to BHAM and its members affected by legislation, assisting BHAM and its members in the solution of problems created by legislation; managing a master calendar that tracks hearings, testimony, and other items of importance to the BHAM’s legislative program; and providing regular and periodic updates to BHAM members on legislative, budget and policy developments, and general matters of interest with respect to the behavioral health field including mental health and
substance use disorders.
Legislation and Policy Development
- Actively works with the Executive Director, Board, and various committees to develop annual policy goals and legislative agendas.
- Complete all tasks necessary to move legislation into law, from conceptualizing through passage of a bill and its signing into statute.
- Develop appropriate analyses, positions, options, and strategies to ensure state and county programs support children, youth, adults, and Tribal behavioral health.
- Review, analyze and develop a position and priority on all bills of relevance to BHAM member agencies and complete all tasks necessary to support, oppose, or amend targeted bills.
- Maintains lobbyist registration requirements with the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) and complete all required reports on a timely basis as needed.
- Work with Executive Director, Board of Directors, and various committees to set and carry out the legislative agenda.
- Respond to member inquiries.
- In coordination with the Executive Director and staff, help plan and coordinate the annual Policy Forums, Advocacy Days, and other meetings and conferences focused on legislative matters as needed.
- Staff policy committees as assigned including the Public Policy Committee and the sub-committees for Children, Adults,Tribal and Substance Use Disorders Behavioral Health.
- Represent BHAM at selected member events.
- Assure full communication to members regarding progress of legislative agenda through periodic:
o Legislative Tracking Report
o Legislative and Budget Updates
o Legislative and Budget Members Alerts
o Articles and updates for the BHAM newsletters and other communications as needed
- Speak at membership conferences and other member related conferences.
- Keep the Executive Director, Board and the Public Policy Committee, and sub-committees
completely informed of legislative and budgetary actions and trends.
- Assist in development, initiation, and utilization of strategic communications plan.
- Effectively employ public practices as necessary to support legislative and budgetary agenda.
- In coordination with the Executive Director, represent BHAM with the media in areas of expertise and assists the Communications Manager in identifying legislative matters for the media. Assists in development of press releases and other press related materials.
- Build and maintain positive working relationships with legislators, legislative staff, staff in the Governor’s office, and affiliated executive and legislative offices and agencies.
- Develop and maintain positive relationships with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, the Addictive and Mental Disorder Division, the Children’s Mental Health Bureau, Children Family Services, Office of Public Instruction, and other public stakeholder groups in order to facilitate in addressing/resolving issues of relevance to the BHAM membership; partnering with these entities on public policy advocacy whenever possible.
- In coordination with the Executive Director, ensure representation in all National Council for Behavioral Healthcare committees and programs.
- Build and maintain positive working partnerships and coalitions with representatives of advocacy groups with allied interests.
- Represent BHAM in formal and informal behavioral healthcare focused advocacy groups and meetings.
- Attend relevant events to network with the public and legislators, e.g. Governor’s Cup, etc.
- Establish, maintain, expand, and employ grassroots political effort with member agencies.
- Assure regular schedule of visits by member agencies’ representatives to key legislators and administration officials through Advocacy Days and other events or when needed.
- Assure regular schedule of visits by key legislators and administration officials to member agencies.
- Participate in short and long term BHAM strategic planning efforts.
- Occasional travel as needed and assigned.
- Other duties and projects as assigned.
- At least four years of increasing levels of legislative and public policy responsibility required.
- Experience addressing policy and legislation in all areas of behavioral health including mental health and substance use disorder services and programs.
- Highly organized, self-motivated, and able to work independently.
- Team player and enjoy working collaboratively with BHAM staff, members, representatives of partner advocacy groups, and allied members of the Legislature and staff.
- “Quick study” with demonstrated capacity to absorb complex issues, organize effective legislative strategy, and effectively carry the strategy to completion.
- Willing and able to work with multiple member committees to effect policy change through legislation and budget process.
- Personable and engaging, responsive to member inquiries and concerns.
- Proficient writing skills with demonstrated experience conveying key messages clearly, timely, and succinctly.
- Bachelor degree required.
Application instructions: Please send a cover letter and resume as one PDF attachment to [email protected] to be considered for this position.