Government Affairs Coordinator

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization.  CAIR’s mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

Description: CAIR is seeking an experienced Government Affairs Coordinator

Position Details 
Title: Government Affairs Coordinator
FTE: 1 FTE (full-time) /Exempt
Reporting to: Director of Government Affairs Department

Position summary:

The Government Affairs Coordinator, reporting to the Government Affairs Department Director, is responsible for providing support to our government affairs director in legislative and policy research projects, federal-and-state-level tracking and analysis, meeting and project coordination, outreach to stakeholders, elected officials and agency staff, and other support as needed. They will be working closely with staff from all departments.  The Government Affairs Coordinator duties will initially comprise of roughly 80 percent legislative and policy research and writing related duties and 20 percent outreach activities to further develop CAIR’s presence and impact.  This position is located at the CAIR National Office in Washington, D.C.

Duties and responsibilities

  • Comfort in conducting outreach to policymakers in state legislatures or Congress and/or state or federal agencies.
  • Knowledge of the state and federal legislative processes with an ability to apply that knowledge to developing and carrying out coherent strategies.
  • Able to conduct civic participation and voter mobilization trainings to help community members engage in government outreach and related activities.
  • Able to engage in and oversee non-partisan election activities, including voter registration drives, get-out-the-vote efforts and other programs.
  • Excellent written and communications skills, including the ability to synthesize complex information into focused public policy research, white papers, congressional fact sheets, action alerts, press releases, and other advocacy materials.
  • Proven ability to develop key relationships and identify and leverage collaborative opportunities with a range of stakeholders and diverse communities.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively prioritize multiple projects and objectives, lead projects upon request, and work effectively with others internally to produce positive results.
  •  Capable of issuing action alerts to mobilize communities on issues relevant to CAIR’s government affairs policy agenda.
  • Able to identify and efficiently utilize internal resources for maximum impact.
  • A strong desire to continually improve and undertake new challenges.
  • A strong sense of accountability with high ethical standards.  Able to coordinate with other CAIR chapters and local communities on government affairs issues
  • Proficient utilizing relevant computer software programs, including but not limited to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Explorer (or software equivalents thereof).


  • Bachelor’s degree required. Postgraduate degree in a relevant field (Political Science, Public Policy, Public Affairs, or Communications) preferred.
  • Experience in election campaign work, social activism, public policy or government affairs. Prior experience working in a political campaign, elected office, city government, nonprofit advocacy organization, trade   
  • Association, state legislature or Congress, state or federal agency, as well as working in a corporate government affairs office or trade association preferred.
  • Strong understanding of the inner-workings of state legislatures or Congress, committees, as well as government departments and agencies.
  • Extensive experience developing policy, advocating before elected representatives, state or federal departments and agencies, and building and working with coalitions.
  • Experience working with a political action committee and/or a grassroots program is a plus, but not required.
  • Experience working with Muslim groups is a plus. 
  • Commitment to the mission:   Passion for the mission of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, including a strong commitment to securing the human rights and justice for Muslim-Americans and their families.
  • Interpersonal skills:   Ability to work fluidly with staff many of whom are Muslim-American.
  • Must be able to work flexibly to deal with different cultural norms, educational backgrounds, and professional skills.   
  • Ability to engage staff and others in a non-condescending and empowering way.
  • Be highly motivated, detail-oriented with exemplary communications and computer skills.
  • Enjoy working in a fast-paced and often changing environment.
  • Writing and analytical skills:   Superb writing skills and the ability to compile all necessary information for decision-making, reporting and presentations.
  • Personal qualities: Personal qualities including energy, intelligence, diplomacy, sound practical judgement, the ability to work independently with limited supervision; the ability to work effectively in a busy office; strong organization skills; self-starter; and the interpersonal skills to work effectively in partnership with staff, local, regional, national, and international advocates and legislators. 
  • Ideal candidates must be able to demonstrate a willingness to be flexible, versatile and/or tolerant in a changing work environment while maintaining effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Travel is required


Salary commensurate with the candidate’s qualifications and experience.  Compensation package includes retirement benefits with limited employer match starting 6 months after start of employment, as well as medical, vision and dental benefits starting on the first day of the month following 60 days of employment, and discretionary leave benefits.

To apply:  Please submit a cover letter with resume, a writing sample, a list of three professional references, and salary history along with current/target compensation to Applications that do not have all of the request materials will be marked incomplete.
Please reference Government Affairs Coordinator in the subject line.

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