Senior Policy Advisor

Position: Senior Policy Advisor

Salary: Commensurate with Experience

FLSA Status: Full-time,  Exempt

Reports to: Director of Government Relations and Public Policy

Location: Washington DC

Other: Please submit a cover letter that includes any salary requirements.


Government Relations & Public Policy

The Government Relations & Public Policy team works to ensure that governments prioritize efforts to eradicate all forms of human trafficking and protect victims of this crime at home and abroad. We build government support for promising practices in our field, including anti-trafficking hotlines, development of data standards and sharing, and protection policies for victims and vulnerable populations. Our public policy focus drives legal changes that enable governments to better protect victim populations, reduce worker vulnerability, improve support to survivors and increase human trafficking investigations.


About the Opportunity

Polaris is seeking a Senior Policy Advisor who can further our organizational goals by strategically working to advance federal policy efforts to combat human trafficking. This role will work in close collaboration with the Director of Government Relations & Public Policy to help build Polaris’ brand on the Hill and drive organizational government relations priorities. This position will lead relationship development with congressional staff and collaborate with Capitol Hill  (Hill) to develop human-rights based anti-trafficking legislation. The Senior Policy Advisor will work with the Director of Government Relations and Public Policy to identify the most pressing policy challenges related to preventing and disrupting human trafficking in the United States and designing and executing policy advocacy to address these challenges. The Senior Policy Advisor will have the important role of being a public face for the organization and bringing the voices of the victims of modern day slavery to federal legislators.  

An ideal candidate must excel in a fast-paced and evolving environment that values innovation, efficiency, collaboration, and service. An ideal candidate will be a seasoned advocate with a passion and appreciation for Polaris’ goal of eradicating human trafficking. An excellent communicator and relationship builder, she/he must work effectively with policy makers and other policy advocates, providing nuanced but accessible information to a wide variety of audiences.

Specific Responsibilities
  • Identify and present policy advocacy objectives that can best prevent and disrupt human trafficking in the United States and to a lesser extent abroad;

  • Track, draft and analyze federal legislative policy proposals intended to combat human trafficking;

  • Manage a portfolio of key Congressional staff, specifically targeting member offices that focus on LHHS, CJS, and SFOPS appropriations as well as Judiciary, HELP, Ed & Workforce and Foreign Relations/Affairs committees;

  • Engage in direct lobbying at the federal level;

  • Steward organizational engagement with diverse coalitions of anti-human trafficking policy advocates (e.g.Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST) coalition);

  • Maintain congressional calendar of events, and ensure Polaris representation at relevant policy meetings and conferences;

  • Design and execute congressional hearings and briefings;

  • Prepare written advocacy materials for diverse readership and liaise with the communications team to distribute to legislative staff, grassroots supporters, and the general public;

  • Advise staff across Polaris programs on critical issues pertaining to human trafficking legal framework, as needed;

  • Contribute to Polaris’ repository of policy materials;

  • Hire and supervise fellows and work study students as appropriate, including weekly check ins and up-front training;  and

  • In collaboration with the  Survivor Engagement Manager, ensures that diverse survivor experience is integrated into relevant national policy with respect and compassion.


Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in public policy, political science, or related fields.

  • Minimum five years experience in legislative advocacy efforts at the national level (ideally on human rights issues);

  • Proven success in the area of policy advocacy;

  • Verifiable strong relationships with current Congressional offices;

  • Practical and/or academic knowledge of human trafficking;

  • Demonstrated ability and willingness to engage in positive collaboration with individuals and groups with opposing points of view and diverse political perspectives;

  • General understanding of the federal and state criminal justice and human services systems;

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills;

  • Ability to work well under pressure and maintain composure during stressful situations; and

  • General flexibility and ease of movement between multiple projects.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Juris Doctor or advanced degree preferred;

  • Experience working directly with survivors of human trafficking and/or severe forms of exploitation; and.

  • Experience working with CQ and Salesforce.



  • Survivors of human trafficking encouraged to apply;

  • Subject to a criminal background check;

  • Subject to a probationary term contingent on training performance; and

  • Request for three professional and/or personal references.


Values Statement

The work of Polaris is grounded in a set of values and organizational beliefs that provide a common starting point for all of our activities. At Polaris, we look for talented individuals who are passionate about combating all forms of human trafficking and who will strive to embody and model these values within the Polaris community and in the anti-trafficking field. Please take a moment to make yourself familiar with these values and our mission statement before submitting your application. You can find a full description of our values here.