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Job Title:
Manager, Advocacy and Communications
Job ID:
Job Function:
Full/Part Time:
Job Category:
Columbus, OH US
Business Unit:
States & Community Engagement
Business Unit Description

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million that helps people turn their goals and dreams into 'Real Possibilities' by changing the way America defines aging. With staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and promote the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare security, financial security and personal fulfillment. AARP also advocates for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name.  As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation magazine, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin.

State & Community Engagement (SCE) is part of Community, State and National Affairs (CSN). The SCE team includes: 53 states and territories across 6 regions with regional management, the Office of Volunteer Engagement, the Office of Community Engagement (including the National Retired Teachers Association (NRTA): AARP’s Educator Community), and the Legal Counsel for the Elderly (LCE).

SCE Vision:

-State & Community Engagement (SCE) enables AARP to be a nationwide organization, which strengthens our capacity to carry out our mission.
-SCE brings AARP closer to our members, people 50+, and their families, which allows us to listen - and respond - to their wants and needs that align with our mission.
-We drive an impact agenda, deepen relationships with key audiences & stakeholders, and build AARP's relevance at the community and state levels.


Summary Statement

As a member of the State Office management team, is a key player in development of state operational and financial plans.  Has responsibility for implementation of state plan and budget expenditures for relevant campaigns and issues.  Supervises other advocacy and communication staff directly, including assessing performance and progress, determining the need for mid-course adjustments in plans and campaigns. Responsible for assuring that the state’s issue campaigns affirmatively impact the association’s dashboard goals.  Identifies and recommends opportunities to advance either the state’s or the association’s major priorities in the state, in collaboration with other states, or in conjunction with national office campaigns.



Advocacy Functions:

1. Plans, develops, and implements a comprehensive statewide advocacy plan to achieve AARP’s state and federal advocacy priorities in the state.  Serves as a member of the state office management team, assisting the State Director in establishing overall priorities and strategic direction for the state.  Represents AARP before public policy makers and participates in the rulemaking and regulatory processes of the state, and maintains working relationships with lawmakers, policy makers, agency executives, and other elected officials.

2. Provides leadership to the advocacy team and key volunteers in the development of strategies for issue campaigns to reach desired outcomes within the state.  Makes budget requests and allocation recommendations to the State Director.  Assists in the development of the state operational and financial plans. Responsible for creating and assuring oversight of budgets for issue campaigns.  Provides supervision and direction and leads a staff directly and through matrix management in legislative campaigns, community organizing and government relations.

3. Serves on national task forces and work groups, representing both state and national priorities, identifying strategic opportunities to advance AARP’s Social Impact and Member Value agendas.

4. Oversees development of issue briefings, materials and resources which prepare volunteers for visiting legislators and their staff.  Establishes a plan for identification and recruitment of grasstops for the state, to support both state and federal initiatives. Is responsible for leadership in constituency development.

5. Maintains up-to-date knowledge of state and federal issues.  Briefs other staff and volunteers on the issues and the AARP responses for education and advocacy efforts.  Provides training to selected volunteers.


Communications Functions:

6. Works with communications staff to create and implement an aggressive media strategy on issues education and advocacy in the state.  Establishes communications strategies and tactics to support critical campaigns.

7. Provides leadership to team members responsible for developing and implementing communication tools, including new technology; planning media events; overseeing media relations, developing and testing key messages; supporting partner relations.

8. Plans and recommends strategic vision to the State Director around communication campaigns and translates vision and strategy into a plan that can be readily communicated and implemented with Ohio team members, volunteers and external partners.

9. Leads the Communications team implementation of the communications and marketing strategy, incorporating specifics, demographic, cultural and economic dynamics into how the Ohio State Office’s goals are presented and perceived by the 50+ public, media and decision makers across public, private and social sectors, to grow relevance and impact in assigned communities. 


General Leadership Functions:

10. Serves as a member of the state office management team and the regional management group, under the direction of the state director and the regional vice president, respectively, with responsibilities including, among others, C evaluating and reporting on people leadership, strategic and operational planning and execution, budget management, data capture, internal communications and external affairs.

11. Responsible for staffing, orienting, coaching, managing and evaluating staff.  Develops and monitors work plans for and with staff.  Manages and documents staff performance and takes corrective action when necessary. Ensures that policies and procedures are carried out appropriately.  Identifies training/development needs of staff.

12. Manages staff and volunteers engaged in campaigns and multicultural communications efforts in the state. Cultivates and maintains relationships, both external and internal, across the AARP enterprise.

13. Demonstrates AARP values and Leadership behaviors in all interactions.



Completion of a bachelor’s degree in political science, public policy administration, law, business, social or human sciences, or a related discipline and a minimum of  7 years of experience, including supervision and management of staff and/or volunteers; or an equivalent combination of training and experience related to the duties of the position.  Must have a strong understanding of the state’s political and community service environments (e.g., community service leaders, partners, organizations, legislative leaders, government officials, major stakeholders, etc.).  Previous government relations and grassroots organizing experience strongly encouraged.  Has a track record of communicating effectively with the media, policymakers and other external stakeholders in major media markets.  Demonstrates a high level of competence with oral and written communication – including in multicultural markets, computer literacy, social media, strategic thinking and people management skills.

Advanced degree very desirable.


Benefits Offered

AARP offers competitive benefits with a 401K, 100% company funded pension plan, health, dental, vision and life insurance, STD/LTD, paid vacation and sick, and other benefits.


Equal Employment Opportunity

AARP is an equal opportunity employer committed to hiring a diverse workforce and sustaining an inclusive culture.  AARP does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, color, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, mental or physical disability, genetic information, veteran status, or on any other basis prohibited by applicable law.



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