Policy Counsel (Full-Time)

Job Title: Policy Counsel

Location: Washington, D.C. – must be comfortable working from both an office and a home-based environment

Work schedule: Full-time

Reporting to: Chief Policy Officer


Founded in 1979, Family Equality’s mission is to advance legal and lived equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer+ (LGBTQ+) families, and for those who wish to form them, through building community, changing hearts and minds, and driving policy change.

We envision a future where all LGBTQ+ families, regardless of creation or composition, live in communities that recognize, respect, protect, and value them. We envision a world in which everyone has the right and should have the opportunity to form and sustain a loving family, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion, national origin, geography, socioeconomic status, disability, or the intersection of those characteristics. Finally, we envision systems of service and support that are free of discrimination and that maximize opportunities for youth needing permanency and LGBTQ+ adults seeking family formation.

Position Summary:

As the only national LGBTQ+ organization working exclusively on behalf of LGBTQ+-headed families, Family Equality’s Department of Public Policy operates an aggressive advocacy strategy to advance protections, recognition, and respect for all families and for LGBTQ+ youth seeking family formation. The Department works at all levels of government (federal, state and local) to advance legislative, regulatory and policy changes that are beneficial to and affirming of LGBTQ+ parents and their children. We draft and advocate for model family-inclusive legislation and regulations, provide comprehensive research, legislative, drafting and other technical assistance to national, state and local partners, and cultivate and maintain productive relationships with elected officials, policymakers and key partners to advance our broad and inclusive family values agenda.

The Policy Counsel will be based in Washington, DC and will work closely with the Chief Policy Officer, and the other members of the Policy Team, to implement and expand Family Equality’s public policy agenda. The work includes building and managing relationships with federal policymakers, participating in national coalitions working on key issues, and monitoring and responding to key policy developments impacting LGBTQ+ families. The Policy Counsel will be primarily responsible for Family Equality’s administrative advocacy with federal agencies and will also manage a portfolio of federal and state legislative issues. The Legislative Counsel will also assist in public education efforts by leveraging the stories of LGBTQ+ families and participating in and facilitating strategic workshops and presentations and creating written resources and materials.


  • Under the direction of the Federal and State Directors, build and manage relationships with members of Congress, the Administration, and other key policymakers at both the federal and state level;
  • Assist with advancing key policy initiatives at the federal level and state level;
  • Develop and maintain current resources on federal legislative, administrative and policy issues including existing laws, pending and potential legislation and regulations, model legislation and policies, written testimony, briefing papers, lobby and sign on letters, talking points, fact sheets, guides, and other resources;
  • Assist with providing legislative drafting and other technical assistance and resources to supporters, community and institutional leaders, and policymakers working on legislative, regulatory and policy changes impacting LGBTQ+ families;
  • Track and analyze federal legislation, regulations, and litigation impacting LGBTQ+ families;
  • Work with our Communications team to develop and execute social media-driven public education campaigns on legislation and issues that impact foster youth and/or LGBTQ+ families;
  • Represent Family Equality in national coalitions working on policy issues and systems change tactics affecting LGBTQ+ families;
  • Assist in managing and leading The Every Child Deserves a Family Campaign, a 500+ member coalition dedicated to opposing foster care and adoption discrimination;
  • Educate a range of audiences about LGBTQ+ family policy issues and strategies through conferences, workshops, trainings, and other public speaking opportunities;
  • Represent Family Equality and its mission in the community;
  • Recruit and supervise legal fellows and/or interns;
  • Other responsibilities as assigned by the Chief Policy Officer.

Minimum Qualifications:

All candidates must have a “can-do” attitude, enjoy a fast-paced environment, be highly organized without losing sight of larger objectives, and be committed to justice and equality for LGBTQ+ families. 

  • JD strongly preferred. In lieu of a JD, candidates with an advanced degree in public policy or a related area will be considered;
  • Two years minimum experience with legislative drafting, policy analysis and/or lobbying at the national, state or local level, required;
  • Strong knowledge of the legislative and regulatory process;
  • Legislative, regulatory and policy research skills, including knowledge of basic legislative and regulatory research tools such as LEXIS;
  • Understanding and enjoyment of multifaceted public policy advocacy that involves legislative advocacy, policy analysis, and coalition-building activities;
  • Ability to forge productive and healthy collaborations;
  • Exceptional writing, verbal and interpersonal skills, including public speaking;
  • Keen analytical skills and attention to detail;
  • Able to handle and prioritize appropriately multiple tasks in a timely and efficient manner;
  • Ability to synthesize policy and research information for different audiences, ranging from the creation of social media materials and blog posts, to drafting of formal memoranda;
  • Demonstrated experience and interest working in the LGBTQ+ or allied movements is preferred; commitment and desire to working in a multi-cultural environment where diversity based on race, ethnic background, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, physical ability, family status, and other characteristics is an important and practiced value is essential.

How to Apply

To apply, please forward letter of interest, resume, writing sample, and salary requirements to: Melinda Micciola, Director of Human Resources & Operations, mmicciola@familyequality.org.   

Family Equality provides a team-based environment and we value the benefits of a diversified workplace. Women, people of color, transgender individuals and members of other underrepresented populations are strongly encouraged to apply.

Family Equality provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants without regard to race, color, religious creed, sex, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, pregnancy, childbirth, (or related medical conditions, including, but not limited to lactation), physical disability, mental and/or intellectual disability, age, military status or status as a Vietnam-era or special disabled veteran, marital status, registered domestic partner or civil union status, gender (including sex stereotyping and gender identity or expression), medical condition (including, but not limited to, cancer related or HIV/AIDS related), genetic information, or sexual orientation in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws. For more information on Family Equality please visit our website at www.familyequality.org