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Associate Director of Public Policy

Associate Director of Public Policy

Association of Research Libraries Job Location: Washington, D.C. Apply By: Open until filled Date Created: 12-05-2019

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) seeks an experienced advocate to lead on key priorities within the Association’s Advocacy and Public Policy agenda.

ARL is a collective of leading libraries and archives in the United States and Canada. The Association has a proven record of accomplishment in law and public policy, most notably in copyright and other forms of intellectual property; digital information access; diversity, equity, and inclusion; accessibility; privacy; and open scholarship. This position presents a unique opportunity to work on major policy questions of the Information Age, in close collaboration with higher education and scholarly communities and with the ultimate aim of advancing the research enterprise, including equitable and enduring access to knowledge. 

The associate director will report to the senior director of Public Policy and general counsel, and will also work closely with the ARL executive director, the ARL Board of Directors, relevant ARL committees and task forces, and ARL members. The position is based at ARL’s headquarters in Washington, DC. 

Major Responsibilities

  • Develop and implement advocacy strategies to advance the Association’s legal and public policy agenda in legislative, administrative, and judicial forums 
  • Assess core research library interests in, and formulate Association positions on, active information-policy debates
  • Build strong partnerships on key issues with other stakeholders in libraries, higher education, scholarship, and civil society
  • Represent the Association in outreach to policy makers on Capitol Hill and in the executive branch, and in public events and meetings
  • Provide clear, concise analysis and written communications for ARL members on key public policy issues 
  • Help mobilize ARL’s membership to influence government policy-making in key moments, and in responding and adapting to major legal and policy developments

Required Qualifications

  • A minimum of three to five years of relevant experience in advocacy and public policy (such as law, government relations, legislative and administrative bodies, and/or policy work within libraries and research institutions) 
  • Experience and expertise in relevant information-policy issues (such as privacy, telecommunications, free expression, intellectual property, accessibility, and/or science and technology policy)
  • Ability to work independently as well as to foster strong collaborative relationships on fast-moving and complex issues, and to balance competing deadlines and work demands across multiple projects
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • A bachelor’s or equivalent degree from an accredited college or university

Preferred Qualifications

  • An advanced degree in a relevant field (law, library and information sciences, public policy, etc.)
  • Prior professional experience in libraries, higher education, and/or research institutions
  • Experience with international law and policy issues 

About the Association of Research Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 124 research libraries in Canada and the US whose mission is to advance research, learning, and scholarly communication. The Association fosters the open exchange of ideas and expertise, promotes equity and diversity, and pursues advocacy and public policy efforts that reflect the values of the library, scholarly, and higher education communities. ARL forges partnerships and catalyzes the collective efforts of research libraries to enable knowledge creation and to achieve enduring and barrier-free access to information. ARL is on the web at ARL.org.


ARL is an equal opportunity employer, and is firmly committed to providing opportunities for outstanding persons of every race/ethnicity, gender, creed, and background. ARL encourages applications from candidates who thrive in diverse and inclusive environments.

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. ARL offers competitive benefits including medical and dental insurance, sick leave, 22 days of vacation, and a 403(b) retirement plan. 

Applications will be reviewed beginning immediately, and the posting will remain open until filled. Qualified applicants should submit a letter outlining interest and relevant experience, and a résumé to Ryan Clough (rclough@arl.org).

With questions about the position, contact: Ryan Clough, senior director of Public Policy and general counsel (rclough@arl.org). 

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