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Assistant Director, Governmental Relations

Location: Sacramento, CA
Job Code: 582
# of Openings: 1



Assistant Director of Governmental Relations

CSEA seeks an Assistant Director of Governmental Relations (GR) for its office in Sacramento, CA.    

The ideal candidate will be a strategic, pragmatic, and passionate advocate who is relentless about standing up for members, unions, and education.   

The GR Assistant Director participates in and assists in managing CSEA’s overall strategy for advocacy and political campaigns.  The Assistant Director leads advocacy efforts for classified school employees, to expand their benefits, protect their pensions, and secure funds for public schools.

The GR Department includes 4 supervisory and 4 administrative staff.  The position is open because of a retirement.  The GR Assistant Director reports to the GR Director who is also based in Sacramento. 

CSEA is a public employee union representing 250,000 classified school employees who work in 750 school districts and community colleges in California.  Our values and goals include social justice, affordable health care and security for working families.  Our mission is to improve the lives of CSEA members and the students they serve. 

Examples of duties:


  • Serves as the Association’s chief legislative advocate and assists in designing the legislative and political strategies
  • Works with the GR Director to develop a policy agenda with legislative and budget priorities
  • Supervises planning and execution of advocacy efforts on behalf of labor issues, pensions, health care and education
  • Assists in developing and implementing strategies, plans and programs to realize political goals
  • Works to ensure CSEA’s Board, committees and leaders are informed, engaged and equipped to make political and legislative decisions
  • Recognizes potential barriers to Association interests and creates solutions to overcome them
  • Successfully negotiates complex issues
  • Articulates rationale to support or oppose legislative proposals
  • Testifies at hearings
  • Writes testimony, amendments, briefings, presentations, and analysis
  • Researches, analyzes, and drafts legislation
  • Tracks status and content of proposals, regulatory changes, and ballot initiatives
  • Assists in negotiating with and influences policymakers and staff within Legislative and Executive branches
  • Protects Association interests in matters considered by the Legislature, State Board of Education, Community College Consultation Council, CALPERS and other state agencies
  • May serve as staff coordinator for one or more member committees


  • Identifies interests to create strategic collaborations with unions, community groups, policy/research organizations, education, and other representatives
  • Integrates election strategy with staff activities


  • Manages, directs, trains, and develops other GR Advocates
  • Works with GR Director to integrate/coordinate GR into work of other departments
  • Works closely with Field staff to align advocacy and campaign priorities
  • Serve as GR Director as needed and assigned


  • Trains and assists Field staff and members in advocacy effectiveness
  • Delivers updates on legislative and campaign issues
  • Coordinates special projects 


  • Summarizes complex issues in a way that inspires action
  • Coordinates messaging and media outreach with the Communications department
  • Coordinates and prepares legislative analysis and reports for Conference and other meetings


  • Oversees accuracy of lobbyist compliance reporting, filings, and audit documents

Knowledge of:

  • Policy areas vital to CSEA’s membership and mission
  • Campaigns, ballot initiatives 
  • California’s legislative and budget process
  • Lobbying, ethics, and campaign finance laws
  • Education, and labor laws, policies, practices, and interests

Ability to:

  • Maintain a positive attitude in stressful situations
  • Center staff communications on what can be accomplished, as opposed to what cannot be accomplished
  • Understand and integrate the Union’s priorities, operations, and culture
  • Work collaboratively with the GR Director, other Advocates, Administrative Supervisor, Administrative Assistants, and others within and outside the organization
  • Enhance leadership qualities throughout CSEA culture
  • Gain trust and confidence of members
  • Gain trust and confidence of lawmakers and their staff
  • Engage in strategic planning with managers, staff, and members
  • Build coalitions
  • Analyze situations, issues and define solutions
  • Adapt to a fast-paced environment with multiple demands
  • Manage change
  • Be a trusted advisor
  • Delegate
  • Manage, coach and mentor
  • Select, supervise, train, and evaluate staff
  • Show initiative, creativity, and exercise sound judgment 
  • Remain calm and think clearly under pressure
  • Handle situations with professionalism and tact
  • Speak, write, and persuade with clarity and impact
  • Travel and work irregular hours or occasional weekends

Desirable personal qualities:

  • Genuine passion for our mission and work
  • An enthusiasm to network at events and meetings outside traditional working hours
  • Strong project management skills
  • Comfortable with ambiguity
  • Curious, collaborative, and self-directed
  • High EQ
  • Strategic and attentive to detail
  • High ethical values

The ideal candidate will have the following e ducation and experience:

  • Bachelor's Degree or equivalent experience
  • MA or law degree preferred but not required
  • 3-6 years government relations or related experience
  • 2-5 years management experience

Benefits of working at CSEA

We offer a dynamic career opportunity.   We have an excellent salary and benefits package with:

  • 17 paid holidays
  • 4 weeks’ vacation
  • Medical, dental and vision benefits for you and your family
  • Pension
  • 401k
  • Life insurance
  • Work/life flexibility
  • An opportunity to enjoy the work you do and find fulfillment through working with like-minded, dedicated professionals committed to this significant social mission

If you are creative and passionate about serving our communities, our schools, and our members, then CSEA is the employer of choice for you.   

Please apply on our web site at www.csea.com/careers Upload your resume with a cover letter that explains your qualifications, interest, and career goals. 

This is an exempt position under the Fair Labor and Standards Act.



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