US Interagency Council on Homelessness – Seeking 3 Policy Directors

Policy Director

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Three Policy Director positions available

Application Open: Open until filled; initial review of applications will occur on/about November 16, 2012

Location: Federal Center SW, Washington, D.C. 20024

Salary: USICH positions are not GS-graded. Responsibility level, duties and salary range are similar to a GS-13/14. Position is in the Excepted Service; Schedule A appointment


USICH is hiring three Policy Directors. All three positions will have involvement in policy work within USICH, with our federal partners, and in support of work happening across the country. USICH is seeking a range of expertise, knowledge, and experience so that together the three Policy Directors bring skills that cover critical areas of expertise and skills. We are seeking candidates who have subject matter expertise in homelessness and in the respective portfolios of our federal partners, especially the work of HUD, VA, and HHS, but also critical areas related to Labor, Education, Justice, SSA, USDA, and other agencies on the Council. We are seeking candidates who have population expertise—including chronic homelessness, Veterans, families with children, and youth—as well as best practices in ending homelessness. We are also seeking candidates who bring specific skills and experience in one of the following three areas: data analysis and performance management; project management; and communications. We recognize that no one individual could possess all these skills and expertise. Our intent is to build a team that together covers these critical areas of expertise and skill.

In partnership with the Deputy Director, the policy team is responsible for the implementation and any amendments to Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, reporting on progress, and measuring performance within USICH and for the Council as a whole. The policy team manages the convening of the Council and its subgroups. In addition to managing relationships with the agencies that belong to the Council, the policy team manages work with Congress, and strategic partnerships with national advocates and nonprofits. The policy team has responsibility for managing USICH communications, including publication of all major documents, the website and social media, speeches, and media. We manage a clearinghouse for research and information about solutions to homelessness.

All three Policy Directors must be passionate about the mission o f the USICH and be committed to achieving the goal of ending homelessness. All three Policy Directors must be recognized leaders in their current position and demonstrate excellent writing and presentation skills, strategic planning and implementation skills, ability to build collaborative relationships, and ability to execute in a complex, high energy environment. All three Policy Directors should have proven experience working on and building effective teams as well as supervising staff. All three must be able to foster innovation and create change within government. All three must have the professional experience to work effectively with senior officials in the highest levels of government and be comfortable working at both a high policy level and a deep level of detail.

Selection of final candidates will be based on how the complement of three policy directors covers all of these critical skills and areas of expertise.

The policy team also includes a program assistant, two management and policy analysts, and a communications specialist. The policy team works very closely with the national programs team, which includes Regional Coordinators that represent USICH in communities across the country, an executive team that includes the Executive Director, and the finance and administration team.

Education and Qualifications: 

Advanced degree preferred; college degree minimum. Minimum of 7 years of related work and experience in the areas of housing, homelessness, and other social service sectors or systems change. Minimum of 5 years in a leadership role is preferred. Minimum of 5 years supervising experience.
More specifically, the position calls for an incumbent who demonstrates the following specialized knowledge, skills and experience:

  • Expert level knowledge and mastery of public systems that serve people at risk of and experiencing homelessness. Demonstrated understanding of research as well as principles and implementation of policy and practices that apply evidence based and innovative solutions (e.g. housing first model) to homelessness.
  • Expert knowledge of federal homeless and housing programs along with the federal budget process, governing laws, regulations, methodologies, and/or policies to include technical knowledge of issues surrounding homelessness;
  • Comprehensive understanding of federal and state programs that provide housing, public benefits programs, healthcare, employment programs, and programs and services for persons with disabilities;
  • Understanding of strategies and programs that can be employed to serve specific subpopulations; (i.e. chronically homeless, veterans, families with minor children, youth)
  • Excellent public speaking, verbal and written communication skills;
  • Demonstrated experience engaging, convening, facilitating, and coordinating diverse stakeholder groups;
  • Expert knowledge and experience with strategic planning;
  • Involvement with systems reform;
  • Ability to be responsive to numerous concurrent requests and set priorities; and
  • Ability to brief and engage senior level government officials.

The Policy Director who will also have communications responsibility must demonstrate the following specialized knowledge, skills, and experience:

  • Development and management of an agency-wide, comprehensive communications plan with associated goals and strategies.
  • Development and management of a website, newsletters, and social media.
  • Effective liaison with news media representatives. Must have working knowledge of major print and electronic media markets.
  • Development and dissemination of information, including oversight of messaging in major publications.
  • Leadership managing brand integrity and developing a team’s communications skills.

The Policy Director who will also have analytic and performance management responsibility must demonstrate the following specialized knowledge, skills, and experience:

  • Practical experience in research, evaluation, and performance management with demonstrated quantitative/qualitative analysis and keen attention to detail.
  • Ability to analyze at a metric level across research and projects.
  • Experience in applying the principles of research design, data collection methods and strategies for data management, as well as program evaluation.
  • Development, management, and analysis of performance management metrics across complex systems.

The Policy Director who will also have project management responsibility must demonstrate the following specialized knowledge, skills, and experience:

  • Experience managing complex projects across broad and diverse teams, including development of reporting tools, process improvement, and cost containment.
  • Team leadership in matrix-managed environments.
  • Leading/managing the following project management activities: project integration, scope, cost, schedule, quality, procurement, human resources, and communications.
  • Experience using project management software to support projects/work.

Major Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Provide senior level knowledge and direction. Improve impact of Federal agency programs to prevent and end homelessness, in consultation to the Deputy and Executive Director and the Council.
  • Share leadership for implementation of Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness. Assume leadership for designated objectives, strategies, and population groups.
  • Establish and maintain effective, strategic, and supportive relationships with Federal agencies. Facilitate coordination of the Federal programs and activities available to assist state and local governments and private sector parties to prevent and end homelessness.
  • Represent the Agency and the Council in meetings with other Federal agencies, Congress, State and Local officials and private sector parties.
  • Participate in communications strategy development and implementation, including development of materials required by Congress or that advance understanding of strategies to prevent and end homelessness and how they can be implemented in communities across the country.
  • Manage strategic development of agendas, supporting materials, and the process of convening the Council, the Council’s Policy Group, and other subgroups.
  • Execute performance management within USICH and with the Council on effective implementation and impact, including analysis of gaps, development of alternate strategies, and effective communication of progress against the goals and objectives of the Plan.
  • Perform other tasks as requested by the Executive Director, the Deputy Director and the Council including assisting in briefings, organizing and conducting meetings, and official speaking engagements involving various stakeholder groups.
  • Develop and implement management systems and procedures necessary to assure that the policies, programs, goals and objectives of the Council and the Executive Director and Deputy Director are achieved.
  • Assign and review work products, keep staff informed of the policies, procedures and goals of the Deputy Director, Executive Director and the Council.
  • Supervisor staff that are within areas of responsibility.
  • Other duties and/or special projects, as assigned.

Application Information:

Please email a cover letter which includes your availability, your resume and salary history to

Additionally, in your cover letter, please outline:
1. Your subject matter expertise as it relates to our federal partners;
2. Your population expertise; and,
3. Your skills and experience in at least one of the following three areas: data analysis and performance management; project management; communications.

USICH is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer.

You must be a U.S. citizen to be considered for these positions.

These positions require a background check; Incumbents must be able to successfully pass and maintain clearance.

All Federal employees are required by PL 104-134 to have Federal payments made by Direct Deposit.

Male applicants born after December 31, 1959, will be required to certify that they have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do under the Selective Service Law.
These are federal government, excepted service (Schedule A) positions, open to all candidates


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