JOIN OUR TEAM >> Director State Policy and Advocacy
Director State Policy and Advocacy
Title:Director State Policy and Advocacy
Department:Public Policy
Location:Washington, DC or Remote

Organizational Overview

Founded in 1969, the National Council for Mental Wellbeing is a membership organization that drives policy and social change on behalf of nearly 3,500 mental health and substance use treatment organizations and the more than 10 million children, adults and families they serve. We advocate for policies to ensure equitable access to high-quality services. We build the capacity of mental health and substance use treatment organizations. And we promote greater understanding of mental wellbeing as a core component of comprehensive health and health care. Through our Mental Health First Aid program, we have trained more than 2.5 million people in the U.S. to identify, understand and respond to signs and symptoms of mental health and substance use challenges.

The National Council is an equal opportunity employer. We embrace diversity and commit ourselves to creating an inclusive environment for everyone.

Essential Functions

  • Collaborate with the Vice President and Public Policy team to develop, execute, and evaluate advocacy strategies that advance the interests of National Council members with state governments.
  • Supervise day-to-day operations of the state-driven Behavioral Health + Economics Network (BHECON), a multi-state initiative to support advocacy infrastructure development, collaboration among diverse social service sectors through public forums, and data-driven approaches to mental health reform. Manage relationships with funders, participating state associations, and other BHECON stakeholders.
  • Lead a cross-departmental team of staff and consultants working to implement Mental Health First Aid legislation in several target states.
  • Represent the National Council and our state associations in several workgroups of national organizations aligned around common policy activities in the states, including mental health and substance use parity, implementation of the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis hotline 9-8-8, telehealth, and more.
  • Lead the National Council’s growing efforts to support state associations in advocating for improved managed care contracts and policies within their states.
  • Analyze state and federal legislation/regulations and write regulatory advisories, comment letters and testimony. Produce clear and concise issue and opinion analyses in oral and written formats, often in a rapid turnaround environment. Support National Council members by responding to inquiries regarding substance use and mental health policy.
  • Deliver presentations to members and state policymakers advocating policy positions of the National Council.
  • Support development of policy-focused workshops at the National Council’s annual Conference.
  • Support state associations’ and state captains’ participation in the National Council’s annual Hill Day.
  • Support department operations, including by supervising staff, developing and monitoring project budgets, fundraising, and other related activities.
  • Other tasks as required.

Position Qualifications

  • Masters’ Degree with 7-10 years’ experience in health policy, public policy, or public health.
  • Extensive knowledge and background in Medicaid, mental health and addiction care delivery, and state legislative/regulatory affairs.
  • Successful proven experience supporting business development and relationship management.
  • Prior experience with a membership association preferred.
  • Proven experience simultaneously managing multiple, complex projects in varying stages of development under time constraints.
  • Extensive demonstrated experience speaking to large groups, doing presentations, workshops and participating on panels.
  • Exceptional written, oral, and interpersonal skills.
  • Results-oriented with a high attention to detail, ability to multi-task, and meet deadlines in a demanding, fast-paced environment.
  • Proven ability to work well across teams.
  • Ability to travel up to 15%.

The National Council is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer – All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected Veteran status.
The National Council uses E-Verify to confirm the employment eligibility of all newly hired employees. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, please contact the Department of Homeland Security at 888-897-7781 or

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