Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
  • Advocacy
  • Washington, DC, USA
  • Salary
  • Full Time

Excellent Benefit Package Offered

If you are passionate about transforming communities with a mission-driven organization, then we have the opportunity for you!

The Refugee Advocacy Officer will carry out LIRS's advocacy efforts in collaboration with the Manager of Advocacy and other LIRS staff to ensure the organization achieves its overall objectives in key priority areas with an emphasis on our work around refugee resettlement. The Refugee Advocacy Officer will shape and execute advocacy priorities and policy recommendations and will support LIRS partners and networks in advocacy through direct working relationships, participation in advocacy planning and events, and coordination.

For 80 years, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) has offered welcome and hope to more than half a million refugees. Since 1939, LIRS has transformed lives, with the support and hard work of people like you, to welcome the most vulnerable to the United States-from Sea to shining sea.

LIRS is a national organization with a budget of over $88 million per year, and over 100 staff nationwide. Widely recognized for our expertise in implementing federal programs on behalf of refugees and migrants in the United States, LIRS resettles refugees, reunites children with their families or provides loving homes for them, conducts policy advocacy, and advances the protection and rights of vulnerable migrants.

Headquartered in the beautiful Inner Harbor of downtown Baltimore we provide services nationwide through a network of staff and affiliates. As we continue to grow, we search for the best candidates and offer excellent benefits to include flexible work hours, medical, dental, vision, life and disability insurance, professional development funds, parental leave, a 403(b) with organizational match, and more!


  • With a focus on refugees:
    • Coordinate, lead, and attend advocacy meetings with congressional and executive branch staff to communicate and advance LIRS policy positions and ascertain obstacles to our recommendations;
    • Track legislation and regulatory proposals;
    • Respond to inquiries about migrants and refugees from policymakers, partners and allies, and media (in coordination with the Director of Communications);
    • Share and develop advocacy materials related to LIRS priority issues, and
    • Act as LIRS representative to both internal and external colleagues on these issues.
  • Lead and participate in NGO coalition meetings related to refugee services to represent LIRS and engage in dialogue and collaborative thinking about shared advocacy goals (and carry out related tasks) as determined by the Manager of Advocacy.
  • Represent LIRS on panels, conferences, webinars, etc. related to refugee issues.
  • In collaboration with other advocacy staff, write LIRS' Stand for Welcome e-mail messages, LIRS' on-line Action Center, national blog posts, and ensure effective communications with LIRS staff and networks through internal mechanisms, as they relate to refugee issues and assigned policy portfolio.
  • Draft and develop LIRS materials reflecting LIRS advocacy goals for refugees for Congressional and government audiences as well as LIRS staff, faith leaders, affiliate partners, and other constituents (statements, letters, invitations, fact sheets, web content, talking points, proposed legislative language, LIRS formal advocacy priorities, advocacy guides).
  • Under the direction of the Manager of Advocacy lead logistical planning for certain events and coordinate direct outreach to LIRS partners and constituents (make requests for specific advocacy actions, plan advocacy events including webinars and conference calls, accompany constituents to advocacy meetings as well as provide direction and train/supervise work of interns to assist), track advocacy engagement and respond to inquiries to develop new educational materials and advocacy campaigns; on certain issues act as LIRS representative to both internal and external colleagues.
  • Travel outside of Washington, DC to share information with, meet, and learn from LIRS constituents, program partners, and refugees and migrants, as needed.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • A Bachelor's degree with a combination of 4-6 years of equivalent experience in a relevant field such as international relations, public policy, or social work.
  • A minimum of three years of increasing responsibility in advancing a public policy agenda in a nonprofit environment, including Congressional advocacy, administrative advocacy, and public education and engagement
  • A strong understanding or willingness to learn the refugee resettlement system, international and domestic laws relevant to refugees, and related funding vehicles.
  • Knowledge of federal legislative and regulatory processes, including the ability to track and interpret legislation.
  • Knowledge of the appropriations process.
  • Understanding of the role of the Executive Branch with an emphasis on the State Department and Health and Human Services.
  • Skills in synthesizing and communicating complex policy issues for different audiences.
  • Excellent communication skills, especially writing and public speaking.
  • Ability to maintain and nurture collegial relationships with legislators, LIRS and congressional staff, executive branch officials, coalition partners, Lutheran partners, and refugees and migrants.
  • Familiarity with non-profit advocacy work and experience working with coalitions at the national and local levels.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications required.
  • Familiarity with customer relationship management software, such as Salesforce.
  • Ability to work well with others in small teams and high emotional intelligence.
  • Ability to agilely manage multiple projects simultaneously and meet deadlines.
  • Effective leadership and meeting facilitation skills.
  • Willingness and ability to travel up to 20% of the time.
  • Experience with and commitment to working in a diverse workforce.
  • Deep commitment to LIRS's core values and ability to model those values in relationships with colleagues and partners.
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
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