Director of Government Relations
About JumpStart Inc.
JumpStart is a non-profit venture development organization whose mission is to unlock the full potential of entrepreneurship to transform entire communities. Our vision is to collaborate with partners to generate dramatically improved and inclusive economic outcomes by supporting diverse entrepreneurs, optimizing entrepreneurial ecosystems, and accelerating innovation.
Key to JumpStart’s success is its ability to leverage the skills, experience, and creativity of its inspired team to transform entrepreneurial aspirations into actions with measurable impact. JumpStart associates take great pride in making JumpStart a highly demanding yet incredibly fun place to work.
JumpStart seeks an energetic professional who appreciates the impact of public-private partnerships and understands how to align to the capabilities of government to support JumpStart’s mission of unlocking the power of entrepreneurship to transform entire communities. The Director of Government Relations will strengthen relationships with government and government agencies locally, throughout the state of Ohio, and federally to support and catalyze inclusive and equitable economic growth through entrepreneurship, small business and innovation. Further, the leader will establish and nurture mutually reinforcing partnerships with local entrepreneurship, economic development, workforce development, community development, racial justice, and other aligned social good organizations to further the agenda for inclusive tech-led economic growth.
This leader will build the internal capacity of our team to influence local, regional, and statewide public policy, attract federal resources and leverage external coalitions and partnerships to the same end. The Director of Government Relations will provide leadership and support, as appropriate, to advance and ensure cohesive and synergistic advocacy agendas by jurisdictional and corporate partners, particularly those engaged with regional economic development, innovation, and technology. The Director of Government Relations will inform programs and initiatives to help deepen relationships across government. This role will be a critical part of the organization, reporting directly to the Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer; part thinker and part doer, with a proven ability to identify, nurture, and scale public-private partnerships.
Essential Job Functions:
75% Government Relations
- Inform and implement a government relations strategy to support JumpStart’s public policy agenda with state and local lawmakers and agencies.
- In close coordination with Executive Vice President & Chief Operations Officer, collaborate with Executive, Marketing/Communications and Advancement departments to implement government relations strategy.
- Support the scaling and sustainability of public partnerships through existing and emerging policy areas including technology, innovation, venture, small business, and economic development. Connect local action with policymaking at the state, regional and federal level.
- Build and maintain effective relationships with key elected officials, legislative staff, and policy groups in northern Ohio to increase JumpStart’s visibility, presence, and influence across government.
- Track and manage opportunities for public funding. Develop new market opportunities and build business leads in federal, state, and local agencies. Inform and manage programmatic initiatives and campaigns to advance our policy agenda.
- Leverage support from advocacy organizations, industry leaders and academic and research groups to strengthen support for public partnerships and inclusive Regional Economies.
- Represent JumpStart in public forums, conferences, on expert panels, and in other settings, as appropriate.
- Engage in relevant rulemakings and public comments, policy guidance, standards development, and other such activities. Provide input and strategic guidance related to public filings and the pursuit of other corporate priorities.
- Proactively identify, assess, and mitigate potential issues that could impact the company’s reputation or objectives.
25% - Outreach & Engagement
- Understand deeply the mission and values of JumpStart; exemplify within key relationships and among diverse stakeholders.
- Support coordination, attend and participate in special events as needed to drive business development, relationship-building, and brand visibility.
- Assist in strengthening JumpStart’s proximity, understanding and credibility across diverse communities.
- Actively engage/educate community stakeholders to increase brand awareness.
- Support and align to JumpStart’s strategic priorities for diversity, equity and inclusion.
- Inform solution-building to reduce barriers to access for diverse communities.
Decision Making Responsibility
This role has medium scale autonomy for decision making and consults with the Executive Vice President & Chief Operations Officer, along with other senior level leaders on a regular basis. Occasionally consults or informs the Board of Directors. Routinely makes decisions that may influence the entire organization related to strategic alignment and prioritization of emergent opportunities, partnerships and special projects at the local, state and federal levels of government. Has extensive responsibility for facilitating groups internally and externally to achieve decisions, and for raising issues that need to be further considered and decided upon by senior management in the organization. This role makes day to day work decisions regarding prioritization and execution of projects and other tasks and provides routine guidance, and influence on strategic decisioning and consensus building internally across departments and throughout decision-making bodies across levels of government. Exercises good judgement to manage daily work and priorities, ability to think strategically and influence others to align and execute across common goals is required for this person to be successful.
The (Position) directly supervises:
Physical Demands/Working Conditions
- When required attend local and out of state meetings, conferences, workshops and special events.
- Modest physical activity required for lifting and moving office supplies, equipment, and furniture on occasion.
- Normal professional office environment
- Willingness to work outside of traditional business hours to support relationship-building and community engagement.
- Willingness to live and work in Greater Cleveland
- Hybrid work environment, essential in office presence with remote work options
Education, Training and/or Experience
- Bachelor’s or advanced degree in Political Science, Public Affairs, or related field.
- 5+ years’ experience in public systems and policy, experience institutionalizing public-private partnerships in economic development, community development, venture or a related field to grow economic opportunity.
- Demonstrated experience working within and facilitating collaborations across all sectors of economy, particularly government, business, non-profits and foundations.
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Personal Characteristics
- Understanding of and commitment to the mission, vision, and values of JumpStart.
- Strong emotional intelligence, self-motivation.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills.
- Strong facilitation, consensus-building and strategic thinking skills.
- Solid familiarity of local, state and federal political landscape.
- Ability to navigate and discern across complex relationships.
- Excellent formal and informal oral communication skills: face-to-face; on the telephone; and in formal presentations.
- Ability to initiate and develop relationships with a variety of different people.
- Confident and professional approach, ability to exercise own judgment and discretion.
- Organized and results driven
- A firm understanding of Microsoft Office – Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Must be proficient in a Windows environment and computerized accounting software.
Certifications, Licenses, Registrations
- Legislative Agent Registration (accepted, not required)
JumpStart’s Core Values and Key Cultural Behaviors
- Accountability: Act to deliver on commitments and generate results, and if expectations aren’t clear, ask
- Entrepreneurial: Embrace opportunity, continuous improvement, and change, and contribute to the solution as we evolve
- Equity: Committed to corrective action regarding historically underserved and underrepresented populations through entrepreneurship and innovation
- Energy: Address our work with focus, grit and enthusiasm
- Collaboration: Collaborate with others to play our most helpful role(s) and to increase effectiveness
- Humility: Balance self-assurance with listening to understand, having an open mind, and demonstrating patience
JumpStart’s Definitions for Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity
- Diversity: A measure of psychological, demographic, physical, and social differences occurring among any and all individuals in a specific group; including but not limited to racial identity, ethnicity, nationality, religion, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language, age, gender identification, sexual orientation, culture, developmental ability, and learning styles.
- Inclusion: The act of promoting and maintaining an environment in which diverse groups of individuals are welcomed, respected, supported, valued, and empowered. An environment prioritizing differences and offers respect and acceptance in the words/actions/thoughts of all people.
- Equity: An acknowledgment and understanding there are historically underserved and underrepresented populations, and corrective action regarding these unbalanced conditions is needed to eliminate barriers and guarantee equality in the provision of fair treatment, access opportunity, and advancement in the provision of effective opportunities to all groups.
- Emphasis Statement: Historically, African Americans, Latinx people, and women have been economically disenfranchised and disconnected from innovation and entrepreneurship. For these reasons, we place an emphasis on these populations as we work to diversify our culture and be inclusive in our daily interactions and decisions.
JumpStart’s Operating Style: JumpStart team members are expected to be:
- Honest: We speak the truth, plainly and simply, kindly and considerately. We will challenge you as we seek to accomplish great things. And we hope you will do the same with us.
- Responsive: We respond rapidly to your inquiries and actively communicate so we are all on the same page.
- Resourceful: We will be creative and efficient in helping you to access relationships, contacts and other resources to help you succeed.
- Insightful: We will provide the knowledge and insight about entrepreneurship and innovation you aren’t able to easily get from others.
This position description is not intended to be a complete list of all responsibilities, duties or skills required for the job and is subject to review and change at any time, with or without notice, in accordance with the needs of JumpStart. Since no position description can detail all the duties and responsibilities that may be required from time to time in the performance of a job, duties and responsibilities that may be inherent in a job, reasonably required for its performance, or required due to the changing nature of the job shall also be considered part of the jobholder’s responsibility.