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Senior Counsel and Advisor to the Executive Director

Department: Executive Director
Location: Washington, DC

TITLE: Senior Counsel and Advisor to the Executive Director
ORGANIZATION: National Governors Association
LOCATION: Washington, DC (onsite)
COMPENSATION: A competitive compensation package will be made to the qualified candidate
REPORTS TO: Executive Director

Founded in 1908, the National Governors Association is the bipartisan organization of Governors from the 55 states, territories and commonwealths. NGAís mission is to share best practices, address issues of national and state interest, and drive innovative solutions that improve state government and support the principles of federalism.

NGAís Center for Best Practices is the policy and research arm that helps Governors develop and implement solutions to public policy challenges. NGAís Government Relations group assists in ensuring the voice of Governors are heard in Congress, and the Executive Branch and NGAís Communications team collaborates with Governorsí offices to amplify bipartisan messaging and strategy.

Throughout the year, NGA convenes Governors and senior advisors for meaningful discourse, problem-solving and thought leadership.

The Senior Counsel and Advisor to the Executive Director will play a pivotal role within NGA, combining legal expertise with advisory responsibilities to support the Office of the Executive Director. This role will involve providing legal advice and guidance on nonprofit law, policy development, compliance and risk management. Additionally, this role will include tracking, analyzing, and advising on a wide range of organizational issues before the Office of the Executive Director. This dual role requires a seasoned attorney and executive-level advisory functions.

Other important responsibilities of the Senior Counsel to the Executive Director include:

  • Legal Advisory: Provide legal counsel and strategic advice to senior management, board members, and staff on various legal issues related to the organization's operations, programs, and activities.
  • Compliance: In cooperation with the Chief Operating Officer, ensure compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and industry standards governing nonprofit organizations, including tax-exempt status, governance, fundraising, and other activities.
  • Risk Management: Identify legal risks and develop strategies to mitigate and manage those risks effectively.
  • Policy Development: Assist in the development, review, and implementation of organizational policies and procedures.
  • Training and Education: Develop and deliver legal training programs and materials for staff and board members on relevant legal topics.
  • Stakeholder Engagement: Build and maintain positive relationships with external stakeholders.
  • Governors Legal Counsel Group: Support policy development and activities of the Governors Legal Counsel group.

Office of the Executive Director Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Tracking, analyzing, and advising on organizational issues before the Office of the Executive Director.
  • Leading/contributing to projects, ensuring coordination between the Office of the Executive Director and stakeholders.
  • Serving as a central liaison to Chair, Vice Chair offices, and Executive Committee.
  • Event programming and development for executive events.
  • Engage internal and external stakeholders in discussion/preparation, as appropriate.
  • Responding to requests on behalf of the Executive Director and gathering/providing information.
  • Developing and advising on the performance and future opportunities for the Office of Executive Director.
  • Proposing innovative ways to improve products and services.
  • Developing effective solutions to challenges and influencing decision-makers.
  • Provide efficient core operational services:
    • Provide timely information to the Executive Director.
    • Manage meetings for the Executive Director, ensuring all logistics are flawlessly arranged and executed, troubleshooting issues quickly and tactfully.
    • Overseeing/managing the executive calendar - scheduling appointments by balancing priorities and effectively negotiating with internal and external resources.
    • Effectively manage the Executive Directorís time and facilitate office meetings, access, and incoming/outgoing calls.
    • Travel arrangements and produce expense and reimbursement reports, as needed.
    • Compose, modify and proofread email correspondence, reports and presentations.
  • Serve as organizational liaison for the international diplomatic community;
  • Demonstrating a commitment to NGAís mission and goals to constructively serve the needs of all Governors; and
  • Other duties as assigned by the Executive Director.

Candidates should have a bachelors degree and a Juris Doctor (JD) degree from an accredited law school. Five plus years of experience, preferably in a Governorís office or equivalent C-level executive.

The ideal candidate will have demonstrated ability to:

  • High degree of integrity and confidentiality in handling and processing information of a highly sensitive and critical nature;
  • Capability to multitask and work independently in a dynamic, changing work environment, setting priorities effectively;
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, PowerPoint);
  • Excellent attention to detail;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to build and maintain relationships and networks with a diverse range of constituencies at every level;
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment;
  • Excellent organizational skills and the ability to handle multiple projects and priorities;
  • Ability to convey essential information clearly and concisely, both in writing and verbally;
  • Strong written and oral skills with the ability to communicate complex issues and concepts clearly, succinctly and with influence
  • Critical thinking and analytical ability
  • Experience working with complex and at times, conflicting issues, and applying judgments to those issues;
  • Strong learning agility;
  • Ability to work on a bipartisan basis to support NGAís mission and goals;
  • Willingness to work weekends and late evenings, as needed, and
  • Travel as needed.

Interested candidates should apply online through NGAís career site. NGA uses Clear Company, and all information is kept strictly confidential. An application is considered when all required fields are completed. Please include:

  • Your resume highlighting your education, experience, and direct transferable skills.
  • A portfolio of your best work (attach to your candidate profile via Clear Company).

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions. NGA is committed to providing a productive and safe environment. To achieve that goal, we conduct background and reference check investigations for all final applicants being considered for employment.

NGA staff proudly serve our nationís Governors daily, and itís our mission to ensure that we offer a comprehensive, competitive benefits package designed to support the needs of NGA employees.

NGA is an Equal Opportunity Employer (M/D/F/V) committed to fostering an energetic, collaborative, diverse and inclusive workforce. We promote diversity and provide equal employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, protected veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status, or any other legally protected factor. We encourage individuals of all backgrounds to apply.

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