Director of Social Insurance

The National Employment Law Project (NELP)
Mission Statement: 

The National Employment Law Project (NELP) seeks a Director of Social Insurance who will lead a dynamic team and seek to deepen and expand our work as it relates to public programs that provide economic security to workers and their families. We are seeking someone with 10 years of experience in advancing workers’ rights, promoting work and racial equity, working in partnership with anti-racist, Black-led organizations, and with expertise in social insurance policies.

Position Description: 

Who We AreNELP is a national nonprofit advocacy organization with offices in New York, Washington D.C., and Berkeley, with the core goals of building worker power, dismantling structural racism, and addressing economic inequality. We promote federal, state, and local policies to create good jobs, strengthen workers’ upward mobility, enforce worker rights, and improve benefits and services for unemployed workers. In collaboration with national and grassroots partners, NELP advances its work through research, advocacy, litigation support, and technical assistance designed to raise wages, end wage theft and workplace violations, strengthen unemployment insurance, ensure employer accountability for workers in contract employment, encourage fair chance employment practices, and promote a comprehensive policy framework to build a good jobs economy. For more information, see What You Will DoThis position calls for a strategic program leader who will advance the Social Insurance team’s goal of ensuring that all working people receive the benefits and social insurance guarantees they and their families need to achieve and sustain economic security over their lifetimes. The Director of Social Insurance will be responsible for the Social Insurance Portfolio, which includes unemployment insurance, retirement security, home care, and other public benefits. The Director will provide leadership and support to a highly dedicated, experienced team that is working to make certain that public benefits meet the needs of low-wage workers, gig workers, people of color, and other categories of workers who were excluded from programs’ original designs. The Director will monitor the team’s progress in delivering strong, measurable outcomes that meet NELP’s strategic and programmatic priorities. The Director will ensure the team’s work products are worker-centered, presented through a racial equity framework, and are aligned with NELP priorities and resources. And the Director will provide guidance to the team and is responsible for:

  • Annual planning, including root cause analysis;
  • Team management, including ensuring professional development and leadership opportunities that cultivate growth;
  • Cross-team coordination;
  • Resource management; and
  • Program evaluation.

The Director will work closely with other team directors to identify and address intersecting issues, to support thoughtful, strategic coordination between teams, and to assess progress and revise as needed. This collaborative approach extends to our engagement with partners and allies, as we work in coalition to advance workers’ rights. The Director will also work with the Development team to fundraise as well as monitor and ensure compliance with existing grants.  In addition to leading a team, the Director will be expected to spend about half of their time using their social insurance policy knowledge to advance NELP’s mission. The Director will engage with allies from other organizations to identify opportunities for collaboration or coordination, execute accordingly, and keep NELP teams in the loop. The Director will author or co-author reports, blog posts, advocacy-oriented products, and web materials, as well as keep abreast of relevant information and policy opportunities and changes. The Director will represent NELP in the media, at public events, and as a conference presenter. Travel is required, and frequency depends on office location. 


Key QualificationsWe are seeking candidates with:

  • A vision and enthusiasm for advancing worker rights and ensuring their economic security.
  • Ten+ years of directly relevant worker rights, racial equity, and social insurance policy -related experience and at least four years of supervisory experience.
  • 5+ years of policy advocacy experience; experience managing a team, coordinating and overseeing an area of work or internal organizational processes preferred.
  • Experience working in an advocacy organization or public agency focused on social insurance, racial equity, labor law and policy, labor unions, or workers’ rights preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to oversee and coordinate programmatic work, develop and implement work plans, report on measurable outcomes, provide and receive feedback, and assess adequacy and quality of work.
  • Skills in project planning and managing conflicting priorities and deadlines.
  • Strong time-management skills.
  • The ability to communicate NELP’s strategic goals effectively both internally and externally.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills with a history of writing reports, op-eds, and/or issue briefs; and presenting, testifying, and/or talking with media.
  • Strength in managing, developing, coaching, and retaining individuals, and empowering them to grow and develop professionally.


$92,600 to $108,500
Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, March 3, 2020
Application Instructions: 

To apply: Through our online database, submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample and three references to, choosing the “Director of Social Insurance” option under position. If you have questions regarding this announcement, please forward those to nelp [at], noting “Director of Social Insurance Application” in the subject line. No phone calls or other email inquiries please. We will consider applications on a rolling basis. Applications due by March 22, 2020.

Position Level: 
Country/US Territory: 
United States