Position Information

Position Information Message
Policy Director
The Policy Director will support the Chief Defender and First Assistant by overseeing the Policy Unit to provide qualitative and quantitative analysis relating to the operations, policies, programs and practices of the Defender Association. The Director will work with criminal justice stakeholders to improve system outcomes for clients; create and oversee new programs designed to improve institutional and client outcomes; support a data-driven approach to evaluating the Association’s performance; and oversee the analytical and data foundations for policy reports and recommendations. The Policy Director will serve a five-year term.


• Develop and execute strategic plan for policy, research and data partnerships that advances the mission of the Defender Association to improve courtroom advocacy and outcomes
• Supervise and support the development of the members of the policy and community engagement team
• Lead the policy and community engagement teams in developing policy recommendations on core issues related to criminal justice and youth advocacy reforms and generate ideas for new policy initiatives to improve outcomes for clients
• Work collaboratively with Communication Director to monitor and respond to policies and research relevant to Defender Association clients, including serving as a media spokesperson on those issues
• Identify and manage new research projects to presentation and communication of findings
• Participate in relevant attorney and staff trainings to infuse practice with policy and reform efforts
• Represent the Defender Association in external presentations, including to the Local Government, advocacy organizations and other stakeholder agencies
• Coordinate with Department Heads to gather data and track outcomes and document the impact of our work
• Develop and maintain relationships with external criminal justice and youth advocacy organizations focused on policy analysis and reform
• Identify new grant opportunities, lead grant writing and manage relationships with sponsoring organizations, including tracking and communicating our impact in grant reports
• Work collaboratively with Defender attorneys and staff to quickly respond to legislative proposals, inquiries from allies and other opportunities to develop the organization’s position and case to stakeholders, community and media
• Partner with policy stakeholders to create easily digested and effectively disseminated materials for policy makers, media, staff and the public
• Maintain a working knowledge of criminal justice policy research and practice through participating in professional development activities.
Position: Policy Director
Organization: Defender Association of Philadelphia
Location: Philadelphia,  PA 
United States
Salary: Commensurate with experience
Posting Start Date:
Date Posted: 6/12/2020

Education and Experience

• Bachelor degree required; Juris Doctorate from ABA accredited law school required
• Must be admitted or obtain admission to practice in the Commonwealth of PA within three months
• Significant public defender experience
• Relevant criminal justice research and analysis experience specifically addressing racial justice, bail and probation reform preferred

Skills and Requirements
• Commitment to Defender Association’s mission with knowledge of the issues faced by the underserved in the community who need help with legal issues and knowledge of diverse communities who need guidance and assistance with criminal and youth justice
• Established and effective communicator; highly skilled in writing and speaking; ability to communicate Defender Association’s mission and interests to a broad audience; adept at crafting proposals, correspondence, and other kinds of materials
• Demonstrated ability to work effectively with and quickly gain the respect and support of various constituencies, including clients and staff members, stakeholders, civic leaders and community partners
• Ability to strategize and be adept at planning, prioritizing, organizing, and following through; highly energetic and able to balance multiple competing priorities
• Effectively tell “our story”: serve as a catalyst with vision who can create excitement and energy around the Defender Association’s mission and encourage others to support the organization; persuasive, persistent, and determined in the pursuit of the organization's goals
• Ability to be responsible and accountable to the organization, colleagues, clients and community
• Experience leading and managing a team
• Proficient in Microsoft Word, Outlook, and Excel and accessing data and generating reports
• Demonstrated time and project management skills, including an ability to meet multiple deadlines by maintaining a high level of organization. Ability to think strategically and creatively, adjust to changing circumstances, organize time, remain attentive to details, and identify resources for projects
• Ability to travel 

To apply, please visit our website:

Application Deadline - Monday, July 6, 2020
Status: This listing expires on: 9/10/2020
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Organization Information
Defender Association of Philadelphia
1441 Sansom Street

Philadelphia,  PA 19102
United States
(267) 765-6527
Nena Carter