Policy Advocate

  • St. Paul, Minnesota
  • WFH Flexible
  • Full-time
  • US-Based Positions
  • cvt-98675

The Center for Victims of Torture is hiring a Policy Advocate who will develop and lead CVT’s contributions toward ending race-based police violence and systemic racism in the U.S. criminal justice system. The work will initially focus on state and local efforts in Minnesota, but over time will expand to include national policy advocacy. The Policy Advocate will represent CVT in relevant coalitions, engage in issue and legislative advocacy, and engage CVT stakeholders in that advocacy. The Policy Advocate will also participate in advocacy associated with the treatment of immigrants; other acts of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment inflicted by state actors; and federal and state appropriations efforts relevant to CVT’s work.


Reports to: Director of External Relations     

Location: St. Paul, Minnesota

Remote status: 100% to start, with plans to return to 50% to the office and WFH Flexibility         



The Center for Victims of Torture works toward a future in which torture ceases to exist and its victims have hope for a new life. We are an international nonprofit dedicated to healing survivors of torture. We offer rehabilitation services to those who have been tortured, train partners around the world who can prevent and treat torture, and advocate for human rights and an end to torture. We are headquartered in Minnesota, and we have US offices in Georgia and DC, as well as offices in Africa and the Middle East.



  • Partnership Development, Relationship Management, Stakeholder Engagement: Build and deepen relationships with organizations engaged in ending police violence and advancing criminal justice reform, immigrant rights, and related issues. Represent CVT in relevant coalitions. Build and manage relationships with relevant Minnesota legislators and staff, as well as relevant county and city officials and staff. Partner with CVT digital marketing staff to develop and implement strategies to engage CVT stakeholders (donors, Board, staff, other supporters) in policy advocacy.


  • Issue and Legislative Advocacy: Develop and implement strategies that advance CVT’s contributions to coalition advocacy efforts. Engage President/CEO, Director of External Relations, Senior Clinician for External Relations, and other CVT staff in advocacy efforts as appropriate. Partner with CVT’s Research team on public opinion surveying to inform development of strategy, tactics, and messaging plans. Partner with CVT Communications team to develop messaging and communications materials for external (including social media) and internal purposes.  Research and draft memoranda, analyses, and similar background materials as needed. Help develop public-facing materials to advance advocacy objectives, including fact sheets, letters, blog posts, and emails to city council members, county commissioners, state legislators, and Members of Congress.  Engage on social media as appropriate, in collaboration with the Communications team.


  • Other Duties: Consult with CVT capacity development staff to identify movement support opportunities. Participate in other department and organization-wide activities, meetings and trainings. Perform other duties as assigned.



Required education, experience, certificates, licenses or registrations

  • 3 years of experience in issue and/or legislative advocacy at the local, state or federal level.
  • Background and experience in policy advocacy, community organizing, and working in coalitions
  • Proven ability to communicate with diverse audiences in a variety of mediums
  • Proven ability in research, analysis, and reporting on policy issues, including demonstrated experience drafting policy memos and other written products relevant to policy advocacy work
  • Computer skills, including the Microsoft Outlook Office Suite



  • 4+ years of experience in issue and/or legislative advocacy at the local, state or federal level.
  • Issue advocacy experience in police violence, criminal justice reform, or other civil/human rights issues.
  • Experience working with and in racially diverse communities.


Competencies (Knowledge, Skills and Abilities)

  • Passion for advancing human rights and social justice.
  • Knowledge of local, state and federal political processes and current political dynamics.
  • Knowledge of and experience working with Minnesota communities disproportionately affected by police violence and other criminal justice issues.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work collaboratively in coalition with other organizations and within CVT, and with other diverse constituencies.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to analyze, distill, and present complex issues in a manner that is accessible to diverse audiences.
  • Ability to take both direction and initiative, complete assigned tasks, and meet tight deadlines—at times with minimal supervision.
  • Some flexibility with work hours, to accommodate the annual Minnesota Legislative session.
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Experience with legislative advocacy/constituent engagement software.
  • Interest and ability to engage in diversity, equity and inclusion efforts within the organization.
  • Ability to attend frequent meetings in-person around the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area.
  • Ability to travel nationally (primarily Washington, DC) up to 10% of time.


Supervisory Responsibilities: This is a non-supervisory position


Work Environment (subject to change):

  • Position is based in the Twin Cities.
  • Typical office environment: Work will be 100% remote to start, with occasionally in-person meeting.
  • Time spent on the computer is approximately 95%
  • Time spent in virtual meetings is approximately 25-30%


Physical Demands:

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk and hear. The employee frequently is required to sit; stand; walk; use hands to finger, handle or feel; and reach with hands and arms. This position requires the ability to occasionally lift office products and supplies, of up to 5 pounds.



Ability to travel nationally (primarily Washington, DC) up to 10% time. Ability to travel locally around Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions and physical demands.      


To Apply:  Submit resume, cover letter and salary expectations by September 20, 2021 to http://cvt.simplicant.com/




CVT is committed to hiring and fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce that leverages the skills and talents of all employees in our organization, regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, veteran status, familial status, genetic information, or any other protected status. We encourage candidates with diverse backgrounds such as these to apply for this position

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