Washington, DC

Senior Federal Policy Counsel, Maternal Health, Center For Reproductive Rights

The Organization

About The Center for Reproductive Rights

The Center for Reproductive Rights (The Center) is the premier global litigation and legal policy organization using the power of law to advance reproductive rights as fundamental human rights around the world. Headquartered in New York City, the non-profit, non-partisan organization has regional offices in Bogota, Geneva, Kathmandu, Nairobi, and Washington, DC; a staff of approximately 200 diverse professionals; an annual budget of approximately $40 million with an additional $22 million in donated services from leading law firms around the globe.

The Center’s game-changing litigation and advocacy work, combined with its unparalleled expertise in constitutional, comparative, and international human rights law, have transformed how reproductive rights are understood by courts, governments, and human rights bodies worldwide. It has played a key role in securing landmark legal victories in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the United States on issues including access to life-saving obstetrics care, contraception, safe abortion services, and comprehensive sexuality information, as well as the prevention of forced sterilization and child marriage. It has brought groundbreaking cases before national courts, U.N. Committees, and regional human rights bodies, led the development of historic, proactive legislation advancing robust protections for reproductive rights, and has built the legal capacity of women’s rights advocates in more than 60 countries.

The Center for Reproductive Rights Mission, Principles, & Core Values:


Our Purpose is to use the power of law to advance reproductive rights as a fundamental human right around the world

Core Principles:

  • Every person has the right to make decisions about their reproductive life.
  • Reproductive health services and decisions require a person’s full and informed consent based on comprehensive, unbiased, and evidence-based information and services.
  • Governments must ensure that reproductive health services are available, accessible, appropriate, and of good quality.
  • Laws and policies concerning reproductive health services must not discriminate, including on grounds such as gender, age, race, sexual orientation, marital status, nationality, class/caste, or disability.
  • Reproductive health services should not be criminalized.

Core Values:

  • Integrity:  Integrity is the foundation of mutually respectful relationships.
  • Globally Inclusive:  Understanding and embracing differences are essential for our work.
  • Excellence:  Because we care deeply about what we do, we are committed to high quality work
  • Impact:  We have the power to make change because we are strategic and focused.

To learn more about The Center for Reproductive Rights, please visit  www.reproductiverights.org.

The Opportunity

The Senior Federal Policy Counsel, Maternal Health will report directly to the Senior Director, U.S. Federal Policy and Advocacy and will work closely with the U.S. Human Rights team and the rest of the U.S. Policy & Advocacy program. This position will play an integral role in The Center’s domestic federal advocacy work, developing and implementing strategies to ensure all birthing people have access to safe, respectful and high-quality maternal health care, free from discrimination. Leading the federal maternal health policy work includes conducting legal and policy analyses and working with coalition partners and members of Congress and the Administration.

While the Senior Federal Policy Counsel, Maternal Health will primarily work on developing federal maternal health law and policy, they might also occasionally work on other reproductive rights and/or reproductive health equity issues, consistent with The Center’s Strategic Plan.

This position is based in The Center’s Washington, D.C. office.

Primary responsibilities include:

  • Develop and maintain expertise in the area of federal maternal health policy issues and advance legislative and administrative strategies, under the umbrella of The Center’s Maternal Health & Rights Initiative, work to advance federal legislation, regulations, policies, and guidance that will improve access to safe, non-discriminatory maternal health care for individuals and communities disproportionately affected by human rights violations in U.S. maternal health, including Black and Indigenous pregnant, birthing, and postpartum people.
  • Sustain The Center’s position as a leader go-to resource on maternal health law and policy and continue to cultivate, build, and sustain relationships with, the Administration and relevant federal agencies, Congress, and national partners on issues involving racial equity in maternal health in order to advance proactive laws and policies to protect the rights and health of birthing people;
  • Conduct research and analysis on federal maternal health law and policy issues and Identify creative solutions to policy problems;
  • Provide legal and substantive policy expertise and technical assistance to the Administration, Congress, agencies, partners, and other key decisionmakers on federal bills, regulations, and policies that impact U.S. maternal health;
  • Monitor and respond to federal policy developments and activities that may impact maternal health, including relevant hearings/testimony, markups, staff briefings, rule changes, and other events;
  • Work in meaningful coalition with a broad spectrum of maternal health stakeholders, and amplify the leadership and priorities of Black and Indigenous birth workers and maternal health experts from communities most affected by maternal health harms;
  • Maintain thought leadership and partnership in core federal coalition spaces, and sustain key institutional relationships;
  • Develop, analyze, and advance federal policy that supports The Center’s mission in coordination with coalition partners
  • Translate complex policies and practices into accessible communications for diverse audiences
  • Cultivate messengers, allies, and spokespeople on federal policy issues within The Center’s mission in part by identifying and developing opportunities for partnership on intersectional or overlapping progressive initiatives
  • Draft materials for use in advocacy activities and public education efforts, including fact sheets, talking points, legal analyses issue briefs, public comments, IG complaints, and FOIA requests
  • Work with the communications department as a partner and resources on communications strategies to support The Center’s maternal health goals and objectives
  • Design and develop strategies to promote The Center’s priorities, and manage the implementation of those strategies by staff attorneys, interns, and fellows
  • Lead federal advocacy work on high priority, emerging, or sensitive issues
  • Build and maintain relationships with senior policy staff counterparts at progressive, national ally organizations both in the reproductive health, rights, and justice and birthing justice spheres and beyond
  • Represent The Center at public events, conferences, and coalition meetings and demonstrate excellent oral advocacy skills to deliver engaging speeches and presentations in a variety of public and private forums;
  • Participate actively in program planning and budgeting
  • Supervise staff attorneys, legal fellows, and interns *Not all Senior Attorneys will have direct reports but will be expected to supervise other attorneys on projects, cases, and other areas of program work
  • Work closely with colleagues across the organization to ensure a coordinated approach to maternal health advocacy and contribute where appropriate to cross-department efforts, including human rights advocacy, litigation, state policy advocacy, messaging engagement with donors and legal networks, and strengthening internal systems to support the U.S. maternal health work.
  • Participate and play leadership role with Global Maternal Health project team.


  • Strong commitment to The Center’s mission, purpose, core principles and values;
  • J.D. required;
  • Admission to the District of Columbia Bar Required.  If not currently admitted to the DC Bar, candidate must be admitted to the bar of another state and agree to become admitted to the DC Bar within eighteen months.
  • Minimum of 7-8 years legal experience
  • Excellent research, writing, and oral advocacy skills
  • Outstanding legal analysis skills, including the ability to develop complex legal arguments, analyze legislation and regulations, and develop complex legal arguments to respond to and improve legislation, administrative actions, and/or litigation strategy/arguments, consistent with role
  • Experience in working or building coalitions; leadership within coalitions of social justice and/or human rights movements strongly preferred;
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills including ability to self-motivate, handle multiple tasks simultaneously, ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines, and provide quick turnaround of assignments while collaborating in a team
  • Maintain a high level of expertise in the relevant subject matter
  • Superior communication skills with the ability to effectively communicate with internal and external stakeholders, including strong public speaking skills and an ability to engage with reporters
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and strong ability to work collaboratively with internal colleagues and external partners to co-create strategies and solutions, share information, trust, and decision-making, and advance priorities through principled, collective effort, including an ability to recognize when others should lead and an ability to prioritize centering the voices of those most impacted by our work
  • Ability to juggle own workload and help manage and supervise the workload of junior attorneys
  • Excellent people management and supervisory skills
  • Ability to prioritize, triage, and delegate work responsibilities when necessary
  • Uplifts and supports program specific work and goals while balancing with The Center’s strategic priorities and mission
  • Ability to find synergies among the different teams across USP and The Center
  • Ability to provide guidance and direction to staff attorneys, interns, and fellows to support their professional development and career growth
  • Demonstrate ability/capacity to foster/support DEI in a professional setting and a track record on being able to apply a racial justice lens in analysis, advocacy and in partnerships

Compensation & Benefits

This is a full-time position based in Washington, D.C. The Center offers medical, dental, and vision insurance; a retirement plan including employer match; and generous paid vacation, personal, and sick leave, along with paid parental leave.

The salary range for this opportunity is $97,000- $120,000, which will be benchmarked on The Center’s career ladder, taking into account years of experience and internal equity.

The Center for Reproductive Rights is an equal opportunity employer, committed to inclusive hiring, and dedicated to diversity in our work and staff. We strongly encourage people from all groups and communities to apply.

How To Apply


Liz Lombard and Angie Sessoms of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials here or to Angie directly at asessoms@koyapartners.com. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of the Diversified Search Group firm, is dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world. At Koya, we don’t just accept difference—we celebrate it, support it, and thrive on it for the benefit of our team, our clients, and the communities we serve.

Koya is an equal opportunity employer fully committed to creating an environment and team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, styles, and experiences. We encourage all to apply because we believe a diversity of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone. Koya does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, military status, veteran status, genetic information, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law. For more information about Koya Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.

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