Washington , Dist. Columbia

Director of Strategic Initiatives, SEIU International

The Organization

Position Overview

SEIU (Service Employees International Union)

Job Title: Director, Department of Strategic Initiatives Grade: MGT I

Location: Washington, D.C.


The Director of Strategic Initiatives oversees the International Union’s research, policy, and capital stewardship functions, leads the union’s strategic thinking and work plan execution in these areas, and helps develop and execute an overall strategic plan for achieving the union’s vision of a just society in a changing economy and world.

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES: (Any one position may not include all of the specific duties and responsibilities listed. Examples provide a general summary of the work required and should not be treated as a total and complete list of expected duties to be performed by employees in the classification.)

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

·         Direct and oversee the International Union’s research, policy, and capital stewardship functions, and develop and execute a vision for how the Department, its functional expertise and its staff can most effectively contribute to the Union’s overall program.

·         Working with International Union officers and other senior staff, help set and execute the Union’s overall program, with a particular focus on how best to engage government, the capital markets, and businesses to amass lasting power for workers and win a better society for working people in a changing economy.

·         Working with International Union officers and senior staff, Local Union leaders and staff, and other departments, develop and implement major strategic organizing campaigns, issue campaigns, and policy initiatives, and direct research, analysis, writing and strategic support for such projects.

·         Participate on the International Union’s Senior Leadership Team and oversee the Department’s coordination with all other departments, including Organizing, the industrial Divisions, Government Relations, Legal, and Communications.

·         Direct and oversee the development of all reports, memoranda, written testimony, correspondence and other relevant external materials related to the International Union’s research work, public policy work, and capital markets engagement to ensure timely and high quality products.

·         Represent the International Union with affiliates, other unions, allies, labor task forces and committees, governmental bodies, pension funds, and other external non-labor organizations and employers, as well as at meetings, conferences and public forums.

·         Direct the Department’s management team, its annual and long-term planning activities, and the evaluation of Department programs, staff and resources to maximize the Department’s contribution to the Union’s overall program.

·         In coordination with Human Resources and other relevant International Union departments, oversee the Department’s staff recruitment, performance appraisal, and other personnel-related activities.

·         Oversee development of and monitor compliance with the Department’s annual budget, and approve all department expenditures.

·         Perform other duties as assigned.


SEIU International Union and Local Union leaders, officers and staff; state, local and/or federal public officials and their staffs; leaders and staff of other unions and allied organizations; academics and other experts; corporate, investment firm and trade association executives.

Direction and Decision Making:

This position reports to the Chief of Staff and works independently.

Education and Experience:

Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with a Bachelors’ Degree in a relevant field; Master’s degree or Juris Doctorate preferred. In addition, at least ten (10) years of work experience in labor, public interest advocacy, economic justice, corporate social responsibility, or related campaign or advocacy work, including at least seven (7) years directing or supervising research, policy, and/or capital markets work related to worker or economic justice; OR a combination of education and experience that would provide for the following knowledge, skills and abilities:

·         Advanced knowledge of labor and/or worker justice issues.

·         Basic familiarity with methods, techniques and tools related to corporate or issue research, policy analysis, and analysis and engagement of capital markets, and advanced knowledge of methods, techniques and tools in at least one of these areas.

·         Basic familiarity with campaign strategies and tactics that engage research, policy and capital markets work, and advanced knowledge of campaign strategies and tactics in at least one of these areas.

·         Successful experience using campaign strategies and tactics that engage research, policy and/or capital markets work in a corporate-facing or government-facing campaign related to economic justice.

·         Knowledge of unions and other progressive advocacy groups.

·         Strong strategic abilities.

·         Strong ability to lead complex national campaigns that require coordinating the work of multiple departments, disciplines and external allies.

·         Strong ability to handle multiple projects and meet established timelines.

·         Strong ability to recruit, manage and develop staff.

·         Strong ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.

·         Strong analytic skills and ability to convey complex concepts and ideas in an accessible and digestible way.

·         Strong interpersonal skills and comfort working with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

·         Strong commitment to diversity and equity in all aspects of management.

·         Skill in the use of personal computers, including Microsoft Office suite.

Physical Requirements:

Work is generally performed in an office setting. Long and extended hours and travel may sometimes be required.

Application Requirements:

A resume is required for all applications and a cover letter is highly suggested. Your cover letter should explain your reason for wanting to work for SEIU, an example of how you demonstrated success in a similar position and a description of how this position fits into your long-term career plan.


SEIU staff enjoy top notch benefits including comprehensive health benefits, major medical, dental and vision for employee and eligible dependents, domestic partner benefits, competitive salaries, generous holidays and vacation policies, and both a pension plan and a 401(K) Plan.


SEIU is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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