Vice President of Federal Affairs

Please make sure to attach your resume to complete your application.


The Vice President of Federal Affairs (VPFA) leverages the ASPCA’s direct response and animal care expertise to influence federal animal protection policy, ensuring that federal laws and regulations are humane and enforceable. The ASPCA established a strong federal legislative presence because Congress is uniquely able to address key animal protection issues involving constitutional questions, interstate commerce, federal lands, and issues that fall under existing federal laws such as the Animal Welfare Act. This sweeping and influential area of law affecting millions of animals requires serious engagement and strong leadership. This position is responsible for the overall strategic direction, tone, resource use, and implementation of the federal legislative and regulatory agenda of the ASPCA, based on priority goals as determined by the Senior Vice President (SVP) of Government Relations. The VPFA will work with the SVP and other sections of the ASPCA to integrate the federal policy work with the policies, positions, and ongoing organizational actions on animal issues.


Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Policy Development, Strategy and Implementation (40%)

  • Create master plan for each Congress and Administration identifying viable policy issues, strengths and weakness of the ASPCA’s agenda, assessing its allies and resources, and identifying potential pathways for authorizing and appropriations legislative success.
  • Set tone and culture of federal arm of ASPCA
  • Craft and oversee budget related to federal legislation
  • Oversee and deploy government relations staff to lobby, develop legislative vehicles, identify appropriate regulatory goals, and implement advocacy and field outreach, aligned to the master plan
  • Identify high value targets for support and cultivate productive working relationships, directly and through staff, with members of Congress and their staff
  • Lobby and negotiate with federal officials, legislators and their staff to support or oppose legislation, and execute campaigns to secure passage or defeat
  • Oversee and review filing of required federal reports
  • Ensure adequate tracking and movement of federal legislation pertaining to animals and notifying and coordinating with relevant stakeholders

Internal Coordination and Media Support (30%):

  • Integrate and coordinate federal strategies with Legal Advocacy and Investigations, Farm Animal Welfare, Equine Welfare, National Field Response, Humane Law Enforcement, Shelter and Veterinary Services, and other ASPCA departments’ goals and activities
  • Work with Communications Division to ensure that the tone and accuracy of materials sent out from Government Relations to the public is consistent and supportive of federal legislative objectives
  • Oversee Federal Affairs’ use of media relations tools, including social networking, action alerts, press releases, and press conferences to highlight priorities and leaders in Congress
  • Handle all crises and unforeseen events, mobilizing appropriate resources within the ASPCA

People Management (30%)

  • Supervise, coach, and develop two to four direct reports through regular interaction and discussion of progress towards individual, department and organization goals
  • Embody feedback as a key tool of coaching and team development, seeking opportunities to share feedback and encourage it in others.
  • Identify current and future training and growth opportunities for direct reports and engage direct reports in proactive and long-term career pathing discussions
  • Conduct quarterly feedback sessions and yearly performance reviews
  • Cultivate a climate in which individual differences and perspectives are valued, encouraged, and supported.
  • Ensure that employees have clear responsibilities and measurable goals
  • Engage in vital activities of the employee lifecycle to build and sustain a strong and diverse team, including but not limited to interviewing, hiring, training, performance coaching, succession planning, salary changes, promotions and terminations.

Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience required; JD degree strongly preferred
  • 10+ years of experience in a large non-profit or legislative office or government agency
  • Experience in a senior position in the legal and/or government affairs department
  • Experience effectively managing direct reports 
  • Experience working with either U.S. Congress, a federal agency, or an advocacy organization.
  • Prior media, media relations, and/or crisis management experience strongly preferred

Knowledge Requirements:

  • Legal analysis, interpretation, and significance of legislative proposals.
  • Deep knowledge of the federal legislative process, the committee structure, leadership positions, House and Senate procedures, and political and cultural trends on the Hill
  • Knowledge of the process of managing and drafting of complex legislation
  • Knowledge of animal welfare issues and laws

Skill Requirements:

  • Proven ability to strategize and manage effective political/legislative initiatives
  • Strong leadership, writing and media skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Strong lobbying and negotiation skills
  • Proven ability to manage and lead coalition efforts to advance federal policies
  • Ability to manage and draft complex legislation
  • Highly organized with a strong attention to detail
  • Adept at intraorganizational communication and organizational collaboration
  • Ability to work in a team environment or independently
  • Demonstrated high degree of integrity and accountability
  • Ability to prioritize responsibilities, multi-task, delegate, supervise others, manage time well and address time-sensitive projects 
  • Ability to effectively supervise, coach, and develop direct reports
  • Ability to represent the ASPCA in a professional, courteous, and congenial manner at all times
  • Ability to balance passion for issue with an appreciation of the incremental nature of the legislative process

Additional Qualifications:

  • Willingness and ability to travel nationally up to ~20%
  • Commitment to animal protection issues and driven to see positive change for animals
  • Enthusiasm for teamwork
  • Brings a positive spirt combined with tenacity to the work

Compensation and Benefits:

Starting pay for the successful applicant will depend on a variety of factors, including but not limited to education, training, experience, location, business needs, internal equity, market demands or budgeted amount for the role. The target hiring range is for new hire offers only, and staff compensation may increase beyond the maximum hiring range based on performance over time. The maximum of the hiring range is reserved for candidates with the highest qualifications and relevant experience. The expected hiring salary range for this role is set forth below and may be modified in the future. 

  • The target hiring range for this role is $167,000 - $181,000

For more information on our benefits offerings, visit our website.

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See above for qualifications details.



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Our EEO Policy:

The ASPCA is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, gender, gender identity or expression, age, marital or domestic partner status, citizenship status, sexual orientation, disability, genetic information, military or veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local laws, regulations or ordinances.

Applicants with disabilities may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation under the terms of the Americans with Disabilities Act and certain state or local laws.  A reasonable accommodation is a change in the ASPCA’s standard application process, which will ensure an equal employment opportunity without imposing undue hardship on the ASPCA.  Please inform the ASPCA’s People Team if you need an accommodation in order to complete any forms or to otherwise participate in the application process.

Individuals seeking employment are considered without regards to race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, gender, gender identity or expression, age, marital or domestic partner status, citizenship status, sexual orientation, disability, genetic information, military or veteran status,  or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local laws, regulations or ordinances.

ASPCA is an Equal Opportunity Employer (M/F/D/V).

Please don’t forget to attach your resume to complete your application.

About Us:
The ASPCA was founded in 1866 on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment by humans and must be protected under the law. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation with more than two million supporters nationwide, the ASPCA is committed to preventing cruelty to dogs, cats, equines, and farm animals throughout the United States.

The ASPCA is headquartered in New York City, where we maintain a full-service animal hospital, spay/neuter clinic, mobile spay/neuter and primary pet care clinics, a rehabilitation center for canine victims of cruelty, kitten nursery, adoption center, and two community veterinary centers.

The ASPCA also operates programs and services that extend nationwide. We assist animals in need through on-the-ground disaster and cruelty interventions, behavioral rehabilitation, animal placement, legal and legislative advocacy, and the advancement of the sheltering and veterinary community through research, training, and resources.

At the ASPCA, we are committed to fostering a collaborative and compassionate culture and we welcome all voices to contribute to our lifesaving mission. Our staff represent a vast array of backgrounds and diversity dimensions, bringing with them valuable experiences and perspectives. They join the ASPCA to learn, grow, and continually do their best work on behalf of animals. We are inspired by our staff, partners, and the communities we support across the country who work to improve animal lives. We are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion at the ASPCA because it elevates our organizational culture, aligns with our Core Values, and enables us to move further and faster toward the ASPCA’s vision – that all animals live good lives; valued by society, protected by its laws, and free from cruelty, pain and suffering.