About Omidyar Network:

Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by philanthropists Pam and Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, the organization has committed more than $1 billion to innovative for-profit companies and non-profit organizations to catalyze economic and social change. To learn more, visit www.omidyar.com, and follow on Twitter @omidyarnetwork.

 

Omidyar Network Impact Themes:

Reimagining Capitalism
Shaping a new, inclusive political economy where the benefits of capitalism and markets serve the broader interests of people and society. We support efforts to build more equitable economies; rebalance the social contract among business, the state, and the individual; and address “rules of the game” and the role of power in markets. We address issues like job insecurity, and how to provide workers with a voice to increase their earning power and dignity.

Beneficial Technology
Promoting the use of technology, platforms, and connectivity to improve lives and outcomes while also ensuring technological innovation is centered on and promotes human well-being and individual liberty. Our efforts will also build resilience and capacity to address and manage its risks, unintended consequences, or negative outcomes.

Promoting Pluralism
Creating the conditions and civic space where individuals can flourish in a society that encourages energetic engagement with diversity, the active seeking of understanding across lines of difference, and dialogue grounded in respect for others.

 

Position Summary:

ON is seeking to bring on a Senior Policy Advocacy Advisor as a term employee for an approximate 12-month period to advise our Reimagining Capitalism team on engaging in the 2020 electoral cycle to advance our policy and impact goals, and on developing an overall policy advocacy strategy.

Over the last year, Omidyar Network has undergone a major shift in strategy which has us focused on influence as a lever of systemic change, and on issues that intersect with politics and with policy in the US at the federal, state, and local levels. Across our Reimagining Capitalism and Beneficial Technology domains, we are interested in shaping the upstream ideas and narratives that in turn inform policy debates and political contestation. We are now seeking to build up our capabilities in this domain, as part of a wider shift towards investing in influence-driven strategies. Omidyar Network has both LLC and C3 legal entities, and thus able to engage in both policy education and policy advocacy activities.

ON is seeking to bring on a Senior Policy Advocacy Advisor for our Reimagining Capitalism work for a 6-12 month period. The Senior Policy Advocacy Advisor would initially report to ON’s Chief of Staff. The individual would also liaise closely ON’s Managing Partner, Chief Advocacy and Strategic Communications Officer, and the programmatic leads for ON’s Reimagining Capitalism work.

 

Key Responsibilities:

This person would focus on three priorities for the Reimagining Capitalism team:

1. Advise on the development of a policy advocacy and engagement strategy for our Reimagining Capitalism (RC) work

  • Work with ON’s RC team to understand our current strategy, impact goals, and existing portfolio of grants and influence activities
  • Engage selected ON partners/grantees to understand their policy priorities, influence strategies, and advocacy and/or lobbying capabilities
  • Conduct further landscaping of organizations working on ON policy priorities
  • Identify a range of policy engagement options and opportunities for ON’s Reimagining Capitalism work, across different issue areas (e.g. labor/workers, safety net / social insurance, corporate governance, financial sector) and different levels (federal, state, local)
  • Develop recommendations on priority focus areas, based on agreed criteria (e.g. relevance to ON’s strategic goals; current state of the policy dialogue; ability of ON to make a difference, etc.)
  • Facilitate a consultative process with the ON RC team to make prioritization decisions
  • Support the development of a policy engagement strategic plan for ON’s Reimagining Capitalism work

2. Lead a specific effort aimed at strategically engaging in the 2020 election cycle to advance ON’s impact goals for Reimagining Capitalism

  • In parallel to the above, identify specific opportunities to “cut-in” on the 2020 electoral cycle to advance ON’s impact goals. Identify specific ways to use the platform of the primaries and general election, both federally and in the states, to:
    • Elevate and raise awareness of key issues ON is advancing
    • Shape and inform narrative around these issues in ways which reach and influence candidates, the media, and the wider electorate
    • Encourage the development of new policy ideas or adoption of existing policy ideas we believe will contribute to our impact objectives
    • Lay the groundwork for legislative, policy, and regulatory action, post-election
  • Work with the ON team to identify and scope specific activities for 2020 engagement – including some that can be launched in the second half of 2019, to take advantage of the electoral window. This could include a wide range of interventions, including conducting polling/focus groups, organizing candidate forums, supporting state-level campaigns or ballot measures, preparatory work for an incoming administration, funding existing policy and advocacy organizations to ramp up their 2020 efforts, etc.
  • Identify and vet potential partners that can implement ON-supported activities (e.g. potential funding partners, grantees, contractors)
  • Potentially help launch and/or manage activities supported by ON

3. Advise ON’s Reimagining Capitalism team on building out our network of relationships in priority policy areas

  • Understand ON’s current network of relationships, and opportunities to complement and build out our network
  • Map out key players / stakeholders in relevant issue areas for ON, across government, policy and advocacy arenas, and the private sector
  • Advise ON on prioritizing key government relationships to develop, with a particular focus on (a) Capitol Hill, (b) federal government agencies, (c) state level entities, for any state-level focus areas that are prioritized. Work with the ON team on initial efforts to build those relationships.
  • Help ON to map out the most relevant organizations across the policy/political engagement ecosystem that ON might seek to partner with on our priorities (beyond our existing network) – e.g. public interest nonprofits, grassroots and advocacy organizations, think tanks, pollsters, strategic communications firms, organizations operating at the state and local level, etc.). Work with the ON team to prioritize the most relevant orgs and establish/build relationships.

Prospective Issue / Policy Areas

Part of the Advisor’s role would be to help prioritize specific topics and or policies under the banner of Reimagining Capitalism where ON would seek to engage with respect to 2020, either directly or via organizations we fund or could fund. Potential areas could include the following:

  • Developing narrative on a vision for the economy / capitalism that delivers better results for families, communities, society, and the environment
  • Rebuilding worker power and voice and advancing policies which help rebalance power between workers and employers
  • Ensuring fair, competitive, pro-consumer markets that check market power and strengthening competition and anti-trust policies
  • Renewing the social contract and ensuring economic security; strengthening the case for public investments and social insurance that can provide foundations for wellbeing and dignity for all in a rapidly changing economy
  • Reshaping the role and purpose of businesses and capital markets in our economy and society, and combatting short-termism, shareholder primacy, and financialization

 

What You'll Bring to the Team:

  • Experience spanning disciplines such as political campaign work, policy advocacy, grassroots mobilization and movements, legislative affairs, strategic communications, etc.
  • Client advisory experience, i.e. advising clients on policy and political engagement matters and strategy development; strong client relationship management skills
  • Experience developing influence strategies at various levels, and mobilizing diverse coalitions of actors around shared agendas
  • Strong execution capabilities – ability to design and implement policy/political engagement activities (e.g. political campaign events, policy advocacy campaigns, etc.)
  • Strong networks and relationships across the political / policy engagement landscape, ideally in issue areas / policy arenas relevant to the Reimagining Capitalism theme
  • Familiarity with relevant advocacy and grassroots organizations; networks on Capitol Hill
  • Networks of organizations / firms that conduct political engagement activities including polling, constituent research, messaging and narrative, campaign development, etc.
  • Experience working with private philanthropy, either directly or an advisor, preferred but not required
  • Strong entrepreneurial spirit and keen interest in experimenting with new approaches
  • Flexibility and adaptability, and sensitivity to the cultural dynamics of different types of organizations
  • An insatiable curiosity and desire to learn, combined with the confidence and humility to admit what they don’t know
  • Tolerance for ambiguity

 

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At Omidyar Network, diversity, equity, and inclusion are directly aligned with our fundamental belief that people are inherently capable, but they often lack opportunity. We know that a diverse workforce allows us to see problems in more nuanced ways, creating the thought leadership needed to have outsized positive returns on the world. We actively recruit, develop, and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool. Omidyar Network is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes people from all experiences, abilities, and perspectives to apply.

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