Manager, Advocacy Engagement


What started as a small group of families gathered around a kitchen table in 1979 has blossomed into the nation’s leading voice on mental health. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. 


Today, we are an alliance of hundreds of local affiliates, state organizations and a national office who work in communities across the United States to raise awareness and provide support and education that was not previously available to those in need. NAMI advocates for all who are affected by mental illness, both the individuals and the people in their lives. In particular, we work to address disparities and injustices and to promote dignity and inclusion for all people with mental illness and their families. In addition to being advocates, we educate, we listen, and we lead as evidenced by our public awareness campaigns, the range of numerous programs we provide, and our strong public policy.


We currently have an opening for a Manager, Advocacy Engagement. The Manager of Advocacy Engagement plays an integral role in building NAMI’s movement by engaging and mobilizing advocates to advance policy priorities. This position is responsible for implementing strategies to develop NAMI advocates, including recruiting, training, and deploying skilled (grasstops) advocates. The Manager will also be responsible for managing day-to-day activities for NAMI’s advocate training program, NAMI Smarts for Advocacy, and contributing to updates of NAMI’s advocacy training materials. 


This position is based in Arlington, VA (currently remote due to COVID).




  • Contributes to NAMI’s grassroots advocacy strategy, with a focus on support of a high-impact grasstops (influential/skilled advocates) program and advocate training.
  • Recruits and develops relationships with advocates who have or seek to build relationships with federal legislators, including cultivating engaged advocates from states and districts with representatives on key congressional committees.
  • Identifies tactics to increase grassroots advocate involvement in NAMI’s advocacy initiatives, including promoting in-district legislative meetings and other relationship building opportunities with legislators.
  • Actively tracks high-level advocate interactions with legislators and manages information sharing and outreach to grasstops contacts.
  • Contributes to and executes training and educational opportunities for NAMI advocates to build their skills and equip them to push to policy change.
  • Supports day-to-day activities for NAMI’s grassroots advocacy training program, NAMI Smarts for Advocacy, by providing technical assistance to NAMI state and local leaders and helping to develop and update training materials.
  • Serves as a national trainer for NAMI Smarts for Advocacy.
  • Contributes to development of high-quality resources for NAMI State Organizations, Affiliates and advocacy leaders to engage in advocacy activities, including talking points, fact sheets, toolkits, and other materials.
  • Develops reports and tracks metrics around advocate engagement and training.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.






  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field required
  • 3-5 years’ experience in relevant field preferred, especially with experience in advocacy campaigns and grassroots advocate engagement
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong project management skills
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to work collaboratively within a team environment and across teams to plan and implement programs and initiatives
  • Ability to respond to and prioritize competing demands
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced work environment and meet tight deadlines
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision
  • Must pass background check



NAMI is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workforce. NAMI prohibits discrimination and harassment against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, genetic information or any other legally protected group status. We also provide reasonable accommodation for candidates with disability. 


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