Director, Policy and Legislative Research and Applications
Job Title: Director, Policy and Legislative Research and Applications
Job Classification: Senior Associate/Principal
Department/Business Line: Executive Team
Works with: CEO, Chief of Staff (COS), Team Leaders
Reports to: CEO and COS
Updated as of: May 2021
LeSar Development Consultants (LDC) is a social innovation firm, that along with its affiliates, assists our clients with growing healthy, sustainable, and vibrant communities. Our mission is to end the housing affordability crisis and homelessness in California and beyond.
We provide creative scalable solutions to complex problems with our expertise in housing, homelessness, resiliency, and community and economic development. Our clients include public agencies, privately owned and publicly traded companies, non-profit organizations, foundations, business associations, and other stakeholders looking to create physically and economically sustainable communities.
Summary of Position:
The Director is a part of LeSar Development Consultant’s Executive Team, working collaboratively with the CEO, COS, business line teams (Housing Solutions, Homeless Solutions, and Innovations) and clients to help set vision, strategy and direction for our firm, its business lines, our affiliates, and our external clients.
The position supports our internal leadership and our clients with forward planning strategy around overall business focus and capital aggregation strategies. This position will have primary responsibility for enabling LDC to maintain a deep understanding of state and federal housing policy, knowledge about trends in philanthropy, and the interplay between the philanthropic, academic research centers and legislative arenas.
This role will be oriented both externally and internally, helping LDC monitor and interact with the centers of thought leadership, and to engage in forward strategic planning to proactively act upon new business opportunities. The director will guide our organization and clients in understanding relevant federal and state legislation; overall policy and programmatic shifts in our areas of focus; management of our Capital Mapping Subscription (CMS) product, and production of our monthly newsletter where we communicate out forward looking thought leadership and strategy.
The director will monitor legislative policy and program priorities, assess the impact of legislation on our core and core-adjacent sectors, and develop internal and client focused forecasts relating to the future direction of policy. Our core areas include housing policy and finance, homelessness program funding including benefits programs, community development, urban planning and land use, and climate and health-related resiliency. Core-adjacent policy areas include infrastructure, transportation, and health care.
All staff at LeSar are expected to align with the LeSar firm core values:
• ACCOUNTABILITY: Measuring ourselves against the highest standards of integrity and fiscal and social responsibility.
• COLLABORATION: Together we are stronger. We deliver more success through shared goals and mutual support.
• EQUITY: We commit to understanding our own biases and maintaining an awareness of when we might unintentionally cause harm to others. We commit to eliminating disparities – based on race, gender, gender-identity, and sexual orientation – that deny access and opportunity to people who hold these identities.
• INTEGRITY: We are honest and forthright in our dealings. Building trust builds a better company.
• TRANSPARENCY: Communicating internally and externally with unwavering candor, honesty, and respect. We provide complete visibility into our successes, lessons learned, and where we have short comings.
• ADAPTABILITY: We are nimble. We commit to continuous improvement and how we can operate more effectively.
• THOUGHT LEADERSHIP: We are safe to try new things and push boundaries of the norm. We learn from things that do not always go according to plan. We share our learnings with each other and our clients.
• DOING WHAT IT TAKES: We show up for each other, act with empathy, and bring our authentic selves to work every day. We are growing this company not for personal gain but for each other and our ability to positively impact the world.
The ideal candidate has excellent interpersonal and organizational skills, a strong work ethic, and is able to work both independently and as part of our team. Prior experience in a policy and systems-change environment is a plus. A demonstrated commitment to cultivating and maintaining an equitable and diverse work environment is required.
The director will have deep expertise (8-15+ years) in California in housing and community development, policy making, legislative affairs, finance, and/or other functions directly involved in producing housing at scale. Strong skills at strategic partner engagement, network development and management; research and analysis; oral and written communication; creating and delivering engaging presentations, and business development are essential to succeed in this role.
LeSar is expanding the ways in which it centers equity within the firm and in its work with clients; having demonstrated experience leading with race or other equity-centered work is a plus. Technical capacity building and training experience are also desirable and will enable the person in this position to fully participate as a curriculum designer and instructor in our housing policy leadership academy.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following on the list below and other duties that may be assigned.
1. Maintain and evolve systems for monitoring policy developments, funding opportunities, and trends in housing, and other designated areas, drawing on personal knowledge and the subject matter expertise of staff from other Company teams.
2. Continuously track and analyze state and federal legislation, thought-leadership trends in leading community development and systems change foundations and academic centers; and capture work in various formats including word, excel and power point.
3. Analyze quantitative and qualitative data to understand our firm and client needs and opportunities in the context of the political, social, economic, and technological environment.
4. Research and write reports incorporating findings and recommendations to clients.
5. Present findings and recommendations to clients and their stakeholders, engaging in active listening to understand and effectively respond to opportunities and challenges.
1. Facilitate meetings and workshops with various community and stakeholder groups including participating as an instructor in our housing policy leadership academies, and other client convenings.
2. Conduct and collaborate on training and capacity building sessions.
3. Conduct business development in designated areas, collaborating with other teams to prepare written proposals and participate in meetings to maximize revenue opportunities for the Company.
4. Evaluate the needs of prospective and current clients in an effective manner.
5. Maintain ongoing communications with internal team members, clients, and external stakeholders as appropriate to fulfill contractual obligations within budget in a timely manner.
6. Cultivate and manage relationships with existing and new clients, representing LeSar in a professional manner.
7. Assist COS and operations director with developing revenue projections and team workload planning.
8. Mentor junior staff across the company.
9. Monitor, track, and coordinate assignments of staff and subcontractors to ensure timely completion of projects.
10. Monitor schedules of performance to ensure compliance and timely completion of projects.
11. Attend regular all-staff and team meetings as required.
1. Knowledge of:
• Current programs and processes relating to affordable housing and land use; familiarity with the programmatic and funding initiatives in the housing, community development and homeless services sectors.
• Federal, state, and regional legislation and policy trends in the housing sector.
• Excellent writing and public presentation skills.
• Principles and practices of business communication and correct use of the English language including spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
• General technology and Microsoft Teams, Outlook, Word, Excel, and Power Point.
2. Ability to:
• Track and analyze federal and state legislation, and regional and local policy making.
• Ability to analyze national, state, and regional trends within the philanthropic, thought leadership and academic research sectors.
• Provide technical assistance and capacity building expertise to clients.
• Write clear, concise, comprehensive, and effective reports.
• Explain policies to diverse public and private organizations and individuals.
• Practice advocacy and public/government relations skills with respect to a wide variety of issues related to housing, community development and homelessness.
• Develop, promote, and market and grow existing and new product lines and opportunities aligned with the Company mission and business goals.
• Remain calm and effective while working under pressure to meet multiple deadlines and short time constraints.
• Establish priorities and meet multiple deadlines.
• Organize work, set priorities, and exercise sound judgment within areas of responsibility.
• Handle sensitive information in a professional and confidential manner.
• Communicate clearly and effectively orally and in writing.
• Work cooperatively with staff from other teams and organizations.
• Mentor junior staff.
Education/Experience: Master’s Degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in Urban Planning, Public Policy, Leadership, Public Administration, Real Estate, or other related fields with at least eight years of related and increasingly responsible experience.
Physical Demands: While performing the duties of this position, the employee is regularly required to sit, use hands, communicate via telephone, reach with hands and arms. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Location Expectation: LeSar Development Consultants is headquartered in San Diego, and has staff located in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento. This position will work remotely for the foreseeable future. Ideally, the incumbent will be within 1-2 hour drive or train ride to San Diego or Sacramento.
Travel Expectation: In a post-COVID-19 environment, person in this position will be expected to travel to San Diego approximately 1 to 2 days monthly, and to be available for travel primarily within California including occasional overnight stays of 1 to 2 nights at a time.
Compensation and Benefits:
• Salaries are set by title and band. In addition, there are performance-based opportunities for bonus compensation.
o Salary bands:
Senior Associate: $80,000 to $100,000
Principal: $100,000 to $120,000 with potential performance bonuses of up to 20% of base salary
• Participation in firm’s medical, dental, vision, long-term disability, and life insurance plans with firm contributions of up to $500 per month
• Participation in the firm’s 401(k) plan, with firm contributions of 3% of your compensation per plan year (subject to vesting requirements)
• Reimbursement of up to $40 per month for cell phone costs and up to $72 per month for commuting to work via public transit
• 10 paid holidays per year
• Paid time off:
o Senior Associate: 15 days of paid time off
o Principal: Request paid time off as needed
Submission and Interview dates: The preferred date of application submission is no later than Monday, June 7, 2021. Interviews of qualified applicants will begin the week of Monday, June 14, 2021. The position will remain open until filled.
Submit the following materials to email@example.com.
1) Cover letter indicating:
• Interest in the position
• Relevant skills and experience
• Available start date and number of hours available per week (full-time or part-time)
3) 2-3 professional or academic references
4) Writing sample(s) that reflects ability to communicate complex policy information. Writing sample may include a professional presentation, research paper, or published article.
LeSar Development Consultants is an equal opportunity employer. Employment decisions are based on needs, job requirements, and individual qualifications without regard to race, ethnicity, religious belief, national origin, gender identity and/or expression, age, disability status, medical history, sexual orientation, marital or family status, past or present military service, or any other status protected by the laws or regulations in the State of California. LeSar Development Consultants is also committed to affirmative action in the hiring of staff and encourages employment applications from people who are representative of the culturally and ethnically diverse communities that we serve.