Job Overview

Summary

About the Agency

The position serves as Director, Government Relations, with responsibility for providing advice, insight, analysis, coordination, and liaison with respect to legislative and political activities related to the programs and activities of the Smithsonian Institution (SI). Advises the Secretary and other Smithsonian officials on matters of interest to Congress, the Executive Branch, and units of state and local governments. Provides analysis and advice as a participant in top-level policy discussions. Directly reports to the Assistant Secretary for Communications and External Affairs.

Duties

Congressional Relations
Advises the Secretary and other senior Smithsonian Institution (SI) officials on matters relating to Smithsonian Congressional affairs. Reviews and analyzes legislative requirements of the Institution and drafts and coordinates legislative proposals for consideration by the Board of Regents in consultation with the Office of General Counsel and other SI units. Monitors the actions of Congressional committees as they relate to SI legislative and institutional interests, and provides necessary and strategic liaison with Members of Congress, Congressional staff, OMB, other appropriate agencies, and internal units on these matters.

Coordinates authorization and oversight hearings and the development of testimony for consideration of SI annual budget requests by Congress.

Serves as the initial point for communication with the Congress. Plans, coordinates, and advises on appropriate responses by the Secretary and other SI officials to various questions and comments Members of Congress, Congressional staff, and the Government Accountability Office.

Develops and maintains contacts with individual Members of Congress and Congressional staff having direct responsibility for, or interest in, SI programs.

Monitors existing and potential areas of Congressional interest which may result in Congressional inquiries or action affecting SI or would be otherwise relevant to SI interests. Develops the communication of this information and develops recommendations for SI follow-up action.

Promotes SI by developing opportunities for Members of Congress, their families, and their staff to introduce them to, and familiarize them with, SI resources and activities.

Advances the mission of SI by developing strategic partnerships and plans with Congressional offices and staff in concert with the Secretary and SI officials.

Executive Branch Relations
Advises the Secretary and other officials on matters relating to SI involving either the White House, Executive Departments, or other Federal agencies.

Liaisons affirmatively with the White House, Executive Departments, and Federal agencies having interests in SI. Supports efforts of SI units to build relationships with the White House, Executive Departments, and other Federal agencies, including applications for grants and contracts. Plans, coordinates, and advises on responses by the Secretary and SI officials to various questions from the White House, Executive Departments, and other Federal agencies.

Monitors actions of the White House, Executive Departments, and other Federal agencies to ensure that the interests of SI are properly represented.

Coordinates representation of SI before Federal regulatory agencies by supporting the development of positions and presentations in concert with the appropriate Smithsonian officials with responsibility and subject matter expertise.
Serves as an SI ambassador and promotes the Smithsonian by developing opportunities for the White House and senior officials at Executive Departments, and other Federal agencies, their families, and their staff to introduce them to and familiarize them with SI resources and activities.

Advances the mission of SI by developing strategic partnerships and plans with the White House, Executive Departments, and other Federal agencies in concert with the Secretary and SI officials.

District, State and Local Governments
Advises the Secretary and other officials on matters relating to SI involving state and local governments and the government of the District of Columbia.

Liaisons affirmatively with D.C. Mayor’s office and the state governments of Virginia and Maryland (and other state agencies) to promote SI.

Advances the mission of SI by assisting in the development of strategic partnerships and plans with the District, state and other local governments and their agencies in concert with the Secretary and SI officials.

General
Assesses impact of current events and political environment on SI priorities, exercising a comprehensive knowledge of public policy issues and administration objectives and sensitivity to interrelationships of political, policy, and individual interests.

Manages the Office of Government Relations, supervising and coordinating the work of specialists. Develops and tracks office annual budgets, reviews financial records and spending, and adheres to budget guidelines and spending authorities.

Oversees agency management of correspondence to government entities described above; provides guidance on handling congressional correspondence to ensure timeliness and responsiveness; and reviews, monitors and, as necessary, improves outgoing correspondence.

Demonstrates commitment to equal opportunity and diversity in work performance and applies these concepts in hiring, promoting, training and developing employees.

Participates in top-level executive decisions, providing advice and information on government-related matters.