Tagline: Until the Work Is Done
Managing Director of External Affairs
January 9, 2023 at 12:51 pm

In This Section


Position: Managing Director of External Affairs

Location: Los Angeles, hybrid remote/in-person position

Type: Full-time, exempt, salaried

Start Date: ASAP

Reports to: Executive Director

Salary: $125,000-$150,000 commensurate with experience


Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer+ (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization with over 900,000 members. Equality California brings the voices of LGBTQ+ people and allies to institutions of power in California and across the United States, striving to create a world that is healthy, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ+ people. We advance civil rights and social justice by inspiring, advocating, and mobilizing through an inclusive movement that works tirelessly on behalf of those we serve. For more than 20 years, Equality California has been fighting for full, lived LGBTQ+ equality in a number of ways: electing pro-equality leaders up and down the ballot; passing pro-equality legislation in California, Nevada and Washington, DC; and fighting for LGBTQ+ civil rights and social justice in the courtroom.

Equality California Institute is a 501(c)(3) organization that has a parallel mission to Equality California, its 501(c)(4) counterpart. Equality California Institute works to achieve full, lived LGBTQ+ equality by reducing disparities in LGBTQ+ health and well-being, developing a pipeline of LGBTQ+ leaders and increasing civic participation within the LGBTQ+ community.


Equality California is hiring an experienced public affairs strategist to lead the organization’s legislative and political advocacy, strategic communications and impact litigation efforts as the organization’s Managing Director of External Affairs. Specifically, the Managing Director of External Affairs will lead the development and execution of the organization’s legislative, political and communications strategies; directly supervise the Communications, Political, Legislative and National Policy Directors and their Teams; advise the Executive Director and board leadership on complex policy and political issues; and serve as a principal spokesperson for the organization, along with the Executive Director and Communications Director.

The Managing Director of External Affairs will report to the Executive Director and will serve as a member of the organization’s leadership team. This role will also work closely and build a deep partnership with the Managing Director of Operations ensuring that all departments have the resources, representation and tools for success. 

The ideal candidate has the ability to balance and prioritize many projects at once and work with multiple internal and external stakeholders at different levels of seniority. A successful Managing Director of External Affairs has superior judgment, ethics, communications skills, management skills, and commitment to advancing LGBTQ+ civil rights.


The Managing Director of External Affairs’ primary responsibilities include:


  • Represent Equality California in various coalitions and partnerships working to engage the LGBTQ+ community, allies and the diverse communities to which we belong to advance full, lived LGBTQ+ equality.
  • Serve as one of the organization’s principal on-the-record spokespeople, along with the Executive Director and Communications Director, and speak on Equality California’s behalf at community events, press conferences and other public events
  • Collaborate with the Executive Director and Managing Director of Operations to ensure allocation of resources, short-term strategic execution, and long-term strategic planning.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Legislative Advocacy Oversight and Management

  • Oversee and advise the legislative director and national policy director to help advance Equality California’s policy, budget and administrative priorities at the state and federal levels.
  • Build and manage relationships with the presidential administration, members of Congress, California legislators, key state constitutional officers and their staff to help advance Equality California’s policy, budget and administrative priorities.
  • Support the Legislative Director in managing the organization’s partnership with the Legislative LGBTQ Caucus on key priorities and initiatives.
  • Collaborate with the Executive Director, National Policy Director, Legislative Director and Program Directors to support Equality California’s (state) LGBTQ Appointments Project and identify and support federal appointees and judicial nominees.
  • Lead weekly interdepartmental meetings of team members engaged in legislative and budget advocacy in California, Nevada and Washington, DC.

Strategic Communications Oversight and Management

  • Oversee and advise the Communications Director to develop and ensure consistency in Equality California’s branding, marketing and strategic communications across all programs, campaigns, and affiliates.
  • Support the Communications Director in ensuring the strategic communications plan supports the political team in support of endorsed candidates; the program team to amplify Equality California Institute’s education and advocacy programming; the legislative and policy directors on strategic conversations that support state and federal legislation supported by Equality California; and the Development Director to support fundraising efforts.
  • Oversee and support the communications team in growing the network of print, digital, and broadcast media contacts, with a focus on engaging outlets that target priority audiences and diverse communities.

Political Oversight and Management

  • Oversee and support the Political Director and team to develop and execute the organization’s overall political strategy, including but not limited to candidate and ballot measure endorsements, independent expenditures, coalition management and prioritization of resources.
  • Support the Political Director and PAC Chair and Committee on identifying, recruiting, assessing, and endorsing pro-equality candidates for local, state, and federal office throughout California and pro equality ballot measures.
  • Work with the political and development directors to raise between $2M – $5M per election cycle across Equality California and its affiliated and aligned political action committees.
  • Engage outside consultants to develop and execute media, mail and field independent expenditures in support of endorsed candidates.
  • Provide strategic guidance to the Executive Director, Political Director and PAC committee about endorsed candidates and campaign plans.
  • Represent Equality California in independent expenditure campaign coalitions and partnerships to help elect endorsed candidates and pass endorsed ballot measures.

Impact Litigation

  • Oversee Equality California’s participation in impact litigation — as an organizational plaintiff, sponsor and/or amicus curiae — with support and collaboration from the legislative and national policy directors.
  • Work with partner legal organizations and outside pro bono counsel to identify and pursue opportunities to participate in impact litigation — as an organizational plaintiff, sponsor and/or amicus curiae — that helps advance Equality California’s policy, budget and/or advocacy priorities.
  • Collaborate with the communications, legislative and/or national policy directors to develop and execute strategic communications campaigns in support of relevant impact litigation.

People Management

  • Ensure staff are properly onboarded, oriented and understand Equality California policies, procedures and logistics.
  • Lead and develop a team to ensure professional growth, including supporting a culture of performance management and coaching and provide ongoing timely and direct feedback about performance.
  • Build and sustain a staff community that encourages understanding and implementation of organizational values, respect, collaboration teamwork and healthy conflict resolution. Ensure any legal and/or human resources issues are addressed promptly and proactively


What you’ve accomplished and/or already possess (required):

  • Bachelor’s Degree in political science or management, communications or a related field
  • At least 5 years of relevant experience in strategic communications, legislative and political advocacy and impact litigation
  • Superior written and verbal communication skills
  • Superior judgment and decision-making skills; ability to confront, prioritize and solve multiple complex problems at once; commitment to ethics and legal compliance required
  • Experience serving as an on-the-record spokesperson (for political or advocacy campaign(s) preferred)
  • At least three election cycles of experience working on candidate campaigns, ballot measure campaigns and/or independent expenditure campaigns (combination preferred)
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work well with people inside and outside the organization
  • Strong administrative skills, including the ability to engage in many projects simultaneously, set priorities and manage expectations
  • Successful experience managing, motivating, supervising, evaluating, and hiring staff, interns, and consultants
  • Ability and willingness to work long hours, including nights and weekends, as needed.
  • Ability and willingness to travel, including longer trips during GOTV season
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office and Google Workspace 

Skills you may have developed (preferred) or would be excited to learn here:

  • Fluency or proficiency in Spanish, Mandarin and/or Cantonese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Korean and/or other languages common in California
  • Proficiency with PDI, EveryAction, NGP VAN, ActBlue and other political engagement and fundraising platforms
  • Experience fundraising for candidate campaigns, political action committees, independent expenditures and/or advocacy organizations
  • Strong understanding of California and/or federal election and lobbying laws and policies


This is a full-time salaried exempt position with a salary range of $125,000 to $150,000 (commensurate with experience) and includes competitive benefits (healthcare, dental, vision, long/short term disability, life insurance and 401K). Regular travel to organizational events is needed and expenses will be reimbursed. This will also include participation in Equality California’s schedule of events, including Pride festivals, advocacy events, and more.


Please send a cover letter, resume, list of references and at least three writing samples to Samuel Garrett at jobs@eqca.org, with the Subject Line “Equality California Managing Director of External Affairs – [YOUR NAME] 


Equality California is an equal employment opportunity employer. Equality California does not make employment decisions or discriminate based on protected characteristics including, but not limited to, race (including traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles (which includes, but is not limited to, such hairstyles as braids, locks, and twists)), creed, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, marital status, sex, gender (including gender identity and/or gender expression), sexual orientation, age, disability (physical or mental), citizenship, military or veteran status, reproductive health decision making, genetic information, or any other basis protected by applicable local, state, and federal law. We strongly encourage diverse candidates to apply, including, but not limited to, women, people of color, people of diverse gender identities, and non-LGBTQ+ allies.

Qualified Applicants with Criminal Histories will be considered for employment in a manner consistent with the requirements of the California Consumer Reporting Agencies Act and Los Angeles’s Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring Ordinance.

All employees must be up to date on their vaccination status in compliance with Equality California’s Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy. New employees must provide documentation as to their vaccination status 48 hours before their start date unless they are approved for an accommodation due to a medical reason or a sincerely held religious belief.

Share This Story