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Associate Vice President and Counsel for Policy and Federal Relations

The Association of American Universities
District of Columbia, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Start date
Jul 23, 2021

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Position Type
Jobs Outside Academe, For Profit Organizations, Non-profit & Government Organizations
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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The Association of American Universities, an association of America’s leading research universities, seeks applications for the position of Associate Vice President (AVP) and Counsel for Policy and Federal Relations. This position reports to the Vice President for Science Policy and Global Affairs.

The AVP and Counsel for Policy and Federal Relations serves as the association’s lead on intellectual property and technology transfer issues. The AVP also plays a key role supporting AAU’s policy and federal relations work in areas that require legal expertise, such as tax issues related to research, information technology, open and public access, research security policy, and other regulatory matters important to America’s leading research universities. The AVP serves as the staff spokesperson on, and will be the “go-to” source for, national and trade media on the issues for which they have responsibility. The AVP will work with Congress, federal agencies, stakeholder groups, and the higher education community to advance the association’s work and will develop, negotiate, and execute advocacy strategies for current and anticipated legislative and executive branch proposals and policies. The AVP will also staff the AAU General Counsels constituent group.

The AVP must understand and have expertise concerning legal issues affecting higher education and research universities. Experience working in a university general counsel’s office is highly desirable, as is a working familiarity with federal legislative and regulatory processes. Experience working with Congress and/or federal executive branch agencies is also a plus. The AVP will navigate, develop, and maintain complex relationships across political lines with members of Congress; key congressional committees; congressional staff; and with relevant officials at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the U.S. Copyright Office, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Federal Communications Commission, the U.S. Department of Education, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and other federal research and higher education agencies; and key reporters/journalists.

To read a more detailed list of job duties, please click here.

Applicants will ideally have: (1) strong leadership, advocacy, negotiating, political, strategic planning, policy analysis, and communication skills; (2) expertise in intellectual property and technology transfer issues affecting higher education institutions, scholars, and students; (3) expertise and/or experience with a wide range of other legal matters of interest to AAU member universities, such as tax, information technology, open and public access, and research security; (4) an understanding of legislative and regulatory processes and/or experience engaging with Congress and executive branch policymakers; (5) the ability to work effectively and collegially with representatives of AAU member and non-member colleges and universities, business representatives, and others in advocacy coalitions; (6) familiarity with developing federal court amicus briefs; and (7) the ability to succeed in a dynamic, fast-paced work environment involving many individuals with different backgrounds, interests, priorities, and points of view.

Applicants should have at least 10 years of specifically related experience and a law degree. A minimum of 2-3 years of work in a university general counsel’s office or other equivalent experience in a law firm is highly desirable. Applicants must have at least two of the following work experiences: a university general counsel’s office and/or other university-based legal position; law firm/legal practice; government relations; congressional or executive branch offices; agency regulatory policy development and/or legal interpretation; and/or nonprofit member-based association/scientific society.

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. AAU offers robust health, dental, retirement savings, commuting, and other benefits. AAU is an equal opportunity employer.

To be assured of full consideration, please send a cover letter, resume, salary requirements, and where you found this listing. Position open until filled. 

    Email: (Please reference AVP and Counsel for Policy and Federal Relations)

    Roxanne Murray, Vice President for Administration
    Association of American Universities
    1200 New York Ave, NW, Suite 550
    Washington, DC 20005

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