Director, Government Affairs

Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce
Job Description
Job Summary:
The Director, Government Affairs assists the Vice President, Public Affairs in providing expert non-partisan government affairs services to the Chamber and its members. Working alongside the Vice President on all facets of government affairs, the Director specializes in state government work and is responsible for collaborating with all Chamber departments to develop and implement state legislative work plans in Illinois and Iowa that advance business interests, regional priorities and economic growth. The Director is responsible for ensuring Chamber leaders, staff and members are well informed on state issues and actively engaged in communicating Chamber positions with our legislators, governors and state agencies.

*Essential Functions and Responsibilities:
*Essential Functions to be performed with or without a reasonable accommodation
  • Research, write, recommend and communicate a focused agenda of state issues that affect the business climate and well-being of the Iowa and Illinois Quad Cities.
  • Participate in state organizations; one-on-one & small group meetings with lawmakers and officials; letters to the editor; phones calls and correspondence with elected officials and departments; and presentations to public bodies in order to influence legislation.
  • Actively engage Chamber members in “calls to action” and other advocacy efforts.
  • Track elected officials’ and candidates’ positions / votes, using Chamber website, newsletters, scorecards, candidate surveys and forums, and other mechanisms to educate and inform members.
  • Build and maintain working relationships with elected officials/staff representing the Quad Cities region.
  • Provide Chamber communications staff with regular, up-to-date information to keep members engaged in government affairs efforts throughout the year.
  • Organize activities such as legislative lunches, advocacy trips to Des Moines and Springfield, and State of the State gubernatorial events for members to better understand state public policy, processes and decision makers.
  • Register (as needed) as a state lobbyist in Iowa and Illinois, file all required lobbying reports on a timely basis, and strictly adhere to all laws and regulations pertaining to gifts to elected officials, ethics, campaign finance disclosure and lobbying activity in Iowa and Illinois – whether or not a registered lobbyist. 
  • With Vice President, Public Affairs, determine scope of work for state lobbyist(s) contracts and brief Chamber leaders on their activities on a regular basis.
  • Work closely with the Quad Cities Defense Alliance and related groups to ensure the Rock Island Arsenal and military policies are part of state advocacy efforts.
  • Maintain an electronic library of state position papers and backgrounders for use by the staff, BAC and the board.
  • Manage state legislative operations within the ChamberMaster database, including but are not limited to, event registration, member information updating, invoicing, and member communication.
  • Identify and respond to issues at the city and county levels, especially those tied to state policy.
General Responsibilities:
  • Participate annually in a minimum of two community events, continuing education activities or other initiatives to build relationships with diverse populations and strengthen cultural competency important to fulfilling the mission of the Chamber and Q2030.
  • Actively conduct outreach with people of color, young professionals and others underrepresented to ensure greater diversity in state advocacy, including on legislative trips, as speakers on Chamber issues, and so on. 
  • Take initiative to ensure committees, public statements and materials reflect the racial, ethnic, gender and age diversity of the community whenever possible.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.
  • Note: The Director, Government Affairs is not involved in the work of the Chamber’s political action committees that focus on candidate recruitment and support.
Education and/or Experience:
  • Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, Public Policy, or Business Administration, or closely related field is required.
  • Minimum 3-5 years’ experience working or volunteering with committees focused on political action, community development and/or experience working with city councils.
  • Experience working for a municipal or non-profit organization preferred.
  • Must possess a strong interest in state public policy and processes.
  • Statehouse experience or familiarity with state elected officials a plus.
  • Strategic thinker with a strong focus on details.
  • Proactive self-starter who is able to work independently.
  • In-depth knowledge of the Quad Cities including local governments, individual communities and infrastructure.
  • Must be able to speak publicly, lead meetings, and communicate how the Chamber’s priorities are connected to overall community and economic growth.
  • Must have excellent writing skills – with an emphasis on persuasive and technical writing abilities.
  • Ability to meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment.
  • Availability to travel overnight to Des Moines and Springfield and work occasional non-traditional hours (early AM; evenings, weekends) to attend public hearings and other public affairs meetings.
  • Must be knowledgeable about programs and activities of the Chamber, taking initiative to educate him/herself on new programs and events. 
  • Valid driver’s license.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications and membership database software.
  • Must be able to operate standard office equipment, including telephone, calculator, computer, printer & copier.
Travel: Required to participate in occasional day time or overnight trips to Washington DC, Springfield and Des Moines.
Physical Demands / Working Conditions: Occasional early morning & after-hours. The physical demands and characteristics of the work environment described here are representative of those occurring in the performance of the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the essential functions of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools, or controls; and talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to reach with hands and arms and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus. This position works in an office, and the noise level in the work environment is usually low to moderate. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally exposed to toxic or caustic chemicals, i.e. copier toner.
Note:  This job description is subject to change and is not designed to be a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required by the employee.

Please submit cover/resume to Betsy Brandsgard via email:

Contact Information

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