AACF Seeks Policy Director

Position Overview

This is a full-time position in the Little Rock office of AACF. This position will lead AACF’s policy work and be responsible for developing and implementing AACF’s policy agenda by providing support and guidance to the policy staff and be responsible for policy issues that are not supported by other policy staff members. It is estimated that this position will spend 50% of their time overseeing policy staff and 50% of their time working on policy issues not supported by other policy staff members. This position must support AACF’s equity statement and be committed to supporting equity in all areas of the work.

Salary range is $101,000 to $115,000 depending on qualifications and experience. We value diversity and equity in our work and in our workplace and strongly encourage BIPOC individuals, LGBTQIA+ individuals, members of other historically disenfranchised populations, and applicants with lived experience to apply.


College degree and twelve or more years of experience in public policy or related field. Must have experience in supervising staff. Candidates who have more years of related experience will be eligible for the higher salary range.

Skills Required

  • Knowledge and understanding of public policies and programs that impact children and families.
  • Ability to conduct analyses and develop policy options for improving child and family outcomes.
  • Strong leadership and organizational skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and previous experience supervising.
  • Good communication skills, including the ability to convey technical information clearly to a range of audiences, both in writing and through public speaking.
  • Strong writing skills and ability to write and edit longer reports such as policy briefs and shorter pieces such as blogs.
  • The ability to work both independently and as part of a team, to manage projects, to prioritize and manage multiple tasks and pivot as needed, and to complete assigned projects on time.
  • Ability to convene partners, build coalitions, and work with a diverse set of allies, constituency groups, and community groups, including state agency officials, legislators, policy related groups, and advocacy groups.


  • Working with the leadership team and other staff members, lead the development of the agency’s policy agenda.
  • Conduct research and analyses to develop public policy options that improve outcomes for children and families.
  • Supervise policy staff, including leading policy team meetings, developing goals, conducting regular check-ins, and creating work plans in collaboration with each staff member.
  • Conduct policy work on issues not covered by other policy staff or new issues that have not been assigned to a policy staff, and cover policy issues when staff members are absent or we are in the process of rehiring a position.
  • Serve on the Leadership Team.
  • Working with the Governmental Affairs Director, lobby the state legislature and governmental officials on policy issues and provide oral and written testimony as needed.
  • Work closely with state agency officials to track programs and advocate for changes in policies and procedures.
  • Working with the Communications Director, serve as one of AACF’s spokesperson with the media.
  • Represent AACF on committees and coalitions.
  • Work closely with national partners and networks to share information and seek advice on policy issues.
  • Raise grant funding for AACF’s policy work, including finding potential funders and writing grant proposals. As requested by the Development Team, help educate donors on AACF’s policy work.
  • Participate in AACF’s national network.
  • Attend out-of-state convenings. Typically this includes three to six trips out of state each year.
  • Ability to travel locally and around the state to participate in meetings and events.

About Arkansas Advocates For Children And Families

AACF was founded in 1977 by a group of prominent Arkansans who believed that children needed an “independent force to provide information and education to parents and citizens about our state’s policies toward children and families.” For 45 years, AACF has provided leadership, research, and advocacy to promote wide-ranging reforms that have improved the lives of Arkansas’s children. The mission of AACF is to ensure that all children and their families have the resources and opportunities to lead healthy and productive lives and to realize their full potential. To carry out its mission, AACF serves as a voice for children at the Arkansas State Capitol and in Washington, D.C., gathers and analyzes data to support public policy that serves all children and families, and organizes coalitions of diverse groups to drive change across the state.

Equity at AACF
AACF has been a dynamic and effective voice for Arkansas’s children and families, guided by a vision calling for equity for all children. AACF’s work spans all policy areas impacting Arkansas’s children and families, including child welfare, economic security, COVID-19 response, early childhood, education, health, hunger, immigrant children and families, juvenile justice, tax and budget, and racial equity. Learn more about these policy areas at www.aradvocates.org/issues.

In all of this work, AACF’s racial equity focus strives to align mission and stated values with organizational practices and programs. It recognizes that structural inequity has been embedded in our national and state culture and policies and has had a lasting effect, as seen today in disparities in children’s outcomes across race and many other identities. AACF believes in intentionally engaging diverse perspectives throughout its work and is committed to amplifying the voices and wisdom of those most directly affected by systemic oppression, with a focus on building a more equitable and inclusive Arkansas to truly serve every child and family.

Read more about AACF’s history and work at www.aradvocates.org.


Salary: The salary range for this role is $101,000 to $115,000 depending on qualifications and experience.

Location: Little Rock, Arkansas. AACF does have a hybrid work schedule based on job responsibilities. This job will require more time in the office.

Benefits: AACF’s benefits include health and dental coverage, a 6% employer 401K contribution, an optional HSA with employer contribution, life insurance, long-term disability, annual leave of 15 for the first three years of employment, sick leave, flex time, 10 holidays, and sabbatical leave after 6 years of service.

Apply Now

Please send cover letter and resume to Cara Neal, cneal@aradvocates.org.

Interview Process

  • Stage 1*: From the time the position is advertised, AACF collects resumes for three to four weeks before interviews begin.
  • Stage 2: Up to eight candidates may be asked to participate in an initial screening call/Zoom with a member of the Leadership Team.
  • Stage 3: Up to six candidates will be asked to participate in an in-person or Zoom interview with the Executive Director.
  • Stage 4: Up to four candidates will be asked to participate in an in-person or Zoom interview with the Deputy Director and the Interim Policy Director. The candidates will also be asked to complete a written exercise on their own time. The candidate should spend no more than two to three hours to complete.
  • Stage 5: Up to two candidates will be asked to participate in a meet and greet with policy staff to meet staff and ask and answer questions.
  • Stage 6: Final candidates may be asked to do one final meeting with the Executive Director before the decision is made.

*Candidates can continue to apply after the interviews begin. AACF accepts applications until the position is filled. Once interviews begin, the process can take up to 4 months before a final decision is made depending on number of candidates and scheduling availability of candidates and staff.

**Candidates who make it to stage 4 will receive a one-time payment of $100 to participate in interview(s) and complete the written exercise to compensate them for their time.