JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: Policy Advocate
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
- Organization: Innocence Project
Working with one of the nation's most prestigious nonprofits, this is an opportunity for a seasoned policy professional to have a significant impact on the lives of people and legislation across the country. In just its second year of existence, the policy department has already succeeded in establishing both a Forensic Science Commission and spurred creation of the Governor's Criminal Justice Advisory Council in Texas. To extend their state-level policy apparatus, it has also created the Innocence Policy Network, establishing and training policy point people at virtually all of the 30 member organizations of the Innocence Network around the country. In addition, its research and work on the crime lab oversight provisions of the federal Justice for All Act of 2004 has resulted in a US Department of Justice Inspector General report that will force the DOJ to more effectively enforce the requirement that recipient jurisdictions establish the government entities and processes necessary to investigate allegations of serious crime lab error.
Primary issues of concern for this Policy Advocate include post-conviction access to DNA testing, eyewitness identification reform, crime lab oversight, ensuring the validity and reliability of forensic evidence, striking the appropriate balance between public safety and privacy in DNA databases, and establishing moratoria on executions and other key reforms to the death penalty that will significantly reduce the risk of executing the innocent. Additional priorities include compensating the wrongfully convicted, avoiding false confessions, and establishing innocence commissions.
Working as part of a team with the Public Education Associate, Policy Analyst, and Policy Director, and in consultation with the thirty local Innocence Projects throughout the country, the State Policy Advocate will track, coordinate, and participate in targeted advocacy campaigns throughout the country.
- Coordinate the department's work with that of local and national partners
- Devise and implement proactive strategies both for and against legislation
- Research and draft legislation, amendments and advocacy support materials
- Prepare for legislative hearings
- Lobby and brief policymakers and staff
- Establish plans for implementing enacted legislation
- All other tasks related to crafting successful policy advocacy efforts
Goals and Objectives
It is expected that the Policy Advocate will, in the first two years, focus on the following goals and objectives.
- Shepherd legislation through the process
- Establish productive working relationships with and earn the respect of the Innocence Project and Innocence Network Policy Network
- Build relationships with local and national policy advocates; instill confidence and gain trust
- Clearly establish a number of top priorities and make an impact on their achievement
- Increase the number of states in which the Innocence Project is simultaneously engaged in significant innocence-related policy advocacy efforts
- Work to enhance the Innocence Project presence in each state; establish formal roots and allies for the work
QUALITIES AND QUALIFICATIONS
The ideal candidate will possess the following:
- Demonstrated success advocating for progressive policy change in multiple states, including: drafting legislation, shepherding a bill from introduction to passage, and fostering appropriate implementation of law after passage
- Passion for the mission and commitment to the values of the organization
- The skill and motivation to work collaboratively with a diverse range of people including Innocence Policy Network members, local advocates, politicians, criminal justice personnel, legislators, and attorneys
- The motivation and skill to work in partnership with the Policy Director
- Experience building, leading, and/or motivating the productive work of legislative coalitions
- Experience simultaneously advocating for policies in multiple states.
- Stellar interpersonal skills; outstanding writing ability
- A high level of personal and professional confidence and presence
- Social and political savvy as well as diplomacy
- An autonomous self-directed work style with a proven commitment to working collaboratively
- Ability to travel extensively around the country
- Proven ability to successfully manage multiple, various tasks
- Drive, energy and creativity as well as an entrepreneurial spirit and tenacity
- Graduate degree in law, policy, administration, or political science
- Ability to handle stress and ambiguity
- A sense of humor
Finance & Admin
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Innocence Project Board Chair
Texas State Senator
Innocence Project Board Treasurer
Five Mile Capital Partners, LLC
Former Innocence Project client
Exonerated in 1999
Dr. Eric Lander
Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
Renowned geneticist and DNA expert
Entrepreneur and Chairman
Interactive Video Technologies, Inc.
Former Attorney General of the United States
Founding Partner and Of Counsel
Schulte, Roth & Zabel, LLP
Andrew H. Tananbaum, Esq.
AHT Associates, LLC
Davidoff, Malito & Hutcher, LLP
Barry C. Scheck & Peter J. Neufeld
Barry and Peter co-founded and are Co-Directors of the Innocence Project at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. In February 2000, Actual Innocence: Five Days to Execution, and Other Dispatches From the Wrongly Convicted, written by Peter, Barry, and Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Jim Dwyer, was published by Doubleday. This non-fiction book grew out of the cases and stories of the Innocence Project.
In 1988, Peter and Barry became involved in studying and litigating issues concerning the use of forensic DNA testing. Their work not only shaped the course of case law across the country but helped lead to an influential study by the National Academy of Sciences on forensic DNA testing, as well as important state and federal legislation setting standards for the use of DNA testing. They both serve as members of the New York State's Commission on Forensic Science, a body that regulates all crime and forensic DNA laboratories in the state.
Peter and Barry have litigated and taught extensively in both the "hard" and behavioral forensic sciences. Their trials frequently redefine and expand the parameters of permissible defenses involving forensic psychiatry and laboratory science. Most of this work is pro bono and of public interest. Their cases often result in enhancing public awareness of systemic problems, improving the criminal justice system, and legislative reform.
Maddy deLone became the Executive Director of the Innocence Project in March, 2004.
Before joining the Innocence Project, Ms. deLone was an attorney with the Prisoners' Rights Project of the Legal Aid Society, a Skadden Fellow and staff attorney with Children's Rights, Inc., and a law clerk to the Honorable Robert W. Sweet. Prior to becoming a lawyer, she held various administrative and policy positions in New York City involving juvenile justice, public health, and the City jails. She is the editor of the American Public Health Association's Standards for Health Services in Correctional Institutions(3rd ed).
Ms. deLone is a graduate of Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges, holds a Masters in Health Policy and Management from the Harvard School of Public Health and is a graduate of New York University School of Law, where she was an Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Fellow.
Stephen Saloom was hired as Innocence Project Policy Director, and began creating the Policy Department, in October, 2004. Working with a policy staff of five, allies, and other criminal justice professionals, the Innocence Project Policy Department works in all 50 states and Congress. Stephen is also the convener of the Innocence Network Policy Network, through which he has established and provides training for policy point people at the roughly 30 member organizations of the Innocence Network.
He has previously served as the original director of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers "State Legislative Network," executive director of the Boston-based Criminal Justice Policy Coalition, and lobbyist for a broad range of progressive organizations at the Connecticut legislature. He has also served as an intake attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, and as an adjunct professor in the graduate program in criminal justice at Suffolk University, where he created the course in Criminal Justice Policy and also taught Legal Issues in the Criminal Justice System.
Stephen holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of Connecticut, and a J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law.
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