Introducing Friends of the Institute

As a tribute to Senator Kennedy's 47-year career, gifts of $47 and up recognize you as a Friend of the Institute.

About the Institute

Director of Public Affairs Programs

The Director of Public Affairs Programs leads the development, planning, and implementation of in-person and virtual all Public Affairs Programs and supports its government relations activities

Who We Are:

The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate is dedicated to educating the public about the important role of the Senate in our government, encouraging participatory democracy, invigorating civil discourse, and inspiring the next generation of citizens and leaders to engage in the civic life of their communities.

We at the Kennedy Institute believe that civic education and engagement includes learning about important historic and contemporary policy issues, understanding how the issues are addressed inside and outside our democratic structures of government, and taking action on civic issues in ways that reinforce democratic practices and broaden democratic participation.

The Kennedy Institute strives to provide balanced, transparent, and inclusive civics education experiences that make room for conversations between people of broad ideologies and perspectives in respectful, productive ways.


The Director of Public Affairs Programs leads the development, planning, and implementation of in-person and virtual all Public Affairs Programs and supports its government relations activities.

The Director of Public Affairs Programs will produce timely, relevant, newsworthy and substantive programming and develop a diverse and engaging schedule of programs throughout the year. The Director will manage relationships with program stakeholders and serve as point of contact for speakers, moderators, partners, and other program participants. The Director will identify all operational needs for successful execution of programs, and work with colleagues to implement logistical requirements.

The Director will also lead the development and implementation of national dialogue programs aimed at addressing growing national division by engaging with national partner organizations, designing effective dialogue strategies, and direct involvement in the execution of related programs. They will interact with relevant political actors and issues at the national level.

The Director will oversee communications with elected stated officials about our programs and activities, including inviting them to relevant programs and events. S/he will also support the organization’s funding requests from both state and federal sources.


Public Affairs Programs

  • Develop relevant, educational, and engaging content for all Public Affairs Programs, including brainstorming topics and issues, identifying speakers and moderators, tracking ideas for programs and prioritizing those to pursue, and generating a schedule of programs
  • Work with the Board of Directors for input on Public Affairs Programs and maintain open channels of communication for engaging relevant Board members.
  • Lead the organization’s contributions to The Senate Project with partner organizations, including contributing to the identification of participants, locations, design and logistical details for each debate session. Lead the organization of The Senate Project debate hosted at the Institute.
  • Work closely with the CEO to develop and execute dialogue sessions at the Cape House, including invite lists, background research, topics for discussions, and strategic input. During meetings related to national dialogue hosted at the Cape House the Director will be responsible for logistical details in coordination with the manager of the house.
  • Develop other national dialogue programs in consultation with the Board and CEO.
  • Conduct outreach to national dialogue experts and strengthen relationships with other entities conducting national dialogue programs.
  • Manage relationships with all program speakers, moderators, event partners, and other program participants; responsible for speaker communications including outreach to participate in the program, conducting briefing calls and discussions, outlining program goals and parameters, and sharing event details.
  • Lead all necessary planning to determine program needs and assess operational and logistical requirements for production of programs; work with colleagues to implement program needs with IT, facilities, operations, outside vendors, and other external partners as needed for both in-person and virtual programs.
  • Conduct direct outreach to solicit new and strengthen relationships with partners/prospective partners and to build audiences for individual programs.
  • Consult and collaborate on marketing and communications strategies to support promotion of Public Affairs Programs, including paid advertisements, developing broadcast email and announcement schedule, and other efforts to build audience and awareness for programs.
  • Solicit, strengthen, and support relationships with programmatic partners including funders, contractors, community partners, and others.

Government Relations

  • Oversee state legislative outreach for student visits, including meeting the state legislators/staff participating in student visits.
  • Answer questions and schedule calls with legislators/legislative staff as necessary.
  • Maintain relationships at Massachusetts State House to support the above activities.
  • Develop and execute relevant communications to municipal, state and federal officials, including Institute updates, program outreach and invitations to participate in programs.


  • Work with Development team to assist in developing potential sponsors and grantors along with converting Public Affairs Program audiences to members.
  • Participate in other development activities as needed, as well as Institute-wide events.
  • Attend external events for networking and visibility purposes.
  • Manage the budget for all related programs and projects, including communications with relevant funders, ensuring said projects meet requirements and contributing to reports.
  • Manage other staff who support the above activities, as available.


Bachelor’s degree or an equivalent record of professional achievement with a demonstrated track record of success and increasing responsibilities.


  • At least 4-7 years of experience in events, programming, organizing, or politics;
  • Experience with content development, policy research, and the ability to effectively identify timely political and policy issues;
  • A proven track record of effectively and graciously serving in an external-facing role with the ability to support relationships with diverse and high-ranking stakeholders, including government officials, donors, community partners, vendors and members of the public; and
  • Must have demonstrated the ability to lead and implement projects independently as well as managing staff, peers and colleagues to complete required tasks.


  • Excellent written communication skills; experience with marketing and communications writing a plus;
  • Ability to create and maintain good working relationships with a variety of diverse internal and external team members;
  • Strong organizational, time management and project management skills;
  • Ability to multi-task effectively and meet deadlines in a fast-paced office;
  • Demonstrated flexibility and poise working under pressure;
  • Ability to effectively solve problems and adjust in fast-paced circumstances;
  • Must be detail-oriented, meticulous with professional standards for task execution;
  • Enthusiasm and commitment to teamwork;
  • Passion for promoting civic engagement and healthy political discourse to people of all ages;
  • Should possess an interest in current federal, state, and local government, related policy news;
  • A sense of leadership, initiative and ownership of project area;
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office applications, Google workplace applications and others such as Eventbrite, Adobe Design Cloud, MailChimp, and ease of learning other event/customer management and design software; and
  • Demonstrates a willingness and ability to work nights and weekends as necessary


The physical demands and work environment described for this position are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Duties are performed indoors in an office/workstation environment. Duties may require extended periods of standing, walking, sitting, talking, hearing, and long periods of computer viewing. The job may also require periods of pulling/pushing items, lifting and carrying items, stooping, and kneeling. The employee may occasionally lift and/or move up to 30 pounds.

COMPENSTATION: $90k - $120k

The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for The United States Senate is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

Please, no phone calls. No solicitation calls will be entertained.

Please email resume and cover letter to, with the title “Director of Public Affairs Programs” in the subject line. Please, no phone calls. No solicitation calls will be entertained.