Position Description

Job Title: Senior Associate, Policy and Legislative Research and Applications
Job Classification: Senior Associate I-III
Department/Business Line: Policy and Legislative Research and Applications Team and Executive Team
Works with: CEO, Chief of Staff (COS), Principal/Director, Policy and Legislative Research and Applications, and business line team leads
Reports to: Principal/Director, Policy and Leg. Research and Applications and CEO
FLSA¹ Status: Exempt
Updated as of: September 2021


Company Overview:

LeSar Development Consultants (LDC) is a social innovation firm, that along with its affiliates, assists our clients with growing healthy, sustainable, and vibrant communities. Our mission is to end the housing affordability crisis and homelessness in California and beyond.

We provide creative scalable solutions to complex problems with our expertise in housing, homelessness, resiliency, and community and economic development. Our clients include public agencies, privately owned and publicly traded companies, nonprofit organizations, foundations, business associations, and other stakeholders looking to create physically and economically sustainable communities.

Summary of Position:

The Senior Associate is a part of LDC’s Policy and Legislative Research and Applications Team, reporting to the Principal/Director of Policy and Legislative Research and Applications. This team works closely with the Executive Team, including the CEO and COS, and also collaborates closely with LDC’s business line teams (Housing, Homelessness Solutions, and Innovations) and our external clients.

In partnership with the Principal/Director, this position supports our internal leadership and our clients with forward planning strategy around overall business focus and capital aggregation strategies. This position will share responsibility with the Principal/Director for enabling LDC to maintain a deep understanding of state and federal housing policy, knowledge about capital and other trends in funding from federal, state, local, philanthropic, and private entities, and the interplay between the philanthropic, academic research centers, and legislative arenas.

This role will be oriented both externally and internally, working in partnership with the Principal/Director, to help LDC monitor and interact with the centers of thought leadership, with a particular focus on the federal arena and state legislation related to homelessness. Under the supervision and leadership of the Principal/Director, this position will support and advise both internal LDC partners and our clients in understanding relevant federal legislation and provide analysis related to anticipated policy and programmatic shifts in our areas of focus. The Senior Associate will also assist with the management of our Capital Mapping Subscription (CMS) product, related curriculum development on policy and capital trends, and production of our monthly newsletter where we communicate out forward looking thought leadership and strategy.

Specifically, this position will monitor federal and state legislative policy and program priorities, assess the impact of legislation on our core and core-adjacent sectors, and develop internal and client focused forecasts relating to the future direction of policy. The Senior Associate will provide both administrative and content development support relating to the newsletter by assisting in the production of articles and features relating to our core areas and helping to coordinate the newsletter distribution. Our core areas include housing policy and finance, homelessness program funding including benefits programs, community development, urban planning and land use, and climate and health-related resiliency. Core-adjacent policy areas include infrastructure, transportation, and health care.

Ideal Candidate:

The ideal candidate has excellent interpersonal and organizational skills, a strong work ethic, and is able to work both independently and as part of our team. Prior experience in homelessness and housing policy and systems-change environment is a priority. A demonstrated commitment to cultivating and maintaining an equitable and diverse work environment is required.

The Senior Associate will have experience in areas relating to homelessness, housing and community development, policy making, legislative affairs, finance, and/or other functions directly involved in producing and preserving housing at scale and protecting vulnerable communities, including tenants and communities of color. Strong skills at strategic partner engagement, network development and management; research and analysis; oral and written communication; creating and delivering engaging presentations, and in supporting business development are essential to succeed in this role.

LDC is expanding the ways in which it centers equity within the firm and in its work with clients; having demonstrated experience leading with race or other equity-centered work is a plus. Technical capacity building, group facilitation, adult learning and training experience are also desirable skills and will better enable the person in this position to design curriculum and serve as an instructor in our leadership academies.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following on the list below and other duties that may be assigned.

  • Continuously track and analyze federal legislation and state legislation focused on homelessness, thought-leadership trends in leading community development and systems change foundations and academic centers; and capture work in various formats including Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Analyze quantitative and qualitative data to understand our firm and client needs and opportunities in the context of the political, social, economic, and technological environment.
  • Assist with maintaining and evolving systems for monitoring policy developments, funding opportunities, and trends in LDC core areas, drawing on personal knowledge and the subject matter expertise of staff from other Company teams.
  • Research and write reports and develop curriculum incorporating findings, trends, and recommendations to clients.
  • Present findings and recommendations to clients and their stakeholders by engaging in best practices in adult learning and active listening to understand and effectively share information and respond to and support critical reflection and systems change analysis.
  • Conduct and collaborate on training and capacity building sessions.
  • Assist with business development in designated areas, collaborating with other teams to prepare written proposals and participate in meetings to maximize revenue opportunities for the firm.
  • Maintain proactive ongoing communications with internal team members, clients, and external stakeholders as appropriate to fulfill contractual obligations within budget in a timely manner.
  • Cultivate and manage relationships with existing and new clients, representing LeSar in a professional manner and evaluate the needs of prospective and current clients in an effective manner.

Required Qualifications

  1. Knowledge of:
  • Current programs and processes relating to homelessness, housing justice, affordable housing and land use; familiarity with the programmatic and funding initiatives in the housing, community development and homeless services sectors.
  • Federal, state, and regional legislation and policy trends in the housing sector.
  • Excellent writing and public presentation skills.
  • Principles and practices of business communication and correct use of the English language including spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
  • General technology and Microsoft Teams, Outlook, Word, Excel, and Power Point.

2. Ability to:

  • Track and analyze legislation and policy.
  • Ability to analyze national, state, and regional trends within the philanthropic, thought leadership and academic research sectors.
  • Provide technical assistance and capacity building expertise to clients, including developing curriculum and facilitating adult education.
  • Write clear, concise, comprehensive, and effective articles and reports.
  • Explain policies to diverse public and private organizations and individuals.
  • Remain calm and effective while working under pressure to meet multiple deadlines and short time constraints.
  • Establish priorities and meet multiple deadlines.
  • Organize work, set priorities, and exercise sound judgment within areas of responsibility.
  • Handle sensitive information in a professional and confidential manner.
  • Communicate clearly and effectively orally and in writing.
  • Work cooperatively with staff from other teams and organizations.

Education/Experience: Master’s Degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in planning, public policy, leadership, public administration, real estate, or other related fields with 3 to 5 years of related and increasingly responsible experience. Advanced education or specialized training (i.e., J.D.) may be substituted for 1 to 2 years of work experience.

Physical Demands: While performing the duties of this position, the employee is regularly required to sit, use hands, communicate via telephone, reach with hands and arms. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Location Expectation: LeSar Development Consultants is headquartered in San Diego, and has staff located in the Greater Los Angeles area, the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento. This position will work remotely for the foreseeable future. Ideally, the incumbent will be within 1–2-hour drive or train ride to San Diego or Sacramento.

Travel Expectation: In a post-COVID-19 environment, person in this position will be expected to travel to San Diego approximately 1 to 2 days monthly, and to be available for travel primarily within California including occasional overnight stays of 1 to 2 nights at a time.

Compensation and Benefits:

  • Salaries are set by title and band. In addition, there are performance-based opportunities for bonus compensation.
    • Salary band for Senior Associate I-III: $80,000 to $100,000
  • Participation in firm’s medical, dental, vision, long-term disability, and life insurance plans with firm contributions of up to $500 per month
  • Participation in the firm’s 401(k) plan, with firm contributions of 3% of your compensation per plan year (subject to vesting requirements)
  • Reimbursement of up to $100 per month for cell phone and/or home office Internet expenses and up to $25 per month for home office supplies
  • 11 paid holidays per year
  • Paid time off: 15 days of paid time off

Application Process

Submission and Interview dates: The preferred date of application submission is no later than Oct. 1. Interviews of qualified applicants will begin the week of Oct. 11. The position will remain open until filled.

Submit the following materials to [email protected].

1) Cover letter indicating:

    • Interest in the position
    • Relevant skills and experience
    • Available start date, preferred location, and number of hours available per week (full-time or part-time)

2) Resume/CV
3) 2-3 professional or academic references
4) At least three writing sample(s) that reflects ability to communicate complex policy information. Writing sample may include a professional presentation, blogs or newsletters, research paper, or published article.

LeSar Development Consultants is an equal opportunity employer. Employment decisions are based on needs, job requirements, and individual qualifications without regard to race, ethnicity, religious belief, national origin, gender identity and/or expression, age, disability status, medical history, sexual orientation, marital or family status, past or present military service, or any other status protected by the laws or regulations in the State of California. LeSar Development Consultants is also committed to affirmative action in the hiring of staff and encourages employment applications from people who are representative of the culturally and ethnically diverse communities that we serve.