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Job Opening: Federal Relations Assistant

The Association of American Universities, an association of America’s leading research universities, seeks applications for the position of Federal Relations Assistant. This position supports multiple members of the federal relations team and serves as the front-line contact to screen and handle high-level inquiries, as well as phone, email, and mail requests, as appropriate.

The Federal Relations Assistant will work quickly and skillfully, in a fast-paced and collegial environment, with multiple federal relations staff, each with individual issue portfolios. This includes complex calendar and email management; scheduling and coordinating travel; supporting in-person, virtual, and hybrid webinars and events; tracking and summarizing federal legislation and regulations; supporting constituent groups, task forces, and coalitions; and processing financial invoices and reconciling staff expenses through Concur (AAU’s expense-management software).Applicants should be proactive and detail-oriented; be able to resolve problems, use judgment and discretion, and be able to process a high volume of accurate, detailed quality work with competing deadlines. Applicants should have experience of working in a fast-paced office and possess excellent writing and editing skills. Applicants who have a familiarity with federal legislative, administrative, the budgetary process, and experience supporting multiple supervisors simultaneously are preferred. 

The Federal Relations Assistant is responsible for sending communications through a mass email system; uploading content to AAU’s website and AAU Connect, an online community for AAU constituency groups; sending communications through mass email software; organizing and maintaining departmental files in SharePoint; and using AAU’s member database (Salesforce). Applicants should have strong technical expertise in MS Word as well as other Office 365 programs and Zoom; experience with Salesforce Marketing Cloud (or Pardot), experience with legislative tracking software (such as B.Gov or CQ), and proficiency with software related to email distribution and content management is preferred.

PRIMARY DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the following. Other duties may be assigned to meet business needs.

  • Screen telephone calls and meeting requests; handle routine inquiries independently with personal knowledge of supervisors’ activities.
  • Schedule meetings, telephone calls, conference calls, and webinars for supervisors; create agendas, participate in meetings and take notes, and follow up as needed.
  • Schedule meetings on Capitol Hill and elsewhere on behalf of AAU staff and constituent members; use AAU’s online reservation system to schedule meetings in AAU’s conference room(s); anticipate schedule conflicts, preparation and travel time, and other events that might impact schedule.
  • Use knowledge of AAU practices and priorities to proactively respond to daily issues and requests; provide organizational support related to daily workflow and determine action items and priorities.
  • Draft, proof, edit, format, and distribute using mass emailing software letters, advocacy one-pagers, talking points, presentations, and issue summaries on behalf of supervisors.
  • Review the Federal Register daily and email notices to appropriate AAU staff; monitor legislative developments in Congress for supervisors or other members of the FR team as needed.
  • Cover hearings and write up accurate, timely, and comprehensive summaries and analysis for supervisors or other members of the FR team as needed.
  • Maintain, update, and track records in AAU’s database (Association Management System); retrieve and relay information from database.
  • Maintain committee and task force lists and send materials to lists as needed; coordinate committee and task force conference calls and occasional in-person meetings; manage supervisors’ commitments to steering committees, advisory groups, boards, and other external groups; take accurate notes during meetings as appropriate.
  • Post supervisors’ content to the AAU website and AAU Connect; post new documents and delete obsolete information in a timely manner.
  • Administer supervisors’ travel and prepare itineraries, expense reports, check requests, and credit card reconciliations in accordance with AAU policies and procedures; organize and maintain paper and computer files.
  • Organize and post issue portfolio content on SharePoint; draft landing page text and, after review and approval from content owner, post content to the AAU website using AAU’s content management system (Drupal) and any departmental online community; post new documents and delete obsolete information on the AAU website and the online community in a timely manner.
  • Maintain AAU president’s advocacy target list.
  • Maintain physical records for United for Medical Research, contracts, taxes, annual meeting records.
  • Cooperate and coordinate with other administrative assistants and fill in as necessary.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.



  • Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF)

o Support the Associate Vice President for Federal Relations in the management of the CNSF.

o Coordinate conference calls and in-person meetings by helping to develop monthly coalition agendas and meeting materials; provide on-site coordination and support for monthly meetings and events.

o Maintain current membership list and facilitate member communication as needed.

o Support CNSF website; work with the CNSF leadership to upload website content.

o Serve as the liaison with the AAU finance department to ensure billings and annual CNSF membership invoices are sent early in the calendar year.

o Assist in the preparation and execution of annual CNSF events, including briefings, webinars, and other activities.

  • Council on Federal Relations (CFR)

o Support the Federal Relations team in the management of the CFR.

o Support the CFR Steering Committee by coordinating and scheduling meetings, developing agendas and meeting materials, and taking notes and ensuring follow-up.

  • Maintain membership list of supervisors’ CFR task forces; coordinate conference calls and in-person meetings for CFR Task Forces in supervisors’ portfolio by scheduling meetings and developing agendas and meeting materials; provide on-site coordination and support for monthly meetings and events.
  • Coordinate with the Assistant VP for Meetings and Meetings and Events Coordinator for logistics of all CFR monthly and annual virtual, hybrid, and in-person meetings and events.

QUALIFICATIONS/REQUIREMENTS:Reasonable accommodation may be provided to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.

  • Superior organization and prioritization skills – must be meticulous and detail oriented; must follow through in a timely manner and complete tasks without prompting.
  • Flexibility and ability to manage competing demands – must be able to manage simultaneous tasks in a fast-paced environment and adjust to changes.
  • Resourcefulness and ability to work proactively – must be able to think ahead and possess good logic skills to review minutes and summarize conclusions and actions taken.
  • Demonstrated ability to resolve problems– must be able to use analytical judgement and to deliver a high volume of accurate, detailed, and quality work product.
  • Demonstrated ability to create and support an environment that fosters teamwork, cooperation, respect, and diversity.
  • Demonstrated ability to promote and foster productive multidirectional communications with staff as well as AAU member university officials and external parties.
  • Intermediate writing and editing skills – must be able to vary writing style and voice as needed.
  • History of working with integrity and ethically – must follow AAU’s policies and procedures; be consistently at work and on time; ensure work responsibilities are covered when absent.
  • Willingness to take ownership for wide-ranging responsibilities – must demonstrate accuracy and thoroughness; must be able to look for ways to improve and monitor own work to ensure quality.
  • Must reside within the Washington, DC metropolitan area while working for AAU.


  • 1-3 years of administrative support required. A college degree is preferred, as is experience working with multiple supervisors in a nonprofit organization on the Hill.
  • Proficient in Microsoft 365 Suite (Word, Outlook, Excel, and PowerPoint). Experience working with Zoom, SharePoint, and OneDrive required. Working knowledge of Microsoft Planner and To Do a plus.
  • Experience working with an association management system or CRM, mass email systems, and website content management systems is strongly preferred.
  • Experience in a nonprofit organization or on Capitol Hill is preferred.

TRAVEL. Travel is primarily local during the business day, although some evening, out-of-the-area, and overnight travel may be expected.

SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITY.This position has no supervisory responsibilities. However, the Federal Relations Assistant is expected to coordinate efforts with key personnel in the department and the Association to achieve the position’s purpose.

LOCATION /WORK ENVIRONMENT.This job operates primarily out of AAU’s DC office but supports a professional hybrid office environment where eligible staff may telework up to 2 days a week after completing their initial 90 days of employment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as laptops, docking stations, phones, and photocopiers.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS.The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to communicate and exchange information as well as be physically present in the Washington, DC office and on-site at AAU and other locations for meetings/events.

This is largely a stationary position; however, the employee is required to occasionally move about inside the office to access file cabinets, office machinery, etc. and operate a computer and other office productivity machinery and equipment, such as a copy machine, a computer printer, filing cabinets, etc. Some filing is required; this requires the ability to move files up to 20 pounds across the office for various needs.

POSITION TYPE.This is a full-time, non-exempt position. Days and hours of work are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. Evening and weekend work may be required as job duties demand.

OTHER DUTIES.Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

DISCLAIMER:This job description is not to be construed in a manner which implies an employee’s right to employment. This job description is not a contract of employment, expressed or implied, nor is it an offer to enter into such a contract or guarantee of employment for any duration.

AAU is committed to a work environment that is inclusive to all and free of discrimination. It is our policy to be an equal opportunity employer without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability, citizenship status, or any other factors prohibited by federal, state, and local law. AAU will provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with a disability.


Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled and the listing is removed from our careers page. To be assured of full consideration, please submit a cover letter, résumé, salary requirements, and where you found this listing. Applications without all the requested materials will not be considered. Applications should be submitted to:

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled and the listing is removed from our careers page. To be assured of full consideration, please submit a cover letter, résumé, salary requirements, and where you found this listing. Applications without all the requested materials will not be considered. Applications should be submitted to:

  • Email: [email protected] (Please reference Federal Relations Assistant)
  • Sean King, Human Resources Manager
    Association of American Universities
    1200 New York Ave NW, Suite 550
    Washington, DC 20005