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State Government Relations Manager

Posted: Jun 14, 2019
The State Government Relations Manager plays an integral role in accomplishing the goals and objectives of the Government Relations Department
To apply: Please send your resume and related materials to
  • The Position

    The State Government Relations Manage is responsible for advancing The Heartland Institute’s mission of discovering, developing, and promoting free-market solutions to social and economic problems by interacting with local elected officials and other key audiences; conducting research and writing on a wide range of public policy issues; and providing administrative support to the Government Relations Department. The State Government Relations Manager plays an integral role in accomplishing the goals and objectives of the Government Relations Department, a team of seven staff members devoted to government relations.



    The State Government Relations Manager is expected to spend approximately 75 percent of his or her time communicating with legislators. Specifically,

    • Contact state elected officials and legislative staff an average of 80 times each week via phone, email, letters, or face-to-face meetings, and keep track of such contacts for reporting purposes. Offer to send them talking points or background research on key issues, to put them in touch with experts or allies, to help organize meetings or hearings, or to direct them to model legislation or people who can write legislation for them. Accurately report these contacts using Heartland’s online government relations reporting system.
    • Respond quickly and professionally to information requests from elected officials and their staff by finding, commissioning, editing or repositioning, and sending the information they need.
    • Develop personal relationships with elected officials and allies in their assigned states in order to become the go-to source of free-market research and commentary.
    • Work with the policy analysts to provide research and technical assistance to elected officials in an easy-to-understand manner.
    • Work with the director of government relations to plan, promote, and implement conferences, seminars, and receptions for legislative advisors in conjunction with meetings of national membership organizations for local and state officials, other think tanks and advocacy groups, or on a stand-alone basis.
    • Build relationships with allies that can help expose elected officials to Heartland’s experts and research. Attend policy meetings and events sponsored by allies and try to get Heartland spokespersons on their programs.
    • Maintain a database of elected officials and allies contacts in Salesforce so we can stay in contact with them and promote Heartland’s work.
    • Manage the government relations communications strategy with elected officials and allies through the use of social networks, e-newsletters, conference calls, etc.

    State government relations managers are expected to spend approximately 25 percent of their time on research- and writing-related tasks:

    • Help policy analysts achieve their goals by helping with editing, copying, and mailing research and commentary, and perform other tasks as assigned by the director of government relations.
    • Help write, edit, assemble, and mail research and commentary in response to direction from the director of government relations.
    • Add new research to PolicyBot, an online clearinghouse for Heartland’s work and the work of other free-market think tanks, and maintain and improve the indexing of said research.
    • Track legislation at all levels of government and provide intelligent commentary and analysis as it moves through the legislative process, in a format established for internal communication.
  • Background

    The Heartland Institute is a 35-year-old national nonprofit research and education organization headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

    Heartland is a libertarian “think tank” whose mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. Specifically, it hopes to encourage more elected officials to embrace the following free-market ideas:

    • Dramatically reduce the cost of protecting the environment by replacing environmental regulations with free-market alternatives and by ensuring that remaining regulations are based on sound science and economics.
    • Reduce taxes, government spending, and government borrowing at the national, state, and local levels.
    • Repeal Obamacare and replace it with policies that promote consumer-driven health care.
    • Transform elementary and secondary education in America by breaking the public school monopoly over public funding, empowering parents to choose the schools their children attend, and making schools compete for students.
    • Amend the U.S. Constitution to reinstate the limits on the national government’s power to tax, spend, regulate, and borrow that the Founders believed they put in place in 1787.
  • Objectives

    Goals of the Government Relations Department

    The mission of the Government Relations Department is to spread free-market solutions to each state by becoming the go-to resource for state policymakers. The department will accomplish this by:

    • Building and nurturing meaningful relationships with state elected officials to help implement free-market public policy changes.
    • Improving the effectiveness of the research Heartland produces and the way in which we deliver our solutions to elected officials.
    • Building mutually beneficial relationships with allies who can help expose elected officials to our experts and research.

    Key inputs that are recorded:

    • # of legislators face-to-face meetings
    • # of legislators talked to over the phone
    • # of legislators sent requested information by mail
    • # of conference calls and attendance by legislators on the same
    • # of meetings and attendance by legislators at the same
    • # of policy documents produced

    Key objectives that are benchmarked and measured:

    • # of times legislators reached out to Heartland   
    • # of states Heartland experts testify in
    • # of times Heartland experts testify
    • # of members of The Legislative Forum
    • % increase of impact with state elected officials on legislator survey
    • % increase of high level of service marks on legislator survey
    • % increase in legislators that are familiar with Heartland on legislative survey
  • Required Skills
    • Strong familiarity with a wide range of public policy issues and the ability to articulate free- market positions on those issues.
    • Strong communications and networking skills.
    • Experience working with elected officials is strongly preferred.
    • Strong research skills and exemplary writing skills, as demonstrated by extensive writing samples on a variety of issues or topics.
    • Ability to master word processing software, spreadsheet software, and broadcast email programs.
  • Salary & Benefits

    Salary. Commensurate with experience, payable biweekly or monthly. Performance and salary reviews are conducted quarterly.

    Hours and location of work. 40+ hours per week is expected, willingness to travel out-of-town for one or more days is a plus. Office hours are 8:30 am to 5:30 pm with willingness to stay late if a project demands it. Office is in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

    Benefits: Health insurance currently provided by Aetna available to full-time employees. The employer pays 60 percent of premiums and offers a choice of two plans, a low-deductible plan and a high-deductible plan with health savings accounts (HSAs). Employees who choose high-deductible plans also receive annual cash deposits into their HSAs of $1,500 for individuals and $3,000 for families.

    Employer pays for life and disability insurance and fees for a 401(k)plan. Employer does not match employee contributions to 401(k) plans at this time.

    During the first year of employment, full-time employees earn 10 paid days off after their 90-day probationary period. During years 2 and 3, employees earn 12 paid days off each year. During years 4, 5 and 6 employees earn 15 paid days off. During years 7, 8 and 9 employees earn 17 paid days off. During year 10 and above employees earn 20 paid days off each year.

General Careers Information 

Join a full-time staff of 35 dedicated men and women discovering, developing, and promoting free-market solutions to social and economic problems!

Please read our Reply to Critics for the truth about our funding, tactics, and positions on controversial issues.

This position requires adherence to The Heartland Institute's Quality Standards for Heartland Publications.

We actively recruit graduates of colleges and universities that receive a grade of “A” from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA).


For questions about applying for this opening, please contact 

2018 By the Numbers

See what sets Heartland apart:
82% of state elected officials read Heartland publications
of state elected officials read one or more Heartland newspapers "sometimes" or "always."
45% of elected officials say Heartland led to a change in policy
of state elected officials say a Heartland publication influenced their opinions or led to a change in public policy.
3.2 Million
the number of times Heartland's six podcasts were downloaded in 2018
184 issues
of weekly e-newsletters sent to subscribers across the country
158 events
that Heartland hosted, attended, or spoke at, reaching over 34,000 guests in 2018.
100,000 fans
on Facebook posting and reposting over 1 million times a week