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Policy Director (Full-Time)


Overview of the Organization:

Chhaya is the only South Asian and Indo-Caribbean Community Development Corporation (CDC) in the nation. Our mission is to build community power, housing stability, and economic well-being of the South Asian and Indo-Caribbean communities in New York. Since our founding in 2000, Chhaya has helped prevent hundreds of foreclosures, assisted first-time homebuyers in obtaining thousands of dollars in down-payment assistance, led the basement legalization campaign in New York City, provided individuals with key immigration services, empowered families with financial management tools and skills, and fostered the civic engagement of thousands of South Asian and Indo-Caribbean New Yorkers. As a leader in New York City’s housing and economic justice sector, Chhaya is poised for significant organizational growth and development. Chhaya has a main office in Jackson Heights with a second location in Richmond Hill – two neighborhoods with vibrant South Asian and Indo-Caribbean communities. 


Summary of the Position:

The Policy Director is a new senior-level position that leads the organization’s policy advocacy efforts, including policy formulation, direction, and implementation of advocacy efforts in order for Chhaya to more effectively promote housing and economic justice for South Asian/Indo-Caribbean and immigrant New Yorkers.  As the primary lead in advocacy and policy, the Policy Director will work closely with the management, program, and communications teams to ensure the success of the organization’s policy and advocacy goals. Additionally, the Policy Director will lead the management of relationships with electeds, government officials, coalitions, and partner organizations. 


This position will report to the Executive Director. 


Key Responsibilities:


Policy and Advocacy

  • Work with staff and affiliates to lead the development and implementation of Chhaya’s policy agenda and platform at the city, state, and federal levels
  • Ensure the strategic positioning of Chhaya policy agenda among key policy stakeholders
  • Lead all of Chhaya’s major campaigns, including BASE and Queens CLT
  • Connect policy and base-building through leveraging base input and needs to develop policy goals
  • Work closely with the program team to engage, educate, and build support for key policy goals with community members about advocacy actions and the organization’s policy platform
  • Lead the research, development, and publication of policy reports on key issues


Relationship Management and Coalition Building

  • Promote Chhaya’s policy platform and agenda within coalitions, task forces, panels, committees, etc. 
  • Cultivate and maximize strong, effective relationships with key legislators and their staff, coalitions, and partners so Chhaya is looked to for policy and advocacy direction
  • Create internal system to track and coordinate communication with electeds, government officials, coalition partners
  • Organizing, building, and leading coalitions for different focus areas including BASE, Queens CLT, South Asian, Asian, and immigrant communities and non-profits, etc. 


Public Relations

  • Acts as a spokesperson and main point of contact for policy related press coverage
  • Prepare staff and board to speak on issues and policy positions, including the development of key messages and talking points  
  • Strategize with the communications team to build media coverage and presence on key campaigns and policy issues


As a member of the Chhaya staff, additional responsibilities may be added related to special events, critical initiatives, and other special cases that require full staff participation (some evenings and weekends). Further, as a member of the senior team, the Policy Director is expected to lead by example and help build a culture of ownership, accountability, fairness, inclusiveness, and fun.  


  • Minimum 5 years of relevant experience with a track record in policy development and advocacy
  • Committed to connecting base-building to policy advocacy
  • Skillful relationship manager with the ability to navigate sensitive and politicized spaces, relationships, and decision-making
  • A passion and commitment to housing and economic justice
  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain strong relationships with governmental agencies, elected officials, non-profit organizations, coalitions, and other community groups
  • Proven ability to build bridges and work across political lines and groups in a non-partisan environment
  • Proven understanding of the policy and legislation making process as well as lobbying regulations and reporting requirements
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to articulate policy concepts and other complex issues and ideas to diverse audiences in a clear and accessible manner
  • Experience working in NYC advocacy spaces and strong existing relationships with NYC and NYS government agencies and electeds, preferred
  • Familiarity with South Asian and immigrant communities of New York City
  • Ability to work in an organized, efficient manner with a high level of accuracy, attention to detail, and follow-through
  • An ability to be flexible and willingness to wear “multiple hats” if and when needed
  • Flexible schedule with the ability to work some weekends and evenings, if needed
  • High level of proficiency in Microsoft Suite, GSuite, and social media
  • Proof of full COVID-19 Vaccination is required
  • Sense of humor – a plus

Salary Range: $80,000 – $110,000 (Annual Salary)

How to Apply:

Please send a cover letter, resume, two professional  references (in PDF format) to careers@chhayacdc.org with the subject line “Policy Director – Application”. 

Applications will be accepted until May 15, 2022.  Only applicants under consideration will be contacted. No phone calls please.

Chhaya CDC is an equal opportunity organization that celebrates and embraces diversity. Chhaya does not discriminate on the basis of caste, race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, or any other identities covered by appropriate law. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, merit, and organizational need.

Main Office:
37-43 77th St, 2nd Floor, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
Contact: 718.478.3848; info@chhayacdc.org

Richmond Hill Center:
121-18 Liberty Avenue, 2nd Floor, Richmond Hill, NY 11419
Contact: 718.374.3371; info@chhayacdc.org


Copyright 2022 by Chhaya Community Development Corporation. All rights reserved. Chhaya CDC is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.