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Chief Public Affairs Officer


The Chief Public Affairs Officer is a senior level position which brings together all NVAR advocacy-based communications and association advocacy activities under one umbrella to lead and advance leading-edge advocacy-based strategic media relations and initiatives at the national, state, regional and local levels. This position leads, and collaborates with, a powerful external alliance of business professionals and organizations working to advance public policies and media initiatives that build strong communities, protect property interests, and promote a strong business environment in the U.S. 

The Chief Public Affairs Officer will be responsible for the planning, developing, and implementing advocacy-based strategic communications, public relations, and legislative and regulatory activities within the NVAR organization. They will lead and coordinate effective advocacy-based national, regional, state, and local media efforts, advocacy-based community and public relations, advocacy-based crisis communications and branding, and all government affairs and regulatory outreach efforts.  

Reporting to the CEO as a member of the C-Suite Senior Management Team, the Chief Public Affairs Officer is responsible for both the strategic leadership and the day-to-day management of all aspects of the association’s advocacy-based communications, media, and advocacy efforts on behalf of all its varied internal and external audiences. They will provide leadership and management oversight to the Senior Vice President of Public and Government Affairs, and to the Director of Government Affairs. 

The Chief Public Affairs Officer plays a crucial, collaborative role ensuring all advocacy-based communications and government affairs activities are fully aligned and strategically leveraged to further the vision, mission, and goals of the Association, especially with regards to any new external innovative initiatives and new internal projects developed and launched by NVAR and its partnering organizations. 

Duties and Responsibilities 


Public Affairs and Advocacy-based Communications & Leadership: 


  • Leads, manages, and provides strategic oversight to the Government Affairs Department and is responsible for government affairs strategies that advance the Association's mission and goals with national, regional, state, and local elected officials. 

  • Establishes and implements short- and long-range organizational goals, objectives, strategic plans, policies, and operating procedures for the Government Affairs Department; monitors and evaluates programmatic and operational effectiveness, and effects changes required for improvement. 

  • Provides frequent updates to the CEO and senior leaders, other members of the NVAR C-Suite Senior Management team, and the Board of Directors. 

  • Establishes and maintains constructive relationships with elected and appointed officials on a federal, state, and local level and invests considerable time and energy in prioritized networking activity. 

  • Apprises the CEO and the Association’s leadership of pertinent legislative issues, external factors, and policy proposals and actions that could impact the Association, the field of Real Estate, the profession of being a Realtor®, and the Northern Virginia marketplace. 

  • Understands, communicates, and advocates the Association’s priorities to governmental officials, national, regional, and state organizations, and other government entities on key legislative and regulatory issues related to Northern Virginia real estate and on third party research into Northern Virginia marketplace trends. 

  • Serves as a key representative for the Association at legislative sessions, before State bodies, regional bodies, and Federal agencies in support of Realtor Association’s goals and objectives. 

  • Shapes and influences legislative programs and other critical business issues in alignment with the Association’s goals and objectives. Works with lobbyists and legislators in establishing and implementing a lobbying strategy, both proactive and responsive. 

  • Prepares communications to and for key stakeholders, including the CEO and Board of Directors, regarding pertinent issues on legislative and regulatory changes; directs and oversees the development of materials in support of the government affairs agenda, such as talking points, legislative summaries, factsheets, testimony, reports, and letters. In collaboration with the CEO, participates with senior leadership on institutional planning, policy development, and problem resolution. 

  • Leads, manages, and provides strategic oversight to the work of multiple marketing, communications, public relations, and other cross-functional and cross-organizational teams. Guides, leads, reviews, verifies, observes, and manages the work of people reporting directly and indirectly to you. Performs needs analysis, arranges, coordinates, delivers, evaluates, and monitors staff development. 

  • Ensures accountability for the performance and results of all advocacy-based communications and marketing campaigns. Directs the strategic planning, direction, and goal setting for the division and multiple subordinate functional areas. 

  • Prepares internal and external advocacy-based correspondence on behalf of the NVAR Office of the Chief Executive Officer and the NVAR Board of Directors for distribution to target audiences. Advises and assists the CEO on coordinating communications in critical and at times sensitive messaging to the membership and various other stakeholders. 

  • Coordinates advocacy-based communication between the Association and the NVAR leaders, the NVAR members, NVAR strategic partners, elected officials, media and community members. Ensures all divisional and departmental leaders have consistent advocacy-based messaging and clarity on talking points in advance of any important Association executive messages being delivered to members and stakeholder groups. 

  • In collaboration with the CEO, creates and pursues national, state, regional, and local advocacy-based public relations and advocacy-based media strategies, each clearly defined with distinct approaches. Develops a rapport with members of media outlets for television, radio, digital publications, podcasts and other channel exposure.  At times, and as determined by the CEO, the position will serve as an advocacy-based media spokesperson for the Association. 

  • Develops, implements and continuously improve the Association’s Advocacy brand and policies throughout all areas of the organization. Identifies advocacy-based story ideas and shapes key messages to generate positive coverage of the Association advocacy-based activities. 

  • Develops and implements an annual comprehensive advocacy plan, including processes to measure the effectiveness of communications strategies and activities. Proactively anticipates advocacy and R-PAC communication needs throughout each calendar year and prepares executive messaging matched with the appropriate voices and leaders. 

  • Expands advocacy-based social media accounts into mature, robust messaging platforms while growing engagement rates. Identifies new platforms to build and introduce to the Association’s social media portfolio. 

  • Develops and maintains advocacy-based communication templates and strategies, talking points, media statements, FAQs, internal updates, social media response plans. Responds to sensitive advocacy-based media relations situations and leads advocacy-based crisis management communication response teams as needed. 

  • In collaboration with the CEO, designs, establishes, and maintains an organizational structure and departmental staffing with the necessary expertise to effectively accomplish the organization's goals and objectives; oversees recruitment, training, supervision, and evaluation of divisional and departmental staff. 

  • Performs other job-related duties as assigned. 


  • Senior Vice President of Public and Government Affairs 
  • Director of Government Affairs 

Required Minimum Qualifications:

Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree required, preferably in related field; Advanced degree (e.g. JD, MBA, MPA, MPP) preferred.
  •  12+ years of combined experience in advocacy communications, political marketing, public relations, media relations or production, advocacy communications, and /or government affairs or related experience 

  • Six years of managerial experience 

Skilled in:

  • Excellent interpersonal and verbal and written communication skills including policy and creative writing, group presentation, and individual coaching and counseling skills.
  • Motivating employees to apply the effort necessary to attain organizational and departmental goals.
  • Strategic thinking including effective planning, setting goals, monitoring progress, tracking results, and making appropriate adjustments to plans based on circumstances and context.
  • Mentoring team members to develop goal setting plans, share knowledge and experiences.

Knowledge of:

Principles, practices and methodologies of communications, public or media relations, and speech writing Branding and marketing communications strategies and tactics, including content strategy, digital and social media Microsoft Office Professional or similar application

Ability to:

  • Gain the confidence and respect of diverse stakeholders in order to work effectively and build relationships of trust.
  • Think critically and creatively, have a high standard of integrity, and be motivated to incorporate best practices into the organizational culture.
  • Take initiative and be alert to new opportunities, techniques and approaches, maintain a high degree of professionalism and confidentiality.
  • Create a collegial, team-building work environment, motivating staff, and cultivating productive, collaborative relationships with all constituent groups.
  • Develop and deliver presentations to culturally diverse groups from all social, educational, political and economic backgrounds.
  • Manage a budget and budget systems.

Preferred Qualifications:

The ideal candidate is a recognized and active leader in the association world has a strong background in public affairs, policy and advocacy, an extensive network with media, elected officials, agency heads and government officials around the region, and experience managing innovative teams of staff and volunteer leaders.

Education and Experience:

Experience with strategic communications and leadership in an association or lobbying organization.

Knowledge of:

The role communication plays in developing and sustaining a culture of engagement and strengthening an organization’s external presence.

Drives for results:

Coordinates execution by setting appropriate pace. Evokes ownership and accountability, streamlines process/structure, and reallocates resources quickly and flexibly.

Inspire and influence:

Builds powerful relationships, helps others find meaning and purpose in their work, inspires through energetic engagement. Ability to influence people at all levels of the association, regardless of reporting relationships.

Executive presence:

Sophisticated, polished presentation that commands respect. Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Shapes strategy:

Anticipates and interprets market changes, envisions the future, and decides strategic priorities.

Business acumen and partnership:

Excellent political and business judgment, with a high degree of discretion. Possesses strong analytical skills. Assumes a diplomatic, non-partisan posture and can work effectively with elected leaders from all political parties.

Integrity and personality:

Clear reputation for ethical conduct and unquestionable integrity. Brings creativity and intellectual curiosity in dealing with complex legal and public policy issues.

NVAR’S Corporate Culture:


NVAR is an environment where employees take pride in their work, enjoy and have fun with it, understand where they fit into the big picture, and feel supported by management and their colleagues


NVAR is a growing association that provides incredible value to members, operates strategically and efficiently, and is a community and industry-leading organization.

NVAR’S T.E.A.M. Values:

Team Player: Works well with others; solution-focused; communicates effectively; increases opportunities for personal, professional and cross-organizational success and growth; says “we” instead of “I”; embraces different perspectives and diversity of ideas.

Excellence: The consistent pursuit of excellence is essential to everything that we do. High quality output, continually learning and improving. Honesty and integrity are essential values to achieve excellence.

Ambitious: Thinks big; challenges themselves to take risks; raises the bar, brings a high level of energy and performance to their work to energize and elevate themselves and others.

Motivated: Drive, effort, enthusiasm, passion and intense desire to accomplish goals and achieve success, personally, professionally and cross-organizationally.

NVAR’S Workplace Environment:  

Located in Fairfax County, VA, the NVAR headquarters was built green and is LEED GOLD certified.  Just minutes away from the Nation’s Capital, NVAR is an $8M revenue organization with over 32 staff who serve nearly 14,000 business professionals that transact over $19 billion in sales volume throughout the greater Washington DC Metro area.   

NVAR is a trusted voice for the real estate industry and a premier regional partner to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), America’s largest trade association. 

Recognized by Washington Business Journal as the region’s Largest Business Advocacy Groups in Greater DC region, this award-winning association fosters a culture of innovation, collaboration and industry impact.   

Under the leadership of its CEO, who has been listed on the ‘Power 500’ list of the most powerful and influential leaders by Virginia Business and is currently Chair of NAR’s Association Executives Committee, NVAR has earned multiple awards and recognition for its work in global real estate, website design, political advocacy, media relations and more. 

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Cover Letter: Attention to Deborah Glakas, Director of Human Resources


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