State Advocacy Manager, Dental Access Project

Community Catalyst is a national non-profit advocacy organization working to build consumer and community leadership to transform the American health system. Our first priority is quality, affordable health care for all and to ensure that all individuals and communities sustain the power to influence local, state and national decisions that affect their health. Since 1998, we have provided leadership and support to consumer organizations, policymakers and foundations working to ensure the health care system serves everyone – especially historically marginalized communities. Community Catalyst strengthens organized consumer voices in communities, at statehouses and on Capitol Hill when advocates fight for changes that improve our health.

As an organization, we believe an inclusive and open environment fosters creativity, contributes to the quality of our work, and provides growth opportunities for our employees. Additional information is available at


Oral health is directly related to overall health yet many groups are not getting the care they need. The Dental Access Project (DAP) is an exciting and innovative project focused on elevating community voice in campaigns aimed at improving the oral health outcomes of underserved communities. The Dental Therapy Project (DTP) is part of the DAP, a joint initiative between Community Catalyst and  the W.K. Kellogg Foundation focusing on empowering community groups and consumer health advocates to improve access to dental care by expanding the dental team to include a community-based practitioner called a dental therapist. The DTP partners state advocates, community coalitions, dentists and dental hygienists, state and federal lawmakers. As part of the DAP our partners have changed the policy environment, helping to improve access to oral health care.


The State Advocacy Manager (SAM) is within Community Catalyst’s Dental Access Project (DAP) and will work with the Program Director to support consumer advocacy groups in the development and execution of long- and short-term state-based campaigns—including field, digital, and communication components. The SAM cultivates and manages relationships with state-based advocacy organizations throughout the country, providing advocacy campaign guidance to consumer advocates, providers and policymakers. Assistance to states will primarily focus on campaign strategy support such as designing targeted community organizing efforts, trainings, coalition-building work and media relations support.  The successful candidate will be a key player and catalyst in the design and implementation of cutting-edge advocacy campaigns focused on consumer engagement.

The SAM is expected to consistently provide excellent service to our partners as well as represent our partners’ needs and goals within the organization.


The State Advocacy Manager is supervised by the Dental Access Program Director


  • Works with state advocates to develop long-term strategic campaign plans for multiple states
  • Manages relationships with state-based partner organizations from a variety of states interested in educating elected officials, policy makers and the public about dental reform efforts, managing day-to-day relationships, grants and program requirements
  • Offers timely, efficient, tailored coaching to state-based organizations, drawing on other Community Catalyst staff members as needed.  This will include help with: 
      • campaign strategy
      • coalition-building
      • grassroots education and outreach: assist in designing public education and training materials and conducting trainings for collaborating state/local groups
      • strategic communications: participate in message development and communications strategies for individual state activities
      • draft fact sheets, action alerts, blast emails, updates, letters and small reports
      • policy support: research various issues via on-line searches, reviewing hard-copy resources, interviewing colleagues and experts, and other strategies
      • tracking and evaluation of progress
  • Lead support to states in the creation and execution of organizing strategies that promote/defend quality efforts to advance project initiatives
  • Work as part of a team to offer excellent support and technical assistance state-partners that are part of overall dental access program
  • Actively participates as a member of the project team, assisting with program design, implementation, proposal development and planning 
  • Assist in all phases of project documentation production and distribution, including developing tracking systems for state support projects
  • Provide administrative support including updating data bases, preparing mailings, coordinating meetings, etc.
  • Communicates with state partners and internal team on support requests, grant deliverables and other issues
  • Other responsibilities as assigned to achieve the goals of the project


  • Bachelor’s plus at least 3 years’ experience leading state-wide issue campaigns; or Master’s plus 2 years’ relative experience
  • Commitment to social justice and experience in social change activism such as: legislative advocacy or political/policy issue campaigns; community organizing; working with coalitions and stakeholders; and/or implementing communications strategies
  • Proven skills in leadership, relationship development, collaborative, and team building
  • Proven written and verbal communications skills, including experience with public speaking, training, facilitating, and/or coaching
  • Ability to convey complex information in writing and speaking so that it is easily understood by the public
  • Strong organizational skills, including an ability to manage several projects at once and respond to tight timelines
  • Highly-developed attention to detail, with the ability to manage effectively in a fast-paced environment
  • Experience with working independently in a collaborative team environment
  • Ability to travel
  • Health policy and/or health care delivery system knowledge helpful
  • Experience doing health policy research and analysis helpful   
  • Bilingual/bicultural background highly desirable


Community Catalyst is based in Boston, MA with additional offices in Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Washington DC, St. Louis, MO, Lansing, MI, and New York City.


  • Competitive salary
  • Generous paid time off policy
  • Robust benefits package

Applicants should submit a resume with a one page cover letter briefly summarizing their interest in and qualifications for the position to: Please put “State Advocacy Manager, Dental Access Project” in the subject line.

Last updated by Janet Umenta Aug 8, 2018.

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