Position Posting

Director of Public Policy  | WESTAF


Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, WESTAF (Western States Arts Federation) is a nonprofit arts service organization dedicated to strengthening the financial, organizational, and policy infrastructure of the arts in the West. WESTAF assists state arts agencies, arts organizations and artists in their quest to serve diverse audiences, enrich the lives of local communities, and provide access to the arts and arts education for all. Through innovative programming, advocacy, research, technology, and grantmaking, WESTAF encourages the creative advancement and preservation of the arts regionally and through a national network of customers and alliances.

As one of six regional arts organizations in the US, WESTAF provides advocacy, policy, arts programming and professional development services to the arts agencies in its 13-state region. WESTAF has also taken an entrepreneurial approach to addressing the needs of the arts and culture field by developing technology products and providing software as a service (SaaS). Through these programs, WESTAF serves arts organizations and artists in every state.

Founded in 1974, WESTAF is governed by a 22-member board of trustees comprised of arts leaders in the West. WESTAF serves the largest constituent territory of U.S. regional arts organizations and includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawai’i, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

About the Position:
Here’s the full job description.

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Public Policy will lead and guide the development of progressive, sustainable, and high-impact arts policy programs and services. WESTAF’s 10-year vision and strategic plan set forth aggressive goals and metrics, including strengthening state arts agencies, increasing equity in the arts field, increasing public funding and support for the arts, and advancing WESTAF’s position as a thought leader. The Director of Public Policy will play a key role in advancing and achieving these goals with a special focus on the work of state arts agencies.

Essential Functions:

  • Develops, refines, implements and leads programs, convenings and consulting services related to policy options and positioning for state arts agency participants in WESTAF.
  • Manages relationships with WESTAF-region state arts agencies to become stronger, more innovative, entrepreneurial and relevant to their constituencies.
  • Works closely at the policy level with state advocacy groups to drive results.
  • Develops, implements and leads strategies to support WESTAF’s public policy thought leadership in the field, including positioning and managing convenings, developing white papers and developing key messaging.
  • With the Executive Director, identifies and aligns key individual, organizational and agency partners to increase public funding for the arts at the state and national levels.  
  • In collaboration with the WESTAF Director of Marketing and Communications, develops and implements public relations campaigns to build awareness of arts-related issues to drive legislation and policy informed by trends, political opinion and public opinion.
  • Manages external relationships with the National Endowment for the Arts, Regional Arts Organizations (RAOs), and other arts and public policy organizations like the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) and Americans for the Arts (AFTA) that benefit WESTAF and its participating states.
  • In partnership with the Director of Social Responsibility, executes and advances WESTAF policy-related programs and services to proactively support and expand the promotion of leaders of color in the West.
  • Represents WESTAF’s vision and goals at relevant conferences, convenings, public meetings and important political functions.


  • Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degree preferred, or equivalent combination of education, training and experience
  • Five years of public policy work at the state and/or national level
  • Demonstrated management and supervisory experience
  • Demonstrated experience in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Exemplary written and oral communication skills
  • Experience and formal training in arts disciplines and/or arts administration preferred


  • Salary is commensurate with experience.
  • Competitive benefits package includes fully paid health coverage and 401k with matching.


WESTAF is an equal opportunity employer: All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.

Please send resume and cover letter to Here’s the full job description.