Director, Federal Relations – Appropriations, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

Location: Washington, DC
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is the nation’s leading cancer advocacy organization. Together with our charitable partner, the American Cancer Society, we work in Congress, state legislatures and local jurisdictions to support evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem.
The Director, Federal Relations – Appropriations is responsible for advocating for and achieving identified federal legislative and regulatory policy priorities in a bi-partisan manner with the goal of reducing the cancer burden through evidence-based public policy. This Director serves as principal federal lobbyist and strategist for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) on all issues related to federal budget and appropriations, cancer research, and global health issues before Congress and the Administration, and serves as Executive Director of the ACS CAN-led One Voice Against Cancer Coalition, requiring significant externally facing strategic leadership.

Principal Duties And Responsibilities

  • Responsible for advocating for and achieving identified federal legislative priorities on issues related to budget and appropriations, cancer research, and global health issues, including ARPA-H and other related issues as necessary.
  • Identifies and recommends public policy advocacy opportunities and designs and implements appropriate strategies in coordination with ACS CAN leadership and staff. Responsible for driving progress and enactment of key legislation.
  • Represents ACS CAN before members of Congress and Congressional staff, Executive Branch/Administrative Agency personnel, coalition partners, and others, executing necessary external engagement to move federal legislative and regulatory priorities forward. Identifies and develops engagement strategies in alignment with leadership priorities and goals.
  • Serves as Executive Director of One Voice Against Cancer (OVAC), a coalition of more than 50 groups that advocate for cancer research and prevention funding. Responsibilities include chairing monthly coalition meetings; leading coalition members to reach a consensus on annual appropriations requests; developing a strategy to advocate for those requests; organizing various OVAC activities, including Congressional briefings, two annual lobby days, and letters to Congress; and serving as the coalition’s primary point of contact in interactions with Capitol Hill and relevant federal agencies.
  • Proactively identifies needs for research and materials to support lobbying activities and enable quick response to current events.
  • Ensures comprehensive approach to legislative strategies, including time-sensitive legislative and issue tracking, drafting and analyzing legislative proposals, tracking and reporting on budget and appropriations numbers, scheduling and staffing meetings, developing talking points, charts, fact sheets, and presentations, drafting correspondence and testimony, and conducting briefings on and off Capitol Hill.
  • Represents ACS CAN in coalitions including but not limited to United for Medical Research and the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research.
  • Coordinates enterprise engagement with the Director, National Cancer Institute, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and others, ensuring partnership and engagement for mission priorities.
  • Provides strategic guidance to ACS CAN senior leaders on annual federal appropriations process and legislative issues.
  • Works in close collaboration with the policy team to determine appropriate positions on legislation and regulatory matters.
  • Works strategically with counterparts on grassroots advocacy, advocacy communications, field, and other internal American Cancer Society (ACS) and ACS CAN teams to identify campaign execution strategies and tactics to move federal priorities forward. Cross-teams collaboration is a key component of ACS CAN’s work.
  • Responds to information requests from Congressional offices and the public as well as inquiries from ACS and ACS CAN staff and volunteers.
  • Collaborates with personnel in ACS’s mission pillars, Patient Support and Discovery, on key federal priorities,
  • Attends relevant conferences and meetings.
  • Provides information for member profiles and maintains reports on legislative meetings.
  • Attends Federal Government Relations Team and other ACS CAN meetings.
  • Provides frequent status reports to the ACS CAN President, the Vice President, Federal Advocacy and Strategic Alliances, and the Senior Director, Federal Relations on activities and work accomplished.


Formal Knowledge

  • Bachelor’s degree; Master’s degree preferred.
  • Capitol Hill or Administration work experience strongly preferred.
  • 10 or more years of professional experience required, including extensive legislative and/or advocacy experience.
  • High level of expertise in the legislative process, regulatory process, and the federal budget and appropriations process.
  • Experience leading and engaging with coalitions.


  • Superb research and writing skills.
  • Must have a great attitude and be a team player; thought leader for execution of important portfolio that delivers impact.
  • Must be collaborative and able to work across teams to achieve goals.
  • Must be a self-starter able to work with minimal supervision and understand context of media, politics, and grassroots mobilization.
  • Must be flexible, and able to manage competing priorities and multiple tasks and projects.
  • Internet, Microsoft Office.

Specialized Training or Knowledge

  • High level of expertise in the legislative process, regulatory process, and the federal budget and appropriations process.

More Information

The American Cancer Society has adopted a vaccination policy that requires all staff, regardless of position or work location, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (except where prohibited by state law).

ACS CAN provides staff a generous paid time off policy; medical, dental, retirement benefits, wellness programs, and professional development programs to enhance staff skills. Further details on our benefits can be found on our careers site at: We are a proud equal opportunity employer.