Director, Public Policy

Job Description

Heartland Forward is seeking a skilled public policy, government affairs and/or economic development professional with experience in collaborating with multiple stakeholders to advance public policy activities in the heartland.



The public policy director will lead Heartland Forward’s advocacy and public policy activities for our four program areas 1) innovation and entrepreneurship, 2) human capital and workforce development, 3) health and wellness and 4) regional competitiveness and the Connecting the Heartland to high-speed internet initiative.

The public policy director will report to the Executive Vice President and will work closely with the Heartland Forward team to establish the agenda for public policy engagement.

This position will play an integral role in helping turn our research into action by increasing brand awareness, creating new partnerships, positioning Heartland Forward as a leader on policy solutions and a resource to help strengthen Heartland communities. Much of the initial advocacy efforts will be directed toward state-level initiatives to support policy for Heartland Forward’s focus areas. A broader public policy strategy will be developed at the federal, state, regional and local levels. The director will assist Heartland Forward and its leadership team to engage leaders, policymakers, investors, education institutions and our broader heartland network.

The Director must be extremely effective in developing, communicating and pitching a strategy that creates opportunities for Heartland Forward to recommend and be a resource for communities on public policy and practices consistent with our research findings and mission/vision.




Who we are looking for:

Basic qualifications required for the role:

Additional preferred qualifications and helpful experience includes:

Characteristics that support success:


About Heartland Forward

Heartland Forward is a 501 (c) (3) nonpartisan, nonprofit “think and do tank.” Heartland Forward's mission is to improve economic performance in the center of the United States by advocating for fact-based solutions to foster job creation, knowledge-based and inclusive growth and improved health outcomes. We conduct independent, data-driven research to facilitate action-oriented discussion and impactful policy recommendations.

Heartland Forward is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building and maintaining a culturally diverse workplace. We encourage women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status of protected veteran, or status as a qualified individual with a disability.


Basic Qualifications