Policy Advocate

About San Diego

San Diego’s U.S. - Mexico Border is the world’s largest metropolitan binational region. San Ysidro, just one of three border crossings in the region, is consistently cited as the world’s busiest. Historically, San Diego has also been the number one refugee resettlement site in California with more than 86,000 thousand resettled from the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Africa since 1975. This has made San Diego’s communities a rich blend of racial/ethnic, linguistic, and region of birth diversity.

Our binational region presents an opportunity to be on the front lines for the fight for human rights by:

  • providing direct legal support and engaging in federal impact litigation;

  • setting national precedents for those seeking human rights protections.

About PANA

PANA is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to advancing the full economic, social, and civic inclusion of refugees in San Diego. PANA uses an integrated voter engagement approach to its community organizing, public policy, and research in order to build and leverage deep community networks, develop community leaders, and establish a civic engagement infrastructure to amplify the voice, visibility and impact of our community.

Since 2015, the Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans -- PANA -- has led the fight to lift up refugee voices as equal participants in the civic, social, and economic life of San Diego County.  PANA’s unique role works at the intersections of African, Middle Eastern, Muslim, & South Asian (AMEMSA) refugee communities impacted by racial/ethnic profiling, religious bias, heightened scrutiny, proposed increased government surveillance, and poverty among the many issues affecting our refugee communities.

PANA is hiring a Policy Advocate to elevate refugee voices at policymaking tables, conduct policy analysis, and lead legislative and administrative advocacy efforts at the county and state level. S/he will utilize a variety of strategies and work across multiple teams to formulate and advance priorities and build community leadership to influence the public policies that affect them. This includes analyzing and drafting state legislation and legislative amendments, advancing a pro-refugee county legislative agenda, preparing public education tools, researching legal and policy issues, working with the organizing team and PANA leaders to assess emerging regional, and statewide trends.

The Policy Advocate will report directly to the Executive Director.


  • Foster relationships with local, state, and national organizations providing legal defense and support to refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants.

  • Advance county, state, and national policies focused on protecting California’s growing refugee and Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (AMEMSA/MASA) communities.

  • Develop and lead a high level coalition of organizations working directly with refugee and MASA communities to advance state legislation that will expand protections or create new protections for refugee and MASA communities.

  • Build and strengthen relationships with local, state, and national lawmakers and stakeholders.

  • Support the Advocacy Academy and the leadership development of community members.

  • Manage and implement PANA’s biennial House Meetings Leadership Program and publish an updated San Diego Refugee Experiences report.

  • Participate and lead reflection and evaluation of actions and campaign activities with staff and coalition partners.

  • Work with membership and staff in developing and implementing public relations strategies.

  • Ensure data is entered quickly and accurately into databases (PDI, Mailchimp, etc).

  • Ensure policy and campaign issues are in line with organizational messaging, goals, and obligations to its communities.

Qualifications and Skills Required

  • Bachelor's degree in Public Policy, Political Science, Community Development, Community Organizing, Social Work, Urban Planning, Women’s Studies, Ethnic Studies, Sociology, Community Psychology, or related field required.

  • A minimum of three years of experience in community organizing working with and managing coalitions in a collaborative context with formal training in either conflict organizing or consensus organizing theories.

  • Experience with policy advocacy, leading issue campaigns, including campaign planning, research, analysis and report writing.

  • Demonstrated commitment to refugee and immigrant communities.

  • Excellent research, oral and written skills.

  • Extremely organized with close attention to detail and accuracy.

  • Ability to juggle multiple priorities effectively in a rapidly changing environment.

  • Ability to speak Arabic, Karen, Urdu, Farsi, Kurdish, Vietnamese, Somali, Amharic, Tigrinya, or Swahili strongly preferred.

  • Knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook, and sophisticated use of technology.


Competitive salary commensurate with experience and excellent benefits.

To Apply

Applicants should email a resume, writing sample, and cover letter to admin@panasd.org.