Policy and Research Coordinator

Company: Mountain Association

Locations: Berea, KY; Hazard, KY; Prestonsburg, KY

Job Function: Other


The Mountain Association is a nonprofit that invests in people and places in Eastern Kentucky to advance a just transition to a new economy that is more diverse, sustainable, equitable and resilient. Our Lending team offers loans to existing and startup businesses and organizations. We are a Community Development Financial Institution, so we can offer greater flexibility and lend to those who may not otherwise qualify. Our Business Support program connects business owners and nonprofit leaders to consultants who can help them succeed. Our Energy experts help businesses, nonprofits, public agencies and homeowners find much-needed energy savings through utility bill analysis, on-site energy efficiency and solar assessments, financing and grant application support.

The Mountain Association also engages in research, communications and advocacy for policy and narrative change, and works with partners on a variety of projects to demonstrate what’s possible in Eastern Kentucky.


The Policy and Research Coordinator will play a key role in advancing the policy and research efforts of the Mountain Association by representing the organization in external coalitions, providing connective tissue for the various policy efforts occurring within the Mountain Association by coordinating the Policy Team and its activities, conducting research that advances the organization’s understanding around policy issues and the landscape in which they occur, and creating communications aimed at forwarding Mountain Association’s policy agenda.


Essential Functions

Duties and responsibilities include but are not limited to the following areas:

Policy Engagement and Communications

  • Support Mountain Association’s national policy work, including tracking, analysis and efforts to influence state and federal policies and programs that may advance or hinder our strategies for just transition.
  • Support the Energy Team with their legislative and regulatory policy-related work.
  • Serve as a member of the Communications Team and support Mountain Association’s policy-related communications, including content creation.
  • Support the Policy Team in shaping Mountain Association’s response to policy initiatives and campaigns led by partners, allies and coalitions.
  • Support other Mountain Association teams and initiatives as appropriate with policy-related work and communications.
  • Participate in coalition work as prioritized by the Policy Team work plan.
  • Support Mountain Association’s engagement with the Central Appalachian Network’s policy-related initiatives.
  • Track the work and communications of our policy partners to identify strategic opportunities to utilize and magnify their work.

Research and Policy Analysis

  • Conduct research projects as assigned, including thorough analysis of data and studies relating to Mountain Association’s work, scanning existing research, and building relationships with key experts and resources.
  • Translate research findings into useable formats and share with staff or external audiences as requested.

Policy Team Coordination

  • Convene, facilitate and support the meetings and ongoing work of the Policy Team.
  • With input from the team, create the Policy Team’s work plan and monitor its implementation.
  • With the Chief Financial Officer, monitor Mountain Association’s advocacy and lobbying activities to ensure there are clear guidelines for work that may constitute lobbying and that those guidelines are followed.


  • Engages with and participates in the Mountain Association’s journey to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion both in our workplace and our work.
  • Participates in organization-wide Mountain Association activities and training programs as required.
  • Performs all other duties, as assigned.
  • Practices safety in all aspects of the job.
  • Participates in the strategic planning process and implementation of the plan as it relates to this role.
  • Provides courteous, professional services.

[more info on our careers webpage]


Critical Skills

Strong research, analysis, and writing skills. Ability to use a variety of styles to communicate. Ability to collate and analyze datasets, with proficiency in Excel.

Workload management, including ability to understand, follow, and meet schedules; ability to prioritize, organize tasks and time, and follow up; and perform responsibilities efficiently and timely. Ability to juggle multiple requests, meet multiple deadlines and direct and monitor others to ensure goals and deadlines are met. Performs responsibilities efficiently and timely. Takes initiative and needs little supervision. Proactive in anticipating and alerting others to problems with projects or processes.

Can effectively communicate with a variety and diversity of individuals in different roles, both internally and externally, including wide-ranging educational levels, socio-economic status, or world view. Able to communicate effectively and professionally in person, during online meetings, over the telephone, and through email. Able to work well in a team environment and as part of a team.

Required Experience, Education and Certifications

  • Bachelor’s degree; OR experience can substitute for education—in research, policy advocacy, communications, sustainable development or related fields.
  • Minimum of three years experience, in addition to the above.
  • Master’s degree preferred.

Not sure you meet all qualifications? Research shows that women and members of other under-represented groups tend to not apply to jobs when they think they may not meet every qualification, when, in fact, they often do! If you believe that you could excel in this role, we encourage you to apply. We are dedicated to considering a broad array of candidates, including those with diverse workplace experiences and backgrounds. Please use your cover letter to tell us why you believe you are a great fit for the role.

Tools & Equipment

Strong computer skills, with proficiency in Excel and Word. Capable of learning company database programs.

Physical Demands

  • Must be able to work proficiently with computers and other office equipment.
  • Work is primarily in an office environment (at home or a MA office) with office equipment, sitting for long periods of time.
  • Occasional travel in the service region will be required.
  • Some work will be on site and may require walking, bending, stooping, crawling, and climbing stairs/ladders.

Compensation and Benefits

This full-time position offers a competitive salary, with a range of $55,187 – $61,319 – $71,743, along with a generous benefits package. Salary is determined by evaluating an individual’s education and experience above the minimum requirements of the position.

This position’s main office location is flexible between Mountain Association’s offices in Berea, Prestonsburg, and Hazard, Kentucky, though our staff have a hybrid work schedule where they work from home as their position allows.

This position will be supervised by Leslie Ferguson-Oles, Chief Advancement Officer.

The Mountain Association is committed to ensuring the safety of all employees and their families, our clients, partners, team members and other individuals that we come into contact with for business purposes. Our approach to COVID-19 is informed by science and aligns to recommendations established by the CDC and other applicable government health agencies. Our COVID-19 vaccination policy requires all prospective employees, prior to their start date, to: (1) become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof of a vaccination, or (2) request and obtain approval for an accommodation for a medical or religious exemption. Should an accommodation for a medical or religious exemption be approved, an employee would work with the Mountain Association to develop a COVID-19 safety plan.

Employment is contingent upon meeting these requirements and the requirements of the position.

For more information about the Mountain Association, visit www.mtassociation.org. Please no drop-ins.

How to Apply

Please e-mail your resume and a cover letter specifically explaining why you are a good fit for this position to policy.hiring@mtassociation.org. The Mountain Association is committed to principles of diversity and equity and encourages applications from all people. We will ask candidates selected for second interviews to provide contact information for three references. Interviews will take place via Zoom. Our hiring process typically includes: two rounds of interviews and a skill-based activity.