Are you looking for a Meaningful Experience that will Challenge and Satisfy?  
If your idea of success is making a difference in people's lives on a daily basis, we want you on our team!  The professionals who represent the Colorado Department of Human Services work for the people of Colorado.  Their work touches the lives of families and individuals across our beautiful state.  
About the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS)
We are the Colorado Department of Human Services and every day we strive to design and deliver quality human services and health care that improve the safety, independence and well-being of the people of Colorado. Our mission provides our organization and employees the opportunity to make Colorado better every day.

Our vision is that the people of Colorado will be safe, healthy, and prepared to achieve their greatest aspirations. Through our core values listed below, the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) staff is committed to:

  • Making decisions with, and acting in the best interests of the people we serve, because Colorado's success depends on their well-being
  • Sharing information, seeking input, and explaining our actions because we value accountability and transparency
  • Managing our resources efficiently because we value stewardship
  • Promoting a positive work environment, and supporting and developing employees, because their performance is essential to Colorado's success
  • Meaningfully engaging our partners and the people we serve because we must work together to achieve the best outcomes
  • Committing to continuous learning because Coloradans deserve effective solutions today and forward-looking innovation for tomorrow 

CDHS serves Colorado's most vulnerable populations and assists struggling Colorado families who need food, cash, and energy assistance to provide for their families.  Families in need of safe and affordable child care; children at risk of abuse or neglect; families who struggle to provide care for their adult children with developmental disabilities; youth who have violated the law and need structure and guidance to grow into responsible and compassionate adults; Coloradoans who need effective treatment for mental illness or substance abuse issues; and families who need resources to care for their elderly parents or nursing home care for their veteran parents. The CDHS staff is committed to providing the right services to the right people in the right setting and at the right time.

The facilities operated by the Department are governed by many state and federal laws and regulations, requiring close coordination and partnerships with private or non-profit providers, academic research and policy organizations and publicly funded clinics and hospitals. There is consistent pressure on the facilities/programs to stretch fixed budgets, provide innovative services and continually provide higher quality care.

CDHS has many strong partnerships in pursuing its mission. The Department works together with valued county departments of human/social services in our state-supervised, county administered system. CDHS partners with the state's 17 mental health centers to ensure the provision of effective mental health treatment and licenses the state's substance abuse treatment programs. 

This department oversees medical and psychiatric services provided by the CDHS, by either employees or contractors, especially for those services provided in the Department's 24-hour, seven (7) day-a-week (24/7) facilities including the Veterans Community Living Centers, State Mental Health Institutes, State Regional Centers for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities and youth correctional services facilities. 

CDHS is the third largest agency in Colorado State government, with more than 5,000 employees and a budget of $2.4 billion/year.



Description of Job

As Director of Legislative Affairs, the position is accountable for the coordination of relationships with the legislative branch of government including the Joint Budget Committee (JBC), community stakeholders and counties. As the Director of CDHS' Legislative Unit, this position develops the Department's legislative agenda in coordination with the Executive Director, other Deputy Executive Directors, legislative liaison, and Executive Management Team. This position develops and recommends the Department's legislative strategies by ensuring alignment with the initiatives of the Governor's Office and approval from the Department's executive team.

Duties include but are not limited to:

  • Leads Legislative strategies and coordinates policy and communication with the Office of the Governor and other Cabinet agencies.
  • Directly interacts with members and staff of the Colorado General Assembly in furtherance of the Department's legislative and budget needs.
  • Anticipates issues that may develop, and identifies and negotiates solutions that maintain positive and productive relationships for the Department to meet goals and objectives.
  • Leads collaborative initiatives and coordinates effective and efficient service delivery with the Governor's Office.
  • Manages 2 staff members, the Legislative Liaison and Legislative Analyst for the department.
Minimum Qualifications, Substitutions, Conditions of Employment & Appeal Rights

Minimum Qualifications 

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in Public Administration, Political Science, Public Policy, Pre-Law, Communications, or a field of study related to the work assignment; 


  • At least four (4) years of progressively responsible professional experience in managing legislative relations in a large organization that must have included at least:
    • Two (2) years of experience in a legislative capacity, demonstrating an understanding of the complexities of legislative affairs, and experience building and maintaining relationship with a legislature.
    • Two (2) years of professional public or business administration experience that includes creating long term communications strategies for the organization on complex issues, and setting goals and objectives. 


  • Experience that provided the same kind, amount, and level of knowledge acquired in the required education, may be substituted on a year-for-year basis for the bachelor's degree.
  • A master's or doctorate degree from an accredited college or university in a Public Administration, Political Science, Public Policy, Law or Communications field, business or public administration, or a closely related field, may be substituted for the bachelor's degree and  two years of general experience respectively.

Conditions of Employment

  • Must be willing to travel approximately 20% of the time with some overnight travel for several days at a time, often on relatively short notice.
  • A pre-employment criminal background check will be conducted as part of the selection process as this position is deemed to have direct contact with vulnerable persons. Felony convictions, conviction of crimes of moral turpitude, or convictions of misdemeanors related to job duties may disqualify you from being considered for this position. Should your background check reveal any charges or convictions, it is your responsibility to provide the CDHS Background Unit with an official disposition of any charges.
  • Must be willing to be on-call in the event of the activation of the Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) and be required to report to work immediately at the regular or alternate location. During this time, travel restrictions may be in place. 
  • Former State employees who were disciplinarily terminated or resigned in lieu of termination must disclose the information on the application and provide an explanation why the prior termination or resignation should not disqualify the applicant from the current position.  Absent extraordinary circumstances, prior disciplinary termination or resignation in lieu of termination will disqualify the applicant from future State employment with CDHS.

Preferred Qualifications
The following supplemental experience, competencies and abilities are highly desirable for this position and will be considered in selecting the successful candidate:

  • Graduate degree is strongly preferred
  • Proven expertise in the legislative and public policy process
  • Demonstrated ability to establish collaborative partnerships and effective working relationships with a variety of internal and external customers and diverse stakeholders
  • Proven experience in policy analysis, development, and implementation

Required Competencies 

  • Ability to establish priorities and to plan, coordinate and monitor work of others; ability to make timely decisions; ability to coach, mentor, motivate and develop staff and encourage good performance.
  • Outstanding skills and abilities in verbal and written communications; ability to adapt a style to fit audiences of varying technical levels, and at various levels within an organization, in large groups and individual settings
  • Excellent skills in consensus-building, persuasion, negotiation and influence, including the ability to navigate in a complex political environment; ability to inspire trust in others and use influence and social capital to drive initiatives
  • Ability to work well with constituents regardless of position and authority, contribute to governing boards and committees, and adhere to clear lines of responsibility and accountability
  • Excellent skills in project management and facilitation, including establishing goals and timetables, tactical plans, securing and coordinating resources, monitoring progress, engaging and working with other personnel or teams, measuring results, developing contingencies, and reporting out
  • Ability and motivation to develop creative solutions to complex, interpersonal, process, and systemic challenges
  • Excellent judgment and decision making skills; makes decisions in accordance with upper management's philosophy, values and goals; perceives items and issues that are of great importance and initiates action proactively and within appropriate boundaries
  • Ability to collect, organize, analyze, and interpret data and information, and to identify the impact information may have on seemingly unrelated areas
  • Ability to adapt work behavior and methods in response to new information, changing conditions, or unexpected obstacles
  • Mature judgment and initiative; imagination, resourcefulness, energy and tact; proven ability to provide strategic direction and ensure an effective work structure to maximize productivity and achieve goals.
  • Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honors commitments; delivers outputs within prescribed time;  operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility of delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.
  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal, and written communication and public speaking skills


Supplemental Information

Please submit an on-line application, resume, transcript, and cover letter. Part of, or the entire exam for this position will involve a review of the information you submit in your application material. Therefore, it is paramount that in the experience portion of your application and cover letter, you describe the extent to which you possess the education, experience, and competencies outlined in the job announcement as well as the special and/or preferred qualification. Failure to include adequate information or follow instructions may affect your score and prevent you from competing in subsequent measures used to arrive at a top group of applicants.
This position is unclassified, and at-will, which is a performance-based pay plan reserved for senior-level management positions responsible for relatively large or important segments of a principal department.
HOW TO APPLY: Thank you for your interest. Submit an on-line application by clicking the link below or submit a State of Colorado Application for Announced Vacancy and all supplemental questions according to the instructions provided below. Failure to submit a complete and timely application may result in the rejection of your application. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that application materials are received by the appropriate Human Resources office before the closing date and time listed above.
Human Resource Office, 1575 Sherman Street, Denver, Colorado 80203
Mieke Thorson, HR Director,

ADAAA Accommodations: Any person with a disability as defined by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) may be provided a reasonable accommodation upon request to enable the person to complete an employment assessment. To request an accommodation, please contact Bridget Clawson Braaten at 303-866-4373 or  by phone or email at least five business days before the assessment date to allow us to evaluate your request and prepare for the accommodation. You may be asked to provide additional information, including medical documentation, regarding functional limitations and type of accommodation needed. Please ensure that you have this information available well in advance of the assessment date.

Toll Free Applicant Technical Support: If you experience technical difficulty with the NEOGOV system (e.g. uploading or attaching documents to your online application) call NEOGOV technical support at 855-524-5627 Mon-Fri between 6 am and 6 pm (Pacific Time).  Helpful hints: if you are having difficulty uploading or attaching documents to your application first- ensure your documents are PDF or Microsoft Word files, and second, close the document before you attempt to upload (attach) it.

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