As the Senior State Policy Advocacy Specialist, Jake McDonald improves job quality for direct care workers and strengthens care delivery by deepening and expanding PHI’s state-based advocacy approach. This role involves leading PHI’s work with state-level stakeholders to advance public policies and support advocacy strategies that improve compensation, training, and other dimensions of job quality for the direct care workforce.
For the last decade, Jake has used his background in the law and education to create social change through direct services and policy advocacy. Most recently, Jake was the Policy Counsel for Economic Justice at the National Partnership for Women & Families where he led the organization’s state and local work to advance laws and policies that promote a fair and family-friendly economy with a focus on gender, racial, and disability equity. He also worked in coalition on federal policy advocacy efforts, including the successful passage of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.
Previously, Jake was the Client Services Counsel at the Medicare Rights Center for over five years, promoting health justice by representing hundreds of clients in need, developing educational and empowerment tools, and connecting his individual advocacy to state and federal policy initiatives that lead to systemic change. He also served as the Carr Center Fellow for Reproductive Justice at A Better Balance, providing legal assistance and developing policy solutions to create more equitable workplaces.
Jake earned his JD from New York University’s School of Law and his BA in Psychology and Film, Television, & Theatre from the University of Notre Dame. Prior to law school, Jake spent four years teaching in New Orleans’ public high schools. Originally from Green Bay, Wisconsin, Jake now lives in Lexington, Kentucky.