Manager of Higher Education Justice Initiatives

The Education Trust seeks a Manager of Higher Education Justice Initiatives to manage the Justice Fellows Policy Program and support the ongoing work of the Higher Education Policy team.

Reporting to the Director of Higher Education Policy, the Manager will support an ambitious, innovative effort to advance the equity agenda in federal, state, and institutional policies for justice-impacted students. Core responsibilities include: managing a vibrant community of impacted, formerly incarcerated individuals that will inform, review, amplify, and reflect on policy recommendations for justice-impacted students; working with partners and experts on issues like ban the box and college affordability for justice-impacted students; analyzing state and federal policy; and communicating policy recommendations through various channels. To this end, the Manager will work closely with the Higher Education teams, and the Partnership and Engagement teams, as well as collaborating with the P-12 Policy and Practice team, the Government Affairs team, and Communications team.

While Ed Trust is currently working remotely, staff are expected to relocate to and live in the Washington, DC office to meet the organization’s plan to return to in-person work at the office in the Spring of 2022. If the Manager is located outside of the DC area, the Manager will work with the Director of Higher Education Policy for a reasonable timeline for transition.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, but submissions are encouraged by Monday, January 31. For additional information on The Education Trust, please visit

About the Organization

Ed Trust is comprised of fierce advocates for the high academic achievement of all students — pre-kindergarten through college, particularly those of color or living in poverty. Through research and advocacy, Ed Trust’s goal is to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement that affect millions of young people across the U.S. — especially students of color and those from low-income families. We work alongside educators, policymakers, parents, and community and business leaders across the country to advocate transforming schools and colleges into institutions that serve all students well. Lessons learned in these efforts, together with unflinching data analyses, help shape our state and national policy agendas.

Major Responsibilities

The Manager responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

  • Recruit, select, and manage the Justice Fellows, who are directly impacted, formerly incarcerated individuals that will inform, review, amplify, and reflect on policy recommendations for justice-impacted students;
  • Create and implement curricula of readings, training, and professional development on policy, advocacy, and professional skills for Fellows and alumni;
  • Identify and lead external engagement opportunities for Fellows at coalitions, conferences, associations, and state agencies;
  • Manage an advisory committee of experts on higher education and criminal justice issues, providing high-level guidance, advice, and expertise on Ed Trust’s Justice Fellows Policy Program, strategy and work plan;
  • Work collaboratively with the Higher Education and Partnership and Engagement teams as they engage and convene key partners and stakeholders to help build their expertise and capacity on higher education in prison and key equity issues, including participating in coalitions, advisory boards, and partner meetings,
  • Contribute to a series of policy briefs, blogs, fact sheets, and other resources based on analyses of policy scans that highlight the states that provide higher education opportunities effectively for justice-impacted students, trends in policies overtime for justice-impacted students, and advocacy efforts around issues at the intersections of higher education and criminal justice;
  • Work collaboratively with our Legislative Affairs team to advance policy positions and influence legislation, including working with our coalition partners and presenting policy proposals and positions to legislators, administration officials, stakeholder groups, advocacy organizations, and others;
  • Actively participate in relevant cross-organizational committees (e.g. policy development, communications) to engage critical partners and to develop and advance policy;
  • Communicate and update senior leaders and funders on projects and engage in conversations with prospective funders on aligned work;
  • Support the policy team in researching, analyzing, and developing new proposals on key higher education topics
  • Provide feedback on policy proposals on key higher education topics (especially justice-impacted students/campus policing/student voice and activism);
  • Respond to time-sensitive inquiries from staff, media, advocacy partners, legislators, and the public-at-large.

Qualifications and Experience

  • At least a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of two years of experience in a role(s) managing a fellowship, internship, mentorship, or student-facing program addressing higher education or justice issues. Candidates with some college and robust qualifications and experience may also be considered;
  • Passion for improving the educational experiences and outcomes for low-income students and students of color, and an unwavering belief that these students could be much more successful if institutions better served them;
  • Demonstrated commitment to centering racial equity in research, policy, and practice;
  • Demonstrated capacity to set priorities; work on multiple detail-oriented tasks, often on a time-sensitive basis; and work effectively both individually and as part of a team
  • Excellent analytic and communication skills (both oral and written, and in a variety of formats and contexts);
  • Highly organized with strong attention to detail;
  • Strong interpersonal, relationship-building, and people management skills;
  • Demonstrated project management skills;
  • Experience working with equity advocates and partners;
  • Demonstrated interest in policy development on higher education issues with a keen emphasis on equity and closing gaps in opportunity and outcomes;
  • Working understanding of higher education policy, and the ability to learn, understand and apply relevant qualitative and quantitative higher education data;
  • Working understanding of federal and state policy contexts that affect higher education, and thoughts about how to improve these policies through appropriate policy levers;
  • Ability to travel 10-20% of the time.


Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. The Education Trust offers a comprehensive benefits package.

Please provide a cover letter and resume to be considered for this position. You must combine your cover letter and resume into one document and upload that document. Our application system will not allow you to upload more than one file.

At The Education Trust, the health and safety of our employees is of the utmost importance. As such, all Education Trust employees will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and new hires should be fully vaccinated prior to their first day of work. Requests for accommodations due to medical or religious reasons will be reviewed by Human Resources.

The Education Trust is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages diversity in all facets of the organization’s work.