The Education Trust, named one of the three most effective education organizations on Capitol Hill, seeks a Field Director to join the organization’s division of Government Affairs and Communications. This position will lead the organization’s efforts to increase the volume and quality of state-and community-level advocacy aimed at closing the opportunity and achievement gaps that separate low-income students and students of color from their peers. Reporting to the Vice President of Government Affairs and Communications, the Field Director will design and carry out a multi-year strategy to identify and cultivate organizational partners, learn what is important to them, connect them with one another and with expertise, and provide them with the support they need to succeed on matters of common interest. The Field Director and his/her team will play the dual role of organizing learning opportunities for the field and organizing opportunities for our team to learn from the field.
Washington, DC Office
We are fierce advocates for the high academic achievement of all students – pre-kindergarten through college, particularly those of color or living in poverty. Many organizations speak up for the adults employed by schools; we speak up for the students, especially those whose needs and potential are often overlooked. Through both research and advocacy, our goal is to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement that consign far too many young people—especially those from low-income families or who are black, Latino, or American Indian—to lives on the margins of the American mainstream. We work alongside parents, educators, policymakers, and community and business leaders across the country in transforming schools and colleges into institutions that serve all students well. Lessons learned in these efforts, together with unflinching data analyses, shape our state and national policy agendas. For additional information on The Education Trust, please visit www.edtrust.org.
The Field Director’s responsibilities will include but are not limited to the following:
- Identify, cultivate, and maintain ongoing relationships with organizational partners—including state education advocacy organizations, chapters of civil rights organizations and community-based organizations—who can help secure the changes in state and local policy and practice necessary to close longstanding opportunity and achievement gaps for K-16 students. Understand which issues are important to these organizations, as well as their current capacity to take those issues on. Initially, this work will focus in a group of five to ten target states, but will expand outward over time;
- Work with organizational partners and our staff to identify opportunities for joint advocacy work, and organize The Education Trust and other support (including research, collateral materials and other resources to build capacity) to move that work forward;
- Lead The Education Trust’s work to identify and develop advocacy talent, especially in communities of color, making sure that the next generation of education advocates is vastly more representative of these communities than the current generation;
- Ensure that the experiences, perspectives and insights from these external partners help to shape and inform our work. Provide strategic counsel, regular reports and analysis to internal colleagues to inform our K-12 and higher education advocacy work;
- Manage a small team of field professionals, continuously developing their capacity to do state-based advocacy work well;
- Work with the government affairs team to mobilize support from key partners in our efforts to secure changes in federal K-12 and higher education policy;
- Work with colleagues in the communications department to harness social and traditional media in our state-level advocacy work;
- Oversee the tracking and analyzing of state legislation, regulations, other policy proposals, and hearings, announcements, and other government actions relevant our priority issues; and
- Coordinate the organization’s participation in relevant conferences and meetings, and represent The Education Trust externally in a variety of forums.
We are looking for a combination of the following qualifications and experience:
- A minimum of five to seven years of experience in building, managing, growing, and mobilizing an extensive national network;
- Demonstrated ability to set goals, prioritize work, deliver on objectives, and manage staff effectively;
- Demonstrated ability to think creatively and systemically and to capitalize on external opportunities;
- Demonstrated ability to plan and execute effective organizing campaigns and successful advocacy work;
- Experience working collaboratively with diverse organizations;
- Excellent organizational, oral, written, and interpersonal skills;
- Knowledge of education policy;
- Strong preference for being bilingual in Spanish;
- At least an undergraduate degree in public policy, education, political science, or similar field; a graduate degree is preferred; and
- Ability to travel approximately five to ten days per month.
The Field Director should possess the following characteristics:
- Commitment to The Education Trust’s mission;
- Self-starter mentality and the ability to work independently;
- A demonstrated commitment to excellence;
- Healthy respect for colleagues;
- Goal-oriented, project-oriented, and achievement-oriented;
- Strong sense of honor and integrity; and
- A warm, personal style with a good sense of humor
Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. The Education Trust offers a comprehensive benefits package.