The Education Trust, one of the nation’s premiere education advocacy organizations working to improve educational opportunity and raise achievement for the most vulnerable students including low-income students and students of color, seeks a Senior Policy Analyst to support the work of the organization’s division of Higher Education Policy. Reporting to the Director of Higher Education Policy, the Senior Policy Analyst will support an ambitious, innovative effort to advance the equity agenda in colleges and universities. The Education Trust pursues substantive improvements within higher education, particularly improved outcomes for low-income students and students of color, through federal and state financial aid policy, institutional accountability for improving student access and success, and policy innovations and investments targeted toward persistence and completion. To this end, the Senior Policy Analyst works closely with the higher education research and practice teams, the P-12 Policy and Practice division, and the Government Affairs and Communications division.
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.
The Senior Policy Analyst responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:
- Support the policy team in researching, analyzing, and developing new proposals on key higher education topics;
- Contribute to reports, briefs, blogs, and other resources on key topics in the higher education policy space that advance our policy positions and influence legislation;
- Assist with working with key stakeholders, including policymakers, coalition partners, researchers, and advocates to identify policy opportunities and develop, refine, and advance our policy priorities;
- Assist with monitoring and responding to federal, state, and local policy activities related to higher education, including serving as a media spokesperson on those issues;
- Actively participate in relevant cross-organizational committees (e.g. policy development, communications) to engage critical partners and to develop and advance policy;
- Continually track, organize, and report concisely on information relevant to higher education policy priorities from a variety of sources, including pending legislation, media reports, reports from think tanks, academic research literature, and other advocacy organizations;
- Assist with the development and strategic dissemination of reports, briefs, and other collateral materials including press outreach and interviews, presentations to key audiences including advocacy partners and policymakers and web-based outreach to the public; and
- Respond to time-sensitive higher education policy data inquiries from staff, media, advocacy partners, legislators, and the public at-large.
We are looking for a combination of the following qualifications and experience:
- A minimum of 3 years of experience in a role addressing higher education issues;
- A comprehensive understanding of higher education research, and ability to understand and apply relevant qualitative and quantitative higher education data;
- Deep understanding of higher education policy and finance issues such as, but not limited to, the Higher Education Act and its reauthorization, higher education accountability, and student financial aid;
- Demonstrated experience in policy development on higher education issues with a keen emphasis on equity and closing gaps in opportunity and outcomes;
- Understanding of federal and state policy contexts that affect higher education, and thoughts about how to improve these policies through appropriate policy levers;
- An understanding of various institutional and system governance structures within higher education and the unique challenges specific to diverse types of colleges and universities (e.g., HBCUs, HSIs, tribal colleges, community colleges, etc.);
- Excellent analytic and communication skills (both oral and written, and in a variety of formats and contexts);
- Demonstrated ability designing, communicating, and advocating for policy positions;
- At least a bachelor’s degree (a master’s degree in public policy, higher education, education policy, political science, economics, or related field preferred); and
- Ability to travel 10-20% of the time.
- 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;
- Self-starter mentality and the ability to work independently;
- A demonstrated commitment to excellence;
- Healthy respect for colleagues and ability to work collaboratively with others within the higher education team and across the organization;
- Goal-oriented, project-oriented, and results-oriented;
- Desire to be part of an intellectually rich and action-oriented work environment;
- 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.