Senior Director, Education Policy & Advocacy

Posted by: National Urban League

New York, NY, US

The National Urban League seeks a Senior Director with P-16 education reform / innovation knowledge and state/federal policy familiarity. Under the direction of the Vice President, Education Policy and Advocacy, the Senior Director will be responsible for a national advocacy portfolio, assist with research and analysis, and provide writing support to the National Urban League’s Education & Youth Development team, specifically on the Equity and Excellence Project (EEP), and P-16 education reform and advocacy. The successful candidate will have a demonstrated commitment to educational excellence and equity, and will be a detail oriented, creative, organized, energetic, and results-oriented individual with strong inter-personal skills to ensure effective operations and client-centered service. The successful candidate will also have a demonstrated commitment to the mission and goals of the Urban League Movement.

Essential Functions:

  • Work with Senior Vice President, and the Vice President in the Education & Youth Development Division to conduct P-16 policy analysis, and to develop tools and resources that advance an educational equity and excellence agenda.
  • Meaningfully support local and statewide partners and coalitions in building advocacy and engagement for equity and opportunity in Every Child Succeeds Act (ESSA) planning and implementation;
  • Produce state and district specific policy overviews and strategic memos.
  • Conduct research on early childhood education policy, Every Child Succeeds Act(ESSA) implementation at the State and district levels, college completion and attainment policy issues (federal, state, local), and help senior staff in the development of relevant deliverables and analyses.
  • Function effectively as the liaison with national partner organizations and coalitions.
  • Produce actionable recommendations for advancing equity at the national, state and district levels.
  • Direct the tracking, collecting and monitoring of research relevant to our overall P-16 education advocacy, policy and engagement strategy and constituents, with a particular emphasis on those most useful for building public will and by parents / families / caregivers, community stakeholders and leaders, and state and local elected officials.
  • Contribute to developing impactful advocacy and engagement tools that support. Urban League Affiliate CEOs as they lead, and participate in, stakeholder groups around ESSA implementation in their states and districts.
  • Track, analyze, distill, frame, and communicate key issues related to education policy and practice at district, state, federal, and national levels.
  • Support the development of resources and advocacy tools.
  • Research and brief constituents on state education policies particularly related to ESSA, equity, opportunity and excellence.
  • Coordinate and prepare for regional and national convening for Urban League Affiliate CEOs and their education partners.
  • Prepare interim and final reports across the education reform and advocacy portfolio.
  • Maintain the National Urban League’s strong relationships with national policy, research, and advocacy organizations.


  • Master’s degree required, in public policy, education or related field.
  • Five or more years of related work experience. (Education and experience requirements can be met through a combination of degree and relevant work history that demonstrates the ability to develop knowledge that empowers the field.)


  • Experience with a state education agency (SEA), district / local education agency (LEA) or education intermediary / advocacy group is preferred.
  • Familiarity with P-16 public education and higher education policies, such as those which addresses opportunity gaps in urban education; early learning; college and career readiness; equity and excellence at scale; accountability; student engagement; educator effectiveness; parent & family engagement and access to comprehensive data; College and Career Ready Standards and related Assessments; out of school time learning; parent, student and stakeholder engagement; barriers to college access and completion for 21st Century students (students of color, low income students, first generation students, adults, veterans, etc.); and opportunities to improve education outcomes for African Americans, low income students, first generation college students and under-represented students more generally.

Skills & Knowledge:

  • Strong communication (written and oral), policy & analytical skills.
  • Inquisitive, self-starter, with ability to work independently, with multiple internal stakeholders and flexibly in a high pressure environment.
  • Digital & technical literacy.
  • A good sense of humor, demonstrated ability to collaborate, and willingness to work with a team, and across the organization.
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize a wide range of duties and responsibilities, organize tasks, and remain flexible to changing and multiple requests.
  • Ability to work with and across multiple and varied constituency groups.
  • Comfort across series of high-profile public facing roles.
  • Demonstrated ability to convey ideas and positions to diverse groups – externally to technical and nontechnical audiences at various levels (e.g., partners, states, federal government), and internally with peers – both orally and in writing.
  • Robust research skills and demonstrated ability to synthesize complex information into understandable, accessible language.
  • A clear policy, advocacy or research area of interest applicable to educational equity, excellence and opportunity.
  • Deep familiarity with the national education reform and innovation environment, with a particular emphasis on equity, opportunity and excellence.

TRAVEL: 50%, domestic.

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