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23 Oct 2020

Full-Time Senior Director, Policy

New Leaders – Posted by newleaders District of Columbia, United States

Job Description

Our mission is to ensure high academic achievement for all children, especially students in poverty and students of color, by developing transformational school leaders and advancing the policies and practices that allow great leaders to succeed.

“We believe that every student, in every circumstance, can achieve the highest levels of academic excellence.”


Who We Are

New Leaders transforms underperforming schools by developing outstanding leaders at every level of the education system—from teacher leaders to principals and their supervisors.

We work hand in hand with our state, district, charter, and university partners, delivering leadership solutions that build on their strengths and address their most-pressing priorities. Our evidence-based programming cultivates diverse, equity-driven leaders equipped with the skills to elevate instruction, enhance learning, and build vibrant, inclusive school communities. To encourage widespread adoption of effective, sustainable leadership practices, we also advocate for federal and state policies that support the work of school leaders everywhere.

To date, New Leaders has trained 3,900 education leaders who annually reach nearly half a million young people, mostly students of color and children from low-income families, delivering breakthrough academic results and building brighter futures for high-need urban and rural communities nationwide. Visit New Leaders to learn more.


Who You Are

The Senior Director, Policy contributes to New Leaders’ policy efforts and plays a leadership role in the organization’s mission of promoting high academic achievement for every child by advancing the policies and practices that allow great leaders to succeed. The Senior Director, Policy leads the team in strengthening federal and state school leadership policy and establishing New Leaders as the premier thought leader on school leadership policy with key partners.

The Senior Director, Policy will report directly to the Chief Policy & Evaluation Officer and will be based out of a home office in the DC metro area.

Specific Responsibilities

Serve as one of New Leaders’ primary policy experts representing New Leaders in discussions and presentations with external stakeholders, including by developing and maintaining positive relationships with state and federal policy leaders and key partners. This includes:

  • Building relationships that create and enable opportunities for New Leaders to share research and program lessons; build broad-based understanding of and support for policy priorities; and foster deeper partnerships and expanded opportunities to scale best practices in leadership development and support.
  • Mastering policy content and context to provide engaging learning opportunities for a wide range of audiences to access relevant, timely information on school leadership policy – including policies related to teacher leaders, principals, principal supervisors, and other school leaders.
  • Overseeing New Leaders’ coalition efforts to advance shared values and policy priorities in service of New Leaders’ mission.

In partnership with the Chief Policy & Evaluation Officer, lead and execute the strategy to advance federal school leadership policy. This includes:

  • Leading the development of New Leaders’ federal policy positions and tailoring recommendations for relevant context, including implementation challenges.
  • With our lobbying firm, building broad support for school leadership, including a particular focus on cultivating congressional champions and securing relevant language in authorizing and appropriations bills.
  • Staying current on federal action on school leadership and other policies that have a substantial impact on students in high-need schools.

In partnership with the Chief Policy & Evaluation Officer, lead and execute strategy to advance state school leadership policy. This includes:

  • With the Higher Education Partnerships team, mastering relevant higher education policy content to enable program approvals and accreditations that advance our work to prepare effective school leaders.
  • Leading the development of New Leaders’ state policy positions and tailoring recommendations for relevant context, including implementation challenges.
  • Partnering with major organizations that convene states to provide expert policy analyses and resources in support of states’ needs.
  • Providing direct policy support and guidance to senior officials in select states.
  • Staying up to date on major state action on school leadership and other policies that have a substantial impact on students in high-need schools, including oversight of state level policy research.

Serve as a leader in the organization, including:

  • Successfully managing the Policy Team to meet team and organizational goals.
  • Developing strong relationships with other New Leaders staff, building others’ capacity, approaching interactions with other teams from value-add perspective, and contributing to overall organizational success.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Education, Experience, Skills, and Qualifications

  • Belief that every student, in every circumstance, can achieve the highest levels of academic excellence, and passionate commitment to New Leaders’ mission and vision.

Education and Experience

  • Experience working with, for, or on Capitol Hill, the U.S. Department of Education, state educational agencies, or state legislatures strongly preferred.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; master’s degree a plus.
  • Seven – ten years of overall work experience, ideally in K-12 education or higher education and related to policy, policy analysis, or similar projects; prior experience with public speaking and team management preferred.

Qualifications and Skills   

  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, including excellent written and oral communications and relationship management abilities. The Senior Director will work with a team and colleagues based in offices across the country and must be able to build relationships and communicate effectively in a virtual environment, including using technology to collaborate in an inclusive manner.
  • Expertise in reading, analyzing, and drafting policy language, including statute, bills, regulations, or other federal notices required.
  • Innovative thinker who sees policy as a lever for truly making a difference in the lives of children, has a sense of possibility and can adapt to take advantage of unexpected opportunities in a changing policy landscape; exhibits motivation, flexibility, and a positive, solutions- orientation in a fast-paced environment.
  • Passionate about building relationships in service of advocating for the communities we serve; enjoys public speaking (in person and on virtual platforms), facilitating sessions that inspire key stakeholders, and serving as a strategic thought partner to federal and state policymakers.
  • Loves policy details and has experience with both communicating “in the weeds” with other policy experts and making policy accessible to non-policy audiences.
  • Able to operate independently, without significant oversight, and with a high degree of personal responsibility for getting to goals with quality and in a timely manner, paying attention to small details, anticipating problems, offering creative solutions, and course-correcting as needed. Adept at balancing multiple projects and priorities simultaneously.
  • Must be able to travel domestically as needed; likely once every six weeks (temporarily suspended).


What We Offer

A competitive salary commensurate with experience, and a comprehensive Benefits Package and 401K.

To be considered for this role, please attach a cover letter including your motivation and interest in New Leaders and the position.

New Leaders is an equal opportunity employer. New Leaders evaluates applicants for employment on the basis of qualifications, merit and work-related criteria and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national or ethnic origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, mental or physical disability, handicap, pregnancy, childbirth, medical condition, marital or familial status, family responsibilities, veteran status, personal appearance, political affiliation, matriculation, or any other characteristic protected by law in administration and operation of its Programs and activities, including admission or access thereto, or treatment or employment therein. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment regardless of such status and will not be discriminated against on the basis of such status.

How to Apply

Please submit a tailored resume and cover letter on our Careers Page at

Job Categories: Equal Opportunities. Job Types: Full-Time. Salaries: Not Disclosed.

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