Director of Federal Policy (Washington, DC) - The Learning Policy Institute

Who We Are

The Learning Policy Institute (LPI) is a national organization that conducts and communicates independent, high-quality research to shape education policies and improve learning for each and every child. Nonprofit and nonpartisan, LPI connects policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels with the evidence, ideas, and actions needed to strengthen the pre-k to grade 12 education system and address the complex realities facing public schools and their communities. Working with policymakers, researchers, educators, community groups, and others who care about improving public schools, the Institute advances evidence-based policies that support empowering and equitable learning for all children with a focus on students the furthest from opportunity. For more information, visit www.learningpolicyinstitute.org 

The Position

LPI seeks a full-time Director of Federal Policy to join its team of policy, research, communication, and operations staff in advancing the organization’s evidence-based policy efforts at the federal level across multiple education policy areas. This position is based in our Washington D.C. office.

The Director of Federal Policy, in collaboration with the Policy, Research, and Communications teams, will (1) play a key role in identifying policy opportunities and developing and executing LPI’s federal evidence-based policy outreach and engagement strategy; (2) lead efforts to inform policy communities in the development and implementation of evidence-based education policies and practices; and (3) cultivate and maintain trusted relationships with relevant stakeholders in the federal policymaking arenas, including bipartisan policymakers, civil rights and advocacy organizations, and member organizations. The Director of Federal Policy will work closely with LPI’s Director of State Policy, other members of the LPI’s Policy Team, and LPI’s Leadership Team to provide strategic input, co-create goals, ensure aligned action, and ensure ongoing implementation of processes and systems. The successful candidate will bring deep policy advocacy and/or government experience and expertise—including familiarity with research and a commitment to evidence-based policy—in one or more of the following education policy areas:

  • Educator Quality
  • Whole Child Education
  • Equitable Resources and Access
  • Performance Assessment
  • Early Care and Education

Major Responsibilities

  1. Fully understand and communicate LPI’s mission and approach to forming and advancing evidence-based policy internally and externally, including displaying a commitment to and understanding of the high-quality research underlying research for LPI’s policy priorities.
  2. Develop/update LPI’s comprehensive federal policy priorities, in collaboration with the CEO, Executive Director and LPI teams, and ensure they are aligned with and are in furtherance of LPI’s state policy priorities.
  3. Consistently identify key policy opportunities (and the political contexts within which they occur) and leverage those opportunities, including by leading and supporting the appropriate LPI staff. 
  4. Support policy staff across the organization in meeting the organization’s quality expectations, ensuring policy alignment of the work, determining LPI’s position on externally proposed policies, and navigating the federal policy landscape to advance LPI policy priorities. This includes direct supervision and support for LPI’s federal policy staff.
  5. Contribute to the leadership and strategic direction of the organization as a whole by serving as a member of LPI’s leadership team and taking on key responsibilities therein as appropriate.
  6. Prioritize the federal policy work and policy staff focus. 
  7. Work closely with the Director of State Policy and as needed, with the content, communications, and finance and operations team leads.
  8. Help determine effective strategies for outreach, education, and partnership building among policymakers and DC-based organizations.
  9. Establish, maintain, and cultivate trusted bipartisan relationships with legislative and administrative staff and education stakeholder organizations.
  10. Maintain solid knowledge base of education-related issues and understanding of federal politics and key players/interests.
  11. Draft and provide technical assistance on bill, report, regulatory, and guidance language, and supporting materials.
  12. Support the development of policy staff in drafting memos and reports and providing technical assistance. 
  13. Respond to requests for information from policymakers, committees, administration, and partners.
  14. Lead and support congressional briefings designed to inform policy development and share the underlying evidence-base.
  15. Identify and lay the policy groundwork and established partnerships for future policy advancement opportunities.
  16. Work collaboratively with LPI researchers to develop policy recommendations aligned with research findings and draft research and policy documents as appropriate, such as blogs, memos, and research or policy briefs.

Qualifications and Experience

  • At least 10 years professional experience in policy, government, and/or an organization working on related education policy issues, including significant experience in the federal policy arena.
  • Prior experience in informing, developing, and advancing legislative, executive, and/or administrative policy, and the demonstrated ability to effectively conduct, analyze, synthesize, translate, and communicate education research to policymakers, including developing and providing technical assistance on education policy development and advancement.
  • Exceptional writing and oral communication skills, including the ability to communicate effectively in different contexts and with varied audiences.
  • Well-established and trusted bipartisan relationships with key individuals in the federal government and/or at LPI’s partner organizations.
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively in collecting, synthesizing, and evaluating information to support policymakers and policy influencers in using research to develop policy—often in time-sensitive situations.
  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to manage and coordinate several projects. simultaneously, support team members, and track complex tasks.
  • A commitment to supporting the learning of other LPI team members and working collaboratively in ways that support their success on projects.
  • Demonstrated ability to plan effectively and the flexibility to handle the unexpected.
  • Advanced degree preferred but not required.
  • Ability and flexibility to travel to states across the country as needed (when it is safe to do so in light of COVID-19).
  • Must be authorized to work in the United States for any employer. 

Dispositions

  • A passion for ensuring that all children have access to empowering and equitable learning opportunities, especially students the furthest from opportunity.
  • A collaborative approach to the work, including one that can support collaboration among policy, research, communications, and finance and operations staff, and a respect for the expertise of peers, including supporting the individual success of team members and the work and mission of the organization as whole. 
  • The ability to work independently, including taking the initiative, problem solving, and setting and meeting deadlines for individual responsibilities and other members of the team.
  • A demonstrated commitment to excellence and equity in carrying out the internal and external responsibilities of the position.
  • The ability to execute and exhibit good judgement.
  •  A curiosity to understand and appreciate the varied and complex educational policy landscape and a respect for and commitment to understanding the underlying evidence-base.
  • An optimistic outlook and a flexible, innovative nature.

The Learning Policy Institute has a deep commitment to its staff’s health and well-being and strives to embody the organization’s values within the organizational structure. LPI offers competitive compensation and benefits; prioritizes and provides financial support for professional development; supports diversity, equity, and inclusion work; and values a collaborative culture. LPI is an equal opportunity employer. Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

To Apply:

Please submit a cover letter, resume, short writing sample, and three professional references to:  http://jobs.enlist.io/learning_policy_institute/jobs/47278a36-159f-40d9-a6eb-57fa53738f86?enlist-source=AEFP

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning March 1, 2021. Candidates invited to continue through the interview process will be asked to complete a job-related task/performance assessment at that time.