Director, Education Policy & Advocacy

Children Now is a nonpartisan, whole-child research, policy development, and advocacy organization dedicated to promoting children’s health, education, and well‐being in California. Children Now employs a game changing, anti-racist connector strategy to mirror and ultimately exceed the power of other established interest groups. A critical component of our strategy is The Children’s Movement of California, a unique network of more than 5,300 parent, student, civil rights, direct-service, business, labor and faith, and community‐based organizations working together to make children a top priority in public policy. Learn more at including about Children Now’s core organizational values.

About the Role

Children Now is seeking a highly motivated, experienced education policy professional to serve as Director, Education Policy and Advocacy. This position will have as its primary responsibility developing, directing, and implementing Children Now’s educational policy goals and objectives, preschool through post-secondary education in collaboration with team members. The Director, Education Policy and Advocacy will also support and provide leadership for Children Now’s Education team’s development and fundraising work through grant writing, reporting and other outreach. This is a full-time position based in our Sacramento office, reporting to the Vice President, Policy and Programs. Some travel and in-person meetings between Children Now’s offices and participation in meetings throughout the state and outside of California will be required.

Ideal Candidates

Ideal candidates should be excellent writers, effective communicators, and have extensive policy and advocacy experience with education issues affecting youth, preschool to post-secondary. Applicants should be personable, self-motivated, highly organized, and detail oriented. The ideal applicant will exercise good judgment in a variety of situations and is flexible, collaborative, and solutions oriented. This position is ideal for an experienced advocate and policy professional with a powerful work ethic, and excellent project management skills, who thinks strategically, takes initiative, collaborates effectively, and has a deep commitment to racial equity and a firm belief in Children Now’s mission to improve the health, education, and well-being of all children in California.

Primary Responsibilities

Communications (70% FTE)

  • Work with our policy team and organizational leadership to set goals and develop strategies to advance our education policy agenda;
  • Represent Children Now and build relationships with partner organizations, government officials and local and state departments to promote and advance our organizational profile and mission, and our policy goals and objectives;
  • Work collaboratively with our Government Relations team to advance our policy goals and objectives with the Governor’s Administration and in the Legislature;
  • Build and sustain relationships with key decision makers, including legislators and their staff, and engage with and appear before relevant legislative, regulatory and administrative agencies, as needed;
  • Manage education policy projects, both in collaboration with other policy staff, and as a project leader;
  • Work collaboratively with teams across the organization, including other policy areas (such as early childhood, child welfare and mental health), and the research, and communications teams, as well as The Children’s Movement of California;
  • Contribute substantially to the development and writing of education grant proposals and reports with a strong emphasis on racial equity;
  • Contribute to the development and writing of policy briefs, factsheets, reports and presentations; and a range of other written materials designed to effectively convey the organization’s accomplishments, mission, strategy, and commitment to racial equity and to elevate the importance of education issues in California

Qualifications and Experience

  1. At least 5 years of experience working specifically on education policy in California with a strong preference for 10 or more years of experience;
  2. Extensive knowledge of California’s education and political systems;
  3. Excellent verbal and written communication skill, as well as effective public speaking capability;
  4. Demonstrated project management skills with highly organized processes, detail orientation, analytic and problem-solving skills, with the ability to align Children Now’s mission and strategy;
  5. Effective multi-tasking abilities and strategic and efficient time management;
  6. Management and supervision experience preferred, including supporting team members from a wide range of backgrounds and while nurturing a culture that is aligned to Children Now’s values, centering diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  7. Skilled at working collaboratively and incorporating feedback and input from others;
  8. Excellent relationship-building skills with the ability to manage effective working relationships with diverse and multicultural constituencies, including colleagues, the media, policymakers, partners and others;
  9. Highly flexible with a positive attitude and a willingness to take on a range of assignments and to support multiple projects according to priorities;
  10. Excellent judgment and ability to manage sensitive or confidential information;
  11. Baccalaureate degree required and Graduate degree in public policy, education policy or related field or equivalent professional experience is preferred.


This position offers a competitive annual salary range of $115,000-$145,000 as well as generous benefits.

Application Process

Please complete the online application form located here. Interested applicants must attach the following as part of their online application: 1) cover letter, 2) resume, and 3) writing sample. Please submit attachments in PDF format only.

We do not accept phone inquiries regarding the position; please do not call. Position open until filled.

Children Now COVID-19 Vaccination Policy
The health and safety of our employees is our number one priority. Thus, Children Now has implemented a COVID-19 vaccination policy covering all employees. To be compliant with this policy, all new staff members shall be required to provide proof of their vaccine status at the start of their employment, unless a reasonable accommodation is requested and approved.

Children Now is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to staff diversity, equity, and inclusion. Children Now values diversity as an asset essential to accomplishing our work and views diversity as including differences in race, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, disability, veteran status, job skills, education, and geographic location and any other category protected by law. We encourage all qualified candidates to apply.