Director, Education

Children Now is a nonpartisan whole-child umbrella research, policy development, and advocacy organization dedicated to promoting children’s health, education, and well-being in California. Children Now also leads The Children’s Movement of California, a unique network of more than 4600 parent, youth, business, labor, civil rights, faith, and community-based organizations, as well as thousands of individuals, working together to make children a top priority in public policy. Learn more at www.childrennow.org 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 our Director, Education. This position will have as its primary responsibility developing, directing, and implementing Children Now’s educational policy goals and objectives, early learning through post-secondary education. The Director, Education will support and provide leadership for Children Now’s development and fundraising through grant writing, reporting and other outreach and will contribute to the expansion of The Children’s Movement. 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 regional meetings throughout the state and outside of California will be required.

Ideal Candidates

Candidates should be excellent writers and communicators and have extensive policy and advocacy experience with education issues affecting youth, Transitional Kindergarten (TK) 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, excellent project management skills, who thinks strategically, takes initiative, collaborates effectively, and has a deep commitment to racial equity and has a firm belief in Children Now’s mission to improve the health, education, and well-being of all children.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Work with the organizational leadership and our policy team to set goals and develop strategies for advancing our education policy agenda with particular focus on K-12, preschool and after school;
  • 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 Government Relations to advance our policy goals and objectives with the Administration and in the Legislature, build and sustain relationship 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 project leader;
  • Work collaboratively with teams across the organization, including other policy areas (such as early childhood), research, communications, and 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 as we advance our mission;
  • Contribute to the development and writing 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;
  • Provide education-related content support to the communications and marketing team.

Qualifications

  • At least 10 years of experience working specifically on education policy in California;
  • Extensive knowledge of California’s education and political systems;
  • Demonstrated exceptional verbal and written communication skill, as well as effective public speaking capability;
  • Demonstrated excellent 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;
  • Effective multi-tasking abilities and strategic and efficient time management;
  • Substantial staff management and supervision experience, 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. ;
  • Extensive political system and policy experience of California, including local county systems and program implementation;
  • Skilled at working collaboratively and incorporating feedback and written input from others;
  • 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;
  • Highly flexible with a positive attitude and a willingness to take on a range of assignments and to support multiple projects according to priorities; Excellent judgment and ability to manage sensitive or confidential information;
  • Graduate degree in public policy, education policy or related field or equivalent professional experience is strongly preferred.

Compensation

Salary range is competitive and commensurate with experience. Generous benefits.

Application Process

Please complete the application form. All applicants must attach the following as part of their online application: 1) cover letter, 2) resume, 3) two-to-three-page writing sample, and 4) three to five references (including former supervisors). Please submit attachments in PDF or Microsoft Word 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.