Associate Director of Policy and Government Relations

The Education Trust–West (ETW) works for educational justice and high academic achievement of all students at all levels, pre-K through college. ETW exposes opportunity and achievement gaps that separate students of color, English learners, and low-income students from their peers, and identifies and advocates for the strategies that will forever close those gaps. ETW works alongside schools, districts, college campuses, and higher education institutions to understand and evaluate the effectiveness of reform strategies intended to reduce and eliminate achievement and opportunity gaps. We use lessons learned in these efforts, together with unflinching data analyses, to drive a state and national conversation about how our P-12 education system and higher education institutions can better serve all students. To learn more, please visit


The Education Trust–West (ETW) seeks a full-time Associate Director of Policy and Government Relations to support the organization’s policy and government relations work in Sacramento. The Associate Director will manage the analysis and tracking of state legislation, the state budget, and education policy proposals while advocating on behalf of ETW. The position reports to the Senior Director of Policy and Government Relations and is responsible for building and maintaining strong relationships with legislative and state agency staff and identifying policy and political trends affecting ETW’s policy goals.

In addition to general budget and policy advocacy, the Associate Director of Policy & Government Relations Associate will be assigned to higher education issue areas for ETW, including dual enrollment, financial aid application completion, remedial education, and services and data collection related to students with dependent children. The Associate Director will be required to have significant knowledge about these subjects and collaborate with the ETW policy and research teams to develop policy briefs, legislative proposals, and research projects on these topics. A significant amount of cross-functional work with other teams within ETW will be required.

Role to be filled ASAP. The ideal start date is May 23rd, 2022 although we may have some flexibility for the right candidate.

Higher Education Policy Analysis & Strategy

  • Serve as ETW’s content expert in areas covered by ETW’s policy agenda for higher education;
  • Develop and execute ETW’s budget and legislative strategy for the organization’s higher education work;
  • Analyze state legislation, the state budget, and education policy proposals to determine the impact on ETW’s scope of work and advise and respond accordingly;
  • Draft position letters and related advocacy materials;
  • Develop and implement advocacy strategy; Serve as a thought partner to the Research and Policy Analysis Team in developing tools and resources that make complex policy information accessible to a broad array of stakeholders and support their local advocacy and engagement;
  • Collaborate with ETW colleagues on research and analysis of education policy issues, and coordinate internally to ensure consistent and effective external communications;
  • Serve as a spokesperson for media requests, uplift strategies for advocacy through social media, and help inform communication strategies.

Partnerships and Government Relations/ Legislative Engagement

  • Develop strategies to build and enhance a broad range of relationships with policymakers and their staff, policy analysts, thought leaders, and decision-makers; this may include building and guiding coalitions;
  • Advocate for ETW’s position in writing and through testimony
  • Grow ETW’s respected brand in advocating for students across California;
  • Represent ETW in a variety of state and local policy discussions and meetings with stakeholders such as coalitions and governing bodies;
  • Serve as a thought partner to ETW’s external relations team in local and regional advocacy;
  • Keep the ETW team informed of statewide policy and political trends affecting ETW’s work and manage internal communications to keep the ETW team informed of policy and government relations work.

Government Relations Administration & Development

  • Develop processes to lead cross-functional work involving advocacy and government relations across ETW teams;
  • Manage development of proposals for sponsored legislation and create internal processes for identifying bills and other proposals to analyze;
  • Lead some fundraising efforts by developing and maintaining relationships with current and potential funders and donors in partnerships with Sr. Director;
  • Manage and implement bill tracking (across all policy priorities);
  • Other duties as assigned to support the mission of ETW.


  • Commitment to “Walking the Talk,” operating with – and being willing to develop – cultural competence: an understanding that systemic and institutionalized racism significantly affect communities of color and the historical impact of privilege and power on American systems;
  • At least five years of professional experience in governmental relations, higher education advocacy, or a related field with a demonstrated ability to navigate California’s state government;
  • Passion for improving the educational opportunities and outcomes for low-income students and students of color coupled with a strong knowledge of social justice and equity-related issues;
  • Ability to utilize multiple data points to draw conclusions and propose a course of action to influence policy decisions;
  • Demonstrated effectiveness in building and maintaining relationships across a variety of stakeholder groups; people-oriented nature with a love of building connections to support a common cause;
  • Knowledge of the state budgeting & legislative processes and education policy issues;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication and strong public speaking and interpersonal skills;
  • Strong organizational skills and time management with the ability to manage and prioritize competing demands in a changing, highly collaborative environment; has a results-oriented, achievement-driven approach to projects and tasks, with a clear understanding and focus on goals;
  • Bachelor’s degree preferred.


The annual salary for this position starts at $98,000 annually and will be commensurate with experience. The Education Trust–West offers a competitive benefits package, including medical, dental, and vision benefits as well as a 403(b)-retirement plan.


This role will be based in ETW’s Sacramento office. Some travel will be required.


Please provide a short cover letter, resume, and 2-3 professional references (please include at least one supervisor) combined into one document. Your cover letter should describe your background and relevant experience. In the file name, please write the name of the position you are applying for and your last name: e.g., “Sr Policy & GR Associate_Robinson.” Professional references will not be contacted until you are notified. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Please submit your application materials at Recruitment ( by the PRIORITY DEADLINE of Tuesday, April 26th, 2022 with interviews happening on April 28th and April 29th. Applications will be accepted/reviewed until the position is filled.

The Education Trust-West is committed to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, or veteran status.

Vaccination for COVID-19: At The Education Trust, the health and safety of our employees is of the utmost importance. As such, all Education Trust employees are required to be fully vaccinated and remain up to date on their vaccinations for COVID-19. New hires should be fully vaccinated and up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations prior to their first day of work. Requests for accommodation due to medical or religious reasons, or in accordance with state or local laws, will be reviewed by Human Resources.