Director of P-16 Education Policy

The Education Trust–West seeks an experienced Director of P-16 Education Policy to lead an ambitious, innovative effort to advance the organization’s ambitious agenda to expose and eradicate injustices and inequities in California public schools, colleges, and systems of education. Reporting to the Deputy Director of Research & Policy, the Director of P-16 Policy responsibilities include but are not limited to:

The successful candidate will provide content expertise and have demonstrated policy advocacy or legislative experience and expertise in one or more of the following education policy areas:

  • Financial Aid Awareness
  • College Affordability
  • Cal Grant Implementation & Inequities
  • College Access Policy, including Race-Conscious Strategies
  • Developmental Education Reform
  • System and Statewide Education Attainment Goals
  • College Funding, Accountability & Student Success

In collaboration with the Deputy Directory for Research & Policy, the successful candidate will craft and execute a cutting edge, high-impact, and comprehensive P-16 education policy agenda with clear goals, strategies, and metrics for success.

The successful candidate will lead and support a dynamic team of policy analysts, interns and fellows, and consultants, and will be responsible for the following:

  • Conducting policy analyses and developing new policy proposals, with a focus on identifying and remedying disparities
  • Developing of written policy briefs, statements, and letters
  • Designing analyses that demonstrate how policy proposals may play out in the field to inform the organization’s policy recommendations
  • Informing the organization’s policy positions by monitoring and reporting policy conversation across government, media, think tanks, academia, and advocates
  • Advocating for the organization’s positions by representing the organization in external meetings and developing relationships with key stakeholders; relationship building with others plays in the education ecosystem, such as peer organizations, civil rights groups, and education leaders
  • Conceptualizing and developing tools and resources that make complex policy information accessible to a broad array of stakeholders in order to support their local advocacy and engagement

Cross Departmental Collaboration and Leadership

The successful candidate will work in collaboration with the Deputy Director of Research and Policy to:

  • Ensure integrated work that advances Ed Trust–West’s P-16 policy and advocacy agenda along with the research and practice teams (and frequently other aligned organizations).
  • Identify and secure ongoing funding for policy and advocacy efforts with the Development team
  • Advance policy positions and to monitor and respond to statewide and relevant local policy activities related to P-16 education, including serving as an ambassador for and advocate on those issues and actively participating in key committees and commissions, as needed.
  • Partner with the Communications team on the strategic dissemination of reports, briefs, and other collateral materials including press outreach and interviews, presentations to key audiences and web-based outreach to the stakeholders.
  • Coordinate and collaborate with policy directors, teams, and staff across Ed Trust offices.
  • Execute other duties as assigned that support the mission and work of the organization.

This position will be ideally based in Oakland, California. We are also currently recruiting for a Director of P-16 Research. More about that opportunity is here


Qualifications and Experience

  • A minimum of 10 years of experience in a role addressing education issues and managing a team to execute projects with time-sensitive and often competing deadlines
  • Deep understanding of California education issues such as but not limited to the content areas listed above
  • Demonstrated experience in policy development on education issues with a keen emphasis on equity and closing gaps in opportunity and outcomes
  • Excellent analytic and communication skills (both oral and written, and in a variety of formats and contexts)
  • Strong project management and follow-through skills and attention to detail, especially under deadline pressures
  • The ability to manage staff and prioritize competing demands in a changing, highly collaborative environment
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to coordinate several projects simultaneously and track complex tasks across multiple stakeholders
  • Strong computer skills, including proficient or advanced skills in Microsoft Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook) and the Internet. Experience using Asana a plus.
  • Proven success fundraising for policy projects and teams
  • A graduate degree in Public Policy, Education Policy, Statistics, or related field (strongly preferred)

Personal Characteristics

  • Self-starter, solutions-oriented mentality and the ability to both work independently and foster collaborative working relationships
  • A demonstrated commitment to excellence, diversity, and equity
  • Ability to execute and exhibit good judgment
  • The intellectual strength and curiosity to understand and appreciate the varied and complex educational policy landscape, and the ability to translate that understanding to the layperson
  • An optimistic outlook and a flexible, innovative nature
  • A passionate commitment to expanding opportunities for low-income students and students of color, and a belief that P-16 education in California must do a much better job in serving these students


Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications.  The Education Trust–West offers a comprehensive benefits package.


Application Process

Please provide a cover letter and resume, combined into one document. Your cover letter should describe your background, relevant experience, and your alignment with the mission.

In the file name, please write the name of the position you are applying for and your last name: e.g. “Director of P-16 Policy_Garcia”


The Education Trust-West is an equal opportunity employer and an organization that values diversity. Recruiting staff to create an inclusive organization is a priority, and we encourage applicants from all backgrounds. Candidates are evaluated solely on their qualifications to perform the work required.