Higher Education Policy Analyst / Senior Policy Analyst

The Organization

The Education Trust–West (ETW) works for the high academic achievement of all students at all levels—pre-kindergarten through college. We expose opportunity and achievement gaps that separate students of color and low-income students from other youth, and we identify and advocate for the strategies that will forever close those gaps. We work alongside parents, students, educators, policymakers, and community leaders across the state in transforming P-12 and higher education institutions to serve all students well. Lessons learned in these efforts, together with unflinching data analyses, shape our state policy agenda. To learn more, please visit www.edtrustwest.org.


The Position

The Education Trust–West (ETW) is considering candidates for either a full-time Higher Education Policy Analyst or Senior Policy Analyst level position based on their education and professional experience. Both positions will support the organization’s efforts by conducting policy analysis and research for ETW; support the development of memos, letters, and publications; collaborate with colleagues to develop policy positions that will advance educational equity in California; and represent ETW in policy discussions and stakeholder meetings. This position is a member of the growing Research and Policy team and will play a critical role in expanding the team’s higher education portfolio. This position reports to the Senior Director of Higher Education Research and Policy.


The successful candidate will bring policy advocacy, institutional, or legislative experience and expertise in one or more of the following education policy areas:

  • Access & Transitions
  • Affordability
  • Data Transparency & Accountability
  • Evidence-based Practices (i.e., “Bright Spots”)
  • Teacher Recruitment & Preparation


The Senior Policy Analyst is expected to play a larger role as a project manager leading projects from beginning to end and contributing to a range of higher education projects for The Education Trust–West in order to advance educational equity in California. The ideal candidate for this role has knowledge of and experience with policies, legislative processes, or programs and practices aligned with at least one of ETW’s higher education policy areas, and has a passion for improving the educational experiences and outcomes for low-income students and students of color.


This position will be based in Oakland, California.


Major Responsibilities

  • Perform policy analysis and develop policy recommendations in a variety of higher education policy areas. This includes:
    • Developing written policy briefs, statements, and letters
    • 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
  • In response to legislative, regulatory, institutional, and other policy proposals, prepare memos, letters, and statements summarizing ETW positions, analyses, and recommendations
  • Collaborate with external partners to deepen ETW’s policy expertise, develop our policy positions, build our networks, and expand our influence
  • Conceptualize and develop tools and resources that make complex policy information accessible to a broad array of stakeholders in order to support their local advocacy and engagement
  • Other duties as assigned that support the mission and work of the organization


Depending on level of policy expertise and project management experience, candidates may qualify for a Senior Policy Analyst position, with additional responsibilities to include:


  • Identifying opportunities for new policy research, and scope out and manage these projects, including: conduct research, gather stakeholder input, and research best practices; present findings and policy recommendations in reports, publications, and presentations
  • Advising ETW leadership on policy priorities and strategies, with a lens toward the most promising and viable reforms that will advance educational equity in California
  • Representing ETW in stakeholder meetings and coalitions and advocate for our positions
  • Managing consultants, contractors, and/or other analysts, as needed


Qualifications and Experience

  • This position requires a bachelor’s degree, and to qualify for the senior policy analyst position, at least 5-7 years of conducting policy analysis or performing policy research in higher education, preferably on issues related to equity and one or more of ETW’s higher education policy areas
  • Familiarity with the California education policy landscape including UC, CSU, and California Community College systems and the private colleges and universities in the state
  • Exceptional writing and communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively in collecting and evaluating information to support policy advocacy, often in time-sensitive situations
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to coordinate several projects simultaneously and track complex tasks across multiple stakeholders
  • A demonstrated ability to plan effectively, but the flexibility to handle the unexpected
  • Strong computer skills; proficient or advanced skills in Microsoft Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook) and the Internet


Personal Characteristics

  • 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;
  • Self-starter mentality and the ability to both work independently and foster collaborative working relationships
  • A demonstrated commitment to excellence
  • 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
  • Commitment to “Walking the Talk,” which means operating with – and a willingness to develop – cultural competence, an understanding that systemic and institutionalized racism significantly affect communities of color and of the historical impact of privilege and power on American systems, and sensitivity, humility, and a willingness to self-reflect



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


Application Process

Please send a thoughtful cover letter, short writing sample and resume to jobs@edtrustwest.org

  • In the subject line, write the name of the position you are applying for and your last name: e.g. “HigherEduPolicyAnalyst_Wang”
  • Submit your resume and other materials as attachments with the name of the position you are applying for and your last name: e.g. “HigherEduPolicyAnalyst_Wang Resume”


It is the policy of Ed Trust–West to provide equal employment opportunity (EEO) to all persons regardless of age, color, national origin, citizenship status, physical or mental disability, race, religion, creed, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.