Senior Director, Strategic Advocacy

Senior Director, Strategic Advocacy 

Oakland, California 


The Education Trust—West (ETW) seeks a Senior Director, Strategic Advocacy to join a passionate staff who are committed to fulfilling the mission of closing opportunity gaps that disproportionately affect students of color and students from low-income families.

The Senior Director, Strategic Advocacy works closely with the Executive Director to set the vision and strategic direction for ETW’s advocacy agenda to realize meaningful policy wins at the state and local levels. The Senior Director manages three critical advocacy functions for ETW — government relations, P-12 and higher ed policy, and partnerships and engagement – ensuring coordination and collaboration across teams and managing and coaching team leaders. The Senior Director leads the development of and holds accountability for the success of program priorities and related campaigns.

ETW is comprised of fierce advocates for the high academic achievement of all students — pre-kindergarten through college, particularly those of color or living in poverty. Through research and advocacy, ETW’s goal is to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement that affect millions of young people across the U.S. — especially students of color and those from low-income families. We work alongside educators, policymakers, parents, and community and business leaders across the country to advocate transforming schools and colleges into institutions that serve all students well. Lessons learned in these efforts, together with unflinching data analyses, help shape our state and national policy agendas.

This role, available immediately, is based in our Oakland office and is eligible for telework for up to 3 days per week. The Senior Director, Strategic Advocacy reports to the Executive Director and will supervise a mid-size, multi-layered team.



The responsibilities and objectives for this role include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • Collaborate with the Executive Director to set and execute the organization’s annual priorities and goals, especially the advocacy-focused programmatic and campaigns aspects of the work
  • Drive alignment across the organization to ensure that programmatic and campaign work is coordinated internally
  • Ensure the internal programmatic and campaign structures are appropriate and effective for moving cross-functional work forward
  • Coach staff – including direct and indirect reports – on an ongoing basis to effectively develop and execute impactful, coordinated strategies that drive our policy agenda forward
  • Lead the ongoing evaluation of programmatic and campaign efforts to determine that the organization is meetings its goals, objectives, and necessary impacts
  • Serve as a member of the ETW leadership team including collaboration around the annual work plan and budget, monitoring progress towards team and team members’ goals, coordinating team professional development by developing and making known key metrics to assess the mission-impact of our efforts
  • Elevate ETW’s policy priorities by representing the organization in external meetings and developing relationships with key external stakeholders, peer organizations, policymakers, leaders, funders, and other advocates
  • Build and maintain new and existing philanthropic and funder relationships and contribute to grant proposals and reports as needed
  • Lead a dynamic, multi-layered team by identifying and retaining diverse talent, coaching and developing direct reports, managing and assessing performance, and building in succession plans



Shared belief in ETW’s mission and a commitment to improving educational equity

  • Dedication in contributing to and maintaining an equitable working environment
  • Commitment to “Walking the Talk,” which means operating with an understanding that systemic and institutionalized racism significantly affect communities of color and the historical impact of privilege and power on American systems
  • Excellent project management, time management, and budget management skills
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills
  • In-depth experience managing organizational change, driving positive organizational culture while navigating cross-functional/organizational workflows, and launching and implementing collaborative, successful advocacy campaigns
  • Ability to coach and develop leaders and advocates
  • Strong leadership and team management skills
  • Strong relationship-building skills with a range of stakeholders
  • Knowledge and understanding of education equity issues
  • Eagerness for collaboration with both internal and external partners
  • High emotional intelligence, professional maturity, and problem-solving skills
  • Willingness to provide constructive feedback to others; as well as to receive and act upon feedback from others
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment and decisiveness



The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications and experience:

  • At least a bachelor’s degree in education, public policy/administration, or a related field; advanced degree is a plus
  • At least 7 years of experience in analyzing policy, data, and research in education or a related field, preferably on topics of equity, including developing policy recommendations, written feedback to proposed legislation, or other tools/resources for advocates and policymakers
  • Deep expertise across the P-16 education policy landscape in California, with a particular focus on issues of education equity; previous experience at an advocacy organization is a plus
  • Expertise in managing and leading a team



The salary range for this level position in California is between $161,370 and 201,710, and offers are commensurate with skills and experience. Typically, new hire salaries fall between the minimum and midpoint of the assigned salary range.

The Education Trust prioritizes the health and well-being of its employees and, to that end, offers a highly competitive benefits package. Medical, dental and vision insurance are covered at 100% for the employee, with significant coverage also offered for dependents. We provide sick leave, vacation leave, and personal leave, and we follow the federal government for most holiday closures. To ensure staff have synchronous opportunities for rest and renewal, the office is closed for a week-long summer break and a week-long winter break. Among other offerings, we provide an Employee Assistance Program at no cost to the employee, and a generous 7% matching opportunity on a 403(b)-retirement plan.



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 accommodations due to medical or religious reasons will be reviewed by Human Resources.



Please provide a cover letter and resume, combined into one document. In the file name, please write the name of the position you are applying for and your last name: e.g., “Senior Director, Strategic Advisory _Robinson.”

  • We invite you to consider your cover letter as an opportunity to:
  • Tell a story that illuminates your interest in education equity and Ed Trust–West’s mission
  • Share how your background and experience make you the right fit for this position

Please submit your application materials at Recruitment ( by the priority deadline of March 28, 2023. Applications will be accepted/reviewed until the position is filled. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

The Education Trust is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes candidates from diverse backgrounds.