Senior Policy & Government Relations Associate

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 Senior Policy and Government Relations Associate to support the organization’s policy and government relations work both in Sacramento and statewide. The Senior Associate will manage the 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 Senior 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 Senior Associate will be required to have some knowledge about these subjects and collaborate with the ETW policy and research teams to develop of 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.

Policy Analysis, Position Development, and Recommendation-Setting

  • Develop deep policy expertise in areas covered by ETW’s policy agenda for higher education;
  • Take ownership for execution of ETW’s budget and legislative strategy for ETW’s higher education work;
  • Analyze state legislation, the state budget, and education policy proposals to determine impact on ETW’s scope of work;
  • Draft position letters and related advocacy materials, in partnership with the Sr. Director of Policy and Government Relations;
  • Assist the Sr. Director of Policy and Government Relations in developing and implementing advocacy strategy; Support the Research and Policy Analysis Team in developing of tools and resources that make complex policy information accessible to a broad array of stakeholders and support their local advocacy and engagement;
  • 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.

Partnerships and Government Relations/ Legislative Engagement

  • Grow ETW’s respected brand in advocating for students across California;
  • 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; uplift strategies for advocacy through social media;
  • Represent ETW in a variety of state and local policy discussions and meetings with stakeholders;
  • Support ETW’s external relations team in local and regional advocacy.

Government Relations Administration & Development

  • Collaborate with ETW colleagues on research and analysis of education policy issues, and coordinate internally to ensure consistent and effective external communications;
  • Serve as project manager for cross-functional work, including tracking of sponsored legislation and key legislative priorities;
  • Support other teams within ETW with media/ communication strategies and grant requests;
  • 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 three 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 $78,000 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). 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.