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Senior Director, Early Childhood Policy

Job Details

Full-time, regular


Reports to: Senior Vice President, Education. In the interim, this position reports to the Acting Senior Vice President, Education

Staff reporting to this position: Early Childhood Policy staff

Department: Education

Position classification: Exempt, full time; Nonunion - Level 8

Minimum compensation: $125,000

Work site: Hybrid (on-site two days per week, Washington, D.C., office)



American Progress has an immediate opening for a Senior Director for Early Childhood Policy, within the Education department. The Senior Director for Early Childhood Policy will serve as the co-lead of the Early Childhood team and be a creative and analytic partner in American Progress’ work to change the country’s approach to early childhood education, including by connecting with K-12 and higher education efforts and seeking out and developing connectivity with the organization’s five crosscutting priorities: 

  • Building an economy for all
  • Restoring social trust in democracy
  • Advancing racial equity and justice
  • Tackling climate change and environmental injustice
  • Strengthening health

This position requires developing and promoting policies and solutions to ensure that young children and families have access to equitable early childhood outcomes. This Senior Director for Early Childhood Policy will help lead American Progress’ efforts to further these goals by advancing smart, focused strategies through research, strategic communications, and working in coalition with stakeholders at the federal, state, and local levels. Ideal candidates will have a deep understanding of early childhood policy, with expertise in one or more of the following core areas: access, affordability, and quality of education and services for young children, including babies and toddlers, as well as for families and educators; child care, preschool, and health services, with an emphasis on equity. 

The Senior Director will help coordinate policy development and execution, including through research, writing, and collaborating with colleagues across the Education department and the organization. They will help manage relationships with outside stakeholders, including ally organizations, policymakers, and the media.

This leader will help manage a dynamic, high-performing team. The ideal candidate will have a strong command and understanding of how national policies affect child care and other early learning systems; facility with government institutions at the local, state, or federal level; relationships with key players in the field; and experience leading and participating in a range of collaborative efforts.




  • Help provide day-to-day management for several Early Childhood Policy staff.
  • Work with Education team lead colleagues, the department’s Senior Vice President, and the Executive Vice President for Policy to help set the strategic direction for American Progress’ priorities related to early childhood policy, including the development of crosscutting efforts.
  • Coordinate with American Progress’ policy, communications, and outreach/advocacy experts to build an interconnected research and analysis agenda alongside communications and advocacy strategies.
  • Conceive, research, write, and edit original products and other materials as needed.
  • Represent Early Childhood efforts with the public, media, and other outside groups and individuals.
  • Assist colleagues and guide the Education department in crafting timely policy reports and rapid-response documents to ensure relevant participation in policy debates, with an eye toward shaping outcomes.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Requirements and qualifications: 

  • Commitment to American Progress’ mission and goals.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience; advanced degree is preferred.
  • Extensive and demonstrated knowledge of early childhood policy issues.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and a team player. Ability to work well with Early Childhood staff, colleagues within the Education department and throughout American Progress, and members of a diverse coalition. 
  • Effective supervisory skills and ability to manage, mentor, and lead staff.
  • Ability to prioritize, multitask, and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Strong analytical skills; quantitative skills are a plus.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop strategic, long-term plans and implement them successfully.
  • Strong political instincts and experience working with coalitions.


American Progress offers a full and competitive benefit package. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. This position is not represented by a union and has a minimum salary of $125,000.

American Progress’ hybrid work policy is posted on our Jobs page. Please visit this page for updates. Any changes to this policy will also be communicated at the time of hire.