Director, K-12 Education Policy
Job Details
Full-time, regular

Department: Education
Reports to: Team Lead, K-12 Education Policy
Staff reporting to this position: K-12 Education Policy team staff
Job classification: Exempt, full time; Nonunion - Level 7

Minimum compensation: $90,000


American Progress is seeking a Director for its K-12 Education Policy team. The K-12 Education Policy team is devoted to generating pragmatic and progressive new policy ideas to advance education reform in the United States. The team’s work focuses on several priority areas, including applying an explicit racial equity lens to education policymaking; reimagining public education; recruiting and retaining effective teachers and principals; creating equitable access to K-12 education opportunities in preparation for the future of work; and ensuring public schools are funded equitably so that all students receive access to a quality education.

The successful candidate will be driven by American Progress’ mission “to improve the lives of all Americans through bold, progressive ideas as well as strong leadership and concerted action, with the aim of not only changing the conversation, but changing the country.” They will join a dynamic team of colleagues to assist in strengthening the K-12 Education Policy team’s policy work and supporting American Progress’ five crosscutting priorities:

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


  • Conduct and guide research and advocacy in relevant issue areas.
  • Author and co-author policy papers, columns, and opinion pieces such as op-eds.
  • Commission papers from expert researchers and policy writers.
  • Manage projects independently to meet deadlines and delegate tasks appropriately.
  • Generate new analyses, messaging, and policy ideas to drive American Progress’ mission and goals.
  • Provide leadership in the convening of panels, symposia, and other discussion events.
  • Represent American Progress in coalitions with other organizations with related interests.
  • Assist in developing legislative advocacy strategy for American Progress’ education policy priorities.
  • Manage relationships with community-based organizations in alignment with the team’s community-informed policymaking structure.
  • Support strategy development to build and advance a community-informed policy and research agenda.
  • Uphold the team’s racial equity framework.
  • Effectively supervise junior staff members’ work and professional growth.
  • Interface formally and informally with media, external groups, and policymakers.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Requirements and qualifications:

  • 7 to 10 years of experience in education policy, advocacy and/or research.
  • An advanced degree in a social science discipline, public policy, or education is required.
  • Evidence of high-quality research, writing, and analytical ability.
  • Demonstrated and detailed knowledge and understanding of federal education programs and policy, particularly the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of how policies have disrupted or advanced educational inequity.
  • Comfortable working under pressure and tight deadlines in a fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to multitask and prioritize.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work on a team.
  • Ability to initiate projects and balance multiple projects at once.
  • Ability to handle increasing responsibility, and experience with effectively managing staff.
  • Commitment to American Progress’ mission and goals.

The following are not required but are a plus:

  • Data analytical skills.
  • Experience with grassroots and/or nonprofit organizations.
  • Experience engaging with state legislatures or Congress.

American Progress offers a full and competitive benefits package. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. This position is not represented by a union and has a starting salary of $90,000.

When American Progress’ offices reopen, employees will be expected to work in the office three days per week. We will continue to monitor the current health emergency and adjust plans as needed in the future. Any changes to our current policy will be communicated at the time of hire. Updates will be posted on American Progress’ Jobs page.