The Southern Education Foundation (SEF), located in Atlanta, GA, seeks outstanding candidates to fill a Government Affairs and Advocacy Analyst to support the advancement of a comprehensive, proactive government affairs strategy that furthers the mission and goals of SEF to advance creative solutions to ensure equity and excellence in education for students of color and students from low-income families in the South. This individual will possess a robust understanding of and/or a self-motivated interest to learn about federal, state, and local education legislation and regulations across the P-20 pipeline. The Analyst will support the Director of Government Affairs and Advocacy in the engagement with policymakers, elected officials, practitioners, an array of other like-minded partners, and other education stakeholders. To be successful, this individual must be a team player and have stellar interpersonal skills.
This position reports to the Director of Advocacy and Government Affairs (Director), and at the direction of the Director, they will work with a diverse array of outside education experts, researchers, SEF’s grassroots partners and leaders at the state and local levels on a variety of advocacy and policy projects.
Candidates interested in this position should have working knowledge and genuine interest in improving educational opportunity across the P-20 continuum and working to ensure that education is the vehicle by which all students get fair chances to develop their talents and contribute to the common good.
For more than 150 years SEF has made outsized contributions to improving education at all levels, from pre-kindergarten through higher education. SEF works to improve equity, excellence, and opportunity in education nationally. Research, policy analysis, advocacy, and programs are the primary means through which SEF pursues its mission.
A bachelor’s degree is required. Candidates should: be able to organize and prioritize workload to effectively complete multiple assignments; have exceptional written, oral, and electronic communication skills; have the ability to interact with diverse external audiences; effectively communicate and embody the value, belief, purpose and mission of the organization; have experience working both independently and in cooperation with other staff members while displaying a positive, cooperative attitude; and exhibit sensitivity to and respect for differences in personal, professional and business relationships on behalf of the Foundation.
SPECIFIC DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
- Supports the Director in developing, managing and executing SEF’s strategy for strengthening relationships with elected officials and government agencies and increasing their understanding of and support for the work and mission of SEF
- Works with the Director to identify priority legislative and government relations issues of importance to the work of SEF throughout the southern region
- Communicates and advocates SEF’s priorities to local, regional, state and national elected officials and staff
- Researches, monitors, analyzes and responds to state, local and federal legislation, regulatory activity, and other education policy activities to understand their content and implications, and updates and advises the Director on potential next steps
- Works with the Director to communicate with SEF staff and SEF partner organizations to inform them of relevant government affairs issues
- Works closely with state elected officials and staff at state Department of Educations, State Legislative Black Caucuses, General Assemblies, school boards, other policymaking bodies, and outside organizations to collect data and information as well as build relationships in the Southern education policy community
- Supports Director in educating legislators and other policymakers about the scope and impact of their public policy choices on education equity
- Supports the Director in the planning and implementation of programs, events, and other activities to support SEF’s advocacy and government affairs goals and advance SEF’s public policy priorities, through avenues such as legislative hearings, town halls, news conferences, meetings, and convenings of diverse groups of education stakeholders
- Helps the Government Affairs and Advocacy team translate research findings into effective, understandable products (i.e., policy briefs, memos, presentations, fact sheets, reports, and other written materials) for state policymakers, as well as civil rights groups and advocacy organizations
- Represents SEF in coalitions and meetings, as appropriate, to support SEF’s state policy agenda, and manage SEF’s relationships with a range of stakeholders
- Performs other duties as assigned and determined by the Director and SEF’s leadership team.
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE:
- Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred (e.g., master’s degree in public policy, education policy, or related fields)
- Two to four years of work experience (including internships) in policy analysis or research roles, ideally at an education policymaking entity or other policy and advocacy organization
- Exceptional written, oral, and presentation skills and an ability to clearly communicate complete ideas for general public audiences
- Experience in developing and maintaining relationships with public officials and their staffs
- Experience analyzing and interpreting legislation and policy documents
- Knowledge of state and Federal education policy, including ESSA plans
- Ability to work both independently and collaboratively on multiple projects
- Sense of humor and the ability to exhibit grace under pressure
- Comfort with ambiguity
- Ability to occasionally travel (when permitted under CDC and expert guidance)
- Demonstrated commitment to equity and excellence for every young person, but especially African American and low-income students in the South
Interested candidates should submit: 1) a letter of interest; 2) a current resume; 3) names and contact information of three references to (firstname.lastname@example.org) with Government Affairs and Advocacy Analyst in the subject line of the email.
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
Compensation: Excellent non-profit employee benefits and competitive salary commensurate with position and experience.
The Southern Education Foundation is an equal opportunity employer. Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.