SchoolHouse Connection – Director of State Policy
SchoolHouse Connection, a fast-paced, results-oriented national nonprofit organization working to overcome homelessness through education, is seeking a Director of State Policy to lead our state policy advocacy and implementation work.
Since 2018, SchoolHouse Connection’s state policy program has worked in nearly two dozen states to help pass 25 state laws that support children, unaccompanied youth, and young families experiencing homelessness in accessing shelter and housing, medical and mental health care, employment, and education, from early childhood through post-secondary. The Director of State Policy position is an opportunity to help expand this successful program by engaging directly in policy advocacy with partners across multiple state legislatures and administrative agencies, as well as helping develop and launch a multi-state project to promote full implementation of state policies, and building a Fellows Program and Community of Practice.
This is a full-time, salaried position with generous benefits and opportunities for advancement. The Director of State Policy will work remotely, as do all of SHC’s employees. Travel to no more than four in-person SHC team meetings per year will be required, at SHC expense, when travel is safe.
SchoolHouse Connection is committed to developing a diverse and dynamic team and encourages applications from people of color, individuals with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ individuals.
The Director of State Policy will report to the Executive Director, and is responsible for, but not limited to, the following:
● Building and mobilizing statewide coalitions to identify, prioritize, and unite behind state policy reforms that support children, unaccompanied youth, and young families experiencing homelessness.
● Leading state policy campaigns on housing, health, education, employment, and other issues affecting youth and young families experiencing homelessness.
● Drafting bill language, policy action alerts and briefs, talking points, testimony, and other documents.
● Supporting strategic advocacy communications.
● Partnering with state and local administrative agencies, schools, post-secondary institutions, advocates and community agencies to help develop targeted initiatives to support full implementation of new policies, including outreach, trainings, and tools.
● Developing campaigns with service providers, schools, and young people to promote self-advocacy and full implementation of new policies.
● Expanding our State Policy Community of Practice.
● Building a Policy Fellows program to train and coordinate a group of active advocates for state and local policy reform, including young people.
● Performing other related duties and tasks as assigned by the Executive Director.
The Director of State Policy will have a track record of successful state policy advocacy, with sophisticated understanding of the workings of state legislatures. As this is a work-from-home position, the Director must have the ability to work independently, diligently, and efficiently. S/he should exemplify each of SHC’s core competencies: being a strong communicator, a team player, and self-directed.
Specific required qualifications include:
We’re seeking candidates who excel in leading policy advocacy campaigns and coalition-building, are results-oriented, and have superior writing and organizational skills. You must have:
● J.D. degree
● A track record of successful state policy advocacy, with sophisticated understanding of the workings of state legislatures.
● The ability to clearly, accurately, and knowledgeably articulate advocacy positions, effectively rebut opposition arguments, and persuade others to support policies.
● Experience designing high-level strategic campaigns in policy advocacy and/or implementation.
● The ability to write and speak clearly and persuasively, with particular experience writing public policy briefs and testimony.
● Experience developing cogent, practical written materials related to implementation of education, housing, health, or other state or federal laws.
● Demonstrated ability to build and nurture partnerships and coalitions.
● Significant knowledge of policy issues affecting unaccompanied youth and young families experiencing homelessness.
● Experience convening advocates, leading communities of practice, and/or teaching advocacy skills.
● Demonstrated commitment to SHC’s advocacy principles.
● A high level of attention to detail, accuracy, and thoroughness.
● A demonstrated ability to handle a heavy workload, and achieve results, even in the face of obstacles, while displaying high standards of excellence and integrity.
● The ability to work independently and take initiative, while ensuring alignment and thriving as a collegial member of a small but mighty team.
Some travel will be required post-pandemic.
SchoolHouse Connection provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetics, or veteran status. Upon request, reasonable accommodations in the application process will be provided to individuals with disabilities.
Salary and Benefits
Salary: $65,000 – $80,000
Benefits: Work from home; flexible work schedule; generous holiday, personal, and vacation leave; health insurance; 403(b) retirement plan; small, collegial team; many opportunities to use skills, learn, and grow professionally.
How to apply
To apply, please submit the following materials to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Director of State Policy,” by September 3, 2021. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until a successful candidate is identified.
1. A cover letter specific to the duties and qualifications of this position;
2. A current resume highlighting experience relevant to this position;
3. At least two writing samples specifically related to a policy advocacy or implementation campaign (which could include bill testimony, a bill issue brief, an outreach email asking others to contact their legislators, or a training/tools to promote implementation of a state or federal policy); and
4. At least two references.
About SchoolHouse Connection
SHC is the nation’s leading expert on the early care and education of children and youth experiencing homelessness. We provide strategic advocacy and practical assistance in partnership with early childhood programs, schools, institutions of higher education, service providers, families, and youth. We have ushered to passage many critical policies and programs for children and youth experiencing homelessness, and provide extensive implementation assistance to ensure these policies lead to real outcomes.