America Forward is a nonpartisan policy initiative of New Profit, a pioneering national venture philanthropy fund that seeks to break down barriers between all people and opportunity in America. New Profit invests in visionary leaders – both social entrepreneurs and system entrepreneurs — to help them scale high-impact solutions and achieve systemic change. To date, New Profit has invested over $150 million in scaling innovative organizations’ impact.
America Forward’s mission is to unite social innovators with policymakers to translate local impact into national change. America Forward advances a public policy agenda that advances equity, fosters innovation, rewards results, and catalyzes cross-sector partnership. Staff of America Forward lead a Coalition of more than 100 nonprofit and social innovation organizations that champion innovative, effective, and equitable solutions to our country’s most pressing social problems. Our Coalition members are achieving measurable outcomes in more than 15,000 communities nationwide, touching the lives of 9 million Americans each year, and driving progress in education, workforce development, early learning, poverty alleviation, public health, pay for success, social innovation, national service, and criminal justice reform.
Since 2007, America Forward’s community of innovators has played a leading role in driving the national dialogue on social innovation and advocating for lasting policy change. America Forward played a critical role in the creation of a federal tiered-evidence fund aimed at scaling high-impact organizations and significantly leveraging federal dollars, and the creation of a new, breakthrough federal outcomes-fund. Our community influenced the creation of the White House Office of Social Innovation, and we have successfully advocated for the inclusion of provisions focused on outcomes in landmark federal education and workforce legislation. Together, we have leveraged $1.7 billion for evidence-based social innovation and have driven millions of federal resources toward programs that are achieving measurable results for those who need them most. America Forward believes that our nation’s social innovators can lead the way to unlocking America’s potential — and help move all of America forward.
About the Position
The Policy Director will lead the America Forward Coalition’s evidence-based policy, social innovation, and Pay for Success collective advocacy work, co-lead America Forward’s workforce development policy and advocacy, and actively partner with the rest of our team on additional policy priorities, from idea generation to execution. The Policy Director will lead America Forward’s collective advocacy efforts by developing policy papers and other external-facing advocacy materials for members of Congress, senior officials in the Biden-Harris Administration, and other policymakers, and participate in external engagement efforts, including leading meetings with Hill staff and other policymakers, and generating policy proposals for America Forward’s nonpartisan engagement in national elections. The Policy Director will also work with others on the team to build the policy capacity of New Profit portfolio organizations and America Forward Coalition organizations. Policy capacity-building work will include leading policy workshops and Hill Days, and providing ad hoc policy advice to America Forward Coalition organizations.
An exceptional communicator, strong writer, skilled researcher, and creative and analytical thinker, the Policy Director will synthesize complex ideas, build consensus, and actively engage multiple audiences and stakeholders, including policymakers, social entrepreneurs, philanthropists, academics, and other experts, in shaping new policy proposals and initiatives on behalf of America Forward. The Policy Director will participate actively in external engagement opportunities and speak and write about the Coalition’s policy priorities on behalf of America Forward.
Based in Washington D.C., the Policy Director will report directly to the Executive Director of America Forward, work closely with both internal staff and external policy consultants, and play a vital role in ensuring America Forward achieves its ambitious advocacy goals, championing policies that make the social sector more equitable and more outcomes-driven.
America Forward’s Policy Director will:
• Develop policy platforms, proposals, and strategies that reflect the interests of New Profit and America Forward Coalition members in: Evidence-based policy, social innovation, workforce development, Pay for Success/outcomes-based funding, and other emerging areas of interest.
• In close collaboration with America Forward’s Directors and team of consultants, advocate for specific policy agendas in the areas of: Evidence-based policy, social innovation, workforce development, Pay for Success, education, human services, national service, and other related issues.
• Lead America Forward’s Evidence-based Task Force, advise America Forward’s Workforce Development Task Forces, and develop strong relationships with CEOs and Policy Directors of member organizations.
• Lead America Forward’s efforts to influence the regulation and implementation of major Pay for Success legislation, including the Social Impact Partnership to Pay for Results Act and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
• Continue to push for the enactment of signature America Forward priorities in Congress, including the Fund for Innovation and Success in Higher Education (FINISH) Act, the Revitalize and Expand SNAP Education and Training (RESET) For America’s Future Act, the Expanding Pathways to Employment Act, and other legislation of interest to the Coalition.
• Work with our team to run advocacy trainings, Hill Days, and other efforts to build the advocacy capacity of New Profit portfolio organizations and America Forward Coalition members.
• Work with individual portfolio and Coalition organizations to build their policy capacity and provide strategic advice.
• Work closely with the America Forward team to develop policy proposals for upcoming election cycles and build strong relationships within Congress and the Administration to advance priority policy ideas.
• Contribute to development and fundraising efforts, and play a meaningful role in engaging individual, foundation, and public funders.
• Contribute to America Forward’s ongoing message development and communications strategy; generate content for America Forward across all communications platforms; develop policy papers and other written external content on key issues; and create public engagement materials (e.g., op-eds, slide decks, summaries, press materials, external speeches, social media content, etc.).
• Serve as a representative of America Forward to policymakers (both in Congress and the Administration), thought leaders, social entrepreneurs, and other key stakeholders.
• Expand America Forward’s external presence by speaking publicly at national, state, and local conferences and other events, and by authoring op-eds, blogs, and other public content.
• Manage networks and information channels necessary to be consistently and fully informed on all activities and advancements in related policy and political areas.
• Actively cultivate relationships and expand the network of champions for equity, evidence, and social innovation, and participate in associated advocacy efforts as needed.
• Manage expert external consultants and more junior staff working on a similar portfolio of issues.
• Significant professional experience (ideally at least 10 years) in federal policy and/or politics; experience working on Capitol Hill in a federal department/agency, for other policymakers, or in the policy department of a national nonprofit organization, think tank, or philanthropic organization.
• Relationship and consensus-building skills, including experience working with or managing coalitions; comfort working with both policy experts and novices.
• Ability to work independently and cooperatively as part of a DC team connected to a larger Boston-based organization; ability to work independently and collaboratively with a team of DC-based senior policy consultants.
• Superior written communication skills; exceptional ability to synthesize complex information and ideas into clear, concise, and compelling written materials.
• Superior verbal communication skills; exceptional ability to craft messages that resonate with multiple audiences; substantial experience and comfort with public speaking and engaging large audiences.
• Superior research skills; ability to quickly and accurately pull key facts or statistics to support a broader advocacy proposal, tied to strong and accurate sourcing; ability to efficiently fact-check.
• Ability to thrive and learn in a fast-paced environment, ability to be nimble as part of an entrepreneurial organization, comfort in an environment that emphasizes collaboration and a “can-do” orientation.
• Interest in learning and leading new policy area initiatives as opportunities emerge.
• Passion for New Profit and America Forward’s missions, social entrepreneurship, and systems change; deep commitment to pursuing equity; experience or familiarity with social innovation, social entrepreneurship, and the nonprofit sector preferred.
• Flexibility and willingness to travel occasionally (particularly to New Profit’s Boston office).
How to Apply
For more information about America Forward, please visit: www.americaforward.org
This search is being led by Allison Kupfer Poteet and Sarah Hecklau of NPAG. Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Candidates may submit their cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume via NPAG’s website.
For the full position description and to apply, please visit: https://npag.com/current-searches-all/af-pd
As an equal opportunity employer, New Profit recognizes the power of a diverse community and strongly encourages applications from individuals with varied experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds.
AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service alumni are encouraged to apply. Please indicate in your application if you are a national service alumnus.