Position: Vice President for Policy
Reports to: President
Classification: Full Time/Exempt
To download a copy of the job description, click here.
About Linked Learning and the Linked Learning Alliance
Linked Learning is a proven, systemic approach to education based on this simple idea: students work harder and dream bigger if their learning connects with them, and connects them to the world. Young people are introduced to career possibilities in sectors that drive their region’s economy, making education relevant to their passions and inspiring them to graduate from high school with the coursework and skills they need to thrive. By integrating rigorous academics with real-world learning and strong support services, Linked Learning prepares students for success in college, career, and life.
Rigorous independent evaluation conducted over multiple years indicates that Linked Learning makes a difference for young people—improving high school graduation rates, decreasing drop-out rates, and boosting the number of credits earned. These findings have spurred growth of the Linked Learning field, which in California now includes more than 100 participating school districts, collectively serving more than 300,000 students, and its expansion to 19 other states.
The Linked Learning Alliance serves the coalition of educators, employers, and community organizations dedicated to improving the education system and advancing equity and excellence through expanded access to Linked Learning. The Alliance provides a collective voice for this field, advocates for policies that support the Linked Learning approach, sets the quality standard for Linked Learning in practice, and brings diverse stakeholders together to improve outcomes for students.
The Alliance was established in May 2008 and incorporated as an independent 501(c)(3) in July 2015.
The Vice President for Policy will be responsible for strategy and execution of all state, regional, county and district policy initiatives, including legislation, budget actions, and regulations. This position will help elevate the Linked Learning and Alliance brands and design and lead implementation of all governmental stakeholder and policymaker engagement strategies and promotion of the analytics and certification platforms used by Linked Learning sites to improve student outcomes.
The Vice President will be based in either the Bay Area or Sacramento and be a vital member of the Linked Learning Alliance’s executive management team. In collaboration with the President, Board of Directors, and colleagues, this position will help the Alliance activate the strategic vision developed through extensive stakeholder input in 2018. That vision is anchored in achieving equity and excellence for students across the U.S. through high-quality college and career preparation. It focuses on growth of the Linked Learning field, as well as organizational sustainability via expanded applications of Linked Learning in communities and districts throughout the country, government policies that are supportive and aligned to this approach, and public and donor commitment to college and career preparation for all young people.
Executive Team Roles and Responsibilities:
The Vice President for Policy will work closely with the Alliance president and executive team colleagues to advance the key elements of the Linked Learning Alliance strategic plan. This individual will play a senior role in:
- Creating a healthy, sustainable, and thriving nonprofit organization as it completes a critical transition and moves beyond its start-up and implementation phases
- Setting annual implementation goals and milestones against an ambitious strategic vision
- Supporting fund development efforts—helping identify opportunities, conveying Linked Learning and Linked Learning Alliance value add to external partners, participating in funder relationship/cultivation, and assisting with grant proposal development
- Developing the annual budget for the Alliance
- Representing the Alliance at external functions and presenting at conferences and events; serving on or staffing relevant field panels and task forces
- Managing special projects and strategic initiatives as identified and needed
Public Policy and Advocacy Leadership Roles and Responsibilities:
The Vice President for Policy will drive the planning and implementation of the Linked Learning Alliance’s (the Alliance) public policy and advocacy strategies and investments, working collaboratively and synergistically with all Alliance functions to achieve measurable results. More specifically, this position is responsible for formulating, integrating, activating, measuring, and strengthening strategies in all areas described below.
External Policymaker Relations:
The VP for Policy is responsible for helping to develop and implement the Alliance’s policy agenda and communicating with policymakers, stakeholders, the public, and the media about the Alliance’s work. Areas of focus include:
- Craft strategic public policy direction and guide the Alliance’s interactions with state, local and federal governments
- Research federal, state and local policy landscape to identify and advise on priority areas and expansion markets
- Forecast forthcoming policy issues of importance to the Alliance and the Linked Learning field
- Maintain and amplify the profile of the Alliance as setting the gold standard for high-quality approaches to college AND career preparation in California and beyond
- Conduct state and federal budget and legislative analyses and develop corresponding strategic positioning that advances the alliance’s policy agenda
- Build and engage a network of public and education officials, private stakeholders, and community groups to advance Alliance and Linked Learning field priorities
- Direct and organize engagement of key target audiences at all levels of government; local to national.
- Oversee planning and execution of events such as legislator and staff briefings, symposia, field visits and conference presentations
- Recruit and manage external assets (lobbyists, service firms, consultants) required for implementing Alliance goals and objectives
- Coordinate with key national partners to craft a coherent strategy on issues that cut across states
- Craft public policy strategies designed to align educational segments and systems and leverage funding to bring the power of Linked Learning to more students across California and in key states
- Engage with government and other stakeholders on important public policy recommendations and challenges tied to K-12, Post-Secondary Education and Workforce Development
- Lead the Alliance’s engagement with executive branch officials, legislators, and Linked Learning field in the formation of public policy
- Working closely with the field and Alliance colleagues identify key policy issues, listen carefully to others’ views and opinions, and distill and share field perspective on those issues with external stakeholders
Field Level Advocacy:
The VP for Policy will lead field level advocacy strategies deigned to engage key stakeholders in collective action designed to support and advance shared public policy goals. Areas of focus include:
- Lead the Alliance’s engagement with executive branch officials, legislators, and Linked Learning field in the formation of public policy. Work closely with the broader Linked Learning field and aligned partners, to identify key policy barriers and opportunities. Solicit a broad range of views and opinions and distill and share field perspective on those issues with external stakeholders
- Develop a policy platform and recommendations informed by the Linked Learning field to address barriers and capitalize on opportunities to expand and enhance the systemic adoption of Linked Learning
- Establish and cultivate strategic partnerships with aligned statewide and national advocacy organizations to amplify voice in addressing barriers and advancing adoption of supporting policies
- Develop strategies and tactics to achieve results, including drafting policy recommendations, legislation and budget and regulatory language, as requested. Identifying key champions and potential opponents; build coalition support and devise activation strategies, as needed and adhering to deadlines
- In conjunction with Alliance colleagues, keep field informed, inspired and engaged in key public policy issues designed to support expansion of and public funding for the practice of Linked Learning
- In conjunction with Alliance colleagues, strengthen field affiliation with the Linked Learning brand; equipping and inspiring field members to be visible champions for Linked Learning—amplifying the Alliance by school districts, employers, educators, and others in locales across the nation
Policy Development, Analysis and Research:
The VP for Policy will oversee both policy development and analysis functions and align those with research efforts. Areas of focus will include:
- Recommend and set Alliance’s public policy directions in California (locally, regionally), in key states and at a federal level
- Forecast forthcoming policy issues of importance to the Alliance and the members of the Linked Learning field
- Oversee the development of Alliance policy platforms (local, regional, state and federal levels)
- Oversee policy analysis and the formulation of policy recommendations and align these with existing and emergent research projects
- Work with the Alliance colleagues and research and communications partners to translate academic research into policy action
- Train and supervise staff and/or interns working on policy analysis research projects
- Master’s degree in Public Policy/Administration, or an advanced degree in an equivalent field
- Minimum of eight years of policy and/or legislative experience, ideally in situations striving to advance educational or economic justice; significant experience with advocacy, policy, and field-building preferred
- Policy and Political acumen—this position requires familiarity with and ability to lead an array of approaches in a complex and dynamic landscape that involves players at all levels of government; most important is the ability to strategically assess opportunities and needs, and design solutions that combine messages and methods to achieve a desired communications outcome within available budgets
- A passion for public policy and advancing educational and economic opportunity and a deep commitment to equity and inclusion
- Experience coalition-building, leading and collaborating with multiple stakeholders
- Knowledge of federal, state, and local education and workforce programs, strongly preferred
- Executive and leadership abilities, personal preference and skills for team-based approaches— this position must contribute to positive and productive collaboration at multiple levels, including full participation in the Alliance executive staff team, leadership of communications team/s (comprised of staff and consultants), and engagement with field groups and partnerships
- Comfort and confidence working in a fast-paced environment and at the forefront of a growing field—including ability to manage multiple priorities and tasks simultaneously, adapt to new inputs or opportunities/needs, and have equal comfort managing and participating hands-on in any/all communications endeavors
- Proven abilities and desire to supervise, coach, and develop staff
- Excellent communication skills, both written and oral
Linked Learning Alliance offers a highly competitive compensation and benefits package.
The position will be located in the Bay Area or Sacramento.
If you would like to apply, please send your résumé and a cover letter to HR@linkedlearning.org. Indicate the position title in the subject line of the email for the fastest consideration. In your cover letter, please share how your experience, competencies, skills, and interests are a good match for this position.
The Linked Learning Alliance is an equal opportunity employer.
The Alliance is committed to equity, embraces diversity as an asset, and practices inclusivity. These values strengthen our culture, help us fulfill our mission, and contribute to a better world. We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, national origin, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.