Reaching Higher NH is seeking a Policy Director

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This is a core leadership position on the Reaching Higher NH team. The Policy Director (Director) will lead the organization’s policy engagement initiatives. The Director will work with the Reaching Higher staff, board, and partners to develop policy priorities and then implement a comprehensive policy engagement strategy. The Director will lead efforts to engage legislators and other policy-makers, communicate with and educate the public on policy priorities, and shape the public debate over New Hampshire’s most urgent and important education issues. The Director also leads Reaching Higher’s education research agenda and works with stakeholders at both the state and national level to improve public understanding of and support for innovative, best practices that work to improve public education for all students. Finally, the Director contributes to Reaching Higher’s community engagement work, supporting efforts to invigorate public engagement and advocacy on behalf of public education.

Application and Hiring Timeline

Qualified applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Application review will be immediate and ongoing. This full-time position will begin in November 2018, with the potential for on-ramping in late October, depending on candidate availability.

Responsibilities

Policy Development, Analysis, and Engagement

Work in close collaboration with staff and board to develop, refine, and implement Reaching Higher’s education policy strategy and all related efforts. This includes:

  • Analyzing legislation and performing data and policy reviews to develop products that explain the potential impact of key education bills on the state and individual communities, as well as various stakeholder groups.
  • Building and strengthening relationships with NH lawmakers, appointed officials, and their staff members.
  • Assisting in the preparation of expert comments on key bills.
  • Assisting in the drafting and amending of legislation and legislative proposals, as appropriate.
  • Monitor, track, and analyze all relevant legislation using AdvoKit.
  • Provide reports and updates as requested by staff and board on all related work.

Identify and build new, and deepen existing, relationships with key NH governmental, civic and business leaders, with the ultimate goal of building strong, impactful alliances in support of Reaching Higher’s policy agenda. This includes:

  • Closely tracking those relationships, with an eye toward optimizing opportunities for meaningful engagement.

Plan and lead public education policy engagements such as town halls, press briefings, and workshops, on key policy and legislative issues, local school board and budgetary issues, etc.

Prepare policy engagement materials, as requested, for use both internally and with external partners and stakeholders; materials might include policy briefings, reports on legislative campaigns, talking points, etc.

Develop and build relationships with major media outlets in New Hampshire; represent Reaching Higher in policy-related communications including radio and television shows, print media, and other important outlets; and serve as the go-to expert for the media to understand education policy issues.

Research and Innovation Agenda

Identify and build new, and deepen existing, relationships with New Hampshire and national education research organizations.

Develop and produce written content for internal use and for external publication on education research and innovation with applicability to New Hampshire’s context.

Represent Reaching Higher at education research and innovation events and forums, as requested and appropriate.

Play a Unique and Positive Role on the Reaching Higher Team

Be fully present and engaged in meetings with Reaching Higher’s management and team, gathering and offering constructive ideas, feedback, and support.

Serve as professional, respectful, and committed representative of Reaching Higher NH at all times.

As necessary, track all grant / project deliverables and time spent on related work, in a timely and accurate manner.

As appropriate, provide direct oversight of policy subcontracts and/or external project partners, ensuring RHNH’s organizational values are always upheld.

Other duties, as appropriate and assigned.

Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in education, government, political science, or other relevant field, preferred.
  • Minimum of five years professional experience in policy engagement in education or other related field.
  • Proven proficiency in the use of Excel and/or other stats programs (Stats, SPSS, R, etc.).
  • Experience with grant-reporting and deliverables tracking.
  • Experience building strong and impactful relationships with a wide diversity of people and community partners.
  • Familiarity with education issues and players across the NH landscape (preferred, not required).
  • Strong experience planning and facilitating meetings, trainings, events, and projects.
  • Demonstrated experience, and comfort with, public speaking.
  • Proven ability to work in a number of contexts: independently, as part of a diverse team; and, under direct supervision.
  • Exceptional writing and communication skills.
  • An overall startup mentality – flexibility, adaptability, commitment and energy – and, enthusiasm for working as part of a close, hard-working, and highly dedicated team.

Additional Requirements

Availability evenings and weekends is essential. Must have a vehicle and valid driver’s license.

Relationships

This position reports to Reaching Higher’s executive director.

Salary and Exempt Status

This full-time, exempt position has a competitive annual salary and excellent benefits.

Application Process

To apply, please send each of the following to Evelyn Aissa at evelyn@reachinghighernh.org. Application review and interviewing for this position will be immediate and ongoing – interested candidates should submit their applications as soon as possible. Applications must include: resume, cover letter, and two policy writing samples. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Note: all applications will be kept confidential. No phone calls, please. 

About Reaching Higher NH

Reaching Higher NH is a nonpartisan 501c3 public education policy resource for New Hampshire parents, students, educators, and elected officials. We are dedicated to supporting high quality public education and fostering high standards that give every student the opportunity to prepare for college, careers, and life in 21st century New Hampshire. We believe that strong public schools are the foundation of thriving communities and community engagement in public education is essential to the wellbeing of our students – and all of us. Founded in 2015, Reaching Higher is already NH’s leading resource for K-12 policy and deep community engagement in our schools.

View the PDF version of this announcement here.