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Managing Director of Policy

Company: Advancement Project
Date Posted: June 19, 2017

Position Summary:

Advancement Project California is seeking an experienced and highly accomplished candidate for the newly established role of Managing Director of Policy ("Managing Director"). The ideal candidate should have at least ten years of nonprofit, philanthropic or governmental experience focused on key social and racial justice issues with at least five years in a leadership role. The Managing Director will drive the creation and refinement of a strategic policy agenda for key issue areas and will oversee the execution of innovative and high-impact policy campaigns at the state and local levels.

The Managing Director will report to the Executive Director and will supervise four direct reports, including the Director of Government Relations (who is based in our Sacramento, California office); two Associate Directors (Research and Equity in Public Funds) and one Manager (Political Voice). As the Executive Director focuses on external relations, resource development, and large programmatic initiatives, the Managing Director will provide strategic leadership in the development and implementation of the organization's policy campaigns and legislative agendas to ensure that policy goals are achieved. The Managing Director will sit on a number of organizational-wide leadership teams to ensure an appropriate level of consistency and integration between the various program departments with respect to research efforts, community partnerships, and policy campaigns. The successful candidate will be a thoughtful, creative, compassionate and dynamic leader and manager who excels at leading a talented and diverse team. Self- motivation, strong leadership and management skills, excellent writing and communication skills, flexibility, attention to detail, and the ability to successfully manage crises and rapid change are essential to this position.

Specific Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Programmatic Management and Coordination

  • Provide direct supervision and oversight to four work areas (Research, Equity in Public Funds, Political Voice, and Government Relations).
  • Oversee a process of internal communication, coordination, documentation and evaluation for all of Advancement Project California's policy areas.
  • Oversee information sharing, briefings, and professional development trainings for policy and advocacy staff.
  • Provide leadership and support, as appropriate, for new cross-programmatic initiatives.
  • Develop and manage programmatic initiatives and campaigns that move us toward our vision; and work with staff and leadership to develop, track and communicate project goals, timelines, and deliverables related to those initiatives and campaigns.
  • Build and nurture effective multi-organizational coalitions and alliances.
  • Ensure consistent internal policies and practices across all program teams while allowing for the proper flexibility when necessary.
  • Maintain effective lines of communications amongst the program team leads, keeping the Executive Director informed of all critical issues.
  • Serve as a member of the Executive, Leadership, and Management Teams.
  • Develop a process to review legislative and advocacy campaigns to ensure they are strategically focused and driven by our mission and vision; and provide appropriate leadership and oversight to ensure success.
  • Coordinate state-level legislative agenda:

In coordination with the Government Relations office, support program leads in the formulation and prioritization of the organization's legislative advocacy agenda and policy campaigns;

  • Ensure the efficient flow of information and support between all program and research areas with the Government Relations office to successfully execute APCA's legislative agenda;
  • In collaboration with the Executive Director, approve annual legislative and budget advocacy agendas; and

Oversight of Legislative Campaigns

  • Develop and implement professional development and staff engagement plans to prepare program teams for successful elected official engagement and advocacy efforts at the state-wide level.
  • Coordinate local-level advocacy campaigns.
  • Ensure cohesive and synergistic advocacy agendas by jurisdiction;
  • Provide leadership for the intake and processing of new initiatives and/or partnership requests and ensure that appropriate program teams review the requests and are prepared to engage in a process for determining the feasibility of moving forward with such requests; and
  • Develop and implement professional development and staff engagement plans to prepare staff for successful elected official engagement and advocacy efforts at the local level.
  • Track progress of legislative agendas and policy campaigns and coordinate with the Communications Department to promote the organization's policy developments with key stakeholders.
  • Partner with the Development Team to support the Executive Director and Program Directors in fund and resource development efforts.

Campaign/Partnership Development

In coordination with the Executive Director and key staff, develop and sustain strong relationships with our partners.

Depending on the campaign, the Managing Director may assist in relationship building efforts through the development and implementation of the:

  • Campaign design.
  • Training/coaching of campaign staff; and,
  • Direct outreach and engagement with program staff.

In collaboration with the Executive Director and Manager of Strategic Initiatives, proactively propose and develop new work and partnerships that may be cross-cutting or new to the organization.

Team Development/Management

  • Supervise four program area leads.
  • Recruit and manage an appropriate team to promote a culture of high performance and continuous improvement that values learning and a commitment to quality.
  • Mentor and develop staff using a supportive and collaborative approach on a consistent basis.
  • Establish and monitor staff performance and development goals, assign duties, set objectives, establish priorities, and conduct performance reviews.

General Duties

  • Support organization-wide planning, development, and communication activities as needed and ensure adherence to Advancement Project California's goals and policies.
  • Other duties as assigned, dependent on organizational needs and employee skills


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential job function assigned satisfactorily. The requirements listed are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Sincere and demonstrated commitment to advancing social and/or racial justice progress for the highest-need communities.

10+ years of experience in government, civil rights, racial justice, or other relevant fields, ideally with at least five years in a leadership role.

Bachelor's degree required; graduate degree in public policy, law, or the social sciences preferred. Equivalent combination of education and experience sufficient to successfully perform the essential job duties may be considered.

Deep understanding and experience with public systems and policy.

Proven track record of success leading high-impact and innovative policy advocacy campaigns.

Demonstrated success working in partnership with local residents and community organizations, including experience building and working in coalitions.

Exceptional written, oral, interpersonal, and presentation skills and the ability to effectively interface with Advancement Project's Board of Directors, senior management, and staff.

A demonstrated track record of successful project management and staff management.

Demonstrated success in delivering high-quality work products on a consistent, reliable basis in a fast-paced work environment with ambitious goals.

Demonstrated ability to highlight complex problems, develop and evaluate options, and implement solutions.

Strong facilitation, consensus building and strategic thinking skills required.

Ability to manage and delegate to technical staff with expertise in a variety of disciplines.

A team player with an attitude of service who has the ability to motivate others.

  • Coach and support senior leaders as policy advocates, and,
  • Work collaboratively with all constituent groups, yet also able to work independently and entrepreneurially.

Physical Demands:

Occasionally must be able to move office supplies and equipment weighing up to 15 pounds across the office or during events.


Competitive compensation depending on experience.  Includes full health, dental and retirement benefits.

To Apply:  No Calls

Please email cover letter, resume and a policy-related writing sample to:

Jorge Jimenez

Director of Human Resources, Finance and Administration

Women and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply.