Associate Director/Director, K-12 Education

  • Reports to: Team lead, K-12 Education
  • Staff reporting to this position: Research Associate, Policy Analyst
  • Department: K-12 Education
  • Position classification: Exempt, full time
  • Minimum compensation: $75,000/$90,000


The K-12 Education team at American Progress is devoted to generating pragmatic and progressive new policy ideas to advance education reform in the United States. The team is driven by American Progress’ mission “to improve the lives of all Americans, through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action, with the aim of not only changing the conversation, but changing the country.” K-12 Education focuses on several priority areas, including applying an explicit race equity lens to education policymaking, reimagining public education, recruiting and retaining effective teachers and principals, equitable access to K-12 opportunities in preparation for the future of work, and ensuring public schools are funded equitably in support of all students receiving access to a quality education. The Director will join a dynamic team of colleagues to assist in strengthening education policy and executing on American Progress’ five cross-cutting priorities.

  • Strengthening public health and ending the pandemic
  • Building an economy for all
  • Securing a sustainable climate
  • Advancing racial equity and justice
  • Restoring social trust and strengthening democracy


  • Conduct and guide research and advocacy in related issue areas.
  • Co-author and author policy papers, columns, and opinion pieces such as op-eds.
  • Commission papers from expert researchers and policy writers.
  • Manage projects independently to meet deadlines and delegate tasks appropriately.
  • Generate new analyses, messaging, and policy ideas to drive American Progress’ mission and goals.
  • Provide leadership in the convening of panels, symposia, and other discussion events.
  • Represent American Progress in coalitions with other organizations with related interests.
  • Assist in developing legislative advocacy strategy for American Progress’ education policy priorities.
  • Manage relationships with community-based organizations in alignment with community-informed policymaking structure.
  • Support strategy development to build and revisit a community-informed policy and research agenda.
  • Hold fidelity to American Progress’ racial equity framework.
  • Effectively supervise junior staff members’ work and professional growth.
  • Interface formally and informally with media, external groups, and policymakers.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Requirements and qualifications:

  • At least five years of professional experience in education policy, advocacy, and/or research for the Associate Director; seven to 10 years of experience for a Director.
  • An advanced degree in a social science discipline, public policy, or education is required for this role.
  • Evidence of high-quality research, writing, and analytic ability.
  • Demonstrated and detailed knowledge and understanding of federal education programs and policy, particularly the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of how policies have disrupted or advanced educational inequity.
  • Comfort with working under pressure and meeting tight deadlines in a fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to multitask and prioritize.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work on a team.
  • Ability to initiate projects and balance multiple projects at once.
  • Increasing responsibility and experience with effectively managing staff.
  • Commitment to American Progress’ mission and goals.

The following are not required but are a plus:                                                   

  • Data analysis skills.
  • Experience with grassroots and/or nonprofit organizations.
  • Experience engaging with state legislatures or Congress.

American Progress offers full and competitive benefit packages. This position is not represented by a union. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

To Apply

Please follow the link below to the online application. When completing the application, be sure to combine your cover letter and resume/CV into one Word or PDF file and upload this combined document. The system does not allow for multiple files.

This announcement will remain posted until the position is filled. No phone calls, please.
Please note that only those individuals whose qualifications match the current needs of this position will be considered applicants and will receive responses from American Progress.
Thank you for your interest in American Progress.

Additional information

American Progress operates two separate nonprofit organizations to maximize the progressive agenda: the Center for American Progress and the Center for American Progress Action Fund. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “American Progress.” The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) tax-exempt research and educational institute. It undertakes research, public education and a limited amount of lobbying. The Center for American Progress Action Fund is a nonpartisan 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization dedicated to achieving progress through action. It works to transform progressive ideas into policy through rapid-response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing, political advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders. The organizations share office space and employees.

For more information on the Center for American Progress, please go to For more information on the Center for American Progress Action Fund, please go to