Associate Director/Director, K-12 Education

Reports to: Senior Director, K-12 Education
Staff reporting to this position: None
Department: Education
Position classification: Exempt, full time
Minimum compensation: $77,000/$92,000
Work site: Hybrid (on-site two days per week, Washington, D.C., office)


American Progress has an immediate opening for an Associate Director or Director, K-12 Education. The Associate Director or Director will be responsible for developing and communicating new policy ideas, contributing to supervision of staff, and coordinating projects across departments. The ideal candidate will have a deep understanding of K-12 education policy with expertise in one or more core areas, including equitable resource distribution across all schools; recruitment and retention of a well-trained and diverse educator workforce; innovations in the future of assessments and accountability for school quality; evidence-based strategies for protecting civil rights; establishing a cradle-to-career continuum that ensures access to economic opportunity; and most crucially, cutting across all of these areas, an emphasis on racial equity through the application of a community-informed policymaking strategy. A successful candidate will have familiarity with legislative and regulatory processes and the ability to develop and maintain relationships with the K-12 policymaking community in Washington, D.C.

The Associate Director or Director for K-12 Education will be 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. This work will include connecting K-12 education policy efforts with the organization’s five crosscutting priorities:

  • Building an economy for all
  • Restoring social trust in democracy
  • Advancing racial equity and justice
  • Tackling climate change and environmental injustice
  • Strengthening health


  • Conduct and guide research and advocacy in relevant K-12 education issue areas.
  • Author and co-author policy papers, columns, and opinion pieces such as op-eds.
  • Work in partnership with the K-12 Education team lead to supervise staff.
  • Generate new analyses, messaging, and policy ideas to drive American Progress’ mission and goals.
  • Collaborate with American Progress colleagues to design public conversations such as panels, roundtables, and other discussion events.
  • Represent American Progress in coalitions with other organizations with related interests.
  • Manage projects independently to meet deadlines and delegate tasks appropriately.
  • Support strategy development to build and advance a community-informed policy and research agenda.
  • Engage formally and informally with media, external groups, and policymakers.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Requirements and qualifications: 

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent skills-based experience.
  • At least six years of relevant experience for the Associate Director role and seven to 10 years of relevant experience for the Director role.
  • Extensive and demonstrated knowledge of K-12 education issues and understanding of federal education programs and policy, particularly the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
  • Effective supervisory skills and ability to manage and mentor staff.
  • Strong interpersonal and team-oriented skills, and an ability to work well within a cross-organizational, matrixed organization, including within the K-12 Education team and the Education department, in a fast-paced environment.
  • Commitment to equity and transparency in management as well as written products and policy ideas.
  • Demonstrated ability to convey complex K-12 education concepts in a clear and accessible written and verbal manner.
  • Ability to conceptualize and execute a range of written products.
  • Ability to multitask and prioritize.
  • Knowledge of legislative and administrative policymaking processes.
  • Commitment to American Progress’ mission and goals.

American Progress provides a competitive compensation and benefits package. This position is not represented by a union. Candidates from diverse backgrounds, including candidates who have been affected by the justice system, are strongly encouraged to apply. The minimum salary for the Associate Director position is $77,000, and the minimum salary for the Director position is $92,000.

We will continue to monitor COVID-19 and the levels of community spread and adjust plans as needed for in-office work. Any changes to our current hybrid work policy will be communicated at the time of hire. Updates will be posted on American Progress’ Jobs page.

Apply Now

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.

American Progress is dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Diversity is more than a commitment at American Progress—it is the foundation of what we do. American Progress recruits, employs, trains, compensates, and promotes regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, veteran status, medical condition, and all the other characteristics that make us unique.

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

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.