National Center for Youth Law
The National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) works to amplify youth power, dismantle racism and other structural inequities, and build just policies, practices, and culture in support of young people. Our efforts advance justice through research, community collaboration, impact litigation, and policy advocacy that fundamentally transforms our nation's approach to education, health, immigration, foster care, and youth justice. Our vision is a world in which every young person thrives and has a full and fair opportunity to achieve the future they envision for themselves.
NCYL's Education team engages in education justice work in partnership with many entities at the national, state, and local levels, across the nation. The team seeks systemic change – through coalition-building, policy advocacy, litigation, research, communications, and organizing – to increase equity within the education systems that serve children and youth, from early childhood through post-secondary education. A description of our work can be found here: https://youthlaw.org/focus-areas/education
NCYL seeks a Senior Director of Education to lead our efforts to improve the education opportunities and supports provided to young people. This person will contribute to strategy and lead initiatives at the local, state and national level. This a great opportunity for someone who is passionate about transforming education systems into the effective and nurturing centers for learning that our young people deserve.
- Provide national leadership on education justice and equity on behalf of NCYL.
- Develop and lead implementation of an ambitious multiple-strategy agenda that furthers education justice and equity in partnership with young people and communities, and in collaboration with NCYL staff engaged in education advocacy. This includes shaping NCYL’s education-focused research, coalition building, policy development and advocacy, impact litigation, direct services, media campaigns, and public-private partnerships to maximize impact to benefit young people, families and communities.
- Provide strategic input, substantive expertise, and thought leadership and partnership across NCYL’s education work. Review work products, strategies, and recommendations of NCYL staff on other teams working on education issues.
- Identify and develop litigation strategies and remedies to address systemic issues in education.
- Develop and lead an education justice and education policy agenda, including local, state and federal education policy.
- Lead NCYL’s Education team, supervise project managers and provide guidance to several of our major education initiatives, including: NCYL’s Education Civil Rights Alliance (edrights.org), a national coalition of advocates committed to protecting and advancing the civil rights of marginalized students; NCYL’s Within-District Resource Equity work; and NCYL’s Educator Engagement and Honest Education work.
- Partner with NCYL’s communication team to develop and launch media campaigns, cultivate and maintain relationships with education reporters, and serve as NCYL’s spokesperson on education issues.
- Partner with NCYL’s development team and Executive Director to secure funding for NCYL’s education efforts.
- Minimum of 10 years of experience with some combination of policy advocacy, systemic reform and litigation.
- J.D. degree preferred.
- Demonstrated understanding of and experience in children’s rights and civil rights policy advocacy and/or litigation on issues involving education systems.
- Commitment to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion with an ability to use a racial justice lens.
- Demonstrated expertise in and passion for systemic reform to achieve education equity.
- Experience in federal and/or state policy reform.
- Ability to establish and maintain a deep national network of partnerships and relationships within the education field.
- Clear and persuasive oral and written communication skills, including the ability to develop rapport and influence others.
- Strong leadership and management skills, including the ability to manage complex projects, think strategically, delegate effectively, and take responsibility for decisions.
- Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain positive relationships with key contacts in foundations and media outlets.
- Ability to collaborate with NCYL staff across teams to ensure the use of appropriate strategy and tools to advance the goals of our campaigns.
Prolonged periods sitting at a desk and working on a computer.
Salary, Benefits & Location
This is a full-time, exempt position. The salary is competitive at $172,688.00 annually. A geographic salary differential may be applied if the candidate resides somewhere other than the Oakland, CA, Los Angeles, CA, or Washington, DC areas.
NCYL provides a robust benefits package including health, dental, vision, life, generous vacation and sick benefits, flexible spending account, commuter benefits, employer contribution to a retirement plan, short-term and long-term disability insurance, and medical travel expenses for those seeking gender-affirming care or abortions.
Candidates must reside in Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Virginia, or Washington DC. This position requires the ability to work remotely and requires some travel.
This position is eligible for 100% remote work through March 2023. It is possible that in April 2023, NCYL will require people to work in an office, in which case they will need to be in a location where they can regularly commute to the NCYL office in Oakland, CA or Washington, DC. We don't yet know what remote work will look like beginning in April 2023.
How to Apply
Please submit a cover letter and resume at the link provided. Please, no emails or calls. Priority consideration for applications received by October 14.
Applicants with lived experience within any of our practice areas, and Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, are strongly encouraged to apply.
It is the policy of NCYL to provide equal employment opportunities to all Applicants (including Employees) regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, breastfeeding, national origin, age, abilities/disabilities, neurotypicality, socioeconomic status, veteran status, marital status, prior convictions, or any other protected classifications under federal, state, or local law.