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Senior Manager/Director, Early College Policy

  • Full Time
  • Remote
  • The salary range for Senior Managers at Empower starts at $85,000 and for Directors at $110,000. USD / Year
  • Salary: The salary range for Senior Managers at Empower starts at $85,000 and for Directors at $110,000.

Website Empower Schools

We believe that the public education system should work for all.

Position: Senior Manager/Director, Early College Policy

Location: Flexible/Remote

Our preferred application deadline is April 24, 2023.  Please note that we do not guarantee review of applications received after this date.


Who We Are

Empower Schools is a nonprofit organization that partners with policymakers, community leaders and educators to develop sustainable solutions that improve student success at school and in life.Overall, we carry out our mission in two ways:

  • Direct Impact: Support local leaders and educators with enabling conditions to customize schools to meet student needs, unlocking transformational outcomes through fundamentally different structures
  • Systemic Change: Catalyze structural shifts through changes in state- and district-level policy and practice, setting the enabling conditions for empowered and innovative district schools

We intend for our work to fuel a broader movement in which educators and policymakers reimagine school systems to enable sustainable change through meaningful innovation and continuous improvement.

Initially founded with a focus on K-12 education, Empower Schools is well-positioned to become a leader in the Early College space, and this role represents an opportunity to further shape the organization’s trajectory and strategic priorities. The individual hired as our first Early College Policy Senior Manager/Director will co-lead our efforts to develop and grow Empower’s policy infrastructure and drive impact within our existing geographies and beyond. You will work principally with an Empower Partner who is also the Chair of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education and helped to lead innovative early college work over the last five years (including the formation and growth of the Massachusetts Early College Initiative and Alliance) and is currently exploring expansion of this model in additional states.

Future early college work will build off of an existing solid foundation for early college and career at Empower Schools, including the design and launch of several rural collaboratives such as the Rural South Texas Innovation Zone, and the Southwest Colorado Education Collaborative, and additional projects that provide strategy, design, and technical assistance to partnerships in geographies such as San Joaquin Valley, California as well as rural communities in Indiana, Colorado, and Louisiana.


Position Summary

As Empower School’s first Senior Manager/Director, Early College Policy, you will play a key role in driving forward the organization’s early college policy strategies and initiatives through supporting the intentional expansion of the organization’s footprint in policy formation and thought leadership at the state and federal levels. In select states, you will pioneer efforts to create statewide coalitions to advocate for supportive policies and ecosystems for early college partnerships and other postsecondary success approaches. You will work to advance policy ideas at the state and federal level around Early College/Dual Enrollment, Bridge Years and related concepts.  You will also advise the Empower Schools team on our overall early college, pathways and postsecondary success strategy and selectively provide advice and support to Empower Schools teams in their relevant work. A successful candidate will help build the policy capacity of a leading national educational innovation nonprofit with a strong starting set of assets and networks in this space and the commitment of the organization to this field and work.

This is a full-time remote position that can be located anywhere in the US.  In certain geographies (Boston, Austin, Denver, New Orleans, Indiana, Los Angeles) there are opportunities to work in-person with colleagues. Candidates will be considered for the level (Senior Manager or Director) commensurate with their skills and experience to date.


How You’ll Help

You will manage an array of important initiatives, strategy, and relationships, playing a key role in building out and leading Empower Schools’ Early College policy strategy and initiatives.

Your work will vary based on the needs over time and will include the following:

  • Co-lead our team’s growth and development of state-level Early College Alliances
    • Support explorations in several states with civic, philanthropic and education leaders considering an Early College Alliance for their state
    • Refine materials for meetings and support customization to local context
    • Participate in incubation, design and launch efforts where successful
  • Co-lead our team’s Bridge Year policy initiative
    • Support our new partnership with a leading education policy organization to develop a seminal white paper on this field, including enabling research as well as a plan to share the report and generate state and local initiatives thereafter
  • Co-lead our team’s federal Early College policy work
    • Track and follow-up on our growing set of alliances and efforts to ensure that Early College students benefit from federal policies and funding
  • Support the development and implementation of Empower Schools early college, career and postsecondary strategy 
    • Partner deeply with the Empower Partner leading this work
    • Develop proposals and supporting materials to explain Empower’s approach to funders and other stakeholders
    • Build and deepen Empower’s relationships with aligned education organizations and coalitions across target geographies
    • Cultivate allies and champions for Empower’s theory of change and the work of our district, state and other partners
  • Provide strategic guidance and support on early college and career pathway projects in select states 
    • Advise Empower colleagues on a variety of strategic planning and launch projects to advance early college and career partnerships in district school systems
  • Take on additional opportunities as they arise


Assuming public health conditions continue to make travel possible, applicants must be willing to travel up to approximately 30% of the time to support the growth of our partnerships and on-the-ground support in select states and communities in potentially multiple regions of the country.


Preferred Qualifications

  • At least 5 years of work experience
    • Educational policy expertise and experience required
    • Experience in early college and/or dual enrollment and career pathways, K-12 public education, higher education, preferred
    • Successful experience in consulting and strategic planning work preferred
  • Strong alignment with the mission and goals of Empower Schools including anti-racism, diversity, equity & inclusion and a commitment to centering racial and socioeconomic equity
  • Commitment to using leadership skills and creative thinking to develop local and regional solutions to address systemic challenges and create better educational opportunities for students and families
  • Track record of successfully managing ambiguous and complex projects and initiatives involving multiple components, stakeholders, and deadlines to high standards while engaging and incorporating the perspectives of others along the way
  • Demonstrated ability to build successful relationships and collaborate with teammates, partners, external organizations, and education leaders and to navigate partisan and politically challenging environments and differing viewpoints to build consensus and influence others
  • Experience building partnerships and expanding organizational impact to new types of support and/or geographies
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills, including the ability to translate ideas into clear, compelling documents (e.g., both in PowerPoint and written forms)
  • Strong analytic orientation, balanced by willingness to shift strategy and direction as needed


Salary and Benefits

The salary range for Senior Managers at Empower starts at $85,000 and for Directors at $110,000. Candidates will be considered for the level commensurate with their skills and experience to date. Empower Schools offers a comprehensive benefits package, including health and dental insurance, retirement benefits, life and disability insurance, and flexible spending accounts.



Interested and qualified applicants should apply here. Note: the application deadline for this position is April 24, 2023. We do not guarantee review of applications submitted after this date.


We support equal opportunity and value building the diversity of our team as we grow. We seek individuals of all races, ethnicities, abilities, and creeds to support our organization’s work and encourage individuals from historically underrepresented backgrounds to apply.

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