Director of Advocacy and Government Affairs

07 Feb, 2021


Director of Advocacy and Government Affairs

Southern Education Foundation
Atlanta, GA


  1. In collaboration with the President/CEO and the senior leadership team, develops and manages SEF’s strategy for strengthening relationships with elected officials and government agencies and increasing their understanding of and support for the work and mission of SEF
  2. Works with the President/CEO and the senior leadership team to identify priority legislative and government relations issues throughout the southern region of importance to the work of SEF
  3. Communicates and advocates SEF’s priorities to local, regional, state, and national elected officials and staff
  4. Researches, monitors, analyzes, and responds to state, local, and federal legislation, regulatory activity, and policy activities; updates and advises SEF leadership and staff about relevant policy proposals and actions, and works with SEF staff to analyze potential impacts on the mission and work of SEF
  5. Communicates with SEF staff and SEF partner organizations to inform them of relevant government affairs issues
  6. Coordinates government relations strategy with other relevant stakeholders, including local, state, regional, and national education associations. Develops a wide range of materials in support of SEF’s government relations agenda, such as talking points, legislative summaries, factsheets, testimony, reports, and letters
  7. Plans and implements programs, events, and other activities to support SEF’s advocacy and government affairs goals and advance SEF’s public policy priorities, through avenues such as legislative hearings, town halls, news conferences, meetings, and convenings of diverse groups of education stakeholders
  8. Partners with SEF’s Director of Communications to manage and produce web content, electronic policy updates, legislative alerts, position statements, and research reports for members and other key stakeholders.  Assists with the commentary and response to proposed local, state, regional, and national education policy initiatives and legislation
  9. Partners with SEF’s Senior Director of Research and Policy to move SEF’s research-based policy priorities into local, state, and federal legislation and regulations
  10. Educate legislators and other policymakers about the scope and impact of their public policy choices on education equity
  11. Ensures a robust, relevant program of learning opportunities related to advocacy and public policy for key SEF partners and community advocates
  12. Builds and maintains relationships with partner organizations, coalitions, foundations, and associations throughout SEF’s 17-state footprint to advance legislative and public policy goals
  13. Provides technical assistance to SEF staff on government relations, legislative, and regulatory issues
  14. Plans and manages the budget for Advocacy and Government Affairs activities within the SEF budget


  1. A bachelor’s degree is required; a master’s degree in political science, public policy, public relations, communications, or a related field is preferred.
  2. Seven or more years’ experience in analyzing and interpreting legislation and policy documents as well as knowledge of local, state, and federal legislative, regulatory, and executive processes.
  3. Exceptional written, oral, and electronic communication skills, able to reach diverse external audiences are essential
  4. Experience in developing and maintaining relationships with public officials and their staffs
  5. Experience analyzing and interpreting legislation and policy documents
  6. Deep commitment to educational equity and high achievement for all students, particularly for students of color and students from low-income families
  7. Deep knowledge of local, state, and federal education policies and legislation across the P-20 pipeline
  8.  Demonstrated capacity to translate ideas into action
  9. Strong project management skills and ability to facilitate the work of multiple teams and prioritize competing demands in a changing, highly collaborative environment
  10. Sense of humor and the ability to exhibit grace under pressure
  11. Comfort with ambiguity
  12. Ability to travel (when permitted under CDC and expert guidance)

Learn more here

Job posted: 2021-02-06