Director of Policy

27 Jan, 2021


Director of Policy

Rising Sun Center for Opportunity
Oakland, CA

Rising Sun’s Director of Policy is responsible for developing and leading Rising Sun’s public
influence and capacity to advocate as a 501c3, and for actively engaging in state and local
policy to advance Rising Sun’s mission at the intersection of economic equity and climate
resilience, with an emphasis on workforce development. The Director of Policy’s work both
supports Rising Sun’s on-the-ground programs and operates at the state and systems
level. While some groundwork has been laid over the past several years, this is largely a
new position and function for Rising Sun, and the person who fills the role will have some
say in shaping it.
The Director of Policy maintains a close connection to internal staff and programs and
works extensively with external stakeholders and partners. This position collaborates with
the Rising Sun leadership team to implement the organizational vision and support a
thriving organizational culture. The Director of Policy reports to the CEO and may manage
Rising Sun is committed to diversity and considers all applicants for all positions
without regard to color, ethnic background, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation,
national origin, age, and disability status. EOE/AA; women and minorities are strongly
encouraged to apply.
For more information about Rising Sun, please visit
A successful Director of Policy…
• Is passionate about Rising Sun’s mission and excited to actively advance it
• Is proud to be called a “policy wonk” – enjoys digging deeper into legislation or
rulemaking, analyzing impacts, forecasting opportunity, and using data to make
recommendations for the public good
• Understands how decisions are made and who makes them at various levels of
government; has a history of building coalitions for impact and influence
• Navigates nuance and easily translates complex concepts for understanding
• Thinks creatively, analytically, tactically, and expansively, always listening for new
• Enjoys working in the community and meeting new people; has strong relationshipbuilding skills
• Communicates effectively, both verbally and in writing; able to develop rapport and
build trust with a diverse range of individuals and handle challenging situations with
professionalism, compassion, and integrity
• Has a track record of leading or co-leading strategy and culture in collaboration with a
• Is a skilled manager of people and programs with a history of motivating and inspiring
others to perform their best; leads by example and is an effective delegator; fosters a
culture of learning, growth, and integrity
• Demonstrates self-awareness in terms of understanding their own culture, identity,
biases, prejudices, power, privilege, and stereotypes
• Demonstrates willingness to challenge and change institutional practices that present
barriers to different groups
The Director of Policy is responsible for:
• Building Rising Sun’s policy and advocacy agenda in collaboration with the CEO, in
consultation with Rising Sun’s leadership team, and informed by our on-the-ground
program work and program participants; identifying, articulating, and visibly advocating
for Rising Sun’s mission and agenda
• Focusing and refining Rising Sun’s Policy Principles and strategic objectives to
influence state-level policies, guidelines, and regulations addressing economic equity
and climate resilience
• Strategically monitoring, analyzing, and engaging in relevant statewide policies and
regulations for program impact and opportunities; engaging on issues of advocacy as
needed to advance Rising Sun’s mission and support its programs
• Serving as spokesperson on relevant policy and regulatory issues and representing
Rising Sun at key public events and forums; acting as an expert resource; supporting
and preparing Rising Sun staff and leadership to do the same
• Obtaining dedicated funding for policy work (+$200K/year) and in support of strategic
program initiatives (as needed)
• Developing and tracking a set of metrics to evaluate effectiveness
• Exploring opportunities and evaluating interest in engaging staff, program participants,
and alumni in advocacy work
• Identifying and nurturing relationships with key partners, including advocacy groups,
grassroots organizers, and community-based organizations: amplifying impact through
coalitions and collaboration; identifying areas where Rising Sun can fill a gap and meet
a need, rather than duplicating efforts
• Developing and maintaining strong relationships with elected officials and agency staff
• Advocating for high-road jobs: careers that offer family-sustaining wages, benefits, and
advancement opportunities – particularly as they relate to clean economy careers,
sustainable economic recovery, and climate investments
• Identifying and uplifting additional policies and programs that provide opportunities for
Rising Sun’s program participants
• Listening, learning, and researching to stay on top of trends as well as participant and
community needs
• Maintaining all requirements for allowable 501c3 advocacy
• Additional responsibilities as assigned
• Collaborate and consult as a member of Rising Sun’s leadership, the Director Team,
and the Executive Team to bear the leadership standard for the organization,
implement the organizational vision, and contribute towards a thriving organizational
• Playing a pivotal role in developing and implementing organizational strategy in
alignment with Rising Sun’s Strategic Plan
• Supporting the CEO in ushering in the next phase of organizational impact and realizing
Rising Sun’s long-term vision
• Managing and coaching staff, as applicable
• Additional responsibilities as assigned
To hold this position, you must…
• Have a car, valid driver’s license, and insurance
• Be able to travel within the Bay Area, Sacramento, and Central Valley regions; will
spend time in the Capitol. (Ideally, this position operates out of Rising Sun’s Stockton
office with regular visits to Oakland.)
• Be able to work some flexible hours (e.g., occasional evenings and weekends)
• Have significant prior policy and/or advocacy experience (5+ years) – creating,
implementing, analyzing, or advising on policy at the local, state, or regulatory level;
and leadership/management experience (3+ years)
• Have working knowledge of policy/advocacy related to Rising Sun’s mission:
economic equity, climate resilience, workforce development
• Existing relationships with decisionmakers and allied organizations in Northern
California and/or the Central Valley
It’s a big plus if you have…
• Advanced public speaking skills and analytical skills
• Advanced expertise in policy and issues related to Rising Sun’s mission and programs
• A track record of successful institutional fundraising (grants, etc.)
• A Master’s in Public Policy, Master’s in Public Affairs, a J.D., or related/equivalent
About Rising Sun…
Rising Sun is a premier nonprofit organization operating in the California Bay Area and San
Joaquin County whose mission is to build career pathways for economic equity and
climate resilience. With offices in Oakland and Stockton, Rising Sun’s workforce
development programs, Climate Careers and Opportunity Build, specialize in preparing
youth, women, and individuals in reentry for high-road careers and green pathways that
offer family-sustaining wages. Since our founding in 1994, Rising Sun has trained and
employed more than 3,000 youth and adults while helping over 53,000 households reduce
their carbon footprint. Our vision is a just and sustainable future for all people and our
About our culture…
Rising Sun staff are mission-driven and people-focused, and we work hard because we
care deeply about what we do. We are committed to equity and inclusion and want to do
the self-work necessary to drive change. We like working with each other and we like to
make work fun. We like to try new things and encourage each other to find unique and
unconventional ways to tackle tough problems. We celebrate every birthday, eat a lot of
dessert together, and recycle the same birthday candles until they’re gone. There’s usually
at least one dog hanging around the office, and sometimes a staff member’s kid or two as
well. We want people to grow. We like to promote from within and build each other up,
but we also like to bring in new ideas and different perspectives. We’re looking forward to
meeting you and hearing about how you can contribute to both making Rising Sun a great
place to work and advancing our impact.
You might also be wondering about pay and benefits…
This is a permanent, full-time, exempt, salaried, and benefitted position. Salary is
commensurate with experience and competitive with other nonprofit organizations. Rising
Sun offers a competitive benefits package that includes paid time off, personal and
parental leave, access to a 403b retirement plan, and remote work options. Rising Sun
covers 100% of employee medical, dental, vision, and life insurance premiums, and covers
50% of the premiums for dependents.
Ready to apply?
Please email your resume, cover letter, and 3 professional references to and include “Director of Policy” in the subject line.

Job posted: 2021-01-27