National Conference of State Legislatures
Washington, DC


The Policy Director / Senior Policy Director is the lead staff person working with state legislators to develop policy on state-federal matters regarding education policy at all levels of the education system (early education, K-12, and postsecondary). The Policy Director / Senior Policy Director also serves as the director / senior director of the NCSL Education Committee which is responsible for developing and carrying out lobbying strategies to advocate on behalf of state legislatures on the issues within the committee’s purview before Congress and the administration. The position requires substantial knowledge and state-federal policy expertise in the issues listed above; an understanding of intergovernmental policy processes; and an understanding of the key organizations and stakeholders in this policy arena in Washington D.C. The work is performed independently, however, political and policy strategies are developed in close consultation with the Director of State-Federal Relations.




Research and Writing

  1. Identifies, monitors, analyzes, and interprets the full range of congressional and federal agency actions and policies that affect state governments and develops information alerts for legislators and legislative staff about the potential policy, fiscal, and program
  2. Writes clear, appropriate, accurate and effective informational and advocacy documents (e.g. letters, testimony, action alerts, information briefs, amendments, background memoranda, and policy papers) for a full range of audiences including state legislators and legislative staff, and congressional and agency policymakers.
  3. Prepares analysis of regulatory, congressional, and budget proposals with an understanding and accurate explanation of the state legislative
  4. Provides information and assistance to state legislators and legislative staff in policy and program areas within assigned policy area concerning the implications of federal education legislation and regulations.

Advocacy Activities

  1. Maintains an extensive and expanding network of contacts in the states (including state legislators), at the committee and subcommittee level in Congress, and within other public interest groups, the private sector, and federal
  2. Develops advocacy strategies and implements those strategies before Congress and the
  3. Works effectively in coalitions, helping to promote NCSL positions and enhance opportunities for implementation of state legislative
  4. Articulates and can interpret NCSL policy in negotiations with other groups and represents state legislative concerns in a variety of


Committee Support and Policy Development

  1. Develops, plans, and coordinates balanced relevant programs for the committee and effectively manages committee
  2. Coordinates and guides the policy process within the committee and helps state legislators identify and set priorities and develop
  3. Maintains effective working relations with the committee officers and key members of the
  4. Independently assesses current policy issues in terms of their priority to state legislators and directs committee efforts and one’s own time
  5. Works to increase participation of legislators and legislative staff in committee activities.



  • Bachelor’s degree plus five years of relevant and progressive work experience. The following work experience or some equivalent combination is preferred: at least one year of professional experience with a legislative body or a government agency, two years of professional public policy experience. Up to three years of post- baccalaureate education (i.e. master’s degree, advanced professional degree or doctoral degree) may be substituted for up to three years of the required work experience.
  • Subject-specific knowledge or experience preferred.
  • Member association and advocacy experience preferred.
  • Skill and competence in a wide range of research skills and tasks.
  • Skill and competence in a variety of written and oral communications.
  • Competence in the interpersonal skills needed to work effectively with legislators and legislative staff.
  • Skill and competence in working independently and under pressure on multiple projects.
  • Able to maintain confidentiality and handle politically sensitive work.
  • The ability to supervise and lead others.


Interested candidates should send a resume, writing sample and cover letter highlighting skills and qualifications to: no later than Wednesday, March 29, 2017.




Job Posted: March 23, 2017