Policy & Government Relations Associate

15 Dec, 2021


Policy & Government Relations Associate

Education Trust-West
Sacramento, CA

The Education Trust–West (ETW) works for educational justice and high academic achievement of all students at all levels, pre-K through college. ETW exposes opportunity and achievement gaps that separate students of color, English learners, and low-income students from their peers, and identifies and advocates for the strategies that will forever close those gaps. ETW works alongside schools, districts, college campuses, and higher education institutions to understand and evaluate the effectiveness of reform strategies intended to reduce and eliminate achievement and opportunity gaps. We use lessons learned in these efforts, together with unflinching data analyses, to drive a state and national conversation about how our P-12 education system and higher education institutions can better serve all students.


The Education Trust–West (ETW) seeks a full-time Policy & Government Relations Associate to support the organization’s policy and government relations work. The Associate’s time will be split on a 50-50 basis between the work of the ETW Government Relations team and work of the ETW Policy team. The Policy & Government Relations Associate will manage the analysis and tracking of state legislation, the state budget, and education policy proposals; and advocate on behalf of ETW. The Policy & Government Relations Associate will also engage in policy analysis, monitoring the policy landscape and supporting with determining policy positions and recommendations. The position reports to the Senior Director of Policy and Government Relations with significant collaboration with the Associate Director of Early Learning Policy and is responsible for building and maintaining strong relationships with legislative and state agency staff and identifying policy and political trends affecting ETW’s policy goals.

In addition to general budget and policy advocacy, the Policy & Government Relations Associate will be assigned to issue areas for ETW including data transparency, accountability and engagement (including the Cradle-to-Career Longitudinal Data System) and early care and education. The Policy & Government Relations Associate will be required to have or acquire significant knowledge about these subjects and collaborate with the ETW policy and research teams on development of policy briefs, legislative proposals, and research projects on these topics. A significant amount of cross-functional work with other teams within ETW will be required.

Due to COVID-19, all employees are currently working remotely. Once the organization returns to the office in early 2022, the position will be based in Sacramento, CA. This position will require some travel.

At The Education Trust, the health and safety of our employees is of the utmost importance. As such, all Education Trust employees will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and new hires should be fully vaccinated prior to their first day of work. Requests for accommodations due to medical or religious reasons will be reviewed by Human Resources.



Policy Analysis, Position Development, and Recommendation-Setting 

  • Perform policy analysis and develop policy recommendations in the areas of early learning and care and data transparency, accountability, and engagement, including the following:
  • Developing written policy briefs, statements, and letters
  • Informing the organization’s policy positions by monitoring and reporting policy conversation across government, media, think tanks, academia, and advocates
  • Advocating for the organization’s positions by representing the organization in external meetings and developing relationships with key stakeholders
  • In response to legislative, regulatory, institutional, and other policy proposals, prepare memos, letters, and statements summarizing ETW positions, analyses, and recommendations
  • In partnership with the Research and Policy Analysis Team, conceptualize and develop tools and resources that make complex policy information accessible to a broad array of stakeholders to support their local advocacy and engagement
  • Collaborate with external partners to deepen ETW’s policy expertise, lead, facilitate, and participate in coalitions, develop our policy positions, build our networks, and expand our influence
  • Collaborate with ETW colleagues on research of education policy issues
  • Support ETW colleagues with media, grant requests, and communication strategies

Government Relations and Legislative  Engagement

  • Draft position letters and related advocacy materials, in partnership with the Senior Director of Policy and Government Relations, and then coordinate portions of ETW’s legislative advocacy
  • Advocate for ETW’s position in writing and through committee testimony before the Legislature
  • Build and enhance a broad range of relationships with policymakers and their staff, policy analysts, thought leaders, and decision makers; at times, building and guiding coalitions
  • Build upon and grow ETW’s respected brand in advocating for students across California
  • Represent ETW in a variety of state and local policy discussions and meetings with stakeholders
  • Support ETW’s external relations team in local and regional advocacy
  • Other duties as assigned to support the mission of ETW

Qualifications and Experience 

  • Commitment to “Walking the Talk,” operating with – and a willingness to develop – cultural competence: an understanding that systemic and institutionalized racism significantly affect communities of color and of the historical impact of privilege and power on American systems
  • 1-2 years of professional experience in governmental relations, public policy, advocacy, or related field with a demonstrated ability to navigate California state government
  • Passion for improving the educational opportunities and outcomes for low-income students and students of color coupled with a strong knowledge of social justice and equity-related issues
  • Knowledge of the state budgeting process and education policy issues is strongly preferred
  • Ability to utilize multiple data points to draw conclusions and propose a course of action to influence policy decisions; analytic mindset and the desire to continually assess the education policy and legislative landscape
  • Demonstrated effectiveness in building and maintaining relationships across a variety of stakeholder groups; people-oriented nature with a love of building connections to support a common cause
  • Excellent written and verbal communication; strong public speaking and interpersonal skills
  • Strong organizational and time management with the ability to manage and prioritize competing demands in a changing, highly collaborative environment; has results-oriented, achievement-driven approach to projects and tasks, with a clear understanding and focus on goals
  • Bachelor’s degree preferred
  • Willingness to travel


Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. The Education Trust–West offers a comprehensive benefits package.

Instructions to Apply

Please provide a cover letter and resume, combined into one document. Your cover letter should describe your background and relevant experience. In the file name, please write the name of the position you are applying for and your last name: e.g., “Policy & Government Relations Associate_Wu.” Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Please submit your application materials at Recruitment (adp.com) by the PRIORITY DEADLINE of January 2nd, 2022. Applications will be accepted/reviewed until position is filled.

The Education Trust-West is committed to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, or veteran status.

Job posted: 2021-12-15