Vice President of Public Policy

05 Nov, 2022


Vice President of Public Policy

The Council for Opportunity in Education
Washington, D.C.

The Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) is a nonprofit organization, established in 1981, dedicated to furthering the expansion of college opportunities for low-income, first-generation students, and students with disabilities in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., the Pacific Islands, and Puerto Rico. Its membership includes more than 1,000 colleges and agencies. Through its numerous membership services, the Council works in conjunction with colleges, universities, and agencies to help low-income students enter college and graduate. Over a million low-income students and students with disabilities each year receive college access and retention services through our member colleges and agencies.

The Council for Opportunity in Education (“COE” or “the Council”) seeks a dynamic and accomplished Vice President of Public Policy (“Vice President”) to help develop and implement a robust policy agenda to strengthen programs to support low-income, first-generation college

students and students with disabilities, most notably the Federal TRIO Programs (“TRIO”).

Reporting to the Executive Vice President, the Vice President will work to ensure that voices of COE’s members – institutions of higher education and community-based agencies sponsoring college access and success programs – are well-represented in all conversations concerning federal funding and authorization of programs to support low-income, first-generation students, and students with disabilities.

The Vice President will also work closely with peers within the organization as a collaborative partner on a variety of initiatives.


• In collaboration with the senior leadership of COE, develop, design and implement the government relations agenda of the Council and represent Council interests on Capitol Hill and before the U.S. Department of Education, the White House, and other relevant entities;

• Represent COE and TRIO programs and students at congressional meetings, briefings, and within education coalitions across Washington, DC;

• Keep the TRIO community apprised of the government relations activities throughout the country that affect TRIO programs and personnel through weekly updates and regular field inquiries;

• Coordinate the response of the TRIO community to congressional and administration activities that affect TRIO programs;

• Craft correspondence, reports, and other materials for internal and external audiences, including presentations at state and regional meetings of TRIO personnel, students, and alumni;

• Plan, coordinate, and execute COE’s annual legislative events, including the Policy Seminar, congressional visits during the National Student Leadership Congress, Capitol Hill briefings, etc.; and

• Supervise the Director of Congressional Affairs and Public Policy interns in the assistance of these and other duties.


The ideal candidate will possess the qualifications below.

• Advanced degree in law, public policy, public administration, or related field.

• Experience as a Legislative Director, Legislative Counsel, Chief of Staff or Professional Staff Member to a congressional committee, with experience directing a multi-faceted policy team.

• Intimate understanding of higher education policy, including both the appropriations and authorization processes.

• Excellent writing, editing, and verbal communication skills.

• Strong attention to details and ability to manage multiple, competing deadlines and high-stakes projects.

• Highly collaborative style; experience developing and implementing advocacy strategies

• A strong track record as a relationship builder with the flexibility and finesse to “manage by influence.”

• High energy, maturity, and leadership with the ability to exercise strong judgment and discretion in advocacy matters at both the strategic and tactical levels.

• Ability to work independently, and an entrepreneurial spirit; enjoys creating and implementing new initiatives.

• Sincere commitment to working collaboratively with all constituent groups, including staff, board members, volunteers, donors, program participants, and other supporters.

• Keen insight, awareness, and sensitivity into matters pertaining to low-income students, students of color, students with disabilities, and other underrepresented student groups.

• Ability to travel approximately 20% of time.

Position is based in Washington, D.C. with opportunity for hybrid schedule.

Competitive salary starting at $150k, commensurate with experience. Generous benefits package.

Closing date – until position filled.

To apply, please send a letter of interest, resume, and list of references with the subject line “Vice President of Public Policy” to No phone calls please.

Job posted: 2022-11-05