Director, Government Affairs (California Capital Valley)

The Role

You are the CEO of government and external affairs and will play a pivotal role in building a team that is deeply informed on K-12 policy and California legislative affairs. As a leader on our team, you are responsible for Teach For America’s government and public policy strategy in California and will work to ensure political support for policies that decrease or eliminate barriers to growth, support sustainability, and/or impact of our program. You will work closely with our national government affairs and policy teams and the Executive Directors in all four California regions (Bay Area, California Capital Valley, Los Angeles, and San Diego) to plan for and mobilize the resources necessary to ensure state government representatives and officials, community organizations, and other institutions in the education arena, understand and value Teach For America’s mission and impact in their respective communities. You are collaborative, entrepreneurial, excel at problem-solving, and possess a strong ability to develop systems. You will report to the Chief of Staff.

The Team

California’s Capital Valley is the fastest growing region of the state with many of its urban hubs expected to nearly double in size over the next few decades. We lead the nation in approaching a majority-minority population where no single racial or ethnic group makes up the majority of residents. Our region is also linguistically diverse with a rich immigrant history.

The Capital Valley has long been a source of resources for others. The Spanish conquest of California and the enslavement of indigenous people as a source of labor, the ravaging of our environment during the Gold Rush, the transport of our water to southern California, and the export of our agriculture, are just some of the examples of how the Capital Valley has been a source of riches for much of our state, our nation, and the world.

The Capital Valley is a nuanced region where agriculture, government, and big business converge. With the largest patch of Class 1 soil in the world, we are the state’s —and the nation’s— agricultural hub, producing over 360 products. Half of the fruits, vegetables, and nuts consumed in the U.S. come from California, and our region is the sole producer of more than 13 of these crops, including walnuts, olives, clingstone peaches, and sweet rice. We are also the largest dairy producer in the U.S. with over 1/5th of the nation’s dairy products.

Though often overlooked as a regional power, we are home to Sacramento, the state capital. Because of this, the CCV is uniquely positioned to influence policy and justice in a way that few other regions can. Our residents have capitalized on this, leading social justice movements that have revolutionized labor in our state. In March of 1966, Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers marched the length of our region, from Delano to Sacramento—approximately 300 miles, to highlight the inequities that were taking place in our fields.

Our agricultural dominance, population growth, and political influence uniquely position us to change our narrative and drastically improve outcomes for Capital Valley residents. Solving the issues of educational and social inequity here will require employing strategies as diverse as the communities that make up the region. Our role is to provide an increasingly high-quality, culturally responsive pipeline of teachers and educational leadership for our broader educational ecosystem

Qualifications:

Responsibilities

Government Affairs (30%)

This includes:

  • Working closely with regional staff to create and execute a strategy to ensure that California’s congressional representatives and state government officials understand and value Teach For America’s mission and impact in their respective communities.
  • Securing bipartisan support to decrease or eliminate barriers to growth, sustainability, and impact of our program, and potentially grow access to state funding.
  • Managing relationships at the state level, including but not limited to the California Department of Education, Governor’s office, Commission on Teacher Credentialing, legislators and committees.

Public Policy (25%)

This includes:

  • Developing analysis, commentary, and mobilization strategies on relevant policy issues, including state licensure regulations and certification policy.
  • Building strong relationships with policy and advocacy organizations in the education arena.
  • Representing Teach For America at state education policy and regulation meetings and conferences.

Community Partnerships (25%)

This includes:

  • Building strong relationships with state-level education nonprofits and other institutions, such as teachers’ unions and schools of education, active in the California education landscape.
  • Working closely with regional staff to develop relationships with local community organizations with a particular focus on civil rights, social justice, low-income neighborhoods, and communities of color.

State Grants and Compliance (10%)

This includes:

  • Developing relationships with senior leaders within the CA Corporation for National and Community Service and AmeriCorps Network.
  • Exploring additional public funding opportunities

Special Projects and additional duties as determined by the Office of the Executive Director (10%)

Requirements

Prior Experience

  • Four or more years of public policy and/or California state legislature or government experience required with expertise in education policy.
  • Teach For America experience recommended
  • Experience with grassroots organizing is a plus

Work Demands

  • Ability to travel within the state of California often.
  • On average travel outside of California is 2-4 times per year.
  • Evening and weekend work is required to support special events.

Skills

  • Exceptional strategic and critical thinking skills
  • Highly motivated and excels in an entrepreneurial environment
  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills
  • Skill in Microsoft Office Suite
  • Ability to partner with external organization
  • Ability to develop and cultivate relationships and networks in order to achieve results
  • Foundational understanding of issues of diversity, equity and inclusiveness
  • A deep belief in Teach For America’s mission and theory of change

Education

  • Bachelor’s degree required, master’s degree preferred

Apply Now

To be considered for this role, you must submit a resume. Please scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the link to the online application.

Benefits and Salary

Salary for this position is competitive and depends on prior experience. In addition, a comprehensive benefits package is included. Learn more at www.teachforamerica.org/about-us/careers/employee-benefits.

Commitment to Diversity and Equal Opportunity Employment Policy

Teach For America encourages individuals of all ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds to apply for this position. We are committed to maximizing the diversity of our organization, as we want to engage all those who can contribute to this effort. Learn more about our diversity on staff: www.teachforamerica.org/about-us/careers/life-at-tfa/workforce-diversity-and-inclusiveness.

Teach For America is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all qualified individuals and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, marital status, veteran status, pregnancy, parental status, genetic information or characteristics (or those of a family member) or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

This job description reflects Teach For America’s assignment of essential functions and qualifications of the role. Nothing in this herein restricts management’s right to assign, reassign or eliminate duties and responsibilities to this role at any time.


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