Director of Government Affairs and Advocacy
KIPP Foundation
Washington, District of Columbia
Date Posted: 2/9/2018
Job ID: 41494
Position/Title: Director of Government Affairs and Advocacy
Employer: KIPP Foundation
Category: Administration
Type: Program Director
Status: FullTime
Job Description/Responsibilities:
Great education transforms lives. KIPP, the Knowledge is Power Program, is a non-profit network of 209 college-preparatory, public charter schools educating more than 88,000 early childhood, elementary, middle, and high school students. KIPP schools are tuition-free, public charter schools open to all students. KIPP schools, KIPP regions, and the KIPP Foundation – are united by a common mission, a commitment to excellence, and a belief that if we help children develop the academic and character strengths they need for college and choice filled lives, they will be able to build a better tomorrow for themselves, for their communities, for us all.

The non-profit KIPP Foundation trains and develops outstanding educators to lead KIPP schools, provides tools, resources, and training for excellent teaching and learning, promotes innovation, and facilitates the exchange of insights and ideas within the KIPP network and with partners including: other charters, districts, colleges and universities, and non-profit organizations across the country.

Why work at KIPP?
By working for the KIPP Foundation, you help more students across the country receive the high-quality education they deserve.
• Support KIPP leaders, teachers, and staff on the Network Leadership Development, KIPP School Leadership Programs, Teaching and Learning Labs, KIPP Through College, or Knowledge Sharing teams
• Ensure smart growth and great results on the Network Growth and Sustainability, Strategy, Research & Evaluation, or Insights and Analytics teams
• Broaden our impact on the Government Affairs, External Impact, Marketing, Development, or Talent teams
• Keep us connected and operational on our IT or Finance team

If you believe all children deserve great schools and programs where they can gain the knowledge, skills, character, and habits necessary to achieve their dreams while making the world a better place, join us!


Position Overview
KIPP’s government affairs team has a reputation for being pragmatic, dedicated to building bipartisan allies, and unwavering in our focus of keeping students at the center of all that we do. The Director of Government Affairs and Policy reports to the Senior Director of Government of Affairs and Policy and will lead KIPP’s federally facing presence inside the beltway. He/she is a member of the Government Affairs Team, who works collaboratively with the CEO, Co-Founders, KIPP Foundation Board, KIPP Through College, PR/Marketing teams as well as a coalition of high-performing CMOs and other advocates, think tanks and thought leaders. To date, KIPP’s federal affairs work has spanned K12 education policy, higher education policy, tax policy related to school facilities, and immigration policy to protect Dreamers.

Key Responsibilities and Duties
Serve as an ambassador and advocate of KIPP’s mission and students:
• Build strong relationships with Congressional staff (including, but not limited to, staffers supporting members of the Appropriations and Education Committees) and members of the Administration
• Build strong relationships and potential partnerships with advocates, think tanks, and other federal stakeholders
• Partner with KIPP’s local leadership teams to host Members of Congress, their staff and key thought leaders at KIPP schools
• Educate and engage national and local board members about the lay of the land politically and partner with them to amplify their voices in support of KIPP’s mission
• Explore opportunities to share KIPP’s mission, best practices and learnings at Hill briefings and think tank events

Build KIPP’s brand as a K-16 thought leader, develop, and execute a federal policy agenda focused on supporting first generation college students in going to and through college
• Expand KIPP’s voice and influence on key issues facing our students, our alumni and other first-generation college students by partnering with Senior Director of Government Affairs & Policy, CEO, Co-founders, KIPP Foundation leadership, and the KIPP Through College team to develop and implement a K-16 education policy agenda
• Review, revise and synthesize a variety of information and help connect KIPP’s work to broader discussions within the federal policy landscape.
• Lead efforts to engage on KIPP’s behalf in negotiations regarding the Higher Education Act reauthorization as it relates to programs that benefit first generation college students
• Build greater awareness and potential partnerships with external organizations, programs, and initiatives aligned with KIPP’s higher education agenda
• Plan and host events to build awareness of KIPP’s K-16 agenda
• Draft white papers and policy briefs, as appropriate

Drive and execute KIPP’s federal policy agenda related to the growth and sustainability of charter schools:
• Drive appropriations outreach for the KIPP network, ensuring that our regions and schools continue to receive federal funding to support their growth and sustained success on an annual basis
• Surface opportunities to leverage federal policy change in support of KIPP’s mission and vision
• Regularly survey KIPP leaders of other high performing non-profit CMOs to identify and prioritize common advocacy priorities
• Work with other likeminded organizations to align our policy priorities and advocate as partners whenever possible
• Host (design and execute) bi-annual Advocacy Days on Capitol Hill for KIPP and CMO peers
• Draft white papers and policy briefs, as appropriate

Key Competencies
The successful candidate will spike at the following competencies:
• Builds Relationships - Relates well to all kinds of people. Builds constructive and effective relationships. Can be both direct and diplomatic. Can negotiate skillfully in tough situations.
• Driving Results - Is dedicated to meeting or exceeding goals. Enjoys working hard. Is action oriented. Steadfastly pushes self and others for results.
• Planning & Executing - Use time effectively and efficiently. Good at figuring out processes necessary to get things done. Well organized. Sets objectives and goals. Breaks down work into manageable steps. Anticipates and adjusts for problems and roadblocks. Measure performance against goals. Evaluates results.
• Innovative Thinking & Strong Decision-making - Makes good decisions based on a mixture of analysis, experience and judgement. Makes decisions in a timely manner, sometimes with incomplete information and under tight deadlines. Able to bring creative ideas forward. Good judgement about which creative ideas and suggestions will work.
Minimum Degree: BA
Certification Required: No
Minimum Experience: 5-7 Years

Experience and Qualifications
• Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred
• At least 5 years of work experience in government affairs, policy or advocacy at the federal level; previous experience working on Capitol Hill or within a presidential administration is required
• Deep understanding of both the K-12 and higher education landscape to be able to position KIPP as a K-16 thought leader
• Passion for educational equity and the urgency of KPP’s mission
• A keen understanding and appreciation that long-term success requires deep seated, positive relationships across the political spectrum
• Excellent written and spoken communications skills sufficient for clearly discussing complex issues with and energizing diverse audiences, both in writing and in presentations
• Track record of successful project management: execution on time and to a very high standard of quality by working with, and across, a diverse set of stakeholders in a fast-paced, demanding environment
• Excellent stakeholder management skills, including the interpersonal, diplomatic, and communication skills necessary to relate to and build a broad base of coalition partners across the political spectrum to increase collective impact
• Ability to make decisions in concert with others without complete information and to thrive in an outcomes-oriented, fast-paced work environment in which thinking beyond the curve is encouraged
• Warm, polished and professional demeanor including excellent interpersonal skills that translates into exuding comfort, confidence, and finesse relating to senior executives, external partners, policymakers, and teammates
• This role will be based in Washington, DC with limited travel

Compensation and Benefits
KIPP offers competitive salary commensurate with experience. A comprehensive benefits package, generous vacation and PTO, 401k retirement plan with both pre- and post-tax options, as well as gym reimbursement, flexible spending account (FSA), and cell phone reimbursement are also offered by KIPP.
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Contact Info
Nikeya Elliott