Senior Vice President, Education

Reports to: Executive Vice President, Policy
Staff reporting to this position: Team leads for Early Childhood Education, K-12 Education, and Higher Education
Department: Education
Position Classification: Exempt, full time
Minimum compensation: $185,000


The Senior Vice President for Education will lead in executing American Progress’ mission: “to improve the lives of all Americans, through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action, with the aim of not only changing the conversation, but changing the country.” This leader will be a creative and analytical thought partner with team leads, invoking American Progress’ mission to change the country’s approach to education—from earliest childhood through higher education—including by seeing and executing on points of connectivity with the organization’s five cross-cutting priorities.

  • Strengthening public health and ending the pandemic
  • Building an economy for all
  • Securing a sustainable climate
  • Advancing racial equity and justice
  • Restoring social trust and strengthening democracy

This position requires developing, communicating, and moving toward implementing policy ideas that provide a new way forward for a range of learning and development challenges in an increasingly diverse America. The Senior Vice President will create a department work plan connecting the work of individual teams with American Progress’ cross-cutting priorities and developing clear departmentwide annual objectives with measurable outcomes. The Senior Vice President will be expected to coordinate policy analysis and substantial research and writing for the Education Department while also working in relevant areas across American Progress. They will also manage the department’s budget and coordinate relationships with outside stakeholders, including ally organizations, policymakers, and the media.

This leader will have the opportunity to further build and manage a dynamic, high-performing department. They will think strategically about turning ideas into action, working with teams within their department and collaborating across American Progress, as well as working in coalition with other organizations in these spaces. This leader will be expected to raise funds commensurate with the strategy and build-out plans aligned with the organization’s cross-cutting priorities and to support the Education Department. The ideal candidate will have a strong command and understanding of a range of education issues; they may have particular depth in early childhood, K-12, or higher education. The candidate also should have facility with government institutions at the local, state, or federal level; senior executive or legislative branch experience; and relationships with key players in the field.


  • Provide day-to-day management for the Postsecondary, K-12 Education, and Early Childhood Education team leads. Collaborate with the Education Department team leads, as well as the functional advocacy and communications team leads, to develop the department policy agenda and lead or participate actively in American Progress’ cross-cutting priority efforts.
  • Work with the the Executive Vice President for Policy to set the strategic direction for education policy, including the development of cross-cutting efforts and fundraising strategies.
  • Manage the Education Department’s budget and, in coordination with the Executive Vice President for Policy and the Development Department, fundraise to meet the department’s work plan and support American Progress’ cross-cutting work.
  • Represent the department with the public, media, and other outside groups and individuals.
  • Promote department and team priorities and work products both inside and outside the organization.
  • Assist colleagues and guide the department in crafting timely policy reports and rapid-response documents to ensure relevant participation in policy debates with an eye toward shaping outcomes.
  • Keep American Progress staff updated on news and events related to relevant policy debates in Congress and/or the administration.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Requirements and qualifications:

  • Commitment to American Progress’ mission and goals.
  • Bachelor’s degree is required; advanced degree is preferred.
  • Knowledge and senior experiential expertise, as well as a proven track record.
  • Skills and extensive experience with managing peers or otherwise senior staff and actively participating in cross-team and cross-organizational efforts.
  • Significant knowledge of federal policymaking and experience working with Congress and federal agencies, as well as established relationships with policymakers, advocates, and community leaders inside Washington, D.C., and in the states.
  • Excellent presentation and written and oral communication skills.
  • Strong analytical skills; quantitative skills are a plus.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop strategic, long-term plans and implement them successfully.
  • Strong political instincts and experience working with coalitions.
  • Experience with fundraising and managing budgets.
  • Ability to prioritize, multitask, and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment.

American Progress offers full and competitive benefit packages. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

Apply Now

This announcement will remain posted until the position is filled. No phone calls, please.

Please note that only those individuals whose qualifications match the current needs of this position will be considered applicants and will receive responses from American Progress.

Thank you for your interest in American Progress.

Additional information

American Progress operates two separate nonprofit organizations to maximize the progressive agenda: the Center for American Progress and the Center for American Progress Action Fund. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “American Progress.” The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) tax-exempt research and educational institute. It undertakes research, public education and a limited amount of lobbying. The Center for American Progress Action Fund is a nonpartisan 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization dedicated to achieving progress through action. It works to transform progressive ideas into policy through rapid-response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing, political advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders. The organizations share office space and employees.

American Progress is dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Diversity is more than a commitment at American Progress—it is the foundation of what we do. American Progress recruits, employs, trains, compensates, and promotes regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, veteran status, medical condition, and all the other characteristics that make us unique.

For more information on the Center for American Progress, please go to For more information on the Center for American Progress Action Fund, please go to

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