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26 Mar 2024

Research and Policy Assistant Director of P-16 Policy & Research

The Education Trust

Job Description


The Education Trust – Tennessee seeks an Assistant Director of P-16 Policy & Research. The Assistant Director will join a staff who are committed to fulfilling our mission of closing opportunity gaps that disproportionately affect students of color and students from low-income backgrounds.

The Assistant Director leads the Tennessee policy and research team to ensure that Ed Trust –Tennessee produces high-quality analyses that expose inequities in the education system, highlights equitable policies that advance student achievement, and ensures that policymakers and key stakeholders have the information and tools they need to advocate for policy change. The Assistant Director builds relationships to provide guidance, thought partnership, and support to members of the policy and research team, partners throughout the organization, and key stakeholders and policymakers across the country.

Ed Trust is committed to advancing policies and practices to dismantle the racial and economic barriers embedded in the U.S. education system. Through our research and advocacy, Ed Trust improves equity in education from preschool through college, engages diverse communities dedicated to equity and justice, and increases political and public will to build an education system where all students will thrive.

Available immediately, this role is based in our Nashville office and is eligible for telework for up to 3 days per week per our current policy. The Assistant Director of P-16 Policy & Research reports to the Executive Director, will serve on the Ed Trust –Tennessee Leadership Team, and will supervise a small team of full-time staff, fellows, and interns.



The responsibilities and objectives for this role include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • Collaborate to set the long-term vision and direction for the Ed Trust –Tennessee Policy and Research team and translate that vision into short and long-term goals with relevant work plans
  • Lead a small but dynamic team, including staff and graduate fellows, by identifying and retaining diverse talent, coaching and developing direct reports, and managing and assessing performance
  • Oversee the day to day work of the team, allocating resources, and supporting prioritization
  • Serve as a member of the Ed Trust – Tennessee leadership team, including collaboration around the annual work plan and budget, monitoring progress towards team and team members’ goals, and coordinating team professional development
  • Lead the conceptualization and development of tools and resources, such as policy briefs and statements, which make complex policy information accessible to a broad array of stakeholders across preschool through post-secondary education arenas
  • Design quantitative and qualitative research projects
  • Inform the organization’s P-16 policy positions by monitoring and reporting the changing landscape of education equity policy conversations
  • Elevate Ed Trust’s P-16 policy priorities by representing the organization in external meetings and developing relationships with key external stakeholders, peer organizations, policymakers, leaders, funders, media and other advocates
  • Direct the review of all policy and research products to ensure that they are high-quality, accurate, equity-driven, and actionable, as well as aligned with Ed Trust’s mission and goals
  • Develop and present on key metrics to assess the mission-impact of our policy efforts
  • Build systems and structures for effective internal collaboration within and across teams to ensure on-time, high-impact, and high-quality products
  • Build and maintain new and existing philanthropic and funder relationships and contribute to grant proposals and reports as needed



  • Shared belief in Ed Trust’s mission and a commitment to improving educational equity with a focus on racial equity
  • Excellent project management and time management skills
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong relationship-building skills with a range of stakeholders
  • Knowledge, understanding and passion for education equity issues
  • Eagerness for collaboration with both internal and external partners
  • High emotional intelligence, professional maturity, and problem-solving skills
  • Willingness to provide constructive feedback to others; as well as to receive and act upon feedback from others
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment and decisiveness
  • Dedication in contributing to and maintaining an equitable working environment



The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications and experience:

  • At least a master’s degree in education, public policy/administration, or a related field
  • Substantial (e.g., at least 7 years) experience in analyzing policy, data, and research in education or a related field, preferably on topics of equity, including developing policy recommendations, written feedback to proposed legislation, and other tools/resources for advocates and policymakers
  • Deep expertise across the P-16 education policy continuum, with a particular focus on issues of education equity; knowledge / experience with P-12 ed policy in Tennessee is a must
  • Experience developing and setting into motion a policy agenda
  • Experience designing quantitative and qualitative research projects
  • Experience managing and leading others highly preferred



This position falls in Level F of our salary structure for our Tennessee office.  New hire offers typically fall between $105,200 to $131,500, commensurate with skills, experience, and internal equity and rarely fall at the top of this range.

The Education Trust prioritizes the health and well-being of its employees and, to that end, offers a highly competitive benefits package. Medical, dental and vision insurance are covered at 100% for the employee, with significant coverage also offered for dependents. We provide sick leave, vacation leave, and personal leave, and we follow the federal government for most holiday closures. To ensure staff have synchronous opportunities for rest and renewal, the office is closed for a week-long summer break and a week-long winter break. Among other offerings, we provide an Employee Assistance Program at no cost to the employee, and a generous 7% matching opportunity on a 403(b)-retirement plan.



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

How to Apply

The Education Trust is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes candidates from diverse backgrounds. To apply: Please provide an updated resume and complete the short answer questions in ADP in lieu of a cover letter. Here is a direct link to the application.

Bureaus: Tennessee. Job Categories: Full-Time. Job Types: Research and Policy. Salaries: 100,000 and above.