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13 Mar 2022

Research and Policy Director of Programs and Advocacy

Denver Families for Public Schools

Job Description

About Denver Families for Public Schools (Denver Families)
Denver Families for Public Schools works to increase civic engagement and electoral participation in order to promote educational equity and empower communities. Families in Denver know that every student deserves a great public education at a school that puts their needs first regardless of zip code or income. We believe that public school families can contribute to a quality education by uniting as a powerful voice for children, our schools and our communities. At Denver Families we unite these voices to advocate for outstanding public school options for every child in our city.

Position Overview:
The Director of Programs and Advocacy will build a team with passion and clarity toward transformational change centered on empowerment, movement-building and representation. They will collaborate with the Chief Executive Officer to design strategies that promote civic engagement and electoral participation in Denver. As a recently founded nonprofit, the professional hired to take on this role will have an exceptional opportunity to shape an organization’s priorities and key activities. The Director of Programs and Advocacy will work with school leaders, school staff, parents, students, and community members to develop and execute advocacy-based programs and initiatives. Reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer, the Director of Programs and Advocacy will focus on four core areas: grassroots organizing, leadership development, campaign management and coalition building.


  • Grassroots Organizing – 50%: Empowering families, educators and community members to take an active role in shaping the systems and policies that define public education is the heart of our
    mission. The Director of Programs and Advocacy will lead the Denver Families team in designing and executing programs that result in a true grassroots movement to support a vibrant public
    education system in Denver. This will include working with Denver Families staff, contractors and school employees to develop and execute educational and advocacy-generating programs. They will work closely with the CEO and Director of Communications and Public Affairs to hone and run bold community-centered initiatives that encourage electoral participation and advocacy.
  • Leadership Development – 20%: Denver Families seeks to identify community stakeholders with a passion for public education and equip them with the tools to be vocal leaders at all levels of policy formation. The Director of Programs and Advocacy will be responsible for developing and implementing a leadership training program focused on building power and politically engaging public school families, educators and community members. The training program will equip individuals with the knowledge and skills to advocate for change, build power in their community, and shape the public education system in Denver. They will create systems to track the success of leadership development initiatives and will recruit a leadership council to help drive the direction of community engagement strategies.
  • Campaign Management – 20%: Denver Families will consistently monitor the education landscape in Denver and develop campaigns to advocate for policies that further the effort to ensure that every student has access to a great public school option regardless of zip code or income. The Director of Programs and Advocacy will lead the strategic direction of issue campaigns, aligning these campaigns to civic engagement, Denver Families’ core messaging and growing Denver Families’ base of support. They will need to draw on experience developing and executing comprehensive campaign plans and rallying a coalition of stakeholders around a central vision for transformational change.
  • Coalition Building – 10%: To be successful in bringing about transformational change in the way families, educators and community members engage in the political process, Denver Families must build strong relationships with policymakers, “grasstop” leaders and community-based organizations. The Director of Programs and Advocacy will collaborate with the CEO to develop long-term agendas for strategic coalitions and promote Denver Families’ mission with new audiences. They will support the implementation of Denver Families’ theory of change by driving the organization to strategically build power in every aspect of its work.


  • Belief in the power of grassroots organizing, passion for educational justice and urgency around improving educational outcomes.
  • A minimum of 6 years of experience working in community engagement, organizing, advocacy, policy, and/or elections with success in developing and winning campaigns.
  • Experience supervising staff in an organizing setting, with a strong track record of building teams and developing staff leadership.
  • Demonstrated commitment to serving others and empowering marginalized communities
  • Strong track record of operationalizing a model for transformative grassroots organizing.
  • Strong interpersonal, relational and organizational communication skills, and an ability to build relationships quickly with diverse stakeholders
  • Understand and appreciate the use of outcomes-based data and information to help drive performance. Experience utilizing campaign and voter file databases.
  • Ability to operate with purpose and accuracy in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment.
  • Spirit of flexibility, openness to feedback and a commitment to learning.

Nice to have:

  • Knowledge of education policy, education entrepreneurship and school governance models are a plus.
  • Prior experience in public education or supporting public education is a plus.
  • Track record of leadership and measurable accomplishments.
  • Proficiency in Spanish is a plus.


Compensation & Benefits:

The salary range for this position is $90,000 – $110,000.

In addition to a competitive salary, Denver Families for Public Schools offers a comprehensive benefits package, including: an unlimited paid time off policy; paid sick leave; paid holidays; 401K retirement plan with a 5 percent employer-paid match; and competitive employee health, dental, short-term disability and caregiving and family leave plans.

At Denver Families for Public Schools diversity, equity and inclusion are at the core of our mission. We believe that diverse teams lead to better solutions. We understand that a greater depth in lived experiences promotes creative thinking and empowers us to address complex issues. We strive in our hiring to ensure that our candidate pool is diverse in terms of race, age, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, physical or mental ability, origin, and religion.

How to Apply

HOW TO APPLY To apply, please submit your resume and answers to the questions below via our application form:
  • In place of a cover letter, we ask for brief responses to these two questions (no more than 150 words per response):
    • What is it about our mission that resonates with your experience and/or interests?
    • What past experiences have best prepared you for the Director of Programs and Advocacy role?

Bureaus: -Other-. Job Categories: Full-Time. Job Types: Research and Policy.