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18 Sep 2023

Research and Policy Manager, Advocacy & Partnerships

The Education Trust – Tennessee

Job Description

Ed Trust seeks a Manager of Advocacy and Partnerships in its Tennessee office. The Manager, Advocacy and Partnerships will join a staff who are committed to fulfilling a mission of closing opportunity gaps that disproportionately affect students of color and students from low-income families.

The Manager of Advocacy and Partnerships plays an important role in Ed Trust – Tennessee’s advocacy goals, strategic youth engagement work, and coalition-building efforts to advance educational equity in the state. This role supports the strategic programming and partner engagement elements of our statewide equity alliance, including coordinating events, training opportunities, and youth capacity-building efforts across Tennessee in alignment with Ed Trust’s policy and advocacy agenda. This role manages advocacy campaigns and collective power-building efforts that advance Ed Trust – Tennessee’s priorities, as well as builds external partnerships to identify and recruit equity-forward student advocates, educators, parents, and other aligned stakeholders. This role also provides programmatic support for larger convenings, fellowships, and learning opportunities.

We’re looking for a strong relationship-builder with an interest in strengthening a broad-based, diverse advocacy coalition, supporting youth advocacy and leadership development, organizing statewide campaigns and executing strategic outreach on our core issue areas, and who has a passion for galvanizing education advocates.

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, Tennessee office and is eligible for telework for up to 3 days per week. This position requires occasional in-state and out-of-state travel, as well as attendance at work-related meetings and events during evening hours and occasionally on weekends to reach key constituencies (e.g., students, parents, community members, policy and advocacy groups). The Manager, Advocacy and Partnerships reports to the Assistant Director of Advocacy and Engagement.

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

  • Collaborate closely with the Assistant Director of Advocacy & Engagement, Executive Director, and the Tennessee team to advance our strategic goals and advocacy agenda
  • Manage advocacy initiatives and campaigns for the Education Trust – Tennessee and our statewide Alliance, including partner communications and serving as logistical lead for virtual and in-person community and advocacy events (e.g., Advocacy Day)
  • Design and manage projects and programs that elevate and activate diverse stakeholder voices across Tennessee, including but not limited to educators, parents, and our signature student voice initiative, the EmpowerED Network
  • Identify, cultivate, and strengthen relationships to advance Ed Trust policy and advocacy goals with a wide range of communities and stakeholders, including community-based organizations, members from the business and civil rights communities, policymakers, and P-16 educators (e.g., school board leaders, college presidents, and other institutional and systems leaders).
  • Facilitate training and related programming to build policy knowledge and advocacy capacity of students, partners and key stakeholders
  • Represent Ed Trust Tennessee’s positions with various audiences, including policymakers, coalitions, advocacy networks, journalists, educators, and students
  • Coordinate and track advocacy activities and engagement in close collaboration with our policy, research and government affairs teams
  • Support the Advocacy & Engagement Team with coalition-building and Alliance management
  • Stay current and knowledgeable on organizational priorities and recent research from Ed Trust and our partners


  • Shared belief in Ed Trust’s mission and a commitment to improving educational equity with a focus on racial equity
  • Dedication in contributing to and maintaining an equitable working environment
  • Strong project management skills
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills, including public speaking & facilitation
  • Experience planning and executing large events or convenings
  • Strong relationship-building and collaboration skills with internal and external stakeholders
  • Experience working with youth and/or youth leadership in advocacy and campaigns
  • Creative problem solving and analytical skills
  • Ability to prioritize, be decisive, and exercise sound judgment


The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications and experience:

  • At least a bachelor’s degree in history, public policy, political science, or a related field;
  • Some (e.g., 4+ years) of experience in policy, advocacy, or external relations programming focused on equity in education
  • Significant familiarity with education policy and/or advocacy, with a focus on equity, in Tennessee

How to Apply

To Apply: We invite you to complete the application in ADP to be considered for this position, including sharing a resume and responding to the short answer questions. Priority consideration will be given for applications received by September 26, 2023 

Bureaus: Tennessee. Job Categories: Full-Time. Job Types: Research and Policy. Salaries: 60,000 - 80,000.