SPECIFIC DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
Research and Policy Strategy
- Partner with SEF’s senior leadership to develop and execute a strategic plan for policy and research initiatives that advance SEF’s mission to raise the achievement of all students in the South and close achievement gaps;
- Lead the design and implementation of action-oriented research and policy analysis in support of program learning agendas;
- Lead the development of policy recommendations on our core issue areas and generate ideas for new policy areas that promise to improve outcomes for students;
- Partner with the Director of Communications and Program Leads to monitor and respond to federal, state, and local policies and research relevant to students in the South, including serving as a media spokesperson on those issues; Forge new partnerships with a range of research and policy experts, institutions and other stakeholders to further leverage knowledge generation activities;
- Engage in conferences, convenings, working groups, speaking engagements and other activities that reinforce SEF’s role as thought contributor;
- Build staff and partner capacity to understand, manage and/or undertake rigorous, ethical and impactful research and policy analysis.
- Identify new grant opportunities, contribute to grant writing, and manage relationships with grant officers, including tracking and communicating our impact in grant reports.
Organizational Learning and Other Duties
- Provide consultation to Program Leads to develop hypotheses, learning questions, indicators, and metrics for strategies and initiatives;
- Partner with Operations team to create and refine internal structures and systems for cross-program sharing; and develop specific tools and technology supports that anchor a culture of learning both organizationally and within program areas; this may include drafting learning reports to SEF’s Board of Directors, learning publications, staff learning retreats, and other activities that support the evolution of the Southern Education Foundation as a learning organization.
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE:
- Possession of a doctorate degree in education, education policy, or related field or a juris doctorate.
- Seven or more years of experience managing and/or conducting research, evaluation, and/or policy analysis;
- Deep commitment to educational equity and high achievement for all students, particularly for students of color and low-income children;
- Deep knowledge of state and federal education policies;
- Preferred experience in statistical analysis package such as STATA or SPSS or other research tools; expertise in Microsoft Excel required
- An organizational learning and effectiveness orientation, with a proven record of developing and implementing processes that advance rigor and learning across an organization or team
- Demonstrated capacity of translating ideas into action
- Excellent written and oral communication skills; ability to distill and explain complex information, data, and technical details to a multiplicity of audiences and partners;
- Strong project management skills; ability to facilitate the work of multiple teams and prioritize competing demands in a changing, highly collaborative environment;
- Sense of humor, exhibiting grace under pressure;
- Comfort with ambiguity.