Senior Manager, Research and Policy

Job Type

Full Time


Details: Compensation depends on experience and is highly competitive.




Sobrato Center for Nonprofits, 1400 Parkmoor Avenue, Suite 240
San Jose
United States


Are you passionate about making sure ALL children have access to high-quality public schools?  

Are you an experienced education researcher with deep quantitative skills who is eager to design, research and publish independent reports that empower parents and others to advocate for great public schools in their communities, particularly for low-income students and students of color?

Do you love collecting, analyzing, and using school- and district-level data to make informed decisions about how well schools are performing?

Do you have high standards for the quality of the data and the integrity of the analysis and an ability to creatively work within the limitations of the data to meet the needs of the organization and our parent audience?  

Are you a skilled project manager and a nimble relationship-builder who is able to manage up, down, and sideways with different people and teams across the organization to ensure that complex projects advance in a fast-paced, constantly changing environment? 

Do you get fired up by the prospect of creating new systems and improving existing ones to help a growing organization realize its larger vision?

If so, you may be our ideal candidate for Senior Manager, Research and Policy.

Job Description

Use your education research, data analysis, project management, and relationship-building skills to play a key role for a dynamic, growing nonprofit that has become a respected source of research and analysis in the Bay Area and across the state and country. We strive to present existing data in new ways, while pushing forward the quality of school data that is collected, the ways school performance is measured, and what data is available publicly. The Sr. Manager, Research and Policy, will play a pivotal role in ensuring that our external reports and data products meet the highest standard for data integrity and accuracy, strengthening Innovate’s work with parent and education leaders to increase the number of high-quality public schools in the Bay Area.

Based primarily out of either our San Francisco or San Jose office with one day in the week in the other office and occasional travel around the Bay. Reports to Director, Research and Policy. 

Key Responsibilities

  • Design, lead, research and write reports that support the organization’s efforts to awaken the region to the need to grow the number of high-quality schools for underserved students.
  • Conduct analysis and reporting of public school student achievement data in the region and oversee the continuing development of strong data infrastructure, management systems, and policies to support the growth of the organizations, including expansion to Los Angeles.
  • Oversee the management of internal database and provide supervision and quality checks on the Research and Policy team’s data management process from start to finish (data collection, downloading, cleaning, formatting, etc.)
  • Analyze federal, state and local public school student performance data and district policies with the goal of identifying barriers faced by districts and public schools to developing and sustaining high-quality schools for all students.
  • Create written and digital/online reports (including blog posts) and prepare presentations, when necessary, on student achievement and public education issues in the region designed for various diverse audiences, including parents (particularly low-income parents), the media, business leaders, school districts, and the broader community.
  • Support the organization’s internal cross-team program evaluations to demonstrate each team’s and the organization’s collective impact.
  • Be a creative and energetic thought partner in building upon our current systems for managing, analyzing and visualizing data.
  • Lead on building the capacity of the Research and Policy Team to effectively conduct education policy analyses, and push development of our internal policy agenda forward.
  • Work collaboratively with and in support of Innovate’s Organizing, Schools, and Communications teams to inform and empower parents in the Bay Area with useful, high-impact data and policy analyses relevant to the quality of public schools in the region.
  • Organize meetings and presentations related to Innovate’s data, research, and policy work.
  • Support other organizational priorities, as defined by the CEO, Director, Research and Policy and Vice President, Content Strategy and Partnerships, given the flexibility required of all staff in a relatively small and fast-paced organization.
  • Travel regularly in the Bay Area.

Sample “Week In The Life” of our Sr. Manager, Research and Policy:

  • Lead a report kick-off meeting with senior leaders to finalize goals for a new report and determine the key research questions and analyses to move forward
  • Join the weekly Research and Policy team meeting to get on the same page with each team member’s workload and priorities. Discuss a recently published report on California’s teacher shortage and
  • Email and call officials at the California Department of Education to move forward a data request and finalize a memorandum of understanding.
  • Review and check initial analyses of recently released data on Bay Area A-G rates to check accuracy and identify what additional analyses to run.
  • Edit and provide feedback on the first draft of a research review.
  • Connect with Innovate’s communications to do a deep dive on the findings of the latest research report and strategize on key messages for the media release.
  • Join a meeting led by an Innovate organizer with 10 parent leaders to get input and feedback on on the data and design of a new draft data sheet with equity data on local schools.
  • Work with a RAP analyst to respond to an urgent new data request from the organizing team for a district-level analysis related to one of our parent-led campaigns.
  • Strategize with the Director, Research and Policy on future report topics for exploration and discuss the plan for analyzing and responding to updated state accountability dashboard data coming out the following week.
  • Lead for a training session to brief the entire staff on the key findings of a recent report to be publicly released in the next month. Your goal is to help staff from other teams internalize the report, reflect on how they can use it to drive their own work forward and align on larger organizational strategy. 

Your Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree required, with focus in education, statistics, public policy, social sciences, or other related field.
  • 5+ years of experience in data analysis, policy, and research related to the public education field. Experience analyzing state- and district-level student achievement data is strongly preferred.
  • Strong quantitative and qualitative data analysis skills, with expertise in statistical analyses used in education research and program evaluation.
  • Expertise in STATA (required) and other statistical software package (prefered).
  • Experience building Tableau dashboards is a plus.
  • Strong working knowledge of federal, state, and district education policies relevant to school improvement efforts and educational equity.
  • Strong and clear written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to make complicated topics understandable, relevant and actionable to a non-expert audience.
  • Ability to work in a start-up environment, requiring flexibility, self-motivation, self-directed problem-solving, collaborative work style, drive toward results, and enthusiasm.
  • Comfort with and respect for diversity, and experience in cross-cultural work environments.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, with ability to create positive, trusting, professional relationships with diverse colleagues.
  • Well-organized, with a strong attention to detail and excellent project management skills
  • A valid driver's license and reliable, insured vehicle (needed to fulfill job requirements)
  • Bilingual Spanish strongly preferred.

Work Environment / Physical Demands

The work environment characteristics and the physical demands described here are representative of those an employee encounters while successfully performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools or controls; reach with hands and arms; and talk or hear. The employee must regularly lift and/or move up to 10 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and the ability to adjust focus. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by the person in this position. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills.  

Innovate Public Schools is an equal opportunity employer, and takes pride in maintaining a diverse environment. We do not discriminate in recruitment, hiring, training, promotion or any other employment practices for reasons of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, sexual orientation, marital or veteran status, disability, or any other legally protected status.


Innovate offers very generous benefits including health and dental insurance, 20 days paid time off per year (increasing to 25 after 2 years of employment), two floating holidays, 14 paid fixed holidays per year (including office closure between Dec 24th - New Year’s Day), 1 day per year paid volunteering time off, and 5% employer contribution to 401k.

Level of Language Proficiency


Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

Master's degree

How To Apply

To Apply:

Please submit your resume and a thoughtful cover letter, specifically answering the following questions:

- Why are you on fire about education equity and justice? Why is this issue important to you?

- What is most exciting to you about this role? What experience do you have that is relevant to this role?

- What strengths and experience would you bring to the role and in which areas would you be looking to learn and grow?