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Senior Director, Postsecondary Education

  • Reports to: Senior Vice President, Education
  • Staff reporting to this position: Three to five select policy staff
  • Department: Postsecondary Education
  • Position classification: Exempt, full time; Nonunion - Level 8
  • Minimum compensation: $110,000


American Progress has an immediate opening for a Senior Director of Postsecondary Education. The Senior Director will be responsible for developing and communicating new policy ideas, managing some team staff, and coordinating projects across teams. The ideal candidate will have a deep understanding of postsecondary education policy with expertise in one or more of the team’s core areas, which include access, affordability, quality, and accountability, with an emphasis on equity. This includes experience managing vertically and horizontally; working on fundraising strategies; collaboratively setting the research agenda and strategic direction; and representing the team to policymakers, funders, and the public.


  • Assist in developing and executing American Progress’ strategic priorities on postsecondary education policy.
  • Supervise staff and coordinate with other teams at American Progress to manage shared projects, including with respect to the organization’s five crosscutting institutional priorities in health, economy, racial equity and justice, climate, and democracy.
  • Work with diverse partners, organizations, and teams within the organization to develop and implement legislative and political strategies at the federal level.
  • Determine appropriate papers, analytic work, political strategies, and communications research to be conducted by the team or through partnerships.
  • Conceive, research, write, and edit original products and other materials as needed.
  • Track federal policy and political developments and direct American Progress’ strategic response to those developments as appropriate.
  • Contribute to and coordinate with other American Progress programs and initiatives as appropriate, including identifying crosscutting issues and projects.
  • Produce fundraising documents and manage the fundraising process with the assistance of the organization’s Development and Executive teams.

Requirements and qualifications:

  • Extensive and demonstrated knowledge of higher education issues.
  • Effective supervisory skills and the ability to manage, mentor, and lead staff.
  • Commitment to equity and transparency in management as well as written products and policy ideas.
  • Demonstrated ability to convey complex higher education concepts in clear and accessible written and verbal manners.
  • Ability to conceptualize and execute a range of written products.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, a team player, and the ability to work well within a higher education team, across a diverse coalition, and throughout the organization, in a fast-paced environment.
  • Knowledge of legislative and administrative policymaking processes.
  • Experience in seeking and managing funding.
  • Commitment to American Progress’ mission and goals.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience.
  • Seven years of experience in policy development with some experience managing full-time professional staff.

American Progress offers full and competitive benefits packages. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. This position has a starting salary of $110,000 and is not represented by a union.

To Apply

Please follow the link below to the online application. When completing the application, be sure to combine your cover letter and resume/CV into one Word or PDF file and upload this combined document. The system does not allow for multiple files.

This announcement will remain posted until the position is filled. No phone calls, please.
Please note that only those individuals whose qualifications match the current needs of this position will be considered applicants and will receive responses from American Progress.
Thank you for your interest in American Progress.

Additional information

American Progress operates two separate nonprofit organizations to maximize the progressive agenda: the Center for American Progress and the Center for American Progress Action Fund. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “American Progress.” The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) tax-exempt research and educational institute. It undertakes research, public education and a limited amount of lobbying. The Center for American Progress Action Fund is a nonpartisan 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization dedicated to achieving progress through action. It works to transform progressive ideas into policy through rapid-response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing, political advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders. The organizations share office space and employees.

American Progress is dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Diversity is more than a commitment at American Progress—it is the foundation of what we do. American Progress recruits, employs, trains, compensates, and promotes regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, veteran status, medical condition, and all the other characteristics that make us unique.

For more information on the Center for American Progress, please go to For more information on the Center for American Progress Action Fund, please go to