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Job Opportunity: Policy Director

ExpandED is dedicated to ensuring that all young people have access to enriching learning opportunities that affirm their identities, teach them valuable skills, and spark new possibilities. Through program development, capacity-building, research and advocacy, we work toward our vision of a vibrant and stable publicly-funded system of school-community partnership so that all New York City children thrive. 

Established in 1998, the organization today works with more than 119,000 children and 900 programs throughout New York City to ensure that students in under-served communities have access to innovative, engaging ways of learning to enable them to reach their full potential. Over the last two decades, ExpandED Schools’ program, research and policy efforts have led to increased recognition of the academic, social, and emotional benefits of afterschool, increased funding, and new models for school-community partnership. 

The pandemic further highlighted the importance of afterschool and ExpandED’s vital function. Afterschool provides opportunities for caregivers to work, keeps kids safe, and builds strong and equitable communities. The organization and its partners brought stability to working families during a period of ongoing turmoil. Its programs served as nurturing centers for kids to work on projects that build their academic and social skills, talk to mentors who help them process their feelings, think about their next steps and careers, and connect with friends. During the pandemic, ExpandED played a leading role in reimagining the City’s summer jobs program and securing 35,000 work-based learning experiences in summer 2020 and 75,000 in summer 2021. 

Reporting to the President & CEO, the Policy Director plays a leading role in developing and advancing ExpandED Schools’ policy agenda and advocacy strategies to increase the quality, availability and sustainability of expanded learning opportunities for New York City’s children. Topics for policy development and advocacy include but are not limited to: afterschool funding and policies, work-based learning, social-emotional learning, STEM, and literacy. Grounded in our 200-program network, our research, and our own model development, ExpandED’s robust policy portfolio has an emphasis on New York City budget and program priorities and also includes New York State and federal policy recommendations and advocacy.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develop and implement ExpandED’s policy and governmental affairs strategy, including efforts to increase public funds for learning and enrichment; securing discretionary funds for ExpandED, and advancing programmatic priorities in topics such as social and emotional learning, work-based learning, literacy and STEM.
  • Develop and strengthen relationships with government staff and officials in New York City and State, including the City Council, Mayor’s Office, city agencies, Governor’s Office, State Education Department, Office of Children & Family Services, Assembly and Senate.  
  • Develop, maintain and build on ExpandED Schools’ partnerships and coalitions throughout the city, state and nation, playing a lead role with groups such as New York City Work-Based Learning Coalition, NYC STEM Education Network, Coalition for Community Schools, Human Services Council, Network for Youth Success, and others.
  • Collaborate across departments internally to build programmatic voices into policy discussions and recommendations and engage all teams in advocacy efforts.
  • Create and coordinate opportunities to promote ExpandED Schools’ work and influence legislation, including meetings, conferences, events, and news articles.
  • Draft press releases, testimony, web text and articles and testify on behalf of the organization at legislative hearings and events.
  • Design and deliver workshops for ExpandED Schools’ partners on such topics as advocacy, lobbying, appropriations, afterschool and expanded learning.
  • Manage policy budget and grants, contracts and relationships with relevant consultants.
  • Manage organization’s compliance with city and state lobbying requirements. 
  • Perform other work as assigned.

Desired Qualifications: 

  • Experience with legislative or budgetary processes in New York City or State.
  • Strong cultural competence with respect for and knowledge of the cultures of the various stakeholders we work with and the communities we serve.
  • Deep commitment and passion for educational equity.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects in a fast-paced environment and work as part of a team.
  • Exceeding organization, motivation, and detail-orientation. 
  • Excellent speaking, writing, and facilitation skills with diverse audiences.
  • Willingness and ability to travel within New York City frequently and occasional overnight trips.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience, with experience in public affairs, government relations, and / or legislative staff work.
  • Competent computer skills, including knowledge of Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

ExpandED Schools offers competitive salaries commensurate with experience and a comprehensive benefits package.  Our benefits package includes:

  • Full-time and eligible part-time employees receive medical, dental and vision plans for employees and dependents, largely subsidized by ExpandED Schools
  • Health, dependent care and transit pre-tax accounts
  • Employer-paid life insurance and supplemental disability coverage
  • Paid time off package which includes 24 vacation days, 8 sick days, and 12 paid holidays 
  • 403b retirement plan with eligibility for employer contribution of 5% of annual compensation after one year of employment (no match requirement)
  • Commitment to work-life balance
  • Partial tuition reimbursement offered to employees after six months of service
  • Professional development opportunities, including funds to participate in training and coaching


ExpandED Schools believes in the importance of being a diverse, equitable and inclusive organization that enables our students and staff to thrive. We are committed to building a talented team that reflects the diverse backgrounds and experiences of our students.

As an equal opportunity employer, we hire without consideration to race, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status or disability.

Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume to: employment@expandedschools.org, Subject: Policy Director.  Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

ExpandED Schools is an Equal Opportunity Employer