Senior Director of Policy - National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools (NCSECS), New York City or Washington, DC Virtual/Remote Option

Posted: Thursday, September 20, 2018

Job Title:        Senior Director of Policy
Reports To:    Executive Director, Lauren Morando Rhim
Function:        Policy
Location:        NYC or DC but virtual/remote an option
Travel:            Ability to travel up to 30%

National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools (NCSECS)

NCSECS is a young national nonprofit organization committed to ensuring that students with disabilities have equal access to exemplary special education and related services in public charter schools. NCSECS provides research, policy analysis, coalition building and technical assistance to a variety of stakeholders.

Responsibility Overview
Reporting to the Executive Director, the Senior Director of Policy will serve as an integral member of the senior leadership team, will be a strategic thought-partner, and will be responsible for providing executive-level direction and management oversight of policy initiatives which impact students with disabilities in charter schools all over the country. They will work to ensure NCSECS implements its policy agenda with organizations at the local, state, and federal levels. This newly created position will work closely with the Executive Director and Senior Fellow to develop partnerships with state education departments, legislators, and other education organizations to ensure special education policy is aligned with our vision. The Senior Director of Policy will work to develop thought-leading resources to assist states to address barriers and create opportunities for charter schools to provide effective and innovative instructional programs and individualized support for students with disabilities.

The Senior Director of Policy will understand the importance of developing and disseminating timely and relevant analyses on public policy issues affecting students with disabilities in charter schools in a range of formats to a variety of constituents. He/she will also be an ambassador for the organization and will need to have and build relationships within the business, academia, political and public policy community, as well as with individuals within the state and federal education systems. The goal is to advance the organization's mission with relevant constituents, as well as drive broader awareness and donor support for NCSECS by leveraging existing research and analyses impacting students with disabilities in charter schools.

Specific Responsibilities

  • Build awareness of NCSECS's issues among key education policy stakeholders, including advancing strategic partnerships and coalition-building on policy and legislative issues, coordinate NCSECS participation in coalitions and serve as lead representative on policy and legislative issues;
  • Engage with stakeholders in government, the private sector, the nonprofit sector, academia, and the media to support and inform NCSECS' mission;
  • Build on and leverage the NCSECS Model Policy Guide to inform development of and amendments to state special education and charter school policy, using research to prioritize states in which NCSECS can have the greatest impact;
  • Work closely with external partners to review and inform policy, including participating in convenings, working groups, and attending conferences;
  • Cultivate and sustain relationships with key national advocacy groups and influencers in anticipation of the eventual reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and development or
    amendment of related regulations;
  • Provide insights and vision in identifying and anticipating education policy trends and how they affect the role of NCSECS and its work;
  • Stay abreast of economic, public policy and social issues; assess the impact on students with disabilities in charter schools and, work closely with NCSECS communication team to ensure the development of informative white papers, policy briefs, fact sheets, analyses which can be disseminated, timely, to the education policy community via various communications platforms;
  • Collaborate with the leadership team, specifically the Executive Director and the Senior Fellow, to ensure continuity with overall NCSECS goals and strategies, as well as current public policy issues, including serving as an internal thought leader on legislative matters and strategic decisions making;
  • Collaborate with the program and communication teams around content for dissemination to the media related to policy updates and research;
  • Lead, direct, and develop staff, including overseeing the work of at least one policy specialist in order to accomplish team objectives;
  • Ensure compliance with NCSECS fiscal policies and procedures; and
  • Generate routine and ad hoc reports for management and Board.


  • Bachelor's Degree, Master's or advanced degree preferred in Policy, Law, or related fields;
  • 8-10 years working on advocacy and public policy issues, including a minimum of 5 years working directly in education policy;
  • Strong understanding of the ins and outs of state and federal politics;
  • Experience working with education nonprofits and state education departments preferred;
  • Ability to travel up to 30% including travel to quarterly all hands meetings with the NCSECS team;
  • Must pass a criminal background check and undergo Child Safeguarding training;
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite and Google Apps;
  • Desire to work with a small team in a startup environment (e.g., range of tasks, ambiguity, flexibility) while still implementing standard professional processes and systems; and
  • Commitment to the NCSECS mission.

The ideal candidate will demonstrate competency in the following areas:

  • Attention to detail - Thinks critically about the details of a task at hand and adds value when completing tasks
  • Problem-solving - Approaches challenges in creative ways and finds thoughtful solutions
  • Organization - Proactively keeps track of projects and deadlines
  • Flexibility - Ability to adjust expected tasks and schedule to the updated priorities
  • Independence - Can work independently, be assertive, and make thoughtful decisions about projects
  • Collaboration - Works with teammates and is responsive to feedback

NCSECS is an equal opportunity employer with a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. We prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, veteran status, marital status, or any other legally protected status. We strongly encourage applications by members of underrepresented groups.


To apply, please submit cover letter and resume to with
"Senior Director of Policy" in the subject line. Your cover letter should discuss where you heard about the position, why you are interested in working with NCSECS, and how your skills and background would contribute to this position.