Policy Director, America Forward

Location: DC

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Experienced

About the Position

The Policy Director will be responsible for leading the America Forward Coalition’s education, workforce, human services, and other related collective advocacy work, from idea generation, to collective platform development, to advocacy execution.  The Policy Director will also work closely with New Profit’s related focus funds and assist in building the policy capacity of our portfolio and Coalition organizations.   An exceptional communicator, strong writer, and a creative and analytical thinker, the Policy Director will synthesize complex ideas, build consensus, and actively engage multiple audiences and stakeholders, including policymakers, social entrepreneurs, business, academia, and philanthropy in shaping strategic new policy proposals and initiatives on behalf of America Forward. The Policy Director will participate actively in external engagement opportunities and speak and write on the Coalition’s policy priorities on behalf of America Forward.  Based in DC, the Policy Director will report directly to the Executive Director of America Forward and work closely with internal and external policy, legislative, and communications experts and play a vital role in ensuring America Forward achieves its ambitious goals.


About America Forward and New Profit

America Forward is a nonpartisan policy initiative of New Profit, a pioneering national venture philanthropy fund that seeks to break down barriers between all people and opportunity in America.  To date, New Profit has invested over $150 million in scaling innovative organizations' impact.

America Forward's mission is to unite social innovators with policymakers and advance a public policy agenda that fosters innovation, rewards results, catalyzes cross-sector partnerships, and translates local impact into national change. 

We lead a Coalition of more than 70 social innovation organizations that champion innovative, effective, and efficient solutions to our country's most pressing social problems. Our Coalition members are achieving measurable outcomes in more than 14,500 communities nationwide, touching the lives of 8 million Americans each year, and driving progress in education, workforce development, early learning, poverty alleviation, public health, pay for success, social innovation, national service, and criminal justice reform. 

Since 2007, America Forward's community of innovators has played a leading role in driving the national dialogue on social innovation and advocating for lasting policy change.  America Forward played a critical role in the creation of a federal tiered-evidence fund aimed at scaling high-impact organizations and significantly leveraging federal dollars; our community influenced the creation of the White House Office of Social Innovation; and we have successfully advocated for the inclusion of provisions focused on outcomes in landmark federal education and workforce legislation.  Together, we have leveraged $1.5 billion for social innovation and have driven millions of federal resources toward programs that are achieving measurable results for those who need them most. 

America Forward believes that our nation's social innovators can lead the way to unlocking America's potential -- and help move all of America forward.

In addition to leading public policy efforts that focus on outcomes and more efficient use of resources, New Profit also invests in visionary leaders to help them scale high-impact solutions, and builds community and public dialogue around bold new approaches to social change through our Focus Fund model and Field Leadership efforts.  

Position Responsibilities

Responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

  • Develop and implement policy proposals, strategies, and platforms that capture and reflect the interests of New Profit and the America Forward Coalition members, focusing on emerging areas of interest and organizational priorities in Education, Workforce Development, and Human Services policy.
  • In close collaboration with America Forward’s Directors and team of consultants, identify, generate, and advocate for specific policy agendas in the areas of early learning, K-12 education, higher education, college access and success, workforce development, social innovation, and other related issues.
  • Lead America Forward’s Education Task Force and working groups and develop strong relationships with CEOs and Policy Directors of member organizations.
  • Work closely with the Managing Partners of New Profit Focus Funds to develop policies that align with the Funds’ mission and America Forward’s broader policy agenda. Build and steward key relationships within the larger Focus Funds and build the network’s ability and capacity to engage in policy and advocacy.
  • Lead America Forward’s efforts in influencing the regulation and implementation of key provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act that align with Coalition and Focus Fund priorities.
  • Work closely with the entire America Forward team to develop and implement policy proposals for candidates in the 2016 election and build strong relationships within the next Administration to advance salient policy ideas.  
  • Work with individual portfolio and Coalition organizations to build their policy capacity and provide strategic advice.
  • Contribute to development and fundraising efforts and play a meaningful role in engaging individual, foundation, and public funders.
  • Contribute to America Forward’s ongoing message development/branding and communications strategy; generate content for America Forward across all mediums; develop white papers on key issues and public engagement materials (e.g. op-eds, press materials, external speeches, social media content, etc.).
  • Serve as a representative of America Forward to policymakers (both in Congress and in the Administration), thought leaders, social entrepreneurs, and other key stakeholders.
  • Expand America Forward’s external presence by speaking publicly at national, state, and local conferences and other events. 
  • Manage networks and information channels necessary to be consistently and fully informed on all activities and advancements in related policy and political areas.
  • Actively cultivate relationships and expand the network of champions for social innovation and participate in advocacy efforts as needed.
  • Manage more junior level staff working on a similar portfolio of issues.  

Candidate Qualifications

  • Significant (ideally at least 10 years) professional experience in federal policy and/or politics; experience working in a federal department/agency, Capitol Hill, think tank, the policy department of a national organization, or a philanthropic organization
  • Relationship and consensus-building skills, including experience working with or managing coalitions; comfort working with both policy experts and novices
  • Ability to work independently and cooperatively as a part of a DC team connected to a larger Boston-based organization; ability to work collaboratively with a team of DC-based senior policy consultants
  • Superior written communication skills with the ability to synthesize complex information and ideas into clear, concise, and compelling written materials
  • Excellent verbal communication skills; ability to craft messages that resonate with multiple audiences; experience speaking publicly and engaging with large audiences
  • Ability to thrive and learn in a fast-paced environment, comfort in a growth-oriented and changing initiative
  • Interest in learning and leading new policy area initiatives as opportunities emerge
  • Passion for New Profit and America Forward’s missions and social entrepreneurship; familiarity with social innovation and nonprofit sector preferred; passion for the social innovation sector
  • Flexibility and willingness for limited travel and occasional events outside work hours

How to Apply

To apply for this position, please submit a thoughtful resume and cover letter addressed to Alena Guerra.


As an equal opportunity employer, New Profit recognizes the power of a diverse community and strongly encourages applications from individuals with varied experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds.

AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service alumni are encouraged to apply. Please indicate in your application if you are a national service alumni.


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