California State Director

California State Director

About Jumpstart

Jumpstart envisions the day when every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. A national early education organization with operations in 14 states plus Washington, DC, Jumpstart drives outcomes for young children in three critical ways. Jumpstart provides language, literacy, and social-emotional direct service programming utilizing an evidence-backed curriculum for preschool children from underserved communities, workforce programming to expand the pipeline of qualified, diverse talent pursuing careers in early education, and policy advocacy to support the early childhood field and promote high-quality early learning for all. By leveraging nearly 30 years of experience serving over 157,900 children with the support of more than 62,500 college students, community volunteers, and alumni who are credentialed ECE teachers, Jumpstart executes these three objectives to improve the quality of the early education workforce and increase opportunity for young children to succeed across America. Learn more at and join us in transforming the lives of young children!

Position Overview

The California State Director (CSD) is responsible for the development and execution of Jumpstarts statebased strategy in California. As part of its strategic plan, Jumpstart has selected three states in which it will play a catalytic role in enhancing the conditions for early educators and increasing the percentage of students entering kindergarten prepared to succeed. California and Massachusetts will lead the way as the first two selected states, followed by Georgia, and the CSD will coordinate the intentional integration of Jumpstarts direct service, workforce, and policy advocacy activities in the state. When these strands of work are integrated and reinforced, Jumpstart will maximize its impact, providing transformative and equitable programming and meaningful systemic change.

A fundamental responsibility of the CSD is to develop and leverage strong relationships with internal departmental staff and external stakeholders such as government officials, higher education partners, public and private funding partners, and local community organizations to facilitate learning, connection, and partnership to inform a broader, integrated state strategy.

The CSD will report to the Vice President of Policy & Government Relations and supervise the California Policy Manager. If you are excited to lead educational equity and transformative change across California as part of an integrated national network, then this may be the opportunity for you!

Specific Responsibilities

Strategy Development

  • By leveraging Jumpstarts functional organizational structure and highly-matrixed nature of our work, lead a cross-departmental working group linking together Jumpstarts development, program operations, education and research, alumni, policy, and research and evaluation staff focused on California in order to seize opportunities and achieve impact for young children and educators across the state.

  • Employing a grassroots engagement and social justice lens, deepen understanding of community priorities and opportunities to drive impact towards Jumpstarts vision.

  • In collaboration with internal and external stakeholders with various roles, perspectives, and understanding of early childhood education impact for children and the workforce, build a three-year state plan that aligns with Jumpstarts national strategy and leverages all of Jumpstarts competencies and constituencies in California.

External Relationship Building & Collaboration

  • Cultivate trusting relationships and high-impact partnerships with elected and appointed officials, school districts, early education and care providers, funders, advocacy organizations, influencers, and existing coalitions and initiatives to execute the plan across the early childhood education, higher education, and policy landscape.
  • In partnership with the Director of Civic Engagement & Advocacy and development and alumni staff, engage the local Jumpstart community, including Jumpstarts donors and alumni across the state, to create an energized advocacy base to contribute to and support Jumpstarts policy agenda.
  • Serve as a public-facing representative for Jumpstart in California, including engagement with the media, and expand Jumpstarts profile among other statewide organizations in the education and early education policy arenas.
  • Collaborate with the national development team on local fundraising strategy and efforts, including helping to support relationships with funders focused on California and engaging Jumpstarts national and local board members to connect to and support the state strategy.

Internal Communication, Collaboration, and Management

  • Collaborate with the program operations team to align strategy and execution regarding growth and expansion of programming.
  • Develop strong communication structures and systems for collaboration resulting in an effective community with open, ongoing, and two-way communication among national staff/teams and with external stakeholders.
  • Work as a team player in an integrated policy and government relations department, adjusting as needed to support other team member projects and expecting them to do the same for you in key moments.
  • While practicing inclusive leadership, provide supervision, management, guidance, and support to the California Policy Manager.



  • Bachelors degree or equivalent relevant professional experience

  • Experience managing direct reports

  • On-going commitment and interest in social justice or diversity, equity and inclusion work

  • Commitment to Jumpstarts core values: learning, connection, social justice, joy and inclusive leadership

  • At least 10 years of professional experience in government or nonprofit leadership

  • Ability to effectively facilitate small and large group discussions and planning functions

  • Project management skills, including ability to serve as the connective tissue among various aspects of Jumpstarts work and identify opportunities to link the work in new and high-impact ways

  • Strong relationship building skills, including ability to effectively partner with multiple stakeholders in innovative ways to obtain Jumpstart a seat at the table with policymakers and to execute its strategy in the state

  • Knowledge of and/or experience in early childhood education, higher education, and government/politics (particularly in California)

  • Understanding of the education landscape, including early education, higher education, and workforce development

  • Ability and willingness to travel, primarily throughout California with occasional national travel

  • Experience and comfort working with individuals from diverse backgrounds and communities

  • Highly organized and flexible; thrives in a dynamic environment

  • Analytical thinking, strategic planning and strong problem-solving skills

  • Ability to take initiative and identify opportunities

  • Effective communication skills (written and public speaking, including strong presentation skills)

  • Competency in Microsoft software and communication tools, especially Teams, Office 365, Outlook,Excel, Word, Power Point, and Salesforce

Preferred or Ideal

  • Masters in Nonprofit Management, Public Administration, Education, Law or other relevant graduate degree preferred

  • Background or experience in an early childhood setting

  • Understanding of AmeriCorps programs

  • Commitment to serving the community

  • Experience in development and fundraising

  • Fluency in both English and Spanish


Approximately 30% local, state, and/or national travel

Start Date

February 2023 (desired start date; position open until filled)


Flexible California location from Sacramento or one of Jumpstart’s offices in Los Angeles or San Francisco
(Berkeley office)

Applicants must be able to work on a full-time basis from one of these locations. Telecommuting options possible through Jumpstart’s formal approval process

Salary & Benefits

Salary – $100,000 – $110,000 (commensurate with education and experience) along with a great mission-driven work environment and excellent benefits including health, dental, and vision insurance, employer-match retirement savings, generous paid time off, a flexible spending account, wellness program and more.

How To Apply

Please complete the online application found on Jumpstart’s website. Both a cover letter and resume are required to complete your application.  Applications without a cover letter may not be considered.  Candidates will be reviewed on an on-going basis.  Please upload/attach your resume to your applicant profile as well as your cover letter.

*Jumpstart’s online application process is supported by Paycom. To ensure that the online application works properly, please make sure cookies and pop-ups are enabled on your browser, and that firewall software (if used) is set to permit inbound and outbound traffic on port 443. Unfortunately, touch screens are not supported or certified by Paycom. For the best possible user experience, is recommended a minimum screen resolution of 1280 x 800.

Jumpstart is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion or creed, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, sexual and reproductive health choices, marital status, age, pregnancy, veteran status, disability or any other legally protected status recognized by federal, state or local law with respect to employment opportunities.

Consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act, applicants may request accommodations needed to participate in the application process.

Together, we can help all children build the key language and literacy skills they need to take on the world.

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