Massachusetts Policy & Government Relations Director

Massachusetts Policy & Government Relations 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 187,200 children with the support of more than 64,800 college students, community volunteers, and alumni who are credentialed early education 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 www.jstart.org and join us in transforming the lives of young children!

Position Overview

The Massachusetts Director of Policy and Government Relations (PGR) will be responsible for collaborating with the VP of Policy and Government Relations to develop and execute Jumpstart’s policy strategy in the Massachusetts State Legislature, Massachusetts Executive Branch, and with the members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation. This may also include municipal work collaborating with cities and towns across the Commonwealth such as the City of Boston Office of Early Childhood.

As part of its strategic plan, Jumpstart has developed a workforce acceleration pilot to enhance the conditions for early educators and increase the percentage of students entering kindergarten prepared to succeed. The MA Director of PGR will lead the intentional integration of Jumpstart’s direct service, workforce acceleration programs, and alumni engagement into Jumpstart’s policy and advocacy strategy in Massachusetts. 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 MA Director of PGR is to develop and maintain 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 MA Director of PGR will report to the Vice President of Policy and Government Relations and join a passionate team of advocates that exemplifies the Jumpstart values of social justice, learning, community, inclusive leadership, and joy. If you are excited to lead educational equity and transformative change across the Bay State as part of an integrated national network, then this may be the opportunity for you!

Specific Responsibilities

Policy and Government Relations

  • Employing a grassroots engagement and social justice lens, collaborate with internal and external stakeholders to develop a state policy and advocacy plan that aligns with Jumpstart’s national strategy, engages Jumpstart’s constituencies to advance policy priorities focused on early education and care, higher education, national service, and workforce acceleration.
  • Execute Jumpstart’s legislative agenda utilizing appropriate strategies and tactics, including lobbying members of the Massachusetts State Legislature, their staff, and the governor’s office.
  • Maximize Jumpstart’s functional organizational structure, to lead internal, cross-departmental strategies, linking together Jumpstart development, program operations, education and research, alumni, and research and evaluation staff focused on Massachusetts to drive opportunities and achieve impact for young children and educators across the state.
  • Track interactions between Jumpstart and elected officials, government staff, and coalition members; Measure the effectiveness of policy work/initiatives and define and lead change to meet objectives.
  • Remain informed and responsive in strategy and communication to policy developments that impact the sector and present opportunities for Jumpstart to take a leadership position.
  • Draft, analyze, and track legislation, and amendments, and prepare and deliver written and oral testimony.
  • Build trusted relationships with elected and appointed officials, agency decision-makers, the governor’s office, lobbyists, and community stakeholders by providing clear, nonpartisan, fact-based analysis and resources.
  • Coordinate and collaborate with the Director of Civic Engagement and Advocacy to amplify the voices of Jumpstart partners and constituencies at the state and local levels.

People Management

  • Manage the Boston-based FAO Schwarz Fellow, with the support of the program operations and strategy team and the development team.
  • Set up direct reports to do their best work by focusing on coaching through regular, timely feedback and appreciative inquiry, regular 1:1s, goal setting, and performance reviews.
  • Through an inclusive leadership lens, actively model and encourage behaviors and practices that uphold and advance Jumpstart’s values and organizational imperatives.

Communications and Thought Leadership

  • Develop strong communication structures and systems for collaboration resulting in an effective community with open, ongoing, and two-way communication among internal and external stakeholders.
  • Prepare brand-compliant written materials in collaboration with marketing and communications, including action alerts, talking points, issue briefs, policy reports, op-eds, and website content.
  • Represent Jumpstart in various community and stakeholder policy groups, build and lead coalitions with diverse stakeholders to advance shared policy goals, and work in partnership with other organizations.
  • Speak to the media or the public as needed.


Fundraising & Stewardship

  • Identify potential sources and advocate for public funding for Jumpstart.
  • Assist the Development department in preparing applications seeking public and private funding, and support Development in the stewardship of relationships with donors who support Jumpstart’s policy work.

Additional Responsibilities

  • Work collaboratively with members of the Policy and Government Relations team to advance nationwide policy campaigns.
  • Collaborate with and help to support Jumpstart’s internal Policy Working Group.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned by the Vice President of Policy and Government relations.

 

Qualifications

Required

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent relevant professional experience
  • Minimum of five years of full-time, professional experience in government, community organizing, government relations, or a related field. Relevant lived experience is also highly valued and will be considered.
  • On-going commitment to social and economic justice and diversity, equity, and inclusion work
  • Commitment to Jumpstart’s core values: learning, social justice, community, joy, and inclusive leadership
  • Knowledge of and/or experience working in/around the Massachusetts State Legislature and/or with the Massachusetts Congressional delegation and local and municipal governments in Massachusetts required
  • Experience and comfort working with multi-generational individuals from diverse backgrounds and communities
  • In-depth understanding of the state legislative and budget process, and political strategic planning
  • Exceptional analytical, research, writing, and oral advocacy skills, as well as the ability to articulate complex issues and to communicate them effectively to a variety of audiences
  • Skilled relationship manager and demonstrated ability to build and sustain respectful relationships across the political spectrum with diverse coalitions, that values and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socioeconomic circumstances
  • Strong, proactive project management skills and ability to work simultaneously on multiple projects at various stages of completion; strong attention to detail
  • Passion for early childhood education and the early education and care workforce, and a familiarity with the work and mission of Jumpstart
  • Self-aware, reflective, and authentic leader with the ability to listen, and support people to achieve common goals
  • Flexible, creative, energetic, and results-oriented with a growth mindset and ability to collaborate, including working closely with members of different teams across the organization
  • Primary residence in Massachusetts and understanding of regulatory compliance requirements to register as a lobbyist in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Ability and willingness to travel, primarily throughout Massachusetts with occasional national travel.

Preferred or Ideal

  • Graduate degree in public policy, public administration, law, education, social work or related field preferred
  • Background or experience in an early education and care setting
  • Knowledge of higher education systems and policy
  • Understanding of national service programs, including AmeriCorps
  • Experience in development and fundraising
  • Fluency in English and Spanish
  • Prior experience with the Jumpstart program

Travel

Approximately 40% of time travel within Massachusetts to attend meetings and events; along with occasional wider regional or national travel. Travel expenses provided.

Start Date

January 2024 (internal); February/March 2024 (external) (desired start date, yet position open until filled)

Location

Boston, MA (flexible Massachusetts location may be possible)

Applicants must be able to work on a full-time basis from the Boston office. Telecommuting options are possible through Jumpstart’s formal approval process.

Salary & Benefits

Salary – $98,800 – $120,750 – commensurate with experience; along with excellent benefits and a great mission-driven work environment

To Apply

We have paused accepting applications for this role. Received applications are under review. If you have any questions, please reach out to jobs@jstart.org

Jumpstart for Young Children, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer that does not discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived race, creed, color, religion, gender identity or expression, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, disability or handicap, sex, marital or parental status, amnesty, political affiliation, veteran status, military service, sexual orientation, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local laws with respect to employment opportunities.  Please visit our website at www.jstart.org.

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

Jumpstart participates in E-verify.

How To Apply

We have paused accepting applications for this role. Received applications are under review. If you have any questions, please reach out to jobs@jstart.org

Jumpstart for Young Children, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer that does not discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived race, creed, color, religion, gender identity or expression, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, disability or handicap, sex, marital or parental status, amnesty, political affiliation, veteran status, military service, sexual orientation, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local laws with respect to employment opportunities.  Please visit our website at www.jstart.org.

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

Jumpstart participates in E-verify.

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