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 15 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 over 25 years of experience serving over 133,000 children with the support of more than 58,000 college students and community volunteers, 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 Jumpstart’s “state-based” strategy in California. As part of its new strategic plan, Jumpstart has selected three states in which it will play a catalytic role in increasing the percentage of students entering kindergarten prepared to succeed. California will lead the way as the first selected state and the CSD will coordinate the intentional integration of Jumpstart’s 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 stakeholder relationships with government officials, higher education partners, public and private funding partners, and community organizations to further Jumpstart’s mission, vision, and organizational priorities across the state.

The CSD will report to the Vice President of Policy & Government Relations.

Specific Responsibilities

  • By leveraging Jumpstart’s functional organizational structure and highly-matrixed nature of our work, lead a cross-departmental working group linking together Jumpstart’s development, program operations, alumni, and policy 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 Jumpstart’s vision.
  • Build a three-year state plan that aligns with Jumpstart’s national strategy and leverages all of Jumpstart’s competencies and constituencies in California.
  • 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 Jumpstart’s development and alumni staff, engage the local Jumpstart community, including Jumpstart’s local advisory boards in northern and southern California, and Jumpstart alumni across the state, to create an energized advocacy base for Jumpstart’s policy agenda.
  • Serve as a public-facing representative for Jumpstart in California, including engagement with the media, and expand Jumpstart’s 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.
  • 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.



  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent relevant professional experience
  • Commitment to Jumpstart’s core values: Learning, Connection, Social justice, Joy and Inclusive Leadership
  • At least 10 years of professional experience in government or nonprofit leadership
  • 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
  • Project management skills, including ability to serve as the connective tissue among various aspects of Jumpstart‘s 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
  • 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; can thrive 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

  • Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management, Public Administration, Education, Law or other relevant graduate degree
  • Prior experience/interest in social justice or diversity, equity, and inclusion work
  • Background or experience in an early childhood setting
  • Commitment to serving the community
  • Experience in development and fundraising


Approximately 30% local and/or national travel

Start Date

November 2021 (desired start date; position open until filled)


  • Flexible California location from either Los Angeles, Sacramento or San Francisco
  • Applicants must be able to work on a full-time basis from one of these locations

Salary & Benefits

Salary – $100,000 – $110,000 commensurate with education and experience; along with excellent benefits and a great mission-driven work environment

How To Apply

Please complete an online application.* 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 ADP. 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 ADP. For the best possible user experience, ADP recommends a minimum screen resolution of 1280 x 800.

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.

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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