Policy & Government Relations Manager

Policy & Government Relations Manager

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 our 25 years of experience serving over 150,000 children with the support of more than 50,000 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 www.jstart.org and join us in transforming the lives of young children!

Position Overview

Jumpstart seeks a skilled and passionate Policy & Government Relations Manager to be an integral member of the Policy & Government Relations (PGR) Department. PGR is responsible for implementing Jumpstart’s policy advocacy agenda via thought leadership, bipartisan strategic relationship building with key federal, state, and local officials, and activation of Jumpstart alumni, partners, donors, and other constituencies throughout its national network. By leveraging Jumpstart’s 25 years of experience at the intersection of early education and higher education, PGR drives policy solutions to:

  • Ensure that the systems, training, post-secondary affordability, and compensation are in place to support a thriving, high-quality early education workforce;
  •  Provide equitable opportunities for children to enjoy the life-altering benefits of high-quality early education;
  • Bring more federal, state, and local public funding to bear in support of Jumpstart’s impactful programming.

The Policy & Government Relations Manager has responsibility for launching and spearheading the department’s activities in California and supporting the department’s work in other states, cities, and in Washington, D.C. The Manager conducts research and analysis; develops and executes policy advocacy strategies in accordance with the department’s diversity, equity, and inclusion policy; and maintains and develops relationships with key elected and appointed officials and advocacy coalitions in order to: increase Jumpstart’s visibility, position the organization as an influential resource and leader in California and beyond, and leverage the organization’s experience, knowledge, and national scope and brand.

The Manager reports to the Vice President of Policy & Government Relations, and works collaboratively with the Field Operations and Strategy, Development, and Marketing & Communications departments. This is a great opportunity for someone with excellent interpersonal and project management skills, strong oral and written persuasive communication skills, public policy experience, research skills, and a desire to work in a mission-driven organization where we proudly advocate for young children and families every day.

Specific Responsibilities

Policy & Government Relations

  • Develop, nurture, and expand positive collaborative relationships with key California policymakers: federal, state, and local elected and appointed officials; and other California-based policy and nonprofit leaders aligned with Jumpstart’s advocacy agenda
  • Participate in stakeholder coalitions and workgroups on behalf of Jumpstart in order to influence policy development and maintain a consistent presence in community, government, and political circles
  • Track developments in the early education policy space in California and prepare policy briefing, advocacy, public opinion, and other written communications for both internal and external use.
  • Collaborate with content experts to shape, update, and communicate Jumpstart’s positions on public policy issues
  • Utilizing Jumpstart’s Salesforce database, track interactions between Jumpstart and elected officials, government staff, and coalition members

Grassroots & Grasstops Advocacy

  • Train and activate Jumpstart alumni, donors, staff, board members, and higher education and preschool partners to engage in advocacy efforts in support of policy objectives
  • Develop and execute a grassroots and grasstops advocacy plan in California


  • Research and track potential public funding sources to support Jumpstart’s direct service, workforce, and policy advocacy activities
  • Assist the Development department in preparing applications seeking public funding and, if relevant, private funding


  • In collaboration with the Marketing & Communications department, provide policy content for external communications with Jumpstart supporters and alumni
  • Develop ideas and draft public opinion pieces, reports, and hearing testimony to influence policy development

Additional Duties

  • Collaborate with and help to facilitate and support Jumpstart’s internal Policy Working Group, consisting of Jumpstart staff in various roles from around the country who provide input and support to the PGR department
  • Handle other duties as assigned in support of Jumpstart’s policy advocacy goals, the Vice President of Policy & Government Relations, and the CEO as needed



  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent relevant professional experience
  • 5 years of professional experience in the public policy, advocacy, or government sector, including employment or engagement with the California State Senate, Assembly, or California state agencies
  • Strong understanding of the California legislative process and existing relationships with California state elected officials and staff
  • Excellent relationship-building skills with an ability to work diplomatically with a wide range of viewpoints while maintaining fidelity to Jumpstart’s values and principles
  • Comprehensive analytical, strategic thinking, and problem-solving skills with the ability to plan and implement short- and long-term projects
  • Maturity and judgment necessary to best represent Jumpstart in public policy settings
  • Strong communication skills, including written, public speaking, and persuasive presentation skills
  • Experience and commitment to working with individuals from diverse backgrounds and communities
  • Ability to be adaptable and flexible; a reliable comfort level with shifting gears when priorities change
  • Commitment to Jumpstart’s core values: learning, connection, determination, joy, and kindness
  • Energetic, enthusiastic team player eager to contribute to meaningful change in the world
  • Competency in Microsoft software, especially Outlook, Excel, Word, and Power Point
  • Ability and willingness to undertake travel within California and occasionally within the U.S.
  • Ability to attend evening or weekend events (flexible work scheduling and compensatory time provided)

Preferred or Ideal

  • Master’s or Law degree
  • Experience in early childhood education policy
  • Experience/interest in social justice or diversity, equity, and inclusion work
  • Familiarity or experience with California city or county government, other state legislative processes, and U.S. Congress
  • Familiarity or experience with local, state, and/or federal funding processes and opportunities
  • Understanding of national service programs, including AmeriCorps
  • Fluency in English and Spanish


Approximately 50% of time traveling to/within Sacramento, CA and the Bay Area to attend meetings and events; along with occasional wider regional or national travel. Travel expenses provided.

Start Date

July/August 2020 (desired start date; position open until filled)


Sacramento, CA (100% remote work) or Bay Area, CA (Jumpstart office located in San Francisco, CA)

Salary & Benefits

Salary – $60,000 – $65,000 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 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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