Who We Are 

The Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) is dedicated to providing immediate, effective, and comprehensive employment services to people with recent criminal convictions. CEO’s programs help participants regain the skills and confidence needed for successful transitions to stable, productive lives. CEO serves more than 6,000 participants a year, giving them the opportunity to support themselves and their families, remain crime-free, and contribute positively to their communities. 

Headquartered in New York City, CEO currently operates in 30 cities across 11 states. In 2016, CEO embarked on a five-year strategic plan to serve 9,000 participants annually. CEO has gained support to expand its programs through government, nonprofit, and private organizations, and over the past two years has grown its policy and advocacy work. CEO advocates for increasing public investment in reentry employment services and the removal of unnecessary and overly punitive barriers to employment that often accompany a criminal conviction. We believe that in order to begin to undo the harm of mass incarceration, we must invest resources back into the communities that have been most affected by over incarceration. We advocate for public agencies to make these investments in order to create greater employment and opportunity for people coming home from incarceration. 

We also recognize that no matter how many people we can successfully transition into employment, government leaders must reform the myriad of laws and regulations that keep formerly incarcerated people from obtaining employment even when qualified. Our policy work also focuses on eliminating legal and regulatory barriers to employment and increasing the number of workforce opportunities for anyone with a criminal conviction.

Position Summary

The nation’s largest employment-centered reentry organization is growing its federal policy advocacy. This new Senior Policy Associate role will help lead CEO’s efforts to engage federal government officials, as well as formerly incarcerated individuals and other leaders in the field, with the goal of increasing federal government investment in reentry employment services; removing employment barriers for justice-impacted individuals; and generating revenue for CEO. 

The Senior Policy Associate will report to the Federal Policy Director and work closely with the broader CEO Policy team, as well as our regional and site program teams, to develop and execute federal policy strategy. This individual will influence creating systems within our organization to represent and engage justice-impacted individuals in advocacy, and operationalize the vision that everyone coming home from incarceration has a job. 


Federal Policy Analysis and Advocacy

  • Implement a funding or advocacy strategy to increase the access that justice-impacted people have to federal workforce programs, leading day to day execution for CEO, in collaboration with CEO Policy leadership and Program leadership teams;
  • Directly educate and engage with federal policymakers, representing CEO;
  • Understand policy design and best practices for key federal workforce programs, including SNAP Employment and Training (SNAP E&T), and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), and how changes in policy impact CEO’s program; 
  • Conduct timely analysis and maintain ongoing monitoring of relevant federal legislation and share the impact on CEO’s program and participants with internal and external stakeholders; 
  • Generate written content, including talking points, policy briefs, factsheets, and media collateral to support the federal policy agenda; 
  • Coordinate with government relations representatives and external consultants to execute policy strategies; 
  • Engage with national, state and local policy organizations to understand and support federal criminal justice/workforce development reform efforts and contribute to field-building efforts for employment, decarceration and racial justice;  and 
  • Work with Policy leadership to develop content for the organization’s strategic plan, ongoing funder updates and Board updates

Collaboration and Technical Assistance

  • Collaborate with other divisions within CEO to implement program innovation strategies (such as economic opportunity initiatives or participant engagement strategies) 
  • Provide technical assistance and internal capacity building to Program team through the development of trainings and/or learning tables related to federal policy 
  • Engage national resources in message development and strategy refinement in collaboration with CEO’s Communications team


  • Collect, summarize and analyze federal data and CEO program data to inform CEO’s policy strategy
  • Attend trainings, conferences and other meetings that help further inform CEO’s policy strategy
  • Offer suggestions around improvements to processes and systems related to CEO’s policy work


  • Extensive understanding of federal policy advocacy campaigns and experience leading advocacy agendas with measurable goals 
  • Knowledge of federal legislative, appropriations/budget and administrative processes
  • Strong research and analytical skills
  • Excellent written and oral policy and persuasive communication skills 
  • Ability to distill complicated policy frameworks down to relevant information for a variety of audiences 
  • Strong organizational and project management experience, and ability to pace multiple priority projects with minimal oversight 
  • Strong interpersonal skills and a passion for team-based work
  • Ability to engage and motivate a diverse group of stakeholders
  • Extensive knowledge of criminal justice and workforce policy, including federal workforce programs  
  • Demonstrated interest in the mission and values of CEO, and comfort with collaborating and maintaining connections with colleagues located across 11 states. 
  • Commitment to racial justice and advancing meaningful change for people impacted by the legal system


  • Preferred Experience: At least 5 years of experience in federal policymaking and advocacy


  • CEO's compensation philosophy considers a variety of factors including experience, internal equity, and the labor market associated with the city in which the position is located. .The labor markets associated with the cities in which CEO is based are variable, and the salary range included here reflects this. Our salary offer will fall within this range ($63,500.00 - $77,000.00  and will be reflective of the labor market of the city in which the position is based, as well the other factors named above. 

The Center for Employment Opportunities believes that everyone deserves the chance to shape a stronger future for themselves, their families, and their communities. Our commitment to being an anti-racism organization that is inclusive across all identities and experiences drives us forward every day. We exist to create greater opportunities for people who face multiple barriers to personal and professional success, and we’re passionate about being agents of change who promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and access to opportunities for all.

People who are justice involved, people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ+ , and people with disabilities are highly encouraged to apply for vacant positions at all levels.  We are an equal employment opportunity for all regardless of race, color, citizenship, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, veteran or reservist status, or any other category protected by federal, state, or local law.

Please note that due to the volume of resumes received, we are unable to contact each applicant regarding the status of each position or reply to candidates' inquiries via phone or email.


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