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 Senior Policy Associate role involves leading CEO’s efforts to engage government officials across our states, as well as formerly incarcerated individuals and community-based organizations, with the goal of increasing government investment in reentry employment services, addressing and mitigating collateral consequences for individuals returning home from incarceration, and generating revenue for CEO. 

The Senior Policy Associate will work closely with the broader CEO Policy team, as well as our regional and site program teams, to develop and execute statewide policy strategies each year. In addition, this person will serve as an advocate for people affected by federal and state policies that create barriers to reentry and employment after incarceration, monitoring and influencing legislation relevant to these issues. 


These responsibilities are representative, but not all-inclusive, of the responsibilities of this role:

Policy Analysis and Advocacy

  • Develop and fully implement a funding or advocacy strategy, leading day to day execution for CEO in a particular state, in collaboration with CEO Policy team leadership and Program leadership teams
  • Conduct timely analysis and maintain ongoing monitoring of relevant state legislation and budgets and share analysis with internal and external stakeholders
  • Generate written content, including concept papers, budget asks and policy briefs, to facilitate engagement with state executive and legislative leadership
  • Work with state consultants/lobbyists to execute policy strategies 
  • Directly engage with policymakers in collaboration with Program and Policy team leadership to manage relationships critical to CEO funding and advocacy
  • Engage with state and local policy organizations to understand and support current statewide justice/workforce development reform efforts and contribute to field-building efforts for employment, decarceration and racial justice
  • Lead and support CEO’s coalition building at the state and federal level
  • Work with Policy team leadership to develop content for the organization’s strategic plan, ongoing funder updates and Board updates
  • Identify and share best practices with external audiences related to criminal justice and workforce investment and/or the mitigation of collateral consequences

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 internal capacity building to Program team through the development of trainings and/or learning tables
  • Engage national resources in message development and strategy refinement in collaboration with CEO’s Communications team
  • Work with the organization’s Fund Development team in support of CEO’s fundraising agenda


  • Collect, summarize and analyze state 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


Must Have Skills or Competencies

  • Strong research and analytical skills
  • Excellent written and oral communication
  • Strong organizational and project management skills
  • 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 
  • Knowledge of legislative, appropriations/budget and administrative processes that can drive policy change 
  • Extensive knowledge surrounding the barriers individuals face upon returning home from incarceration 
  • 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 policy or programming related to criminal justice and/or workforce development


  • 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. This position can be located in any of the cities in which CEO operates. 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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