ABOUT JFF 

JFF is a leading national nonprofit focused on accelerating the alignment, transformation and reimagination of the American workforce and education systems, with the ultimate vision of a society in which equitable economic advancement is attainable for all. 

Uniquely situated at the intersection of education and workforce, for almost 40 years, JFF has led the way in building innovative and scalable solutions to ensure that all Americans have the skills, resources, and credentials they need to achieve economic advancement. JFF works with partners across the field to improve labor market outcomes for youth and adults—particularly for individuals who face barriers to economic mobility and populations that have been historically denied opportunity. Three years ago, we launched JFFLabs to bridge the traditional systems in which we have worked so extensively and entrepreneurs, tech innovators, and investors who are building new solutions with previously unimagined potential to change lives. 

We accomplish our mission by pulling on four levers for systemic change: 

  • Design:  We bring evidence-based models and innovative solutions to life. 
  • Scale:  We leverage national networks and advanced technologies to drive change in systems. 
  • Influence:  We shape policy and drive the national conversation among workforce, education, government, and corporate leaders. 
  • Invest:  We invest capital to incubate new solutions, accelerate innovation, and generate impact. 

JFF operates at the national, state, and local levels to bridge education, workforce, and policy within regions of all sizes. The organization employs a staff of more than 220 the U.S., both fully remote and in offices in Boston (headquarters); Washington, DC; and Oakland, CA. The organization has a $77 million operating budget.  JFF has developed powerful partnerships and networks to scale its impact, and is funded by dozens of leading public and private organizations. 

JFF’S Strategies 

  • Help People Advance (Impact on People): We partner with systems, organizations, and leaders to equip individuals with the knowledge, tools, and experiences they need to achieve economic advancement. We emphasize equity and pay particular attention to people and communities that have historically been denied opportunity. 
  • Build Inclusive Regional Economies (Impact on Places): We coordinate across sectors to increase opportunity for economic advancement in communities, regions, and states and produce sustainable economic growth for all. We support leaders’ efforts to improve and connect economic and educational strategies, with a focus on equity and inclusion. 
  • Redesign Education and Workforce Development Systems (Impact on Systems): We transform existing models and systems and design new ones to dismantle inequities and better serve the needs of all workers, learners, and businesses. We accelerate innovation to reimagine education and the future of work. 

JFF's Core Values 

  • Mission Driven: The organization is fueled by the desire to create a world where everyone has equal opportunity for economic advancement.  
  • Passionate: The organization believes its efforts have the power to strengthen the nation’s economy and improve people’s lives.  
  • Rigorous: The organization works diligently to design, test, and scale evidence-based solutions  
  • Bold: The organization leads with innovative ideas and actions that push the boundaries of what is possible.  
  • Transformative: The organization brings about meaningful and lasting system-level change. 

Learn more about JFF and join us as we build a future that works: https://www.jff.org/ 

JFF’s Policy and Advocacy Team 

JFF’s Policy and Advocacy team generates nonpartisan, practice-informed policy solutions focused on economic advancement for all. Informed by work in the field, our policy experts synthesize research, evidence, and input from practitioners and policymakers to inform critical national and state policy debates. We also offer fresh policy ideas and thought leadership to create lasting, systemic shifts in education and workforce development to strengthen economic advancement for all. Just two examples of JFF’s signature work include: (1) our management of The Policy Leadership Trust which marshals evidence, expertise, and insights of community college leaders and state systems officials to influence the direction of state and federal policy so that more learners and workers attain credentials and skills and succeed in the labor market; and (2) our Congressional Staff Network that supports knowledge sharing among a groups of bipartisan congressional staff concerning workforce-related education, training, and employment policy issues currently confronting the federal government and Congress.  See https://www.jff.org/what-we-do/impact-stories/policy-jff/ for more information. 

ABOUT THE POSITION  

The Head of Policy will be a key leader with a significant voice in the future and continued success of JFF, working to advance nonpartisan, practice-informed state and federal public policy that supports economic advancement for all. JFF is at an inflection point and is poised to continue and to deepen its market leadership with creative thinking and bold action that transcends the traditional education and workforce space and bridges to the fields of technology, innovation, and investment. In an evolving and dynamic market, with unprecedented attention on the issues of inclusive talent development and the future of work, we seek a mission-driven leader with a clear vision to position JFF to continue to expand its influence as a go-to resource for state and federal policy focused on education and workforce development and amplify JFF’s advocacy impact.  

This individual will lead the policy unit staff and will be responsible for guiding, motivating and inspiring JFF’s policy work. This individual will provide counsel to the CEO and the Executive team on policy and legislative issues and serve as a key member of the senior management team, helping to establish strategic priorities, create the conditions to successfully achieve goals, strategies, and mission, and cultivate a healthy organizational culture. While the Head of Policy will bring a diversity of professional experiences in a range of organizational contexts, the ideal candidate will demonstrate a passion for JFF’s mission and have experience working in or on behalf of mission-driven organizations.  

WHAT YOU’LL DO  

Policy Strategy:   

  • Lead strategy for JFF’s state, national, and federal policy work, positioning, and external engagement across education, workforce, economic development, and poverty alleviation issues. 
  • Spearhead and shepherd strategy for increasing JFF’s policy impact and influence, using evidence drawn from practice on the ground to make informed decisions about policy options and campaigns. 
  • Identify local and national policy priorities that will influence social changes across the learn and work ecosystem necessary for equitable advancement and will inform communications and strategic relationships. 

Unit Leadership:   

  • Lead a growing team of 11 federal and state policy experts and staff with a wide range of levels of experience and areas of policy expertise, including managing direct reports. 
  • Coach and develop a seasoned policy team, promoting a strong culture of high performance, accountability, continuous improvement and collaboration. 
  • Manage a $2.5 million annual budget for JFF’s policy unit, ensuring fiscal sustainability and forecasting for growth, as well as supporting management of individual grant budgets. 

Business Development:   

  • Lead business/fund development for the policy unit. 
  • Collaborate deeply with program teams across JFF to incorporate policy into programmatic initiatives and surface learning and findings from program work to inform policy development and advocacy 
  • Actively collaborate with development team members on donor cultivation conversations, managing funder relationships, funding proposal design, budget approval, and impact/progress reporting on funded advocacy projects. 

Organizational Strategy:   

  • Contribute as a member of JFF’s Program Leadership Team to organizational decision-making regarding strategic planning, budgeting, fundraising, and organizational vision. 
  • Be a strategic and highly collaborative thought partner for and problem solver with the senior leadership team. 
  • Direct and implement a process to identify organization-wide policy agendas for the short, medium, and long-term. 

External Engagement:   

  • Serve as a primary spokesperson and communicator of JFF’s policy priorities in the field and with national media, as well as with national and state policymakers in the legislative and executive branches. 
  • Build and maintain external field relationships, including with leaders of national peer organizations, community college presidents, state agency heads, and workforce leaders.  
  • Cultivate a wide and diverse range of partners/influencers to advance policy agendas in the short, medium, and long-term. 
  • Raise the visibility of JFF’s brand among key policymakers and influencers; uphold, enhance and expand JFF’s reputation and influence as a substantial contributor to and go-to resource for mission-critical policy at the federal, state and local levels. 
  • Collaborate with Marketing and Communications to raise the visibility of JFF’s policy leadership across key channels 

WHO YOU ARE 

  • You have 10+ years of work experience on state, federal, and/or national policy, including experience working within the federal administration or Congress. 
  • You bring deep policy expertise across some combination of education, workforce, economic development, and poverty alleviation. 
  • You bring a proven track record of success in working with nonpartisan organizations and amplifying the advocacy work of your organization. 
  • You are well networked on the Hill and/or Executive Branch, and can partner and collaborate effectively with peers, policy and advocacy leaders to provide thought leadership, build consensus, and develop and implement a policy agenda with a focus on education and workforce systems. 
  • You have demonstrated experience interacting with a broad array of constituents, managing multiple priorities and divergent viewpoints, as well as driving multilayered conversations to consensus to make decisions in the face of competing priorities. 
  • You bring experience in influencing others using strategic communication tactics, data, and other forms of evidence. 
  • You bring strong strategic and analytical skills, drawing on a diverse background and ability to think at the systems level, including understanding how to drive systematic change at the intersection of policy and practice, and across K-12, higher education, and workforce development issues. 
  • You have superior communication skills with the ability to synthesize research, evidence, and input from practitioners and policymakers at the local, regional, and state levels to inform critical national policy debates, as well as clearly articulate JFF’s mission and vision to diverse key constituents. 
  • You are mission-driven and can thrive working in a growth-oriented and entrepreneurial environment.  
  • You model inclusive leadership, working effectively with colleagues from a diverse range of backgrounds, and building and stewarding an organizational culture that champions diversity, equity, and inclusion, and an ability to apply JFF’s core values to all areas of your work. 
  • You bring substantial experience managing direct reports and teams effectively, providing mentorship, direct feedback, thought partnership, coaching and performance management to support their success and employee development, particularly during times of growth and change. 
  • You build positive, effective, collaborative cultures and teams wherever you work 
  • You are a curious and adaptive learner, with a willingness to take in new information, perspectives and data to inform your work  
  • You demonstrate a growth mindset with the ability to create and maintain standards of high performance and accountability, and foster innovation, continuous learning, and improvement. 
  • You are able and willing to work out of our DC office, with some work-related travel as needed.  

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at JFF: 

JFF is committed to sustaining a diverse community with a work environment that is welcoming, respectful, and encouraging to all. JFF fosters a culture of inclusion that celebrates and cultivates diversity along multiple dimensions, including race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, national origin, socioeconomic status, religion, ability, culture, and experience.   

COMPENSATION 

JFF offers a competitive salary and benefits package, commensurate with experience and skills.  

TO APPLY 

JFF is partnering with Korn Ferry to manage this search. As part of your application, please include your resume and a thoughtful cover letter, addressed to the Korn Ferry team, outlining how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of the position. In addition to applying directly to this posting on JFF's job board, please also email your materials to the Korn Ferry team (Divina.Gamble@KornFerry.com, Cristina.Fisher@KornFerry.com, and Traci.Robinson@KornFerry.com) for consideration. Any questions should also be sent to Divina, Cristina, and Traci.

Positions at JFF are not eligible for employer-visa sponsorship or open to F-1 student visa holders. 

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