New York

Vice President, Education Policy, Advocacy & Engagement, National Urban League

The Organization

The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment, equality, and social justice. Founded in 1910 and headquartered in New York City, the Urban League collaborates at the national and local levels with community leaders, policymakers, and corporate partners to elevate the standards of living for African Americans and other historically underserved groups.

With 90 affiliates serving 300 communities in 37 states and the District of Columbia, the Urban League spearheads the development of social programs and authoritative public policy research, and advocate for policies and services that close the equality gap. At the community level, the National Urban League and its affiliates provide direct services that improve the lives of more than two million people annually,

Our Mission

To help African-Americans and others in underserved communities achieve their highest true social parity, economic self- reliance, power, and civil rights. The League promotes economic empowerment through education and job training, housing and community development, workforce development, entrepreneurship, health, and quality of life.

Position Overview


The National Urban League (NUL) is seeking a Vice President, Education Policy, Advocacy & Engagement. The Vice President is responsible for providing executive level administrative oversight to a number of policy, programmatic, advocacy, engagement and operational processes, including implementation & deliverables, thought leadership, policy analysis, partner relations and other activities required to accomplish Division and Program Department goals and objectives.

Essential Functions:

  • Leads the Policy, Advocacy and Engagement portfolio, including the Equity and Excellence Project (EEP), the Readiness Projects and related intersectional initiatives across local, state and national policy and priorities.
  • Build equity focused and culturally relevant and resonant messages, policies and strategies that advance the National Urban League’s vision and mission.
  • Manage a multi-million dollar portfolio and related individual grant budgets.
  • Collaborate with SVP, affiliate CEOs, Washington Bureau staff and national partners in establishing and updating policy, advocacy and engagement logic models, strategies, approaches and the application of the underlying NUL theory of change.
  • Effectively function as a public-facing executive thought leader and advocacy voice on educational policy and engagement across multiple constituency groups (national, state and local partners, educators, education reform and advocacy partners, community members, parents, youth) and in an intersectional manner.
  • In collaboration with executive and senior staff, design quantitative and qualitative evaluation metrics and data collection methods for the policy, advocacy and engagement portfolio.
  • Work to tie the work of policy staff and program staff together by using insights gained from data analysis, both from internal sources and from publicly available external sources, in order to improve NUL thought leadership, advocacy, messaging and engagement.
  • Lead staff and consultants (where applicable) in using data and evaluation results to develop recommendations for new policies, partnerships and strategies.
  • Provide executive-level project management, research and analytical expertise on special projects and intersectional work.
  • Engage strategic partners in research institutions, across the philanthropic community, and within government in order to support NUL’s policy, advocacy and engagement agenda and to spread our vision of education equity and excellence.
  • Assist Programs Department and staff across our national offices in identifying best practices and disseminating lessons learned within and outside the organization in policy, advocacy and engagement by building coherence across the Department’s strategies, platforms, programs and initiatives.
  • Communicate and prepare all interim, summary and final reports and updates across the policy, advocacy and engagement grant portfolio.
  • Work effectively with Graphic Design, Print and Communications internal and external professionals on the development of portfolio related publications, materials, tools and resources. Similarly work with stakeholders to translate and make more accessible, all NUL education reform and innovation tools, communication and resources for dissemination to NUL affiliate movement, partners, NUL target audiences and the public at large. Work to increase the capacity of affiliate CEOs, affiliate Education leads and NUL staff to more fully utilize virtual platforms and strategies, social media, media training and rapid-response approaches.
  • Conceptualize, structure and lead themed convenings, both in person and virtual, with organizational partners, advocates, constituencies, and researchers on issues of education, equity, opportunity, and access for urban and other historically underserved populations.
  • Provide technical assistance to the National Urban League, affiliate Presidents and CEOs, affiliate staff, volunteers and national partners on the education and youth development opportunities of African Americans, urban students and other historically underserved and vulnerable youth.
  • Work closely and effectively with the NUL Washington Bureau to prepare content, op-eds and testimony on issues of education and youth development related legislation, policy formation, advocacy efforts, partner relations, policy analysis and implementation.
  • Develop explicit connections between the Education, Youth Development, Health and Workforce Development policy and advocacy portfolios at the national and affiliate levels.


  • Minimum of Master’s degree in a relevant field, a Juris Doctor (JD) or a combination of a Bachelor’s degree and equivalent experience


  • Minimum of 12-15 years’ relevant experience as a senior or executive leader.
  • Professional and practical background in education policy, administration, pedagogy, research, practice and advocacy, with a particular emphasis on issues of equity.
  • Experience with fostering and supporting parent, youth and stakeholder agency and voice.
  • Demonstrated successful experience developing and implementing complex multi-year projects and initiatives.
  • Deep professional experience with developing and refining policy, advocacy and engagement theories of change; particular expertise in one or more education and youth development areas, and areas of equity and excellence at scale.
  • Great comfort with advancing and participating in public discussions of complex and systemic issues such as those involving race, ethnicity, ability, language, sexual identity and socioeconomic status and similar issues of identity, demographics and history.
  • Demonstrated experience in strategic program and initiative design, management, and implementation.
  • Familiarity with Whole Child approaches, social and emotional learning, intersections with health & wellness equity and disparities, trauma-informed care, positive and asset-based youth development, cultural competence and relationship centered educational design/policy.
  • Demonstrated experience in successfully developing, leading and supporting multi-sector partnerships and initiatives– with a focus on equity, excellence, expanded access and opportunity across the full range of P-16 education settings.
  • Demonstrable skill in maintaining effective advocacy and policy partner relationships and in coalition building.
  • Experience with, and knowledge of, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and the education of first-generation college students across multiple settings.

Skills & Knowledge:

  • Deep content knowledge and expertise around education and youth development.
  • Comfort with research, policy and data analysis.
  • Expertise in the pursuit of civil rights, equity, equality and justice.
  • Successful grant writing and grant management experience.
  • Experience in education administration, leadership, policy, advocacy, philanthropy or research, inclusive of experience outside of schools and districts.
  • Excellent budget management skills, including working effectively with CFOs and senior Finance executives to monitor spending, forecast budgets and make modifications as needed.
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills including the ability to translate sophisticated and complex concepts into plain language so that they can be readily understood by both expert, community, youth and general audiences.
  • Collaborative style, detailed–oriented and should enjoy working on multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Excellent organizational skills, ability to be flexible and prioritize work under competing deadlines.
  • Effective communicator and manager of people and resources.
  • Experience with the design and implementation of demonstration project, pilot and rapid response initiatives and efforts.
  • Strong analytical skills and graphic communication skills.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, Mac and Google equivalents.
  • Nonprofit management and grant making experience.
  • Project management experience.
  • Fundraising & Partner Relationship Building.
  • Asset-based Youth Leadership Development.
  • Volunteer recruitment, supervision and engagement for discreet, high-impact projects.
  • Vendor & Consultant Management.
  • Staff Management and Development.
  • Creative, entrepreneurial innovative thinker.

How To Apply

To apply click link to submit resume, cover letter and a writting sample  (3-5 pages) focused on policy and advocacy:

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