Director of State and Federal Policy

NCTR is seeking a Director of State and Federal Policy to lead the development and implementation of its state and federal policy strategy. The Director of State and Federal Policy will work closely with NCTR’s leadership to maximize our position in the field and leverage the power of our Network to move our agenda around the need for high-quality teacher residencies that prioritize removing barriers to entry for teachers of color.  The Director of State and Federal Policy will represent NCTR in federal policy and national coalitions and work to organize, when appropriate, partner organizations for the purpose of positioning NCTR, the Network, and the residency movement strategically among state and federal policymakers and influencers. 

Primary Responsibilities

Federal Policy 

  • Lead the development and implementation of policy priorities and strategy. 
  • Engage with the U.S. Department of Education, the Administration, and Congress to inform and advance policies, guidance, and legislation that is informed by NCTR Network partners and aligned with our mission and vision for teacher residencies. 
  • Represent  NCTR in federal policy coalitions and collaborate with other organizations with shared interests and goals.
  • Maintain key relationships with partner organizations. 
  • Monitor national legislative action and conduct outreach with national education policymakers and stakeholders, including attending Congressional hearings and meetings on Capitol Hill and accompanying NCTR leadership and NCTR Network partners to meetings as appropriate.
  • Work with the NCTR Network team to provide support to NCTR Network partners to build advocacy skills and position them to develop and cultivate relationships with members of Congress, the Administration, and other policymakers. 
  • Cultivate productive relationships with key policymakers in Washington, DC in service to both NCTR and our Network partners. 

State Policy 

  • Provide technical assistance to state education agency leadership and other state policymakers working to develop and implement state policy agendas to create and scale high-quality teacher residencies. 
  • Monitor and analyze state and local education policy efforts and identify greater opportunities for alignment and impact for NCTR. 
  • Lead organizational learning on policy issues.
  • Conduct direct advocacy on behalf of NCTR and partner residencies. 
  • Track and support the implementation of federal policy initiatives and investments at the state level.
  • Identify opportunities NCTR and Network partner voice to inform the creation and implementation of state policy.
  • Conduct and support Network partners to advocate for supportive state policy. 

Management & Systems-Building

  • Work with NCTR’s Research and Evaluation team to conduct and commission research to bolster NCTR’s policy agenda. 
  • Further develop and monitor policy tracking systems for state policy action on teacher residencies, teacher residents, and licensure policies related to both.

Communications & Fundraising

  • Partner with the Chief External Relations Officer and Communications Manager to produce policy communications, such as Dear Colleague and coalition letters, policy briefs, and op-eds.
  • Provide fundraising support on proposal development related to state and federal policy efforts, including attending relevant funder meetings, collaborating in proposal-writing and the development of funder-related communications (concept papers and reports).
  • Partner with the Associate Director of Marketing and Communications to implement aspects of the organizational communications strategic plan that elevate the organization’s state and federal policy work.
  • Develop and disseminate materials regarding legislative developments to NCTR leadership, Network partners, and NCTR staff. 


  • Commitment to NCTR’s mission as well as a professional and personal commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. 
  • Bachelor’s degree in political science, public policy, politics and government or related field required and master’s degree in a related field preferred.
  • At least 8 years of federal and/or state policy experience or relevant work experience in a policy-related field, such as education and/or social justice.
  • Experience in a leadership role representing an organization on issues of importance to marginalized populations, preferably teachers of color.
  • Extensive knowledge of legislative and administrative processes at both the federal and state levels. 
  • Excellent advocacy, consensus building, coalition building skills with diverse groups and interests. 
  • A passionate commitment to advancing equity and improving public education, with a specific commitment to broadening pathways to the profession for  teachers of color. 
  • Excellent relationship-building and interpersonal skills, and ability to collaborate effectively among regional and national team members, policy makers, and coalition partners, both in-person and in a virtual environment.
  • Strong project management and time management skills.
  • Experience working in a virtual environment is a plus.
  • Exceptional communication skills, both written and oral; experience as a public spokesperson and advocate.
  • A proven ability to analyze and communicate legislative and regulatory language and other complex issues to a variety of audiences.
  • A proven ability to become a “quick study” on a variety of issues. 
  • A track record of being able to use data to inform decision-making with a focus on ensuring an organization is a good steward of funding allocated to support policy and advocacy.  
  • Experience in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment with a strong focus on data-driven decision making.
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities simultaneously and adjust to changing demands. 


NCTR has developed a performance management system based on evidence that individuals’ success requires managing self, working together, and driving results. These tenets are centered around our core values and comprise the following competencies:

  • FLEXIBILITY – Adapts to change, performs amid uncertainty, pivots quickly when necessary
  • GROWTH MINDSET – Possesses self-awareness, is eager to do what is necessary to develop talents, and is not afraid to ask for help
  • COMMUNICATION – Communicates effectively, efficiently, and respectfully in all modes
  • CULTURAL COMPETENCE – Contributes to healthy and productive interactions within and among diverse groups by being self-aware, empathetic, nonjudgmental, patient and open to different perspectives
  • PEOPLE DEVELOPMENT – Helps colleagues in all organizational directions to grow and improve by building trust and providing differentiated support and feedback
  • STRATEGIC THINKING – Solves problems and makes recommendations and decisions using analytical and creative thinking, non-anecdotal evidence, and a focus on impact
  •  JUDGMENT – Contributes to the making of timely, mission-aligned, evidence-based decisions that involve the appropriate stakeholders
  •  EXECUTION – Efficiently delivers high quality work individually and, as a team member, increases productivity and performance of the team

 Benefits and Salary

The salary range for this position is $115,000-$125,000. Final salary offer will be based on experience. NCTR offers employees a  comprehensive benefits package. You can find details about our benefits here.

Location and Travel:

This is a remote position; however, applicants should live in, or within easy driving distance, of Washington, D.C. When it is safe to do so, travel to Washington, DC for meetings will be required. Additionally, travel to provide technical assistance to state policymakers will also be required, as will travel a few times a year to central locations for NCTR staff meetings. We estimate the annual amount of travel for this position to be approximately 35%. 

How to Apply:

Please apply here

NCTR provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability or genetics. As an equal opportunity employer, we strongly encourage applications from candidates of all ethnicities, ages, religions, veteran statuses, sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions.