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Senior Federal Policy and Advocacy Analyst/Advisor - Higher Ed

New America’s Education Policy Program seeks a senior federal policy and advocacy advisor for our higher education program with a strong interest and background in federal higher education policy and advocacy. 

This person will support the implementation of policy and advocacy strategies designed to advance the higher education program’s policy priorities and vision through legislative, regulatory, and sub-regulatory work with government agencies, lawmakers,and in partnership with other organizations. The advisor will evaluate education data, legislation, and programs, and design and implement research projects to identify and/or develop promising reform strategies that improve quality, transparency, accountability, and equity in higher education. The analyst will effectively communicate ideas to policymakers, educators, the media, and other key audiences, including through meeting with individual policymakers, building coalitions, writing compelling policy documents, and helping plan targeted and public events. 

New America is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy institute that invests in new thinkers and new ideas to address the next generation of challenges facing the United States. The Education Policy Program uses original research and policy analysis to solve the nation’s critical education problems, serving as a trusted source of objective analysis and innovative ideas for policymakers, educators, and the public at large. We engage in longer-term research and react to the policy issues of the day. The ideal candidate is intellectually curious, entrepreneurial, collaborative, and able to help form and promote new ideas in a dynamic and fast-moving federal higher education policy environment. 

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Support the implementation of policy and advocacy strategies designed to advance the higher education program’s policy priorities and vision through legislative, regulatory, and non-regulatory work with government agencies; and in partnership with other organizations. 
  • Develop strategic partnerships with key constituencies to elicit support for and maximize the impact of the higher education program’s research and other initiatives, including serving as a  liaison to federal policymakers, national groups, education organizations, media outlets, etc. 
  • Track and analyze federal higher education legislation and programs.
  • Assist with rapid-response activities including fact-checking and policy analysis of proposed legislative and regulatory efforts. 
  • Develop educational materials for and manage relationships with Congressional staff to promote the higher education program’s policy priorities.
  • Research, write, and represent the team on an array of federal higher education policy issues, particularly those related to financial aid, student supports, student debt, accountability, quality assurance, underserved and marginalized communities, and equity.
  • Analyze data from NCES sample surveys, IPEDS, College Scorecard, and other sources to inform analysis of proposed policy, to help shape long-term projects, and to develop new policy proposals and recommendations. 
  • Author policy briefs, reports, and other documents for the general public, policymakers, the media, and other stakeholders.
  • Contribute content to New America’s education blog and digital publications.
  • Be a public representative for New America in external events, including panels, conferences, and symposia.
  • Develop, pitch, and execute original project ideas. Some of this work will be individual and some will be collaborative with other members of the team and/or external partners.

Qualifications and Requirements:

  • At least five years of federal higher education policy experience 
  • Knowledge of higher education education policy issues, such as those related to consumer protection, post-traditional students, financial aid, student loans, and/or quality assurance.
  • A desire to engage in work focused on equity and racial justice.
  • A strong understanding of the policy players and processes involved in federal higher education policy, including both the Congressional and the Executive branches.
  • A strong understanding of and ability to bring together key policy and higher education stakeholders to help promote an equity and quality focused higher education agenda. 
  • Experience conducting research and analyzing quantitative and qualitative information for policy development.
  • Strong writing and editing skills—candidates should be able to communicate ideas clearly and concisely for a variety of audiences.
  • Excellent organizational skills and keen attention to detail—candidates should have the ability to prioritize work and manage time on multiple projects and tasks to meet deadlines in a fast-moving and fluid policy environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently and collaboratively—candidates should be self-motivated, but also enthusiastic team players open to feedback and collaboration.
  • Curiosity, eagerness, and ability to develop new knowledge and skills.
  • Inclined to think independently and challenge conventional wisdom in education policy.
  • Some travel required (once work travel is again more common)

Application Process:

Submit a resume, cover letter, and writing sample (up to 6 pages) by Friday, September 10 for priority consideration. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Salary commensurate with experience; excellent benefits.

No phone calls or emails, please.  

New America is an equal opportunity employer committed to hiring a diverse workforce at all levels of the organization thereby creating a culture that allows us to better serve our clientele, our employees and our communities. We value and encourage the contributions of our employees and strive to create an environment where everyone can reach their full potential and drive outstanding results. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, gender identity or expression, or any other basis protected by local, state, or federal law. This policy applies with regard to all aspects of one’s employment, including hiring, transfer, promotion, compensation, eligibility for benefits, and termination.


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