US Vacancies

- Program Director, Early Care and Education, DC, USA

Program Director, Early Care and Education
National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center)

Job Code:  
Location: USA – Washington, DC

Description –

The NGA Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) seeks an experienced professional to join the Education Division as a program director who will focus on state level policy issues related to early care and education (birth through age 8). The program director will focus on state policies and issues around improving early care and education; innovative delivery and funding models for early childhood programs; data and systems to track and improve student outcomes, effectiveness and efficiency; system building across education and workforce related programs to help improve school readiness for young children. The division is focused on helping governors develop and enact effective education policy and support its implementation. To do this, the education division provides information, research, policy analysis and technical assistance to governors and their staff in the areas of early childhood and K-12. The division also helps governors bridge the system divides among the early childhood, K-12 and workforce training systems.

The program director will supervise a team of up to five subject matter experts and work with the Division Director and other program directors to provide leadership for the division. The ideal candidate will have a strong understanding of the knowledge base and state education policy on issues related to improving early care and education and its connection to preparing students for success in K-12 and the workforce.


Conduct state policy analysis and provide high-ranking policymakers in state government with information about best practices, trends in state policymaking and current research. Provide ongoing, individualized and collective technical assistance to governors’ staff. Manage multiple projects simultaneously and sometimes independently, including budgets, consultants and sub-contracts with states and external partners. Establish and maintain relationships with individuals and groups externally and internally for the purpose of forming partnerships that benefit our constituents and their role in state policymaking. Organize, participate in and conduct workshops, conferences and seminars. Make presentations and facilitate panel discussions, state strategy sessions and other meetings. Write reports, articles, issue briefs and memos about state policy issues and best practices. Assist fundraising efforts by writing concept papers and proposals to create new scopes-of-work to enable the NGA Center to provide relevant and timely expertise and assistance to governors and their staff. Provide content for relevant NGA websites and electronic portals as needed. 


Substantive knowledge and understanding of state policy, and its implementation, as it relates to improving the quality and access of early care and early education;

Master’s degree and at least ten years of state-level education policy experience, including experience related to early care and education;

Experience working with high-level state policymakers in a variety of settings; Proven ability to communicate effectively in written and verbal forms, with special emphasis on the ability to communicate with policymaking audiences; Strong analytical skills and experience interpreting and applying research and best practices for policymakers in a timely and effective manner. Knowledge of early care and education issues related to funding and cost strongly preferred;

Proven ability to communicate effectively in written and verbal forms, especially with policymaking audiences;

Proven ability to effectively manage multiple projects simultaneously within deadlines including staff, budgets and partnerships;

Strong interpersonal skills necessary to effectively work with colleagues, partner organizations and a variety of state policymakers; Ability and willingness to assume additional responsibilities and work independently and collaboratively internally and externally;

Demonstrated experience with fundraising strongly preferred;

Competency in the use of relevant software packages (for example, Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and electronic communications; Commitment to NGA’s bipartisan mission and goals; and National Governors Association is committed to providing a productive and safe environment. To achieve that goal, we conduct background and reference check investigations for all final applicants being considered for employment.

Equal Opportunity Employment M/D/F/V

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Posted on 16 June 2017
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