Strategy Officer for State Policy

Lumina Foundation
Published
February 6, 2024
Location
Washington, DC or Indianapolis (Preferred), Indiana
Category
Program  
Job Type

Description

Location: Indianapolis, Indiana (preferred) or Washington, DC with a willingness to consider other work locations within the contiguous US. All staff work at least three days per week in the office.

Salary Range: $87,200 - $100,000 (final offer commensurate with experience)

 

ABOUT LUMINA

Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. We envision a system that is easy to navigate, delivers fair results, and meets the nation’s talent needs through a broad range of credentials. Our goal is to prepare people for informed citizenship and success in a global economy.

Lumina is working with partners to design a learning system that gives every person—regardless of race and ethnicity, income, or other socioeconomic factors—the opportunities that only education and training after high school can provide. We work with governmental, nonprofit, and private-sector organizations to achieve our mission. Our work relies on strategic communication, empowering leaders who can bring about change, policy outreach to state and federal officials, investments in proven and promising practices, and targeted efforts to measure and evaluate progress.

Lumina is among the nation’s largest private foundations, with an endowment exceeding $1 billion and offices in Indianapolis, IN and Washington, D.C. Lumina has a passionate and committed staff who value candor, collaboration, and connection. Click here to learn more about our core values.

 

STRATEGY OFFICER FOR STATE POLICY ROLE OVERVIEW

The Strategy Officer for State Policy works to develop and implement Lumina’s strategy, approach, and portfolio of state policy grants and contracts designed to increase postsecondary credential attainment and student preparedness for today’s global economy. The Officer works within a collaborative and integrated Federal and State Policy portfolio.

The Officer will lead a strand of work providing management and guidance on a portfolio of state-level policy projects. Through this leadership, the Officer will work across all other areas of the Foundation to advance the goals of Lumina’s Strategic Plan and public policy agenda, using grantmaking, thought leadership, and other available tools and assets to assist states in making significant improvements in credential attainment, targeting efforts for historically marginalized student populations.

As the Foundation enters a year focused on strategic planning, the Officer will also support strategy development and implementation planning and will work collaboratively with the Vice President for Public Policy to support special projects, such as providing analysis on strategic policy questions, supporting integrated state and federal policy projects, or supporting other team-wide initiatives. Many of Lumina’s strategies have important policy dimensions, and the Officer will also support efforts to align and share policy insights across the Foundation.

 

CORE RESPONSIBILITIES

This position reports to the Strategy Director for State Policy and works in a collaborative and integrated manner with the policy team and across all other areas of the Foundation. The Officer will provide leadership in the following areas:

  • Commitment to Racial Equity: Advance Lumina’s commitment to ending systemic racism and barriers to learning beyond high school for Black, Latino and Native American individuals. Promote racial and ethnic diversity and inclusion in hiring, grantmaking, contracting, and decision-making and pursue fair and just outcomes for students through Lumina’s work. Communicate Lumina’s commitment to racial justice and equity with external partners in clear and thoughtful ways.
  • Strategy Conceptualization & Leadership: Draw from a thorough understanding of the overarching, multi-faceted state policy subject areas to help conceptualize, build out, and execute work designed to support states in gaining awareness, adoption, and implementation of Lumina’s state policy agenda. Support Strategy Directors of State and Federal Policy and the Vice President of Policy in developing opportunities to integrate and align state and federal policy work and to amplify the policy team’s efforts. Proactively collaborate with policy colleagues and across the Foundation to advance Lumina's policy agenda and maximize the impact of the Foundation’s resources.
  • Portfolio Design & Management: Cultivate new partnerships and leverage relationships with trusted colleagues to develop a portfolio of grants and contracts. Collaboratively develop metrics and targets to ensure grants and contracts are designed to produce results. Manage a portfolio of grants and contracts through the grantmaking lifecycle to maximize results. Stay aware of key issues and players in the field to assess how the portfolio can be enhanced.
  • Strategy Analysis & Synthesis: Analyze strategic policy questions, synthesizing information across a variety of sources including extracting key lessons from past or current work. Inform strategy and make recommendations about the design, development, and launch of new initiatives. Write persuasively and clearly to advise on Lumina’s approach related to state and federal policy issues.
  • Thought Leadership & Relationship Management: In collaboration with the Strategy Directors, Vice President for Public Policy, and other Foundation leaders, engage in field-level thought leadership opportunities such as contributing to Lumina’s blog, social media presence, speaking roles, and other engagements. Aid and support the planning of convenings to share and disseminate pertinent work and concepts.  Clearly communicate and advocate for Lumina’s policy agenda to internal and external audiences. Build and maintain respectful relationships across the field that reflect a thoughtful, humble, and collaborative approach grounded in an understanding of the power dynamics of the sector.

 

CORE QUALIFICATIONS

  • At least five (5) years of experience creating, advocating for, or implementing state-level higher education policy in the public, nonprofit, and/or philanthropic sectors.
  • A track record of promoting racial equity in postsecondary education and/or workforce development, with the ability to communicate and work across various audiences.
  • Experience with state legislative processes and some knowledge of federal legislative and regulatory processes.

Additional Desired Skills, Competencies, and Characteristics

  • Experience influencing, affecting, and implementing public policy change, including building diverse networks that support efforts to produce systemic change.
  • Demonstrable commitment to racial equity and justice, including the ability to articulate an understanding of systemic racism and possible solutions to eradicate barriers to equity and justice, especially through the lever of state policy.
  • Ability to synthesize and share policy and political insights and information in a clear, succinct, and nonpartisan manner.
  • Ability to make decisions independently and in collaboration with a team, sometimes with incomplete information.
  • Motivated by an outcomes-oriented, continuously evolving work environment in which planning and flexibility are necessary to the job.
  • Project management skills with demonstrated ability to achieve intended results by setting and executing workplans, following through on commitments, prioritizing work, and managing time and resources well.
  • Verbal communication skills that allow for accurate and effective exchanges with a broad set of audiences, including elected and appointed state and federal officials.
  • Experience with persuasive and concise written communications with the ability to review, revise, and synthesize a variety of information and materials.
  • Experience communicating policy concepts to a wide audience is a plus.
  • Ability to work collegially and diplomatically across an organization and audiences and to build and sustain collaborative relationships, including at state, federal, tribal, and university system levels. Experience working and relationships in Southern states and/or with tribal governments is a plus.
  • Exercise sound judgment in handling sensitive or confidential information.
  • Ability to use technology effectively.

Work Environment and Physical Demands

  • Work is performed in an office environment, mostly sedentary.
  • Extensive use of various forms of technology.
  • Travels 10-20%, including overnight stays.
  • At least three days per week in the office.
  • The preferred location for this position is Indianapolis, Indiana, but candidates based out of the Washington, DC office and other locations within the contiguous US will be considered.

 

SALARY & BENEFITS

The annual full-time salary range is $87,200 - $100,000 and is set commensurate with experience. Benefits include, but are not limited to Health Insurance (medical, dental, and vision), 401(k), Pension, Vacation and Sick Time, Paid Leave, 100% Employer Paid Group Life, and Long-term Disability.

 

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

This search is being supported by Callie Carroll of CLC Endeavors. Please send application materials to [email protected]. Applications should include a resume and cover letter that communicates your interest and qualifications for the role.

Priority will be given to applications submitted by March 11th though applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the position is filled.

Lumina Foundation provides equal employment opportunity for all, regardless of race or ethnicity, gender or gender identity, health conditions, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, veteran status, disability, genetic information, or other bases protected by local, state, or federal law. Lumina also prohibits retaliation and harassment of any individual based on these characteristics.