The Education Trust-Midwest (ETM), a nonprofit education policy, advocacy, and research organization located in metropolitan Detroit, seeks a full-time Director of Policy and Research to join our leadership team.
The Education Trust-Midwest promotes high academic achievement for all Michigan students at all levels—pre-kindergarten through college. The organization is a well-respected and influential research, policy, advocacy, and technical assistance organization that works alongside parents, educators, policymakers, and community and business leaders in transforming Michigan schools and colleges into institutions that serve all students well. Lessons learned in these efforts, together with unflinching data analyses, shape our Michigan-focused research and policy agenda. Our goal is to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement that consign far too many young people—especially those who are black, Latino, American Indian, or from low-income families—to lives on the margin of the American mainstream. Launched in the fall of 2010, ETM is the Midwest division of national The Education Trust, which is headquartered in Washington, D.C. For additional information on The Education Trust-Midwest, please visit www.edtrustmidwest.org.
The Director of Communications and Marketing is a skilled, creative, and effective communications leader who feels equally at home in the digital and non-digital worlds, cares deeply about educational equity, and can initiate and lead highly effective communications and marketing campaigns to both advance the organization’s policy agenda and tell the organization’s story. Collaborating across internal teams and with diverse external partners, this leader will be based in metropolitan Detroit and must be willing to travel as needed, particularly in Michigan.
Responsibilities of the role include, but are not limited to:
- Overall team management and effective collaboration: Successfully manage communication efforts across multiple platforms and leverage a variety of tools and formats to advance ETM’s agenda around educational excellence and equity for all students. Supervise consultants, contractors, and/or additional staff members as assigned, as well as work effectively and smoothly with other key leaders and staff at the Education Trust-Midwest and Education Trust, including with development, outreach, policy and research and other staff.
- Strategy development: Develop and execute consistent, compelling communications, marketing, outreach and advocacy strategies with the ability to converse with and tailor content to key audiences, including: media partners, thought leaders, business communities, school administrators and principals, classroom teachers, parents, and policymakers across Michigan. Envision, develop and execute plans for increasing support and engagement among key audiences, including through storytelling and digital and media partnerships. Collaborate with ETM leadership and teams to develop and execute seamless external relations and fundraising strategies, often with fast-paced and changing deadlines.
- Content development: Lead content development from strategy to execution. Produce press releases, official statements, opinion pieces, blog posts, and other marketing materials. Create and manage innovative advocacy campaigns, media outreach, and other related events. Support and develop grant proposals as needed.
- Digital communication: Manage the organization’s digital presence, including maintenance of the website and microsites, social channels, SEO, and social listening. Lead the distribution of content, news, and social media updates, monitoring analytics and usability to improve outcomes.
- Media relations: Serve as primary contact for media inquiries. Develop/maintain media connections and relationships. Secure local and statewide coverage.
- Subject matter expertise: Analyze, quickly distill, frame and communicate key issues of education policy and practice in ways that advance our policy agenda. Develop a deep understanding of key education topics and their connections to ETM’s reform agenda and the implications for students. Contribute to discussions of ETM policy stances on issues relevant to the coalition’s work.
Qualifications and Experience
We are looking for a combination of the following qualifications and experience:
- A minimum of five years of professional experience in communications with demonstrated ability to effectively write and craft narrative for a variety of audiences.
- Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field.
- Experience developing and executing communication strategy and engaging media contacts. Ability to effectively incorporate data and research into compelling messaging.
- Proven track record of success in overseeing and executing social and digital media in a professional setting. Ability to amplify our messaging and support a growing network of active supporters (parents, educators, civic leaders) to expand our coalition work.
- Familiarity with some/all of the following platforms/software applications: WordPress, Adobe InDesign and/or Adobe Photoshop, BSD Tools or another digital advocacy platform.
- Experience working as a strong team member across multiple disciplines and teams, both internally and externally.
- Experience managing projects and people. Demonstrated success in grassroots and/or grasstops engagement.
- Knowledge of Michigan education, legislative landscape and public policy. Advocacy experience is ideal.
- Able to work well under pressure and inspire confidence and energy internally and externally. Adaptable and flexible, excelling in a fast-paced, often-changing state policy environment.
- Demonstrated ability to work with people of diverse backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives. Proficiency in Spanish and/or Arabic is a plus, though not required.
- Ability to travel in state.
- Passion for improving the educational experiences and outcomes for low-income students and students of color, and an unwavering belief that these students could be much more successful if institutions better served them.
- Self-starter mentality and the ability to work independently.
- A demonstrated commitment to excellence, including under tight deadlines.
- Ability to prioritize competing demands in a changing, highly collaborative environment.
- Goal-oriented, project-oriented, and achievement-oriented.
- Flexibility with a strong sense of honor and integrity.
- A warm, personal style with a good sense of humor.
- The ability to motivate and inspire.
The Education Trust-Midwest offers a competitive salary and a comprehensive benefits package – including medical, dental, vision, disability, life insurance, flexible spending account options, a 403(b) plan with employer match, generous parental leave, vacation time, and paid holidays.
The Education Trust-Midwest, located in Royal Oak, Michigan, is a nonpartisan, data-driven education policy, research and advocacy organization focused on doing what is right for Michigan students. Working for the high academic achievement for all students, our goal is to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement for all students, particularly those who are Black, Latino or from low-income families.
The Education Trust-Midwest is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages diversity in all facets of the organization’s work.