Sr. Program Manager, K12 Education

Who We Are:

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a 501(c)(4) organization, is the premier coalition of more than 240 organizations that promotes and protects civil and human rights in America. The Leadership Conference has coordinated national lobbying efforts on behalf of every major civil rights law since 1957. To learn more about The Leadership Conference, please visit

The Leadership Conference Education Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization, builds public will for federal policies that promote and protect civil and human rights in the US. Founded in 1969 as the education and research arm of The Leadership Conference, the Education Fund’s campaigns empower advocates to push for progressive change in the US. To learn more about the Education Fund, please visit

About the Role:

We seek a Sr. Program Manager, K12 Education to join our Campaigns and Programs Department. This individual will manage the K12 education area of the education equity program, including building the capacity of state partner advocacy in the areas of K12 education policy generally, supporting and advancing policies consistent with our Civil Rights Principles for Safe, Healthy, and Inclusive School Climates and Civil Rights Principles for Early Care and Education, and other education and civil rights policies.

The Sr. Program Manager, K12 Education will partner with national and state/local civil rights organizations to conceptualize policy proposals and policy remedies to achieve equity in K12 education, track education policy developments at the federal and state levels and recommend positions and government relations strategies to advance civil and human rights. Current areas of work include educational equity in the context of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) implementation, reducing exclusionary school discipline and eliminating racial disparities in school discipline, resource equity, early care and education, multilingual learner education, and sustaining and strengthening civil rights protections in the U.S. Department of Education.

This position will report to the Sr. Program Director, Education Equity and is part of the collective bargaining unit.

What you will do:

  • Collaborate with national and local staff of leading civil rights and education advocacy organizations to develop policy proposals and policy remedies to achieve educational equity and advance civil and human rights for children in early care and education and students in K12 education, including some travel to convenings, meetings, and conferences.
  • Lead the K12 education work of our vibrant, ambitious, passionate, and dedicated internal education team and collaborate with our communications, field, and government affairs staff to maximize our potential to advance educational equity.
  • Conduct and/or oversee research on policy issues and prepare reports, internal memos, briefings, and recommendations.
  • Speak and write fluently for a variety of audiences about the barriers to high-quality K12 education for students of color, Native students, students with disabilities, English learners, LGBTQ students, immigrants, girls, religious minorities, and those from low-income families, and needed changes to policies, practices, and decision-making that would help to remove those barriers and ensure all students’ success.
  • Communicate knowledge of policy information in written and oral form to diverse audiences including national and local advocates and policymakers, presenting to state partners on federal and state policy issues and engaging in state strategic conversations with the goal of empowering state partners to effectively advocate for educational equity, and building and maintaining relationships with national, state, and local partners.
  • Manage the development and execution of letters of support or opposition to key pieces of legislation and administrative policy decisions.
  • Build relationships with staff in the federal government (including the U.S. Department of Education and congressional offices).
  • Respond to policy questions from national and state partners regarding both federal policy and proposed state policy and other rapid response needs.
  • Complete special projects and/or other duties as needed, working on a wide variety of education issues.

What you will bring:

  • A minimum of 6 years of experience in education advocacy, policy, research, or law.
  • A Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in education and experience. An advanced degree in public policy, education, or a related field is a plus.
  • Strong project management and organization skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to carry through projects from conception to completion.
  • Ability to communicate complex policy ideas to diverse audiences, both in writing and public speaking.
  • Extensive knowledge of the legislative process and federal education policy (including, e.g., the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), school funding equity, or the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights).
  • Ability to connect policy issues to core civil rights priorities.
  • Flexibility and ability to effectively collaborate and problem-solve with team members.
  • Experience in schools or community organizing is highly valued, as is coalition-building experience.
  • A demonstrated commitment to civil and human rights for all persons in the United States, specifically, commitment to educational equity, is expected.

What We Offer:

The Leadership Conference offers its employees a comprehensive benefits package, including medical, dental, and vision coverage, and generous personal leave and vacation time. Staff can also take advantage of Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and a retirement savings account.

Salary Range – $97,187 – $118,413, dependent on years of related experience.

To apply, please visit our Career Center and submit your resume and cover letter. Cover letters are required and should be attached.

Office Re-opening Statement

Currently, staff has the option to work from the office or home while we determine our long-term policy on remote and hybrid work. Please note this position is not permanently remote and over time the person filling this role may be required to work on occasion or regularly from the Washington, DC-based office.

Our Commitment to an Inclusive Workplace

The Leadership Conference and The Education Fund are committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability.

Splash Statement