Careers

Current Openings

  • Legislative and Public Policy Associate

    Posted 5/26/2022

    Founded in 1867 as the George Peabody Education Fund, the Southern Education Foundation’s (SEF) mission is to advance equity and excellence in education for all students in the South, particularly for students of color and students from low-income families. SEF uses advocacy, leadership development, research, and strategic partnerships with like-minded organizations to improve outcomes in early childhood through early adulthood. SEF believes education is the vehicle by which all students get fair chances to develop their talents and contribute to the common good.

    SEF is expanding its Government Affairs and Advocacy team to help advance education equity policies across our 17 southern state region. The strategy will include advancing research-based public policies that support public education, wraparound services, teacher modernization, early childhood education, and other research-based school improvement strategies.

    To support this approach and the organization’s public policy agenda, SEF seeks a Legislative and Public Policy Associate with a strong advocacy, data analysis, research, and policy background and a demonstrated commitment to equity and passion to support students of color and students from low-income families. In addition to working closely with the Senior Director of Public Policy and Advocacy and other SEF team members s/he will work with a diverse array of external education experts in the policy, legal, and research fields. This person will also support practitioners and grassroots partners throughout the region.

    CORE RESPONSIBILITES

    • Analyze state legislation, regulations, and other education policy documents to understand their equity implications.
    • Conduct research on state education policy issues, specifically related to the privatization of public schools, teacher modernization, early childhood education, wraparound services, and school funding.
    • Complete public policy and research tasks as assigned by the Senior Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, such as sourcing, organizing, and analyzing qualitative and quantitative data aligned to SEF’s policy and advocacy goals.
    • Build relationships and work closely with state elected officials and staff at State Department of Educations, State Legislative Black Caucuses, School Board Members, and other policymaking bodies.
    • Communicate complex legislative and policy analysis findings to policymakers and collaborate with colleagues to advance SEF’s public policy agenda.
    • Translate research findings into clear understandable collateral (i.e., policy briefs, memos, presentations, fact sheets, reports, and other written materials) for state policymakers, as well as civil rights, social justice, and other supportive advocacy organizations.
    • Monitor and analyze state, local, and federal legislation, regulatory activity, and other education policy activities.
    • Represent SEF in coalitions and meetings, as appropriate, to support SEF’s state public policy and legislative agenda.
    • Performs other relevant duties as assigned and determined by the Senior Director and SEF’s Leadership Team.

    QUALIFICATIONS:

    • Exceptional written, oral, and presentation skills and an ability to clearly communicate complex ideas to the general public.
    • Three to five years of work experience (including internships) in policy analysis or research roles, ideally at an education policymaking entity or other policy and advocacy organizations.
    • Proficiency with data analysis and design software, including comprehensive knowledge of MS Excel and Canva.
    • Relevant experience conducting education research and analyzing information, preferably related to evidence-based reforms and equity-oriented policies.
    • Strong knowledge of state and federal education policies.
    • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively on multiple projects as a strong team player.
    • Ability to occasionally travel (when permitted under CDC and expert guidance).
    • Demonstrated commitment to education equity and excellence for every young person.
    • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred (e.g., master’s degree in public policy, education policy, or related fields).
    • Ability to exhibit grace under pressure and attention to details.

    The position is based in Atlanta, GA currently SEF is working remotely with limited office attendance in accordance with CDC and other health guidance and recommendations.

    Salary: $60,000 – $70,000. Excellent non-profit employee benefits.

    Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.

    Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume to hr@southerneducation.org with Legislative and Public Policy Associate in the subject line of the email, or mail them to the Southern Education Foundation, Attn: Senior Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, 101 Marietta St. NW, Ste 1650, Atlanta, GA, 30303.

    The Southern Education Foundation is an equal opportunity employer. Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

  • Director of Communications

    Posted 5/18/2022

    The Southern Education Foundation (SEF), located in Atlanta, GA, seeks outstanding candidates to fill a Communications Director position. This position will develop and drive SEF’s communications, public relations, branding and messaging. This is an opportunity to play a key role in growing an organization with an exciting and dynamic work environment. We are looking for a leader who is a goal-oriented strategist, compelling storyteller, meticulous editor, and hardworking self-starter who knows how to build a following, engender trust, and create engagement using powerful messages, images, and relationships. The position will report to the President and CEO. Candidates interested in this position should have experience in public relations, media relations or communications and marketing, and genuine interest in improving educational opportunity across the P-20 continuum and working to ensure that education is the vehicle by which all students get fair chances to develop their talents and contribute to the common good.

    For more than 150 years SEF has made outsized contributions to improving education at all levels, from pre-kindergarten through higher education.  SEF works to improve equity, excellence, and opportunity in education nationally.  Research, policy analysis, advocacy, and programs are the primary means through which SEF pursues its mission.

    A bachelor’s degree is required, preferably in journalism, communications, public relations, or a related field.  Candidates should: be able to organize and prioritize workload to effectively complete multiple assignments; possess strong writing and editing skills; have experience writing media materials; have some experience interacting with members of the media; be familiar with key social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube; be familiar with WordPress and MailChimp; have the ability to interact with diverse external audiences; effectively communicate and embody the value, belief, purpose and mission of the organization; have experience working both independently and in cooperation with other staff members while displaying a positive, cooperative attitude; and exhibit sensitivity to and respect for differences in personal, professional and business relationships on behalf of the Foundation.

    TYPICAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

    1. Develop and execute traditional and new media communications and marketing strategies that support SEF’s three pillars of work: 1) research and policy; 2) government affairs; and 3) leadership development
    2. Oversee and develop SEF’s communications strategy and its implementation, including alignment between digital, media, and public relations strategies, organizational priorities, and topline goals
    3. Conceptualize, supervise, and contribute to the design and production of publications, collateral, op-eds, toolkits, and digital assets
    4. Develop and lead SEF’s public relations strategy (i.e., generate pitches, create press releases, cultivate media relationships, prep staff for media appearances, provide on-site event media support, respond to media inquiries and photo requests, etc.)
    5. Draft speeches, remarks, thought pieces, and other communication from the president and CEO
    6. Draft and edit articles, reports, blog posts and other content for newsletters and website
    7. Generate reporting for all communication aspects of the organization, including for media metric reporting, board reports, etc.
    8. Coordinate with communications consultants, as needed, including: social media manager, graphic designer, photographer, and web designer.
    9. Proactively adjust communications and strategy to real-time news and work with the SEF team to keep all communications relevant to the news cycle
    10. Oversee and coordinate a strong digital program to build influence and advance the message and thought leadership of the organization
    11. Develop SEF’s “voice” on its range of communication platforms
    12. Develop internal processes for ensuring organizational content quality and take responsibility for all final communications
    13. Source, create, or curate content for print and digital media assets
    14. Maintain and grow the organization’s media relationships
    15. Evaluate and evolve marketing and communications efforts on an ongoing basis

    MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE:

    • 10+ years of communications and/or press experience
    • Project management skills and experience, including developing and managing scopes of work and budgets
    • Bachelor’s degree
    • Tech and digital savvy, including proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite and Google Applications preferred
    • Proven track record developing and implementing results-oriented communication strategies for a variety of organizations, stakeholders, and audiences and building successful relationships with press
    • Outstanding written and oral communication skills; ability to distill and explain complex information to different audiences
    • Excellent attention to detail and accuracy, time management, ability to meet deadlines, and responsibility prioritization
    • Capacity to flourish in a fast-paced environment, enthusiasm for taking initiative and problem solving, and eagerness to preemptively meet the organization’s needs
    • Strong media relationships, experience getting stories placed or working on background
    • Knowledge of and passion for shaping the education justice conversation
    • Superb interpersonal skills, including the ability to build relationships with internal and external colleagues
    • A high level of professionalism, excellent judgment, and ability to exercise confidentiality
    • Sense of humor, exhibiting grace under pressure
    • Comfort with ambiguity
    • Ability to occasionally travel (when permitted under CDC and expert guidance)
    • Sensitivity to and respect for differences in personal, professional and business relationships on behalf of the Foundation
    • Demonstrated commitment to equity and excellence for every young person, but especially students of color and students from low-income families in the South

    This is an Atlanta based position currently SEF is working remotely with limited office attendance in accordance with CDC and other health guidance and recommendations.

    Salary: $110K – $120K.

    Excellent non-profit employee benefits.

    Interested candidates should submit: 1) a letter of interest; 2) a current resume; 3) three writing samples; 4) names and contact information of three references to (hr@southerneducation.org) with Communications Director in the subject line of the email.

    Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

    The Southern Education Foundation is an equal opportunity employer. Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

    download this position

  • Research and Policy Analyst

    Posted 6/14/2022

    The Southern Education Foundation (SEF), located in Atlanta, GA, seeks a full-time Research and Policy Analyst to join its research and policy team in advancing evidence-based education policies and communicating policy solutions in ways that inform federal, state, and local policy development. The Research and Policy Analyst will play a lead role in conducting and reviewing research and analyzing data to highlight trends and current inequities in education, elevate promising solutions, and create compelling narratives to advise policymakers, practitioners, and stakeholders on issues of policy and
    practice. They will report to the Director of Research and Policy, and will work collaboratively with the Director to promote and support an organizational culture that values research and learning in a way that is both actionable and useful for improving overall educational effectiveness and driving impact across the early childhood, K-12, and postsecondary policy and advocacy landscape. Candidates interested in this position should have working knowledge of the P20 continuum, and genuine interest in
    improving educational opportunity and working to ensure that education is the vehicle through which all students get fair and equitable chances to develop their talents and contribute to the common good.

    For more than 150 years, SEF has made outsized contributions to improving education at all levels, from pre-kindergarten through higher education. SEF works to improve equity, excellence, and opportunity in education nationally. Research, policy analysis, advocacy, and programs are the primary means through which SEF pursues its mission.

    Candidates should be able to organize and prioritize a workload to effectively complete multiple assignments and meet a range of deadlines; have exceptional written, oral, and electronic communication skills; have the ability to interact with diverse external audiences at multiple levels within the education
    system; effectively communicate and embody the value, belief, purpose, and equity-focused mission of the organization; have experience working both independently and in cooperation with other staff members while displaying a positive, cooperative attitude; and exhibit sensitivity to and respect for differences in personal, professional, and business relationships on behalf of SEF.

    SPECIFIC DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

    • Collect, identify, organize and analyze qualitative and quantitative data in support of SEF’s policy and advocacy goals
    • Support the development of policy recommendations and the analysis of policy, including the development of policy documents
    • Support and/or manage the creation of periodic research reports and syntheses
    • Distill complex policy and research findings into effective, understandable products (i.e., data tools, blogs, fact sheets, social media communications) for lay audiences
    • Collaborate with the Director of Research and Policy to assist in developing a work plan for research and policy initiatives that advance SEF’s mission to improve outcomes for all students in the South
    • Respond to federal and state legislative requests with current research and evidence-based recommendations
    • Under the direction of the Director Research and Policy, engage a range of researchers, institutions, and other key partners and stakeholders to build and maintain networks that support SEF priorities
    • Other duties as assigned

     

    QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE:

    • Possession of a master’s degree or higher in education, education policy, or related field, or a bachelor’s degree with relevant work experience;
    • Familiarity and experience with quantitative and qualitative research and experience conducting evaluation and/or policy analysis;
    • Excellent written and oral communication skills; ability to distill and explain complex information, data, and technical details to a variety of audiences and partners;
    • Preferred experience in statistical analysis and research packages and tools such as STATA, SPSS, NVivo, and R; expertise in Microsoft Office required;
    • Deep commitment to educational equity and high achievement for all students, particularly for students of color and students from low-income families;
    • Ability to identify equity and opportunity gaps in datasets and build clear arguments rooted in principles of equity;
    • Excellent interpersonal and relationship management skills, including strong social listening (in person and virtually) to understand sentiment, needs, and questions of staff, partners and stakeholders, and the ability to diplomatically communicate complex messages to a range of audiences;
    • Demonstrated knowledge of federal, state, and/or local policies and processes;
    • Demonstrated ability to work across multiple priorities and to connect multiple topics and issues in service of improving equity outcomes;
    • Demonstrated capacity for translating ideas into action;
    • Strong project management skills and strategic thinking; ability to facilitate the work of multiple teams and prioritize competing demands in a changing, highly collaborative environment;
    • Sense of humor, exhibiting grace under pressure;
    • Comfort with ambiguity;
    • Ability to travel

    If you think you might be a good fit for our team, we’d love to hear from you. Interested candidates should submit: 1) a letter of interest; 2) a current resume; 3) a writing sample; and 4) names and contact information of three references to (hr@southerneducation.org) with Research and Policy Analyst as the subject line of the email.

    This is an Atlanta based position currently SEF is working remotely with limited office attendance in accordance with CDC and other health guidance and recommendations.

    Salary: $60,000 – $70,000. Excellent non-profit employee benefits.

    Applications will be accepted until position is filled.

    The Southern Education Foundation is an equal opportunity employer. Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

    download this position

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