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Deputy Director for Government Affairs

Education Reform Now Advocacy
Washington, DC
  • Expired: January 13, 2023. Applications are no longer accepted.

DFER is seeking a Deputy Director for our government affairs team. This work includes:
  • Identifying target audiences such as legislators, government officials, or other individuals with influence over decisions affecting our agenda;
  • Engaging and developing relationships with targeted legislators to help them understand issues and become effective advocates;
  • Attending events including committee hearings, conferences, elected meet and greets;
  • Planning and hosting events such as fundraisers or social gatherings where lawmakers can meet with advocates or other constituents;
  • Preparing reports that detail the status of bills or proposals, including lobbying activities and outcomes.

  • Advocate for, and influence, federal legislation and executive action regarding K-12 and Higher Education priorities.
    • Strategically build relationships and lobby Senate and House elected officials and their key staff, with a focus on Party leadership, and key committees;
    • Build relationships and lobby Department of Education and Administration staff to advance and protect policy priorities;
    • Proactively and strategically share and disseminate our policy work with the Hill, the Administration, and coalition partners;
    • Work closely with government affairs contacts at national education advocacy and Civil Rights organizations to advance and protect shared policy priorities;
    • Draft briefing memos and talking points to support advocacy efforts advancing ERN and ERNA's agenda.
  • Support National and State Chapter's Federal Needs
    • Support our national programmatic teams to advance their work by connecting them to targeted offices as necessary;
    • Work with state chapters and our Leaders of Color program, to advance relationships with their targeted federal electeds and leverage those relationships to advance our shared federal-state agenda;
    • Provide real-time updates to relevant national departments on intel from the Hill and administration.


Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) is a national political organization that supports elected Democrats and candidates for office who seek to expand policies and practices that work well for America's students and confront those that do not. We are education progressives who prioritize students and families, especially low-income students and students of color who should be better served by our country's public education system. The New York chapter launched in 2008 with the goal of supporting Democrat policymakers in the state who promote excellence and equity in public education by legislating with a student-centered approach.

DFER partner Education Reform Now Advocacy (ERNA) is an advocacy group that advances education reform measures through empowering community leaders to support our legislative and political advocacy work. ERNA keeps constant pressure on legislators to champion high-quality public education.

DFER partner Education Reform Now (ERN) is a nonpartisan think tank that promotes increased resources and innovative reforms in K-16 public education, particularly for students of color and students from low-income families.


1. Support for Progressive Education Leaders - In an approach that is markedly different from our peers and partners in the field, DFER engages directly with candidates and elected officials to empower them to advocate for education policies that focus foremost on serving students. Our partner organization, Education Reform Now, does work that involves policy research, analysis and education that helps policy makers at all levels understand complex education issues and make informed decisions.

2. Informing the Education Debate - Our coalition work reflects the breadth of our policy priorities. We work collaboratively with organizations and our community networks to create an education system that is held accountable to all kids and families.

3. Targeted Interventions and Rapid Response - DFER's reach from the most local district relationships to state and federal policymakers, enables us to respond quickly to the changing landscape and policy trends. Activities vary significantly from project to project and may include training, policy analysis, public engagement, electoral and issue advocacy, and policy guidance for elected officials and local advocates.


Democrats for Education Reform welcomes applications from all, and strongly encourages women, people of color, people with disabilities, immigrants, refugees & LGBTQ people to apply for this position. We are committed to maximizing the diversity of our organization and recruiting a team that reflects the diversity of our nation's public schools.



The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications and skills:
  • Legislative experience- A solid understanding of the Federal legislative process, and experience working within the system to achieve results;
  • Strong networking skills- A demonstrated ability to develop and maintain professional relationships with senior leaders, and ability to mobilize allies for shared goals;
  • Exceptional communication- Experience effectively communicating time sensitive information within a large team. Ability to communicate in an appropriate style to multiple audiences.
  • Commitment to diversity and inclusion- Ability to collaborate with people of diverse backgrounds and cultures and to nurture and embrace differing perspectives to make better decisions;
  • Focus on impact- Ability to prioritize results and achieve goals despite setbacks. Ability to proactively pursue creative solutions to challenges and to remain agile and flexible when a need for change arises.



The salary for this position is competitive and commensurate with experience. DFER is proud to offer excellent benefits: health, vision, and dental coverage; flexible spending plan; life insurance; short- and long-term disability insurance; 401K plan with a match plan; flexible spending/benefits plan; paid family leave; paid time off (vacation, sick time, and all National holidays).

Education Reform Now Advocacy


Washington, DC
20599 USA