Vice President of Policy Research

Los Angeles, California
Apr 01, 2019
Executive Administration Jobs
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The Organization:
The Campaign for College Opportunity is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) broad-based, bipartisan coalition, including business, education and civil rights leaders, that is dedicated to ensuring the next generation of Californians has the opportunity to go to college and succeed. Our mission is focused on substantially increasing the number of students attending two- and four-year colleges in the state and who complete their college education. The Campaign maintains offices in Los Angeles Sacramento, and Washington DC.

The Vice President of Policy Research will be based in the Los Angeles office and will report directly to the President of the Campaign and serve on the organization’s executive management team with the President, Executive Vice President and Senior Vice President. She or he will be responsible for leading our research strategy and agenda, while helping to generate research and analysis that informs the public discourse on higher education and advances policy reforms that support our mission.

The Position:
The Vice President of Policy Research will lead the Campaign’s research agenda, manage external research contracts, oversee the development of critical research and policy reports and represent the Campaign in leading a research and data analysis agenda designed to influence and improve access and success in public higher education for all California students.

This position calls for a strategic and creative leader with a solid understanding of higher education data analysis, deep knowledge of higher education and the institutional/structural barriers that keep students from achieving success. The successful candidate must understand the intersection between public policy, research, and practice in improving outcomes for students, especially low-income and underrepresented Black and Latinx students.

The Vice President of Policy Research must be self-motivated, passionate about the role of research to inform and improve policy and practice in higher education, able to work comfortably in a very fast-paced environment while managing multiple projects at once, and have a personal style that is professional, polished, and engenders trust and fosters a collegial environment. The Vice President of Policy Research must also be comfortable with the conflict that may arise when pursuing groundbreaking data that may expose systemic inequities.

The Vice President of Policy Research will lead and work towards executing and expanding the Campaign’s research agenda. The Vice President will supervise the Director of Policy Research, the Sr. Research and Policy Analyst, part time fellows and interns or additional hires supporting the Campaign’s research agenda. The Vice President of Policy Research will also lead and manage existing research projects with outside contractors, analyze state policy and budget impacts, and take a leadership role in identifying new opportunities to keep the Campaign for College Opportunity on the cutting edge of higher education policy driven research.

The position involves interaction with state and national education experts and advocates, as well as state and federal executive and legislative branch policy staff. The successful candidate will be able to build and maintain relationships with key institutional research offices and practitioners.

Experience leading a policy research portfolio in an advocacy capacity, a demonstrated track record of marrying research with an actionable policy agenda, excellent research and data analysis skills, as well as a demonstrated ability to synthesize policy and research information for different audiences is key to success in this position. A strong interest in higher education policy is required and a commitment to always putting student success and racial equity in higher education first.

 The Campaign for College Opportunity’s Research Portfolio currently includes:

1. The State of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in Higher Education in California;
2. The State of American Indian/Alaska Natives in Higher Education in California;
3. Follow up studies on diversity in higher education among Faculty, Academic Senates and College leaders post our Left Our report;
4. A series of best practices that advance college opportunity and student success, with special attention to practices at California Community Colleges;
5. A California Higher Education Performance Report Card with supplemental regional analysis;
6. Research updates on transfer in California higher education;
7. Analysis on remedial education and innovation efforts;
8. Other research analysis as needed to advance our policy agenda including shaping the evaluation rubrics necessary to assess our impact.

• Develop a strategic plan and goals for the Campaign’s research agenda. Serve as an advisor for the Campaign team and Board of Directors in meeting the goals outlined in the Campaign’s strategic plan;
• Write and edit research briefs, reports, and position papers;
• Gather and catalogue information on college access, completion, financial aid, and equity gaps including overseeing the creation and maintenance of an internal almanac of data on college preparation, access, success, and equity in California higher education;
• Assess opportunity to create and support an external facing higher education data hub;
• Monitor, analyze and catalogue issues and policy proposals pertaining to college access, success, equity and affordability, including both state and federal policies;
• Work with the Campaign team to develop policy recommendations, identify opportunities and strategies, and advocate for their adoption;
• Regularly conduct system, campus-level or regional higher education policy implementation data analysis for the policy, public affairs, fundraising and communications team. This may include requests from the press.
• Suggest and develop appropriate benchmarks and metrics for the evaluation of Campaign sponsored policy and determine the appropriate research medium (report, brief, etc.) for dissemination.
• Supervise and coordinate activities of the Director of Policy Research and the Sr. Research and Policy Analyst including setting goals, planning research projects, designing research and data analysis protocols, carrying out research, and policy analysis;
• Work closely with our graphics designer and communications team to produce strong visuals including report design and infographics to effectively share report findings;
• Manage all research contracts with outside vendors ensuring adherence to scope of work and timelines;
• Manage, and engage the Campaign’s Policy Research Advisory Board ensuring appropriate peer review and feedback;
• Launch a strong paid research fellowship program for graduate students and leading academics to inform and contribute to the Campaign’s research agenda while gaining practical experience in conducting policy research;
• Develop and maintain relationships with external research organizations, universities, governmental entities focused on research and policy analysis in higher education;
• Maintain good funder relations through effective project management and actively seek and obtain new sources of funding; Provide limited and focused assistance with grant proposals for new and existing Campaign for College Opportunity research and analysis projects;
• Represent the Campaign at major events, capitol briefings, research and practice conferences, and in-person meetings; Create a calendar of key research conferences where the Campaign can play a leading presenter role and direct Research team to submit proposals and ultimately, present.

• Ph.D., Ed.D. or M.A/M.S. in education research, education policy, or related fields (statistics, sociology, etc.);
• Minimum of eight years in leading research preferably in a policy capacity;
• Strong background in education research and policy analysis, including knowledge of research design and use of research in policymaking; demonstrated proficiency with statistical analysis software programming and database development;
• Strong working knowledge of the body of academic research on structural racism in higher education and how that perpetuates racial inequity in higher education outcomes today.
• Familiarity with institutional research protocols and practices within the UC, CSU and California Community Colleges.
• Demonstrated ability to clearly and accurately describe complex issues in ways that different audiences can understand;
• Strong management and leadership skills, with proven success managing teams to meet ambitious goals while also mentoring and developing staff;
• Impeccable attention to detail;
• Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written;
• Excellent project management skills and ability to manage multiple projects. Management experience preferred.

Annual salary will be commensurate with experience and qualifications in the range of $100,000 to $115,000. The Campaign offers generous medical, dental, vision, and retirement benefits. The Campaign provides three weeks paid vacation and annual professional development opportunities as approved by your Supervisor.

All candidates selected for an interview will be required to submit work samples, and a listing of research articles and publications to which the candidate authored or contributed.

The Campaign for College Opportunity is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from qualified persons of every background. All applicants should visit our website to learn more about the Campaign at before submitting a cover letter and resume to Stacey Holderbach, Development and Administrative Director.

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