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Washington, District of Columbia

Field of Interest: Social change

Job Description:

Organization Description: DC Appleseed is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to solving public policy problems facing the District of Columbia. DC Appleseed works with broad coalitions of community leaders, government officials, attorneys, expert consultants, and others, to analyze and develop measured, well-researched practical solutions to complex, multi-faceted problems facing our community. Our mission is to improve the lives of all who live and work in the D.C. area and to address racial, economic, educational, and social inequities.

Depending on the problem being addressed, DC Appleseed’s projects involve conducting research, collaborating with diverse groups, issuing reports, and advocating to governmental decision-makers, as well as bringing or supporting litigation. DC Appleseed has five full- and one part-time staff, and a 32-member board. Applicants are encouraged to visit to read more about DC Appleseed’s current projects.

 Position Description

The Project Director is responsible for maintaining a policy portfolio that includes education and workforce development, as well as health-related projects. This involves working closely with project teams composed of staff, board members, pro bono experts, and organizational allies to establish strategies, develop advocacy materials, manage communications among team members and public officials, and represent DC Appleseed at coalition and other meetings.  The Project Director is expected to serve as a leader among equals and work diplomatically and effectively across a range of professional and educational levels and experiences. This position reports to the Executive Director.

 In addition to managing policy research and advocacy activities in these areas, this position is expected to support fundraising activities, especially those related to this policy portfolio, and contribute to the effective operations of the organization.


This position will manage a portfolio of ongoing policy projects. While our project staff are expected to be flexible and skill up as needed, the organization would currently benefit from expertise in the following areas: early childhood education, public workforce development systems and job quality improvement strategies, and special education.  Other project opportunities may become available.

 Duties include:

  • Engaging and managing project teams comprised of pro bono lawyers and other professionals, and developing workplans that promote leadership of pro bono partners;
  • Working with Board members, local officials, and stakeholders to identify and advance project goals;
  • Leading advocacy for DC Appleseed positions by: conducting research and interviews; writing, revising, and editing project reports and public testimony; meeting with government officials and private stakeholders; devising and implementing advocacy campaigns; shepherding legislative proposals from conception to final passage;
  • Attending meetings of local coalitions and staying abreast of issue-area developments;
  • Monitoring relevant budget and legislative activity;
  • Planning meetings and small events when necessary to advance project goals;
  • Supporting media outreach on specific projects, including producing website and social media content;
  • Participating in fundraising activities, including: editing proposals and reports, meeting with donors as requested, bringing funding opportunities to the attention of development staff;
  • Preparing reports on the progress of projects for communication with the Board;
  • Participating in the development and management of new projects, which can involve: researching key local issues, developing substantive expertise in new policy areas,

informing the scope of the project, working with the Executive Director and/or Board members to obtain Board approval, and establishing a project team;

  • Working with finance staff to monitor project budgets and expenditures; 
  • Playing a supporting role in other DC Appleseed projects and activities as requested.


  • Bachelor degree;
  • 5 years’ experience in policy research, development, and/or advocacy;
  • Excellent research skills, including qualitative and quantitative research experience and understanding of methodologies;
  • Demonstrated excellent writing and oral communication skills;
  • Experience writing for different media and audiences;
  • Experience co-writing and editing;
  • Knowledge of, and experience in, at least two of the following substantive research and policy advocacy areas: early childhood education, workforce development, special education;
  • Demonstrated ability to direct policy and advocacy projects with minimal supervision;
  • Experience working with elected officials and/or government agencies;
  • Commitment to racial equity and inclusion, economic mobility, principles of democracy;
  • Experience working with teams of professionals;
  • Enjoyment of collaboration and working as part of a team;
  • Enthusiasm for learning.

Preferred Requirements

  • MPP, MPA or JD;
  • Experience in a substantively similar position;
  • Successful leadership of an advocacy campaign or campaigns;
  • Mastery of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies;
  • Extensive knowledge of and experience in early childhood education, workforce development, and/or special education;
  • Familiarity with policy and advocacy in a D.C. context;
  • Established relationships with elected officials and/or government agencies;
  • Experience operationalizing commitment to racial equity and inclusion, economic mobility, and/or democratic principles;
  • Demonstrated success in project management involving teams of professionals;
  • Spanish language skills.



DC Appleseed offers a competitive salary and benefit package, including health, dental, disability and retirement benefits, as well as an informal but highly professional work environment. Annual salary range for this position is $65,000-$80,000.

Application Process

Send a resume, cover letter and a BRIEF writing sample (no more than 10 pages) by email to with Project Director Application as the subject.  Incomplete applications and applications that are not tailored to this job will not be considered. Application deadline is October 18, 2019. Applicants are encouraged to submit as soon as possible, as interviews will be scheduled on a rolling basis.