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Group Director

Job Description
National Conference of State Legislatures
Organization Type: 
Government agency
Job Location: 
Front Range
Type of Job: 
Job Category: 
Job Description: 


NCSL is seeking an individual to provide leadership for the Education Program.  The Group Director is responsible for administering and directing all activities and personnel in the Program and is ultimately responsible for controlling and executing budgets for the various projects, establishing program priorities, providing fundraising leadership and specifying and insuring the quality of work performed by the Education Program staff.  The Group Director is expected to raise, maintain, and expand significant external funding.  The Group Director will mentor, supervise and evaluate employees in the Education Program.  In addition, the Group Director may staff and provide support for the NCSL Standing Committee on Education in collaboration with NCSL staff in the Washington DC office or oversee this work by Education Program staff.

This full-time position is funded through a combination of unrestricted (general fund) and restricted funding (several grants/contracts) and is subject to reduction in percentage of time covered if grant funding becomes unavailable.  The position is non-partisan and non-advocacy and requires expertise in education policy issues.  The position will require out-of-state travel.

Areas of Responsibility

Management and Coordination

Organizes, plans, manages, and coordinates work of staff across multiple projects, within the Education Program.

Establishes program plans and priorities, develops program budget, allocates resources, and assigns staff to carry out program activities.

Manages Education Program employees; interviews, screens, selects and recommends applicants for vacant positions within the program; evaluates employee performance and makes recommendations for promotions, performance increases or disciplinary action to senior management.

Advises senior management on programmatic and administrative matters.

Organizes, allocates, and manages financial resources of the program and recommends and oversees consultant subcontracts, major purchases, or other external commitments of the organization's resources.

Establishes and defines standards of quality in program activities and products and ensures that all standards, deadlines, and contract specifications are met.

Acts on the management, budget, and personnel recommendations of subordinate managers.

Research, Writing and Information Dissemination

Independently anticipates emerging issues and interprets policy developments, assesses their importance to the states and legislatures, and initiates research, technical assistance or other appropriate program efforts in response.

Reviews, edits, and critiques the substance and quality of research and writing assignments of subordinate staff.

Manages, delegates or personally handles a wide range of research and writing tasks often involving sophisticated analysis and interpretation of political nuances.

Meetings, Seminars, and Technical Assistance

Manages, delegates or personally handles the most complex meetings and seminars and coordinates the work of subordinate professional staff.

Plans, assigns, reviews, and coordinates complex state legislative technical assistance efforts, sometimes requiring sensitive political judgments, a high degree of responsiveness to constituents, and a mature sense of organization priorities and concerns.

Organizational Support

Assigns, trains, directs, and manages the work of Education Program staff who staff committees, task forces, working groups, advisory groups and focus groups.

Identifies and develops resources to carry out the program's activities and functions.

Coordinates with other program units and other organizations to develop proposals and demonstration projects to carry out crosscutting activities.

Provides fundraising leadership for the Education Program; manages, directs, and oversees the fundraising efforts of program staff and personally handles sensitive negotiations and high-level contacts with potential funding agencies.

Maintains an extensive network of federal agency, foundation, private sector, and interest group relationships with personal contacts at the highest level.

Performs other responsibilities as needed.


On a continuing basis, plans, assigns and reviews the work of managerial, supervisory, professional, and support staff involved in multiple projects or activities for the Education Program.  Makes recommendations for personnel actions (i.e. hiring, salary, promotions, dismissal) to a Division Director.


  • Bachelor's degree plus ten years of relevant and progressive work experience.
  • The following work experience or some equivalent combination is preferred: four years of state policy or legislative experience, four years of professional experience in education policy.
  • Two years of project or research supervisory experience (preferably in the education policy arena), and two years of management experience directing and allocating personnel and budgets in multiple projects or activities.
  • Post-baccalaureate education is preferred, and up to three years of graduate education (i.e. master’s degree, professional degree, or doctoral degree) may be substituted for the required work experience.
  • Excellence in developing program initiatives, project ideas and new services, funding opportunities, and new resources.
  • Excellence in personnel supervision skills (i.e. planning, assigning, reviewing, and evaluating work) and budget and project management.
  • Substantial knowledge, technical expertise and mastery of education policy issues or substantial knowledge and technical expertise in state legislatures and intergovernmental policy processes. The ideal candidate will have both.
  • Exceptional writing, speaking, research, analytic and organizational skills.
  • Excellence in working effectively with legislators and legislative staff and dealing with politically sensitive constituencies.
  • Skill and competence in managing multiple projects and functions in a diverse environment.
  • Able to maintain confidentiality and handle politically sensitive work.

RECRUITING RANGE:      $6,471 - $7,500+/month depending on experience




How To Apply


Interested candidates should send a resume and cover letter highlighting skills and qualifications to: no later than Wednesday, July 12, 2017.




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