Director of Education Policy

The Illinois Policy Institute is seeking a director of education policy to conduct education research and promote policies that expand educational options, advance excellence in student achievement, and increase accountability and transparency in Illinois’ education system. We are looking for someone who has the ideas and entrepreneurial vision to identify Illinois’ biggest problems in education and come up with creative solutions to fix them.

This includes producing research and content to promote the Institute’s positions on education issues, and participating in panels, events, media appearances, and meetings with lawmakers, interest groups and coalition partners to advance sound education policies and laws. The director of education policy will serve as the leading expert voice on behalf of Illinois parents and schoolchildren.

Position responsibilities:

  • Policy research and writing
    • Identify research opportunities in education policy, including issues regarding school choice, student performance, education funding, Illinois state and local education bureaucracies, school district governance, and more.
    • Conduct research and write reports, articles for the website, and opinion editorials for placement in publications to educate our target audiences on our research and solutions.
  • Outreach, events
    • Communicate and educate regarding our education policy solutions at events, on panels and in meetings with education organizations and community groups.
    • Develop ideas for and help plan events and panels to promote our policy solutions and build coalitions around education issues.
  • Media appearances and communications assistance
    • Participate in interviews and debates in Illinois media outlets and appear as an expert voice in education-related videos and podcasts produced by Illinois Policy.
    • Engage in social media in collaboration with the marketing team to develop an expert voice and communicate with other experts in the field.
  • Educating lawmakers and influencers
    • Meet with lawmakers in conjunction with government affairs team and provide expert witness testimony in support of Illinois Policy’s legislative priorities.
    • Participate in meetings with supporters and influencers to gain support for our policy solutions.

Qualifications for role

  • Dedication to the Illinois Policy Institute’s mission
  • Bachelor’s degree in education or in political science, economics or related field
  • Four years’ experience in education policy and / or advanced degree in political science, economics, education, law or similar field
  • Strong writing and research skills
  • Passion for expanding educational opportunity and options and increasing the quality of education across the state
  • Willingness to travel in state and occasionally out of state for events and meetings
  • Strong interpersonal skills and interest in coalition building, community engagement


Salary and overall compensation are competitive.


This position is full-time and located in our downtown Chicago office or Springfield office

To apply

Interested candidates should submit the following application materials to Cinda Pensabene (

  • Résumé
  • Cover letter detailing your interest in this position, familiarity with the mission of the organization, and your salary requirements
  • Writing sample

While we thank all applicants in advance for their interest in this position, we are only able to contact those to whom we can offer an interview.  No phone calls, please.