Title: Director of Public Policy and Leadership Development
Reports to: CEO
Location: Newark
Posted: February 28, 2021

How to Apply

Overview of Responsibilities:

The Director of Policy and Leadership Development will play an integral role in leading Project Ready towards its mission and goals. He/She will provide leadership and strategic thinking in formulating a policy agenda for social justice issues and drive its implementation.

The Director of Policy and Leadership Development will have three primary responsibilities: (1) develop a policy and advocacy agenda for local and state policies that impact social justice in Newark, NJ (2) convene a coalition by creating a collective impact approach to influence the system and practice changes that lead to better outcomes for Newark students and (3) Lead the development of city-wide leaders aspiring to engage in political leadership.

The position reports to the CEO and receives strategic direction from the Chief of Staff. This position will be based in the Newark area.


Membership Development

  • Co-Build a Project Ready Membership Platform.
  • Support in creating partnerships that will drive excitement and engagement toward the membership platform.
  • Train and guide leaders and teams in relationship building, research, and policy development to building political power in Newark.
  • Prepare members to hold demand meetings, press events, public actions between parents and public officials, including state legislators.
  • Mobilize members to lead or attend large public forums, rallies and demand actions demonstrating community members’ power.
  • Develop, implement, and adjust unified campaign strategies (state, citywide, and local communities).
  • Manage and maintain a timely and comprehensive database of current and potential members called on for political action and advocacy.

Create and Implement Public Policy Agenda

  • Manage the strategy and implementation of organization-wide stakeholder collaboration, policy, and advocacy projects.
  • Engaging state, district, and community leaders in initiatives to promote policy change.
  • Managing and growing members of the team, within and outside of the policy & advocacy division.
  • Generating new ideas for services and strategies to promote our policy agenda with a particular focus on education equity and voter equity for black and brown residents locally and nationally.
  • Manage high-quality creation of written policy briefs, white papers, and research reports and disseminate them to targeted audiences both locally and nationally.
  • Collaborate with the Director of Organizing in their work to coordinate projects, examine large data sets and develop metrics to support the successful implementation of services.

Manage Ready to Lead Fellowship

  • Lead the recruitment and selection process for future Ready to Lead Fellows.
  • Identify and secure fellowship instructor(s) for the program.
  • Identify opportunities for fellows after graduating from the program.
  • Create a strategic vision for year-long fellowship engagement.
  • Leads operational planning according to fellowship goals and ensuring execution of the plan according to clearly communicated objectives.
  • Develop fellow proficiency in social justice with an emphasis on education and voter policy.
  • Graduate 5 members per year prepared to fight for social equity across the city.

Drive and Sustain Organization Partnership and Coalition Development

  • Own sustaining critical partnerships and relationships across city-wide organizations.
  • Facilitates community presentations on the importance of being civically engaged. These presentations can be held at schools, community centers, and other anchor institutions.
  • Looks for opportunities to engage new community partners and build coalition membership.
  • Community event planning related to the coalition’s mission and goals.
  • Partners with the board and members to develop organizational plans for the coalition and the community at large – organizes and facilitates strategic planning.
  • Maintains connections with other Newark coalitions and looks for opportunities to collaborate on projects and bring attention to Project Ready’s mission.

Required Capabilities:

  • Demonstrated track record of exemplary talent management experience
  • Community organizing and leadership development experience
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to build relationships quickly with diverse stakeholders
  • Experience managing multiple, simultaneous work efforts and a strong ability to plan strategically and marshal resources toward implementing that plan while staying on top of specific tasks and consistently meeting deadlines.
  • Ability to take the initiative and high levels of ownership for outcomes, and exercise sound judgment in day-to-day decision-making
  • Spirit of Yes: Embrace the obstacles that will pop up and be creative in coming up with solutions. Embrace the changing landscape and adapt quickly.
  • Connect and build relationships with diverse communities and stakeholders at every level of the system and across districts.
  • Action-oriented: You must love getting people together to take action. You must be willing to step outside of your comfort zone and know how to motivate others to get out of theirs.
  • Strong commitment to social and educational justice
  • Willingness to work flexible hours, including weeknights and weekends; ability to travel and work remotely; driver’s license and access to a vehicle
  • Strong technology skills with expertise in Google Suite (Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms)

Preferred Capabilities:

  • Experience in management or management training
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • 3-5 years of professional work experience
  • Prior experience in community, labor, or political organizing
  • Campaigning, lobbying, advocacy, public policy, training, or relevant experience
  • Comfort with multiple modes of effective communication, including social and on-line media tools


Please send the following to Shennell McCloud at shennell@projectreadynj.org.

  • Cover letter answering the following questions:
    • What is it about our mission that resonates with your experience and interests?
    • What makes you an exceptional candidate for this position in particular?
    • Where did you learn about this opportunity?
  • Resume
  • List of Three References with phone numbers and emails (will only contact after notifying you)
Apply Now


In addition to a competitive salary, Project Ready offers a full benefits plan.

Project Ready is an equal opportunity employer.