Policy Analyst / Senior Policy Analyst - Higher Education Program

Washington, DC
Full Time
Higher Education Program

Policy Analyst / Senior Policy Analyst, Higher Education Program

New America’s Higher Education Program seeks a policy analyst/senior policy analyst with a strong interest and background in federal higher education policy. The analyst will:

  • Evaluate education data, legislation, and programs, and support existing or new research projects to identify and/or develop promising reform strategies that improve quality, transparency, access, affordability, completion, and consumer protection in higher education.
  • Focus on advancing equity in higher education, supporting underrepresented or marginalized populations and communities—especially older/adult students and student parents—and ensuring effective use of federal higher education resources.
  • Help effectively communicate ideas to policymakers, educators, the media, and other key audiences, including through writing compelling policy papers, briefs, blogs, talking to media, and hosting or participating in public events.

New America is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy institute that invests in new thinkers and new ideas to address the next generation of challenges facing the United States. The Education Policy Program uses original research and policy analysis to solve the nation’s critical education problems, serving as a trusted source of objective analysis and innovative ideas for policymakers, educators, and the public at large. We engage in longer-term research and react to the policy issues of the day. The ideal candidate is intellectually curious, entrepreneurial, committed to creating more equitable higher education outcomes, and able to help form new ideas in federal higher education policy.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Conducting and supporting research and policy analysis to inform long-term projects, respond to short-term needs and emerging issues, and develop new policy proposals and recommendations. 
    • Analyze different kinds of quantitative, qualitative, and/or secondary data and information. Examples include: NCES sample surveys, IPEDS, College Scorecard, interviews and focus groups, scans of the field or literature reviews, and other sources. 
    • Track and analyze federal legislative, regulatory, and administrative policy, including helping the team stay up to date and interpreting, summarizing, and looking for trends.
    • Develop research and policy questions to grow and advance the team’s work.
    • Stay up to date, and help keep the team up to date, on emerging research and analysis.
  • Writing to share information, convey new ideas, and promote policy reform.
    • Author and assist with policy briefs, reports, and other documents and deliverables for the general public, policymakers, the media, and other stakeholders on an array of federal higher education policy issues, but particularly those related to school accountability; access, affordability, and completion; consumer protection; student loans; and older/adult students and basic needs, all with a focus on underrepresented or marginalized populations and communities.
    • Translate research and analysis for a wide audience.
    • Contribute content to New America’s blog. 
  • Engaging with external partners and the public.
    • Be a public representative for New America in external events, including panels, conferences, and symposia.
    • Develop relationships with other organizations and experts working on similar issues. 
  • Collaborating and working with internal partners.
    • Productively and constructively work independently but also as part of a larger team. 
    • Collaborate across multiple teams within New America.
  • Managing and leading projects and tasks.
    • Help manage the day-to-day project work, grants, and deliverables. 
    • Develop, pitch, and execute original project ideas. Some of this work will be individual and some will be collaborative with other members of the team and potentially external partners. 

Qualifications and Requirements:

  • At least 3 years of federal higher education policy experience required for the policy analyst position. At least 5 years of federal higher education policy experience required for the senior policy analyst position. 
  • Previous experience with, knowledge of, and/or a strong interest in federal higher education education policy issues, such as those related to school accountability; access, affordability, and completion; consumer protection; student loans; and older/adult students and basic needs, all with a focus on underrepresented or marginalized populations and communities.
  • Strong analysis skills, which could include: quantitative analytical skills, including expertise and experience with higher education data sources and use of a statistical package such as Stata or R to perform descriptive statistics; qualitative analytical skills such as the ability to conduct and analyze interviews and focus groups; ability to synthesize large amounts of information to inform problem solving; and/or experience analyzing higher education-related legislative, regulatory, or administrative policies. 
    • Candidates should have an understanding of the importance of evidence-based policies and programs.
    • Experience using these skills for policy development is a plus for the senior policy analyst position. 
  • Strong writing, editing, and verbal communication skills. Candidates should be able to communicate complex ideas clearly and concisely for public audiences. 
    • Experience translating and disseminating complex information to the public and policymakers a plus for the senior policy analyst position. 
  • Demonstrated ability to form relationships and work with external partners across issues. Candidates should have good listening, problem solving, and conflict resolution skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work constructively with internal partners, teams, and contractors.
  • Excellent project management and organizational skills and keen attention to detail. Candidates should have the ability to prioritize work and manage time on multiple projects and tasks to meet deadlines. 
    • Experience with managing tasks and processes to move deliverables and projects forward over time is a plus for the senior policy analyst position..
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently and collaboratively. Candidates should be self-motivated, but also enthusiastic team players open to helping on existing projects, giving and receiving feedback, and working in a collaborative environment.
  • Experience with fundraising or managing grants is a plus for senior policy analyst candidates.
  • Curiosity, eagerness, and ability to develop new knowledge and skills.
  • Inclined to think independently and challenge conventional wisdom in education policy.

This is a hybrid position with at least 2-3 days/week in a physical office environment in Washington, DC

Application Process:

Submit a resume and cover letter. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Salary range is $63,000 - $79,000 for the policy analyst and $80,000 - $90,000 for the senior policy analyst; excellent benefits. 

No phone calls or emails, please.  

New America is an equal opportunity employer committed to hiring a diverse workforce at all levels of the organization thereby creating a culture that allows us to better serve our clientele, our employees and our communities. We value and encourage the contributions of our employees and strive to create an environment where everyone can reach their full potential and drive outstanding results. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, gender identity or expression, or any other basis protected by local, state, or federal law. This policy applies with regard to all aspects of one’s employment, including hiring, transfer, promotion, compensation, eligibility for benefits, and termination. This is a bargaining unit position.






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