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IEL Program Associate, Communications and Policy

Please review the application instructions herein and send applications to Applications without all required materials (resume, cover letter, references and writing sample) will not be considered.


The Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) is a national expert in community-driven leadership development in the intersecting areas of education, health, and employment. The common thread in our work is supporting community and institutional leaders as they build systems around racial, disability inclusion, and economic equity goals. Since 1964 our journey and experiences have resulted in approaches, tools, and practices that reflect the needs of leaders no matter where they sit in communities. The authentic relationships that we build in the process shape the way we engage community leaders, do our work, and provide the foundation for deeper impact as we continue to address systemic challenges in the 400 plus communities that trust us as partners, especially during this unprecedented time in history.


The Program Associate, Communications and Policy position provides ongoing logistical, coordinating, programmatic, and relational support for the staff and initiatives of IEL focused on communications, marketing, policy, and advocacy. Specifically, this position will support three primary areas of IEL’s work: 1) communication planning and dissemintaton activities for the workforce development system for vocational rehabilitation services; 2) federal policy and advocacy efforts including capacity-building for community leaders; and 3) conference planning, communications, and marketing efforts related to education policy for the Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP). Project assignments may change over time.  

Core Responsibilities:

  • Design and implement communications plans and dissemination activities for a workforce project to support employment outcomes for people with disabilities;
  • Contribute to the dissemination of project publications and products, using the IEL family of websites;
  • Support coordination among IEL staff and network members the identification and communication of barriers, innovative strategies, and results across communities to inform IEL’s policy agenda;
  • Provide administrative, logistical, and programmatic support for youth development and youth leadership projects that include youth with disabilities;
  • Support development and dissemination of policy-related communications, including policy briefs, letters to the Hill, memos, blogs, etc. as well as IEL products as directed (e.g., conference programs, correspondence, program handbooks, proposals, project reports, project guidelines, policies, proposals, newsletters, );
  • Provide programmatic and logistical support for policy analysis, product development, and advocacy as identified by the policy project team;
  • Track progress on key federal and state legislation and funding through an internal software platform and correspondence with national and state partners; and
  • Support the planning and execution of signature IEL policy-focused programs including the Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP).

Additional responsibilities may include:

  • Provide support planning and executing policy-focused convenings such as policy briefings, Hill Days, site visits, retreats, and meetings;
  • Event-plan logistical components of multi-day institutes (up to 50 people) and larger conferences (250-400 participants); and
  • Support data collection, input, and reporting in support of performance measures.


  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, marketing, and/or policy, or 2-4 years equivalent and relevant professional experience
  • Experience in marketing, communications, policy, and advocacy to advance social justice
  • Experience planning in-person and/or virtual professional events
  • Strong problem-solving, interpersonal, and communication (oral and written) skills
  • Proven capacity to work effectively as a team member
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously and strong organizational skills
  • Experience with various software packages: Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint applications; Adobe Acrobat; online bulk email services
  • Experience with policy analysis software such as Quorum (preferred)
  • A passion for social, economic, racial, gender, and disability justice.

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, list of three references (one from a former or current direct supervisor), and a writing sample (no specified length) to Maame Appiah at by Wednesday, May 25, 2022. Please include “IEL Program Associate, Communications and Policy” in the subject of your email application.

Location: DC-based position. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the selected candidate may begin the role remotely with plans to move to DC within a reasonable, agreed-upon timeframe. The individual might be asked to support office-related tasks in the interim, as well as to support IEL in-person events.

Salary: Range is between $47,500 and $60,000, commensurate with experience.

IEL is an Equal Opportunity Employer that does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, creed, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran’s status or disabled veterans’ status. IEL is implementing a diversity and supported inclusion strategy and is actively and intentionally encouraging applicants of color and individuals with disabilities to apply.