Director of Advocacy and Community Engagement

KIPP Bay Area Schools - Oakland, CA - Full time

Position Overview

KIPP Bay Area Schools is at a strategic inflection point - building upon our track record of success to provide even more students with access to high quality schools. The Director of Advocacy and Community Engagement will manage our strategic planning and relationships related to where and when to open new schools. This individual will build partnerships with our school district authorizers, engage parents seeking quality options for their children, and lead our efforts to deepen ties in each of the communities where we operate.

The ideal candidate for this position will have proven leadership and relationship-building skills, with strengths in strategic communication, problem solving, and effective project management and execution. Additionally, the individual will have strong political instincts and sound judgment, with a history of managing diverse groups of internal and external stakeholders through both direct supervision and influence and ideally knowledge/experience in community organizing. We are looking for someone who is passionate about KIPP’s mission, and shows an eagerness to learn and embody the KIPP mantra “Work Hard. Be Nice.” This individual will be an ambassador on KIPP’s behalf among critical stakeholders who contribute to the success of our schools.

The Director of Advocacy and Community Engagement will report to the Chief Growth and Operations Officer and work from our downtown Oakland offices, with frequent travel to our schools and local communities throughout the Bay Area. This role will require evening and occasional weekend work to participate in public school board meetings and local community events. This position is available immediately.

Roles and Responsibilities:

Growth planning and political strategy

  • Greenlighting process. Manage strategy and greenlighting process for the sequencing and opening of new schools in the Bay Area.
    • Research and planning. Lead the research and evaluation of need, demand, and political dynamics in various communities to provide recommendations for future growth
    • Political analysis. Understand political dynamics within community to build clear strategy for engaging key stakeholders and influencers towards successful organizational outcomes.
    • Advocacy and influencer strategy. Build our advocacy strategy in each community in order to achieve organizational goals; support advocacy strategy to support KIPP’s interests and concerns in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. as appropriate. Inform and educate elected officials, community leaders, and opinion leaders about high performing charters and KIPP.
    • Data and systems. Develop systems infrastructure for how to best organize and manage a contact database, to enable efficient and effective communications with key external stakeholders.

    Family engagement, organizing, and mobilization

    • Parent leadership and organizing. Collaborate with organizational partners to cultivate and develop parent support and leadership, deepen outreach and engagement with families, and cultivate organizing skills across all of our schools.
    • Engagement and mobilization. Build family engagement in our schools, increase awareness and education related to supporting students, and mobilize as needed to achieve specific goals related to high-quality schools and making informed choices.
    • Enrollment and recruitment. Support school leaders and operations managers in designing an enrollment strategy that will recruit students and families for new and growing schools. Lead efforts to gather parent signatures for charter petitions and Proposition 39, especially for our new schools.
    • Strategy and planning. Partner with school leaders to build long-term vision for family engagement, including not only leadership and advocacy, but also parent education, organizing, and other forms of engagement to support their students and communities.

    District and authorizer relationships

    • District partnerships. Build partnerships with key cabinet members, district staff, and elected officials in order to effectively navigate the charter petition, renewal, or revision processes. We currently work with 8 different districts as local authorizers, so this part of the role is both complex and expansive.
    • Charter petitions. Oversee the planning, coordination, and execution of the petition process for obtaining new charters; write and edit charters based on local conditions and manage the project timeline and contributions to keep the application process running smoothly.
    • Charter renewals. Oversee the planning, coordination, and execution of the renewal process; revise and edit charters based on local needs and conditions in collaboration with other teams, and manage the project timeline towards hearing and vote.

    Community partnerships

    • Civic relationships. Build strong partnerships with key communities leaders and influencers (e.g., faith leaders, community-based organizations, other nonprofits) to develop trust-based relationships and support for KIPP’s mission and schools.
    • Charter collaboration. Build partnerships with other charter schools operating within our communities, to enable collaboration and coordination whenever possible.

    Team management and leadership

    Performance management. Provide overall leadership and management of the Growth and Community Engagement team to deliver against clear goals and expectations. Oversee development of team priorities, annual dashboards, individual development plans, and performance management of direct reports

    Professional development. Motivate, inspire, manage, and develop direct reports, to enable their best contributions and capabilities towards our mission, while also enabling their growth as professionals.

    Financial accountability. In partnership with the Finance team, develop and manage growth budget.

    Compliance and integrity. Ensure compliance with all relevant regulations and laws. Operate at all times in accordance with the organization’s values, mission, vision, and plans.

    Strategic problem solving and communications

    Strategic communication. Communicate clearly and effectively about complex issues, including forces at play in education and how KIPP’s mission fits into a broader narrative. Ability to converse with confidence and convey KIPP’s impact in an inspiring and compelling way.

    Active listener. Be able to understand the interests and needs of key stakeholders to effectively problem solve and seek creative solutions together.

    Creative problem solver. Be able to work with partners to craft creative solutions where their goals or strategies might align with KIPP’s mission and organizational needs.

    Collaborative leadership. Serve as an organizational leader and highly collaborative member of the senior management team. Support school leaders in planning for the growth of new schools.


    Education: Bachelor's degree required. Master's degree preferred.

    Experience: Ten or more years of professional experience in relevant fields or functions. Candidate must have experience managing staff and yielding demonstrated results. The ability to work across teams and diverse leaders is essential.

    Skills and Mindset

    Unquestioned integrity and commitment to KIPP Bay Area Schools’ mission and values

    Sensitivity and predisposition to the needs, beliefs, and experiences of the communities in which we serve. Ability to listen well and express sensitivity through communications and actions with others.

    Exceptional project management skills. Ability to self-direct, prioritize and multi-task among competing goals, while exhibiting flexibility in a fast paced, entrepreneurial environment

    Excellent strategic communication skills, including written and verbal communication, public speaking skills, and keen attention to detail and nuance

    Adept at building strong, trust-based relationships with diverse constituents and deeply understanding the needs of different stakeholders (including families, public officials, community leaders, and partner organizations); ability to exercise personal impact and influence

    Strong political instincts and interest in the political process, coupled with ability to unlock creative solutions in challenging and complex situations

    Ability to plan and think strategically, coupled with excellent execution skills and flexibility to work within complex or ambiguous context; inclination to initiate process improvements and continuous learning within the organization

    Skilled at analyzing, interpreting, and using data to collaborate, identify best practices and areas for improvement, and drive results

    Evidence of a successful track record in meeting or exceeding stated goals.

    Strong management and leadership skills, with the ability to motivate, guide, and develop a high performing team

    Knowledge of public education reform landscape strongly desired

    Salary and Benefits

    The Director of Advocacy and Community Engagement is a full-time, exempt position. We offer a competitive salary and an excellent benefits package.

    To Apply: Please submit a cover letter and resume via our online portal, here: If you have any questions please email

Apply Now

Experience Level

Any experience level

KIPP Bay Area Schools

About KIPP Bay Area Schools

In the San Francisco Bay Area, 11 KIPP schools are closing the achievement gap between low-income students and their more advantaged peers. These innovative, tuition-free, college-preparatory schools are located in underserved neighborhoods of San Francisco, San Jose, San Lorenzo, Redwood City, and West Oakland.

KIPP, the Knowledge Is Power Program, is a national network of free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public schools dedicated to preparing students in underserved communities for success in college and in life. There are currently 181 KIPP schools in 20 states and the District of Columbia serving nearly 70,000 students. Nationally, 85% of KIPPsters matriculate to college, and graduate at four times the rate of their peers from similar backgrounds. KIPP Bay Area Schools serves over 3,800 students, with plans to continue growing to serve more students over the coming decade.

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