HCZ Director, Public Policy

Harlem Children's Zone
New York, United States
Competitive Salary
Closing date
Dec 15, 2021

View more

Position Type
Executive, Programs, Government Relations and Advocacy, Administrative, Public Relations and Communications
Social Services
Salary Band
Employment Type
Full Time
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The Harlem Children’s Zone started with one mission that was the most ambitious and audacious in U.S. history: to end the intergenerational poverty in Harlem and lead the way for other long-distressed communities in this country and around the world to do the same.



Founded by Geoffrey Canada, Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) breaks the cycle of intergenerational poverty with on-the-ground, all-around programming that builds up opportunities for children and families to thrive in school, work, and life. From early childhood education and career programs to community outreach and wellness initiatives, HCZ opens pathways to mobility and prosperity.

HCZ walks hand in hand with young people and their families from cradle to college to career.  From their work with public school students and their Promise Academy charter schools to their Healthy Harlem wellness initiative to their family support programs, HCZ goes beyond education to provide children with the academic, personal, and career support needed to stay on the path to becoming self-sustaining, successful adults. No other organization uses such a comprehensive approach to fighting poverty at such a scale or with as much impact.

HCZ is the preeminent thought leader in the education, youth development, and poverty-fighting fields by advocating for change at the local, state, and national levels. Described by President Obama as “one of the most successful anti-poverty programs in history”, HCZ is sharing what they have learned with communities around the country and changing lives beyond Harlem.


For more information, please visit https://hcz.org/.



The Director of Public Policy will support the execution of strategies designed to advance HCZ’s public policy goals. This includes policy analysis, advocacy with lawmakers, and strategic engagement with partner organizations and coalitions on the federal, state, and local levels.  Reporting to HCZ’s Senior Managing Director of External Engagement, the Director of Public Policy will also coordinate with other teams in HCZ’s External Engagement department to support national field-building efforts.



It is expected that the Director of Public Policy will:

  • Quickly get to know HCZ – its culture, structure, programs and substantive issues critical to their future success.
  • Establish a strong partnership with HCZ’s management team.
  • Proactively monitor key policymaker activity and legislation.
  • Prepare legislative research and provide legislator education related to HCZ’s work and cradle to career initiatives nationwide.
  • Represent HCZ in key coalitions and coordinated advocacy campaigns.
  • Cultivate strategic relationships and partnerships to further HCZ’s objectives.
  • Coordinate with key teams in HCZ’s External Engagement department to ensure alignment across HCZ’s field-building activities.
  • Monitor proposed federal and state DOE regulations and initiatives.



  • A commitment to the mission and values of HCZ.
  • Significant experience in the legislative policy and advocacy arenas.
  • Working knowledge of place-based education strategies and urban policy.
  • Strong public speaking and strategic communication skills.
  • A sophistication to keep HCZ on the frontier of public policy while maintaining their strong brand.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with diverse constituencies that include elected officials, community stakeholders, and coalition partners.


HCZ values inclusion and diversity in every sense of the word — from background and birthplace to experience and ideas.


For applications and nominations, please send a cover letter and resume to Paul Spivey and Susan Meade at HCZPublicPolicy@PhillipsOppenheim.com.

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