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Strategy Director for Federal Policy

Lumina Foundation
District of Columbia, United States
$170,000.00 - $200,000.00
Closing date
Apr 6, 2023



Lumina Foundation is pleased to seek applications and nominations for the position of Strategy Director for Federal Policy. Reporting to Michelle Cooper, Vice President of Public Policy and Executive Director of Lumina's Washington, DC Office, the Strategy Director will advance the goals of Lumina’s federal policy agenda, using grantmaking, thought leadership, and other available tools and assets to assist the nation in making significant improvements in credential attainment for historically marginalized student populations. They will lead an array of strategies and reforms that address postsecondary attainment, value, equity, affordability, and quality, especially for learners of color and adults. The Director will shape federal policy debates impacting the Foundation’s strategy, build support for its program and policy goals, and grow and maintain relationships with leaders and organizations to advance these goals.



Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. We envision a system that is easy to navigate, delivers fair results, and meets the nation’s talent needs through a broad range of credentials. Our goal is to prepare people for informed citizenship and success in a global economy.

Lumina is working with partners to design a learning system that gives every person—regardless of race and ethnicity, income, or other socioeconomic factors—the opportunities that only education and training after high school can provide. We work with governmental, nonprofit, and private-sector organizations to achieve our mission. Our work relies on strategic communication, empowering leaders who can bring about change, policy outreach to state and federal officials, investments in proven and promising practices, and targeted efforts to measure and evaluate progress.

Lumina is among the nation’s largest private foundations, with an endowment exceeding $1 billion and offices in Indianapolis, IN and Washington, D.C. Lumina has a passionate and committed staff who value candor, collaboration, and connection. Learn more about our core values here:



The Strategy Director for Federal Policy works to develop and implement Lumina’s strategy, approach, and portfolio of federal policy grants and contracts designed to increase postsecondary credential attainment and student preparedness for today’s global economy. The Director understands and shapes the public policy debates impacting Lumina Foundation’s strategy, builds support for its program and policy goals, and grows and maintains relationships with leaders and organizations to advance its goals.

The Director leads and collaborates on an array of strategies and reforms that address postsecondary attainment, value, equity, affordability, and quality, especially for learners of color and adults.  The Director develops and implements Lumina’s strategy, approach, and grantee/contractor portfolio in this division. Many of Lumina’s strategies, across departments, have important policy dimensions, and the Director leads efforts to align federal public policy across strategies.  The Director’s role is to advance the goals of Lumina’s Strategic Plan and public policy agenda, using grantmaking, thought leadership, and other available tools and assets to assist the nation in making significant improvements in credential attainment for historically marginalized student populations. 

To accomplish these goals, the Director will bring deep expertise in effective approaches to identifying, informing, engaging, and convincing federal policymakers about reforms that can be identified, adopted, and implemented to increase postsecondary attainment for all students. They will bring insight into the federal policy environment and sustain respectful, nonpartisan, non-lobbying relationships on both sides of the political aisle. In addition, the Director will bring and build relationships with a range of organizations that lead and support work focused on federal higher education and workforce policy. 



This position reports to the Vice President for Public Policy and Executive Director of the Washington, D.C. Office and works in a collaborative and integrated manner with the state policy team and across all other areas of the Foundation.  The Director will lead a small team of 1-2 staff and interns and provide leadership in the following areas:

  • Commitment to Racial Equity: Advance Lumina’s commitment ( addressing systemic racism and barriers to learning after high school among students of color. Promote racial and ethnic diversity and inclusion in hiring, grantmaking, contracting, and decision-making and pursue fair and just outcomes for students through Lumina’s work. Communicate Lumina’s commitment to racial justice and equity with external partners.
  • Strategy Leadership, Design, Planning, and Implementation: Provide leadership and coordination of Lumina’s federal policy efforts, including the development and execution of federal policy grantmaking. Collaboratively identify potential partners and build relationships to support and advance partners’ work. Monitor federal policy developments and seek opportunities for Foundation leadership’s engagement.  Oversee all administrative, fiduciary, and reporting aspects of federal policy grantmaking, and serve as an advisor to the Vice President for Public Policy. Work collaboratively with state policy leaders and others across the Foundation to advance the Foundation’s strategy.
  • Team Leadership & Staff Development: Provide leadership for the Federal Policy Strategy Team by setting a clear direction, delivering frequent and open communications, leveraging the strengths of team members while also providing development opportunities within the team.  Support 1-2 direct reports and interns by serving as an experienced adviser and mentor. Onboard new hires and provide administrative oversight on expenses, travel, grantmaking, contracting, and other functional processes.  
  • Thought Leadership: In collaboration with the Vice President for Public Policy and other Foundation leaders, develop and write op-eds and attend and/or make professional presentations at meetings of national organizations and other groups.  Help plan and execute convenings of grantees and other stakeholders to share and disseminate pertinent work and concepts. 



  • At least eight (8) years of experience working to craft and advance federal policy in postsecondary or workforce education, including experience working in the legislative or executive branch, national policy organization, and/or think tank.
  • Track record of promoting racial equity in postsecondary education and/or workforce development.
  • Expert in federal postsecondary education and/or workforce development policy.
  • Advanced degree in relevant field or equivalent experience.


Additional Skills, Competencies, and Characteristics

  • Ability to use the Foundation’s resources to ensure the policies and practices envisioned in the Strategic Plan are aligned with Lumina’s principles of learning and credentialing.
  • Ability to synthesize and share policy and political insights and information in a clear, succinct, and nonpartisan manner.
  • Deep knowledge of the federal budget and decision-making processes.
  • Existing relationships with senior level federal government staff and/or officials with ability to expand networks, as needed.
  • Ability to make decisions and thrive in an outcomes-oriented, continuously evolving work environment in which thinking outside the box is encouraged.
  • Ability to apply adaptive problem-solving skills in response to unforeseen challenges and new assignments.
  • Ability to prioritize a wide range of duties and responsibilities; organize multiple projects and tasks; and manage internal and external constituents, projects, and budgets.
  • Proven ability to lead and influence others in a constructive manner and to build and sustain collaborative relationships.
  • Ability to work collegially and diplomatically with internal and external partners.
  • Exercise sound judgment in handling sensitive or confidential information.
  • Strong verbal communication skills, with the ability to communicate accurately, effectively, and in ways appropriate to different audiences.
  • Strong writer, with the ability to review, revise and synthesize a variety of information.
  • Display servant leadership by exhibiting listening skills, valuing the development of others, and working in a way that is people-focused, humble, trusting and caring.
  • Ability to travel 10-20%, including overnight stays.



The annual full-time salary range is $170,000-$200,000, commensurate with experience. Benefits include, but are not limited to Health Insurance (medical, dental, and vision), 401(k), Pension, Vacation and Sick Time, Paid Leave, 100% Employer Paid Group Life, and Long-term Disability.



This search is being supported by Callie Carroll of CLC Endeavors. Please send application materials to LF-STRAT@CLCENDEAVORS.COM. Applications should include a resume and cover letter that communicates your interest and qualifications for the role. Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the position is filled.

Lumina Foundation provides equal employment opportunity for all, regardless of race or ethnicity, gender or gender identity, health conditions, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, veteran status, disability, genetic information, or other bases protected by local, state, or federal law. Lumina also prohibits retaliation and harassment of any individual based on these characteristics.


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