Senior Director of Education and Public Engagement
Position Title: Senior Director of Education and Public Engagement
Reports to: Chief Operating Officer
Start Date: Immediately
Location: Washington, DC
J Street, the pro-Israel, pro-peace lobby, is seeking a Senior Director of Education and Public Engagement: an experienced manager, thought leader and public spokesperson with significant policy, education and communications experience to take our movement’s program of public and supporter engagement to the next level.
Key Duties and Responsibilities
The job of the Senior Director is to oversee the production of J Street’s educational resources and programming tools, as well as the organization’s major events in order to improve the public discourse about Israel and foreign policy in the U.S., and to make J Street an energizing home for supporters of our movement.
The Senior Director is responsible for managing a three-member Public Engagement team in the development and implementation of a robust program to inform and educate key external audiences (those who influence U.S. policy as well as those who shape the Jewish communal conversation) about the core issues on which J Street works. This includes:
- Working across departments to conceive and produce educational materials in a range of formats – including print and electronic – that further J Street educational objectives. This could include, but is not limited to, the creation of a podcast series, speaker series, improved use of video and the development of new formats for public events or for distance learning;
- Organizing and running educational events and programs – online and in-person, nationally and locally – that provide information to which the target audiences are not regularly exposed; and
- Developing speaking tours by prominent American, Israeli and Palestinian policy-makers, political leaders and activists; and
- Maintaining and growing constructive partnerships with allied organizations that already develop such programming and are looking for new audiences for their content.
Leadership and Supporter Engagement
The Public Engagement team helps our supporters and potential supporters become better versed on our issues and helps them develop a sense of “home” or community in their local chapters. In coordination with J Street’s Regional Team and J Street U organizers, the Senior Director is responsible for managing members of the Public Engagement team to:
- Oversee the development and implementation of a comprehensive suite of leadership and supporter engagement tools that staff and leaders can use to energize supporters and create community among them. Tools include “programs in a box” that can be run without staff help by J Street and J Street U activists with their chapters/communities; “distributed events” with content provided centrally for meet-ups and other supporter gatherings; and special national programs for leaders such as video briefings;
- Facilitate peer-to-peer learning and sharing about successful engagement strategies and tactics and the adoption of best practices for creation of community across the country; and
- Ensure that J Street’s leaders have access to specially targeted and designed programs and content at all national events, including at the J Street National Conference.
Major Engagement Events and Thought Leadership
Under the Senior Director’s management, the Public Engagement team is responsible for conceiving, producing and organizing J Street’s events and presence in thought leadership spaces. This includes:
- Programming, conceptual and logistical development of J Street’s national events: our 4000+ person National Conference, and semi-annual National Leadership Summits; and
- Logistical and conceptual assistance to national and regional events – both educational and fundraising, including regional annual galas and national student leadership institutes; and
- Assessing which thought leadership stages (to include policy, political and communal communities) the organization should be represented on-- either our J Street president, senior staff or J Street leaders-- so that J Street expands its presence and visibility in the public arena.
We ask that in lieu of a traditional cover letter, you submit a resume and answers to each of the three questions that follow below. Applications that do not directly address these questions will not be considered.
- Imagine that your first assignment in this job is to develop content and/or programming to engage a group of people who have been involved with an organization to our political right, but who are increasingly disaffected by the direction of both U.S. and Israeli government policy and by the unwillingness of some older Jewish establishment organizations to speak out against it. This target audience supports a two-state solution and J Street’s diplomacy-first approach generally, but have been ambivalent about getting involved with us before. Tell us (1) what you would do to engage this audience in taking a second look at J Street and (2) what makes you uniquely qualified to do this piece of the work.
- Tell us about your work on one project you have managed of which you are particularly proud. Then tell us about at least one aspect of it that you would do differently next time, and how.
- What draws you to want to work on advancing a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Given the difficulty of the current political climate, both here and in Israel, what do you think are the unique challenges and opportunities at this time?
J Street is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
As this is a new position, we are approaching this search with an open mind and are looking forward to being surprised, or, better yet, wowed. Great candidates could be educators, campaigners, communicators, organizers or advocates, or, better yet, some combination thereof. We are looking to bring fresh, creative thinking to the table; here, vision is every bit as important as experience.
That said, there are three distinct skill-sets critical to success in this position:
Strategic thinking around education and engagement: The Senior Director, working closely with regional staff and leaders, will identify and assess the organization’s engagement needs and then propose strategies and projects that address them with limited resources and staff. This puts a real premium on strategic thinking and creativity.
Project management: The Senior Director will be managing many complex, multifaceted and cross-departmental long- and short-term projects–from inception to implementation. This puts a premium on core project management skills from developing detailed work plans, to managing budgets and staff.
Program development: The Senior Director will be leading the design and development of programming for our annual conferences and leadership summits and will be the driving force behind our briefing series. This puts a premium on creativity in program and content development.
The Senior Director will report directly to the Chief Operating Officer and will collaborate closely with the Communications and Digital Communications teams. This is a senior level position in the organization that will work across the organization, supporting nearly ever team within.
- A strong commitment to J Street’s mission
- Understanding of and fluency in the policy issues on which the organization works: foreign policy, the Middle East, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
- Familiarity with Jewish institutional landscape
- Management or supervisory experience
- Strong writing skills a must
- Strong verbal and presentational skills a plus
- Innovative, enterprising thinker and doer with a professional track record to prove it
- Committed to success, but not afraid to try new ideas that might fail
- A big picture strategist with an eye and affection for the details
- A great teammate who is committed to contributing to, building on and amplifying the successes of those around them
- A natural facility for building relationships with a range of stakeholders
- An ability to multitask and to reconcile competing priorities on the fly
- Good humor, perseverance and patience
Compensation and Hours
Salary for this position will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. Benefits include paid vacation and sick leave, paid time off on many federal and Jewish holidays, health and dental insurance, company-paid life insurance, a 401k program, and a flexible spending account.
More about J Street
J Street is the political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans who want Israel to be secure, democratic, and the national home of the Jewish people. Working in American politics and the Jewish community, J Street advocates policies that advance shared U.S. and Israeli interests, as well as Jewish and democratic values, leading to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Launched in 2008 with four staff and a limited budget, J Street is now a $10 million organization with a national staff of close to 70. The organization is headquartered in Washington, DC, with employees in eight cities including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Denver and Tel Aviv.
The J Street family of organizations includes J Street, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit that is responsible for lobbying and advocacy; JStreetPAC, a federal political action committee that endorses and raises money for federal candidates; and the J Street Education Fund, a 501(c)(3) that works to educate the public and raise awareness of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the two-state solution.