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Policy Analyst Opening - Education First

Company Overview


Education First is a national policy consulting firm that specializes in helping policymakers, advocates and funders develop broad-based improvement and reform strategies to inspire and engage all students to graduate from high school and postsecondary studies prepared for a competitive world of constant change and innovation. Based in Seattle but with consultants around the country, Education First has deep expertise in four practice areas: college and career readiness; teacher and leader effectiveness; STEM strategies; and postsecondary completion. We support and partner with our clients all over the country to accomplish strategic planning, policy and program development, communications and advocacy, and effective grantmaking to reach important outcomes for students. Our mission is to help all students acquire skills and knowledge to succeed in college and careers and our firm’s consultants have strong and successful track records in education policy, politics, research, communications and philanthropy. We aim to be the most trusted and effective education policy consulting firm in the nation.


We work with and support school districts, foundations, state governments and nonprofit advocacy organizations we think are well positioned to make real change. Our clients have included Achieve, American Federation of Teachers, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, Grantmakers for Education, Metro Nashville Public Schools, Seattle Public Schools, Tennessee Teacher Evaluation Advisory Committee, Educate Texas, and state education advocacy organizations including Advance Illinois, the Ohio Business Alliance for Higher Education and the Economy, the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education, Oregon’s Chalkboard Project and Washington STEM. We recently worked with educators and policymakers in Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, Ohio and Tennessee to help craft each state’s strategy and Race to the Top application resulting in more than $1.2 billion in federal funds benefitting more than 3.6 million students in these five states. Education First has continued to engage with each of these states to support their Race to the Top policy, communication and advocacy strategies.


Position Responsibilities–Policy Analyst


Policy Analysts support research efforts and project teams to deliver outstanding work to our clients. The primary responsibilities of the Policy Analyst include:


  • Serve as research lead on project teams and ensure client deliverables meet basic research standards.
  • Gather, organize and synthesize research from multiple sources and methods to advance team and client decisions; identify and interview key informants, develop interview protocols, and analyze interview findings; describe, compare and analyze education policy options; develop landscape analyses; develop and administer basic survey instruments; develop fact-based yet persuasive analyses.
  • Bring to bear advanced education knowledge about research findings, federal and state policies and effective practices in key education reform areas.
  • Organize, prioritize and process large volumes of work under tight deadlines.
  • Lead key portions of projects.
  • Develop “client-ready” PowerPoint presentations, policy memos, briefs, reports, strategy documents and other products drawing from documentation and research work.  Assist in researching and writing materials for publication.


Education First believes in coaching and supporting its staff to meet their full potential. Over time, the Policy Analyst will be expected and supported to develop skills in strategic planning/business planning for clients, project management and client management.


Experience & Qualifications


  • One to three years of experience in policy, research, political campaigns or other relevant public affairs experience in education.
  • Demonstrated understanding of current education reform issues, preferably in the areas of: college and career readiness; STEM education; teacher and leader effectiveness; and/or postsecondary completion.
  • Strong qualitative research skills and experience, including environmental scans, literature reviews, legislative/policy analysis, field documentation and/or synthesis.
  • Ability to read, understand, translate and synthesize technical literature and quantitative research, and basic survey methods.
  • Strong word processing, email, PowerPoint and spreadsheet skills
  • Strong oral and written communication skills (public speaking skills a plus).
  • Outstanding project management, organizational and client communications skills.
  • Demonstrated experience working effectively on teams and with diverse constituencies.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects under tight deadlines.
  • Master’s in public policy, public administration, business, education, JD or related fields a plus, but not required.


Personal Characteristics

  • A strong commitment to improving student learning and achievement and moving education systems beyond the status quo.
  • Highly organized and a detail-oriented self-starter committed to quality and results.
  • Flexible, resourceful and good humored in a fast-paced, results-oriented culture.
  • Ability and desire to work independently in a virtual office environment.
  • Strongly recommended for employment by peers and co-workers.




Though we work in a virtual environment, preference will be given to candidates living in or willing to relocate to the Seattle, WA, Portland, OR, or Washington D.C. areas.




Education First offers a competitive salary, excellent benefits (including employer contributions to 401k and enhanced benefits for employees after three years with the firm) and profit sharing. The approximate salary range is $45,000-60,000 with the upper end of the range reserved for candidates with a graduate degree and/or significant work experience.




Email your resume, a detailed cover letter describing how your qualifications and interests match Education First’s needs and salary requirements to [email protected] (include “policy analyst” in the subject line). Please, no phone calls or other inquiries. Position is available immediately and is open until filled.