Career Opportunities with Illinois Action for Children

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Director, Public Policy

Department: Policy and Innovation
Location: Chicago, IL

The Public Policy team at Illinois Action for Children is committed to creating a child care and early education ecosystem that prioritizes the hopes and dreams of families, advancing racial, gender, and economic equity. The Director of Public Policy should be experienced in leveraging policy to advance racial equity; familiar with or committed to learning human-centered design processes as they apply to building strong public policy, advocacy, and systems; and managing a team to support this work. The Director will work closely with both the research and advocacy departments as well as the direct service departments of Illinois Action for Children. The Director must be able to identify, analyze, and brief stakeholders on data and research from other states that may inform our approach in Illinois.

The Director will be expected to promote and adhere to the workplace core capabilities of: accountability, customer focus, continuous quality improvement, communication (CQI), competent people and clear priorities. All work to be completed with minimum supervision and in accordance with organizational standards.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include but are not limited to the following. The company reserves the right to add to, delete, change or modify the essential duties and responsibilities at any time.

  1. Manage the public policy team, supervise and direct the day-to-day operations and execution of the policy agenda; Develop the skills and expertise of policy associates through robust feedback, co-planning, evaluation, and reflection.
  2. Leverage and analyze state, local and national data and research in support of our policy agenda.
  3. Build relationships and partnerships with other IAFC teams, including research, advocacy, marketing & communications, community systems, IT and programs teams.
  4. Lead the facilitation of policy solution design process with parent and provider partners to build out our policy agenda to meets the hopes and dreams of families and children.
  5. Create and maintain relationships with local, state, and national policy experts.
  6. Write policy briefs, memos, and other content that help inform our advocacy, fundraising and evaluation efforts.
  7. Serve as a member of the Senior Management team; keep team informed of the policy ecosystem.
  8. Work closely with the Vice President on all issues and activities related to the operation of the Public Policy including budgeting, fundraising, goal setting, partnership cultivation, evaluation of staff, development or staff, and other responsibilities not listed.
  9. Present on our policy agenda alone or with other partners, both internal and external to the organization.
  10. Represent IL Action for Children’s Public Policy Team and our strategic plan, All Children, All Families, at local, state, and national conferences or presentations as appropriate.
  11. Lead the execution of written program, data and financial reports (including expense reports) as required by grant and contract agreements and agency reporting needs.
  12. Execute the department’s annual budget; monitoring its expenditures and fiscal needs, and report budget issues to the Vice President.
  13. Serve as our State Legislative Lobbyist, and point person for contract lobbyist as needed.
  14. Execute our workplace core capabilities of: accountability, customer focus, continuous quality improvement (CQI), communication, competent people and clear priorities.
  15. Other Functions: The organization may assign other functions to the job at its discretion.

SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIES include but are not limited to the following. The company reserves the right to add to, delete, change or modify the essential duties and responsibilities at any time.

Responsible for managing public policy staff—policy associate, senior policy associate, and any contractual positions which may include additional policy support or lobbying. Will be responsible for developing staff skills, leadership, and ability to project manage. Must be comfortable with evaluating projects and staff in order to foster growth and improvement. Will be responsible for recruiting, hiring, and transitioning staff as needed. Formal responsibility for planning, assigning, directing and coordinating the work of the department. Supervises positions of Policy Associate, Senior Policy Associate, and possibly contract lobbyist.


Master's degree and five years related experience and/or training required. Specific knowledge of state and federal policy process a plus along with preparation and presentation of financial documents Supervisory/management experience with two-five years managing a team of 2 or more employees; excellent analytic, writing, editing, speaking and presentation skills; demonstrable research skills.


  • Ability to strategize and implement necessary steps to realize stated goals and policy priorities.
  • Understanding of political, legislative and administrative process; skill in grassroots organizing and coalition work; knowledge of early childhood and family support issues.
  • Possess ability to adapt to changes as part of a growing organization.


Location: 4753 N Broadway, Chicago, IL        

IL Action for Children is EEO/M/F/V/D employer.


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