Catalyst California ,


1 month ago
Employment type
Exempt, Full-time, Regular Position
Los Angeles *This is a hybrid position
Closing date

About this organization

Who We Are

Catalyst California (formerly known as Advancement Project California) advocates for racial justice by building power and transforming public systems. We partner with communities of color, conduct innovative research, develop policies for actionable change, and shift money and power back into our communities. Rooted in the historic struggle for racial and economic equality, Catalyst California envisions a world where systems are designed for justice and support equitable access to resources and opportunities for all Californians to thrive. Our primary programs are Educational Equity, Equity in Community Investments, Political Voice, and Reimagine Justice & Safety.

About this job

Position Summary

Reporting to the Vice President of Policy and Programs, the Director of Educational Equity (“Director”) leads the strategic vision of the team’s Birth to 12th grade agenda to advance racial equity and economic justice in state and local policy and practice, build community power, and transform public systems. The Director is charged with the overall management of the program area including fund development, fiscal oversight, staff supervision, policy and advocacy initiatives, program development, partnership building, and external relations. The Director will need to be a strategic thinker, able to gain ground when opportunities present themselves, a visionary on behalf of communities of color, a strong communicator internally with staff and Catalyst California leaders, as well as with external partners and stakeholders, and be a collaborative leader who works well in coalition and can deftly elevate and support the overall team’s leadership and leverage the expertise across the organization.

The successful candidate will be skilled at making a case for change through developing strategic campaigns that leverage political opportunities and are rooted in research, the lived experiences of community, and compelling messaging. This position requires understanding a broad range of educational equity issues, a track record for uplifting and engaging with community, and demonstrated policy, advocacy, research, and/or legislative experience and recognizing policy windows for change.


Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Provide strategic vision and leadership in research, policy, and advocacy for the Educational Equity program’s Birth to 12th grade agenda to advance racial and economic justice in state and local policy and practice, build community power, and transform public systems to support children to thrive.

Set and implement strategic goals and policy advocacy development with support and oversight from the Vice President of Policy and Programs.

Manage fundraising, grants, projects, and contracts:

Lead fundraising for the Educational Equity team, including funder engagement, grant proposals, ongoing stewardship, reporting, and organizing events to support our organization's mission.

Work with staff and partners to articulate project goals, scope of work and deliverables, timelines and progress toward achieving grant milestones.

Facilitate operations, workflow and accountability between policy, research, communications and technical staff to execute project deliverables with highest quality.

Work with the Vice President of Policy and Programs to develop and implement annual program budget and ensure the program is running efficiently and effectively while staying within budgetary guidelines.

Develop and successfully implement policy and research frameworks, fund development and budget management, and grant/client development activities.

Provide leadership on analyzing political opportunities and developing campaigns and strategic communications that uplift the voices of communities of color, working alongside community, partners and coalitions, and engagement of local and state leaders.

Lead research and integrate emerging trends in educational equity, as well as best practices uplifting diverse community-based organizations.

Represent Catalyst California in key policy and advocacy stakeholder networks and serve as liaison with community-based organizations and coalitions.

Identify, initiate, and deepen relationships with a broad array of policy, research and community-based stakeholders, relevant government staff, and political leadership.

Provide leadership in hosting convenings, as well as a biannual conference with over 500 attendees and ensure representation of students, parents, community-based organizations and key elected officials.

Team Development/Management

Promote a culture of high performance, supportive and collaborative leadership, leading with a growth mindset that values learning and a commitment to quality.

Lead strong internal communication, and overall staff professional development and mentorship.

Provide leadership in project implementation for current and emerging Catalyst California cross-programmatic efforts.

Mentor and develop staff using a supportive and collaborative approach on a consistent basis.

Establish and monitor staff performance and development goals, assign duties, set objectives, establish priorities, and conduct performance reviews.

General Duties

Participate in and help lead organization-wide planning, development, and communications activities, as needed, and ensure adherence to Catalyst California goals and policies within the project area.

Serve as a member of the Leadership Team.

Other duties as assigned, dependent on organizational needs and employee skills.


The requirements listed represent the knowledge, skills, and/or abilities required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the *essential functions.

Education & Experience

Bachelor’s degree required; graduate degree in education policy, public policy, law, or the social sciences preferred. Equivalent combination of education and experience sufficient to successfully perform the essential job duties may be considered.

10 plus years of experience working in the education policy or related social justice field, ideally with at least five years in a leadership role.

Demonstrated experience leading and supervising teams.

Successful track record of fund development from a diverse array of funding sources, and maintenance of programmatic budget of over $1 million.

Deep understanding and experience in Birth to 12th grade education systems, racial and economic justice frameworks, and inclusive community development.

Solid knowledge base of education policy and advocacy, and a deep understanding of opportunities to increase the current education system’s ability to serve high need communities of color effectively and appropriately.

Demonstrated success building coalitions/partnerships with community groups representing a wide range of racial and ethnic communities.

Track record of analyzing political opportunities and working alongside community to develop winning campaigns that uplift and support communities of color.

Direct experience in working with legislative and administrative sources of influence.

Working knowledge of leveraging data in advocacy strategies including community‐based research, innovative technologies, and mapping of community trends.

Demonstrated leadership and strategic thinking capabilities.

Demonstrated ability to work in collaboration with internal and external stakeholders.

Candidate Profile, Skills, and Abilities

Sincere and demonstrated commitment to advancing social, economic and/or racial justice progress for the highest-need communities.

Strong interpersonal, communication, facilitation and presentation skills including presenting to a variety of audiences, including large audiences (e.g. community partners, academics, policy-makers, philanthropists, the general public, supervisees, teammates).

Strong presentation skills including skills for a variety of audiences (e.g., community partners, academics, policy‐makers, philanthropists, the general public, supervisees, teammates) and experience presenting to large audiences.

Ability to manage and delegate to technical staff with expertise in a variety of disciplines.

Demonstrated track record of successful project management and staff management.

Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.

Ability to work independently and with minimal supervision.

Demonstrated ability to work in a small team setting.

Flexibility to adjust and contribute to continually evolving work situation and changing priorities.

Excellent computer skills, proficient with MS Office applications.

Excellent organizational skills with demonstrated ability to execute projects on-time and on-budget.

Must be able to travel locally and statewide.

Physical Requirements

Prolonged periods sitting at a desk and working on a computer.

Must be able to lift up to 15 pounds at times.


In the spirit of pay transparency, we are excited to share the base salary range for this position is $120,000 - $150,000. If you are hired at Catalyst California, your final salary compensation will be determined based on factors such as skills, education, and/or experience. In addition to those factors, we believe in the importance of pay equity and consider internal equity of our current team members as a part of any final offer. Please keep in mind that the range mentioned above is the full salary range for the role. Hiring at the maximum of the range would not be typical in order to allow for future and continued salary growth.


Medical, dental, and vision benefits for eligible employees and their spouses and/or dependents, including registered Domestic Partners.

403B retirement plan with employer matching benefits after 90 days.

Flexible Spending Account for eligible employees to allocate pre-tax money throughout the year.

Fifteen (15) vacation days, six (6) personal days, eight (8) sick days, along with national and office holidays.

Organizational and team Wellness Days to build team cohesion and camaraderie.

Opportunity to work in a flexible work culture that is sensitive to employee wellbeing and encourages work-life balance.

Provide scheduling flexibility for parents and caregivers and telework stipend.

Opportunity to see the meaning and impact of your work at an organization actively building more equitable communities and systems across California.

Opportunity to work in an organization dedicated to pay equity and diverse work culture.

Yearly professional development allowance and support of personalized professional development goals.

Roles & responsibilities


To apply

To Apply

Please send an email with the subject “Last Name, First Name – Educational Equity Director Application” and a cover letter, resume, and a strategic communications advocacy writing sample (op-ed, press release, blog post) as a PDF. The attachments should be titled “Last Name, First Name – Document Type.pdf” (e.g., McCorkle, Katrice – Resume.pdf) and sent to: Katrice McCorkle Human Resources Senior Manager

Interview Process

• Phone interview with hiring manager.

• Two panel interviews (via Zoom)

• Reference Checks

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Catalyst California is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, age, or any other category protected by local, state, or federal laws. We are committed to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive staff team. We strongly encourage applicants who are people of color, LGBTQ, women, people with disabilities; and/or formerly incarcerated people.