Careers >> Director of Poverty Policy
Director of Poverty Policy
Title:Director of Poverty Policy
Department/State Office:Policy
Campaign Start Date:12/20/2019
Location:National Office - Washington, DC

Job Title: Director of Poverty Policy

Mission of the Children's Defense Fund:

The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. CDF provides a strong, effective and independent voice for all the children of America who cannot vote, lobby or speak for themselves. We pay particular attention to the needs of poor children, children of color and those with disabilities. CDF educates the nation about the needs of children and encourages preventive investments before they get sick, drop out of school, get into trouble or suffer family breakdown. CDF began in 1973 and is a private, nonprofit organization.

Position Summary:

The Director of Poverty Policy is responsible for leading CDF’s policy and advocacy efforts to end child poverty. This person will be central to continuing CDF’s five-decade track record of achieving policy wins for low-income children. This position will manage the national policy staff focused on CDF’s work to end child poverty and will report to the Policy Director.


  • Lead CDF’s Policy and Advocacy Work to End Child Poverty Now
    • Work with the Policy Director to develop and execute CDF’s ending child poverty now policy agenda through advocacy efforts to positively influence the development of policy, research, technical assistance, lobbying efforts of the federal government across multiple branches, and/or other mobilizing efforts that will reduce child poverty.
    • Cultivate and maintain relationships with mission-aligned peers to exercise opportunities to harness the power of coalitions to drive CDF’s policy agenda to end child poverty.
    • Lead efforts to expand public understanding of the issues that children in poverty face.
  • Provide Policy Expertise and Acumen on Child Poverty
    • Track policy trends, emerging challenges, and opportunities (legislative, administrative, and otherwise) affecting poor children and families.
    • Understand the status of federal policy implementation of policies and programs serving poor children and families (including, but not limited to: child hunger and nutrition, housing and homelessness, child care assistance, TANF, tax credits and work supports) and respond accordingly to ensure they are being effectively delivered to poor children and families in a way that makes progress towards our goal of ending child poverty.
    • Be a leader in the children’s advocacy community on policy thinking around child poverty through work on our child poverty related reports, briefs, fact sheets and other public facing materials; speaking at public events/conferences, engaging with press, and others as determined.
    • Support other CDF communications, marketing, or state efforts to ensure child poverty elements are accurately presented in public facing materials.
  • Lead and Manage the Poverty Team
    • Manage the day-to-day activities of the CDF poverty team.
    • Lead personnel management of the poverty team through, team structuring of roles and responsibilities, performance management, staff development and effective hiring as opportunities arise.
  • Other Duties as Assigned


Mandatory Qualifications

  • A demonstrated commitment to and passion for children’s issues with a particular focus on children of color, poor children, and children from historically marginalized populations.
  • A strong understanding of the range of CDF’s issues, particularly as they relate to child poverty, including experience with the myriad of policies and programs serving poor children and families (including, but not limited to: child hunger and nutrition, housing and homelessness, child care assistance, TANF, tax credits and work supports).
  • A strong understanding of the current legislative climate, political environment, and other factors that affect the child advocacy climate.
  • A track record of developing and maintaining strong working relationships with internal partners and external stakeholders ranging from legislative staff to coalition partners to constituents.
  • Experience thoughtfully and effectively managing a team.
  • Excellent analysis, writing, editing and speaking skills.
  • Strength in managing multiple, complex priorities often with tight deadlines.
  • A commitment to a high standard of work-product, deadline-driven timeliness, attention to detail, and driving toward results even when faced with obstacles.
  • An orientation of servant-leadership in pursuit of CDF’s mission.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Expertise in several of CDF’s policy areas, specifically as they relate to child poverty.
  • Direct experience working with the communities we seek to serve.
  • Experience managing 3 or more staff at once.
  • Experience on-the-record with press.
  • Relationships with policy leaders at mission-aligned national organizations and offices.
  • Experience working on major policy reports and briefs.
  • A dynamic and innovative perspective to making short- and long-term impact in challenging environments.

Salary commensurate with experience. Attractive benefits package.

To apply submit cover letter, resume and salary requirement

The Children’s Defense Fund is an Equal Opportunity Employer


This opening is closed and is no longer accepting applications