Program Manager / Policy Analyst

Position Description



Founded in 2010, California Competes is an independent, nonpartisan project aimed at bolstering the state’s postsecondary outcomes to foster robust regional economies, vibrant communities and an engaged citizenry. A signature project of The Opportunity Institute, California Competes’ work on state policy is led by a director and guided by an esteemed Council of business and civic leaders.


Reporting to the Director, the Program Manager/Policy Analyst is chiefly responsible for providing programmatic support to the project and supporting research and policy activities, as well as leading a set of administrative and web-related responsibilities. The programmatic elements of the position include managing and coordinating the day-to-day research agenda. This includes conducting research and analysis that will inform the organization’s ongoing work, drafting policy proposals, white papers, blogs and op-eds, and developing innovative approaches for promoting the organization’s priorities. The Program Manager/Policy Analyst will work with the Director to develop and execute the logistical and programmatic aspects of California Competes’ Higher Education Policy Institute, a series of seminars intended to educate legislators on higher education policy.  Operationally, the position assumes responsibility for the overall running of the project: copyediting and proof-reading documents; maintaining the project’s web presence and creating and managing social media campaigns; coordinating calendars, meetings and phone calls, and arranging travel; creating and submitting program expense reports; and organizing meetings and special events that support the program's goals, including meetings of the California Competes Council.


Specifically, the Program Manager/Policy Analyst will be expected to contribute to all of California Competes’ activities, including:

  • Conduct research projects on postsecondary education, including postsecondary structure and governance, the degree attainment gap, policies promoting equity, program quality, state employment data and building connections to the workforce, accreditation, and others topics as necessary;
  • Collect, organize, clean, and analyze relevant postsecondary data and develop draft memos, reports and graphics (e.g. charts and graphs) summarizing the organizational research for internal and external audiences
  • Conduct bill analysis and analyze higher education policy proposals
  • Draft and/or write portions of California Competes’ reports, op-eds, and grant reports, as needed
  • Copy-edit and proofread reports and provide quality control through all stages of the production process, including providing feedback to and communications with graphic and web designers
  • Plan and organize details for Higher Education Policy Institutes
  • Manage overall social media strategy, including creating targeted campaigns, producing original content for Facebook and Twitter pages, and disseminating relevant news as a means to increase public awareness
  • Create and maintain databases of information on California postsecondary institutions;
  • Manage the California Competes website, Salesforce database, Mailchimp lists, as well as most technical and administrative aspects of organization;
  • Manage Council meeting logistics, and coordinating vendor payments and meeting reimbursements.

The ideal candidate is a detail-oriented self-starter and a confident, analytical, and agile problem-solver with the ability to handle several programmatic and administrative tasks simultaneously. The successful candidate also will demonstrate curiosity by asking questions and taking initiative around both programmatic and administrative duties.


  • BA/BS degree plus three to five years of relevant work experience required. Master’s in Public Policy, Education or a related field preferred.

  • Creative, intellectually-curious self-starter with a strong work ethic, high standards, and integrity

  • Working knowledge of California’s political and higher education system preferred

  • Excellent analytical and writing skills

  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, MailChimp etc.)

  • A team player with a diplomatic, professional manner, and a sense of humor.

Interested? Please apply.

If you believe you are a good fit for this position, we would welcome a cover letter and resume. Please send cover letter and resume, in one single attached document to  The Opportunity Institute is an equal opportunity employer committed to a diverse workplace.