After School Matters provides Chicago high school teens with high quality, after-school and summer opportunities to explore and develop their talents while gaining critical skills for work, college and beyond. Since 1991, more than 300,000 teens have participated in our hands-on, project-based after-school and summer programs in the arts, communications, sports, science and technology. Programs take place at locations throughout the city including Chicago public high schools, Chicago Park District and Chicago Public Library locations, community organizations, downtown at the Gallery 37 Center for the Arts and in Belmont Cragin at our new Michael and Karyn Lutz Center for After School Matters. For more information, visit www.afterschoolmatters.org.
Summary of Position:
The Senior Director of Research and Policy will oversee After School Matters’ research and evaluation, and policy and advocacy teams. The individual will be primarily responsible for helping the organization assess program effectiveness and performance, and use research to drive the strategy, coordination and implementation of a policy and advocacy strategy and subsequent implementation. The Senior Director of Research and Policy will perform data analyses based on After School Matters’ strategic directions to inform progress on the overarching strategy. The individual will also inform and facilitate data-driven decision making on both internal and external-facing activities of the organization, including but not limited to government relations, communications and public affairs, development, and programs. This includes playing a key role in the organization’s efforts to secure public funding.
This is a full-time position.
Master’s degree required (PhD preferred) in research and evaluation, political science, government relations, public policy or similar field
7-10 years of research and policy experience
Ability to travel across Chicago to conduct program site visits and to meet with stakeholders is required
Must be able to occasionally work evenings and weekends
Cook County residency is required
Major Duties and Responsibilities:
Research and Evaluation
Manage all evaluation, research, and other project activities, including evaluation and research plan development, instrument design, data collection, analysis, and reporting
Analyze data using appropriate qualitative and quantitative techniques to ensure all data are valid, reliable, and accurately portrayed in reports
Ensure confidentiality of all individual data and apply FERPA rules as appropriate
Write clear, concise, and accurate reports that analyze and interpret data to enhance decision-making
Analyze new data sources, systems, and visual technology and integrate accordingly
Manage an internal research review board and process for external research requests
Develop and conduct staff trainings related to implementation, tools, data collection and utilization
Contribute to the development of programming by fostering and supporting the use of proper research methods and data
Collaborating with key stakeholders
Collaborate with program staff to plan and implement improvements to the data system and reporting tools to capture data effectively
Collaborate with city partners including Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Libraries, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Housing Authority, and the Department of Family & Support Services on citywide out-of-school time efforts and data reporting and analysis
Collaborate on data sharing agreements and research contracts/proposals with external parties; seek and manage relationships with researchers in academic and independent institutions regarding youth development, psychometrics, evaluation, and policy
Collect current research from programs nationwide and inform leadership of new trends, programs or initiatives in the field of after-school programs for teens
Policy and Advocacy
Outreach and external affairs
Create, manage, and implement annual government relations plan
Cultivate, steward, coordinate and track outreach to and engagement with elected officials at Federal, State, County, and municipal levels
Manage advocacy plan around governmental funding including scheduling visits, planning and outreach
Convene and manage a Policy Advisory Council (including internal and external members) to provide regular input and guidance on evaluation of policy priorities
Plan and execute advocacy-oriented program visits and events with teens in conjunction with the Programs team
Policy analysis and dissemination
Create and distribute a policy/advocacy newsletter; track and utilize results to regularly increase engagement
Advocate for policy priorities and positions, build internal and external consensus, and implement change by conducting research and outreach, writing reports and proposals, seeking out engagement opportunities (including community meetings and national conferences), and delivering public remarks
Compile and present reports on status of advocacy and priority plans for various stakeholders, including the Board and funders
Respond in a timely manner to requests from the Chief Executive Officer and Chief of Staff; collaborate on and occasionally lead projects from these offices as needed
Help to inform the strategic directions of the organization
Other duties as assigned
Research and Evaluation team
Senior Communications and Policy Coordinator
External research consultants and interns
The physical demands here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Must be able to sit for long periods of time
Must be able to use a computer for long periods of time
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is not exposed to weather conditions.
The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Ability to communicate with diverse stakeholders, specifically through written communication and public speaking
Demonstrated experience in project management, prioritization on tight timelines, attention to detail, and ability to manage detailed calendars and project plans; ability to follow-through particularly when re-prioritization occurs
Ability to analyze data and effectively present findings to various audiences, including Executive Team, Program teams, external organizations, and funders
Proficiency in creating graphs and tables in SPSS
Knowledge and awareness of policy issues related to education, youth development, violence prevention, urban affairs, and criminal justice.
Knowledge of Chicago’s political and community landscape
Energetic team player with the ability to develop and facilitate collaborative relationships
Demonstrated experience leading, developing teams, and coaching teams
Excellent Microsoft Office skills, advanced proficiency in Microsoft Excel
Ability to work in a dynamic, fast paced, high energy environment
Experience working with teenagers is strongly preferred
How to Apply:
Submit a cover letter and resume at http://afterschoolmatters.applytojob.com/apply
After School Matters is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, protected veteran status, military discharge status, age, marital status, parental status, or source of income.
Internal Number: 3127028972
About After School Matters
After School Matters provides Chicago high school teens with high quality, out-of-school time opportunities to explore and develop their talents while gaining critical skills for work, college and beyond. Since 1991, more than 200,000 teens have participated in our hands-on, project-based after-school and summer programs in the arts, communications and leadership, STEM and sports. Programs take place at locations throughout the city including Chicago public high schools, Chicago Park District and Chicago Public Library locations, community-based organizations, The Michael and Karyn Lutz Center for After School Matters in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood and Gallery 37 Center for the Arts downtown.