Director of Policy & Advocacy



Salary Range: $73,077 – $109,615

Location: Washington, D.C.

Reporting Structure: This role reports to the Senior Vice President.

Job Classification: Full-time, exempt

The Director of Policy & Advocacy’s primary role is to lead APIA Scholars’ advocacy activities through policy analysis and advocacy, coalition building, stakeholder engagement and collaborative efforts with both postsecondary equity and civil rights researchers and advocates. The position aims to build key policy champions and center APIA student stories in order to advance legislation that would drive postsecondary student success, particularly among underserved AANHPI students. This work will include collaborative efforts with the research and student success teams at APIA Scholars, as well as community stakeholders such as Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs), to determine how colleges and universities can scale strategies for APIA student success.
This is a full-time exempt position working out of APIA Scholars’ office in Washington, D.C. APIA Scholars’ staff is working mainly remote with one day in the DC office per week.

As Director of Policy & Advocacy, you will:

Lead Policy Agenda Development & Execution

  • Monitor, analyze, and provide recommendations around policies affecting AANHPI postsecondary student success, including those related to AANAPISIs and equitable policymaking for AANHPI subgroups
  • Work collaboratively with the Director of Research and APIA Scholars’ research partners to conduct quantitative and qualitative data collection and analyses as needed, in order to understand relevant policies and practices that drive AANHPI postsecondary student success
  • Educate policymakers and other stakeholders on the barriers to AANHPI Student Success and develop recommendations to lift said barriers
  • Conduct legislative office visits as necessary
  • Work collaboratively with APIA Scholars’ Communications and Marketing team to develop and disseminate appropriate materials as it relates to policy and advocacy, such as policy briefs, infographics, factsheets, webinars, newsletters, and press releases.

Community Engagement and Partnerships

  • Build new relationships with AANHPI community organizations and relevant policy organizations.
  • Represent APIA Scholars at policy roundtables, briefings, conferences, coalition meetings and events
  • Collaborate and lead, as needed, coalition initiatives that advance APIA Scholars’ policy priorities
  • Engage with stakeholders in the AANAPISI community and lead collective advocacy efforts

Program Management

  • Support the Senior Vice President with thought leadership on APIA Scholars organizational strategy as it pertains to policy analysis, advocacy, and organizational development
  • Track grant-funded activities, monitor budgets, reporting requirements, and sub-grant administration to partners as needed
  • Work collaboratively with APIA Scholars’ Research team to develop and execute the annual Applied Research Fellowship for graduate APIA students

What You’ll Bring

  • Deep commitment to APIA Scholars’ mission and strategy.
  • Deep commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Strong relationship building and instinct.
  • Exemplary writing and communication skills.
  • Ability to develop a portfolio of new prospects.
  • Ability to succeed in a fast-paced environment
  • Excellent organizational and time-management skills.
  • Minimum 5 years of consecutive experience with non-profit organizations, policy analysis, advocacy, legislative affairs or other relevant experience
  • Familiarity with the federal legislative process
  • Experience communicating complex policy issues to diverse stakeholders

Experience and Skills Preferred

  • Direct experience working with researchers
  • Direct experience working with AANHPI communities
  • Knowledge of higher education issues as they pertain to AANHPI communities
  • Media and communications experience, including writing press releases or advisories
  • Group facilitation and training.


At least 5 years of experience in education and/or civil rights policy and advocacy required. A master’s degree or PhD in education, public policy, or related field preferred. An equivalent combination of education and experience may be accepted as a satisfactory substitute for the specific education and experience listed above.

How To Apply

To apply to this position, please send a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
Cover Letter: Share your interest in this role highlighting key professional achievements related to this position and what you hope to attribute to the organization in this capacity.
Resume: Clearly outline relevant work experience and any prerequisites that make you the ideal candidate for this position. Please be sure to include the dates of your employment.
Writing Sample: Please submit a 1-3 page policy-related writing sample. Organization and/or stakeholder names may be anonymized.

What We Offer

The salary for this position is commensurate with experience. APIA Scholars provides a comprehensive benefits package including health, vision, dental, 401k, life insurance, and generous paid leave including 15 vacation days, 10 PTO/flex days, federal holidays, and an additional one-week winter closure. At APIA Scholars we believe together we can make an impact. Diversity and inclusion powers that impact. We strive to create a sense of belonging by embracing our differences. We are an organization where everyone is valued, heard, and appreciated. APIA Scholars encourages applicants from historically marginalized populations to consider our team as your next opportunity for change. We are committed to equal employment opportunity and advancement regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity, gender expression, or Veteran status.

About APIA Scholars

What was founded in 2003 as a scholarship fund has transformed over the past two decades into a leading national organization serving the unique needs of Asian and Pacific Islander (APIA) students through holistic college to career programming, research, and higher education convenings. As we enter our 20th Anniversary year in 2023, our focus on Scholars – and their authentic leadership development – remains at the core of our mission and vision. However, we know that our best efforts to uplift future APIA students will only be realized if we, as a national APIA voice for higher education equity, leverage our resources, partnerships, and networks to also address the systems that continue to preclude APIAs from success on their journey.
APIA Scholars’ mission is supported through five core strategies: college access, student success, career development, building knowledge, and scaling systems. Through this approach we promote APIA inclusion, equity, and representation on the individual, institutional, and societal level. With a growing Alumni community of 7,500+ Scholars, over 160 eligible Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) serving over 40% of all APIA undergraduate students, and the fastest growing racial or ethnic group in the country of 25 million and growing, APIA Scholars is positioned to educate, elevate, and empower a diverse community that reflects the country’s increasingly diverse future.