Director of Youth Advocacy

Director, Youth Advocacy

Full time, permanent

Hybrid, Dupont Circle, Washington, DC



At DC Action, we know the District’s young people can accomplish anything when they have a fair chance.

And we also know how much stands in their way -- particularly our young people most affected by poverty and racism. These are powerful injustices, and they must be met with an equally powerful response.

We’re uniting all those fighting on behalf of DC’s children and youth to pursue a single, shared vision for what it looks like to grow up in our city. Because, while childhood exists on a continuum from birth to adulthood, the systems, programs and organizations designed to support our children and youth are too often fragmented by age.

Together with our young people, parents and community partners, we’re advocating with one voice for public policies that support kids at every step from early childhood to early adulthood. We are stronger, louder and more effective together. And, whether we are focused on helping a toddler learn her letters or a young man pursue his professional passion, we share one goal: that all of DC’s children and youth grow up safe, resilient, powerful, and heard.

Please visit Our Policy Priorities to learn more about our work, values and impact.



We can’t address structural racism without addressing how it blocks education and economic opportunities for Black and brown children, youth and their families. DC Action fights to ensure that young people have access to the housing, health care, learning spaces, jobs and other support they need and deserve. 

The Director of Youth Advocacy will provide thought leadership and resource development support to the executive director along with strategic direction and supervision of a broad portfolio of policy, mobilization, and communications resources to advance education and economic justice for the District’s young people. 


Strategic Leadership 

  • Serve as a thought leader to the executive director on strategies and tactics to promote positive youth development, community safety,  increased youth employment and successful transition into adulthood. 
  • Develop and drive an annual portfolio of policy-advocacy strategies that breakdown structural barriers facing youth and young adults in the District of Columbia, informed by the experiences of young people and other administrative data sources. 
  • Build and strengthen relationships with policymakers in both the executive and legislative branches to work collaboratively as well as ensure accountability for policies affecting youth and young adults.
  • Work in collaboration with DC Action’s leadership team to coordinate policy, mobilization, and communications efforts. 

Fundraising and Public Relations

  • In collaboration with the executive director, participate in fundraising meetings and events, develop funding proposals, contribute to grant reports and ensure our youth advocacy and policy work is adequately resourced. 
  • Represent our Youth Advocacy Team before key audiences, both public and private, including meetings with allies and partners,  policy makers, press and other stakeholders.
  • Serve as a media spokesperson on issues related to youth and young adults. 


  • Lead a team that currently includes two policy analysts, a youth mobilization manager, fellows and interns. Provide coaching, mentoring, and leadership development opportunities for team members to grow and develop professionally. 
  • Lead the team to intentionally and regularly engage with young people and diverse organizational partners to understand the challenges and opportunities facing DC youth and ensure young people and their experiences are represented throughout our work. 

Coalition Building and Management

  • Provide direction and leadership for DC Action’s Youth Economic Justice and Housing Coalition and DC Out-of-School Time Coalition in collaboration with your team of policy experts and youth mobilizer. Ensure our coalitions are functioning at the highest level, that meetings are well-organized, prepared, and results driven. 
  • Build the membership and constituency for our youth work by engaging diverse networks of supporters, including, but not limited to advocates, direct service providers, students, young people and their families. 
  • In collaboration with each coalition’s leadership, coordinate the annual campaign planning process, with input and buy-in from key constituency groups, and once developed, drive the execution of the plans. 
  • Identify and resolve challenges as they arise, to ensure strategies and tactics stay on track, deadlines are met, framing and messaging are in alignment, and that power is built and shared. 


  • A strong commitment to improving the lives of children and youth. You are not just looking for a short-term engagement, but have a long-term vision and are committed to this work for the long haul
  • Passion for economic, racial and social justice
  • At least 10 years of experience in education, youth development, policy-advocacy, coalition or campaign management
  • At least 10 years of experience supervising professionals at various skill levels and stages of their career.
  • A bachelor’s degree in education, sociology, social work, psychology, youth development or related field. Master’s degree preferred. 
  • Previous management experience in an advocacy or nonprofit organization. 
  • Self-motivated and entrepreneurial. The ability to work independently, but also able to collaborate and work as part of a team and with diverse partners
  • Excellent communication, writing and verbal skills
  • Demonstrated ability to thrive in a small, fast-paced, entrepreneurial organization committed to the well-being of children and youth
  • A great sense of humor. You complement rigor and high standards with an ability to foster and maintain a great environment. 



The starting salary range for this position is $110,000 to $130,000, commensurate with qualifications and experience. DC Action offers a generous benefit package, a great team, and a working environment committed to fostering staff growth and leadership. We are able to offer our employees 100% employer-sponsored medical, dental, vision insurance, student loan assistance, 401K retirement plan with employer match, generous vacation, personal and sick time, family and medical leave, days off to vote and volunteer, along with an employee assistance program offering counseling, mental health and financial support.



To apply, please complete the application and upload your resume along with two professional writing samples by April 15, 2023. 

This announcement will remain posted until the position is filled. No phone calls please.   

DC Action recognizes and honors diversity in race, ethnicity, culture, age, abilities, gender, sexual orientation, and places where people live. We seek to reflect this diversity in all aspects of our work, including the composition of our board, staff, and volunteers. Further, DC Action seeks to be a multicultural and culturally competent organization that works for equity among all people. We strongly encourage applications from people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community and other underrepresented and historically marginalized groups. 

Please note that only those individuals whose qualifications match the current needs of this position will be considered applicants and will receive responses from DC Action.