Director of Youth Advocacy

Director of Youth Advocacy, DC Action

DC Action, a nonprofit working on behalf of DC’s young people, seeks a Director of Youth Advocacy to lead efforts centered on advancing education, eliminating gun violence, and pursuing economic justice

Formed in 2020 as a merger between two long-standing advocacy nonprofits, DC Action uses research, data, and a racial equity lens to break down barriers that stand in the way of all kids reaching their full potential. DC Action works to ensure that young people have access to the housing, health care, learning spaces, jobs, and other support they need and deserve. 

DC Action is home to DC Kids Count, a partnership with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and a range of coalitions with a collaborative advocacy model that centers the experiences of youth, their families, and community partners. View DC Action’s Policy Priorities to learn more.

DC Action is committed to being an anti-racist organization and believes all children and youth should have the opportunity to reach their full potential regardless of their race, zip code, or family’s income. Rooted in addressing structural racism and its impact on children, youth, and families, DC Action’s approach honors community members’ knowledge and skills so that those most directly affected by racial and economic inequity design the solutions they need. 

Position Overview

The Director of Youth Advocacy will lead a $1M youth advocacy campaign and provide 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.  

The Director will have a deep understanding of the systemic inequities and historic structures that block education and economic opportunities for Black and brown children, youth, and their families. They will work closely with the DC Action team to advance the organization’s anti-racist principles. The Director will provide insight and apply expertise about structural racism to their work, team leadership, and external advocacy platforms. Specific areas of responsibility include:

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 transitions into adulthood. 

  • Develop and drive an annual portfolio of policy and advocacy strategies. 

  • Build and strengthen collaborative working relationships with policymakers to 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 across the entire organization. 

Public Relations and Fundraising

  • Represent the Youth Advocacy team to allies and partners, policymakers, press, and other stakeholders. Serve as a media spokesperson on issues related to youth and young adults. 

  • With the Executive Director, participate in fundraising meetings and events, assist with proposal development, contribute to grant reports, and ensure DC Action’s youth advocacy and policy work is adequately resourced.

Team Supervision

  • Lead, coach, and mentor a team of 3+ that currently includes two policy analysts and a youth mobilization manager (to be hired), as well as fellows and interns. 

  • Build team members’ understanding of challenges and opportunities facing DC youth and ensure young people and their experiences are represented throughout the work. 

Coalition Building and Management

  • Direct results-driven coalitions for Youth Economic Justice and Housing and DC Out-of-School Time in collaboration with policy experts and a youth mobilizer. 

  • Build coalitions’ membership and constituency by engaging diverse networks of advocates, direct service providers, students, community members, young people, and their families. 

  • Identify and resolve challenges within coalitions while ensuring that strategies and tactics are realized, deadlines are met, communications are aligned, and power is built and shared.

Experience, Skills, and Qualities

The most competitive applicants will have many of the following attributes:

  • 10+ years of senior leadership experience in education, youth development, policy advocacy, coalition building, or campaign management.

  • 5+ years supervising professionals at various skill levels and stages of their career.

  • A strong commitment to improving the lives of children and youth.

  • Passion for youth, economic, racial, and social justice, with an advanced understanding of structural racism and historic inequities facing Black and brown youth. 

  • Experience with resource development and grant writing is desirable.

  • Knowledge of local DC politics and youth-related issues is desirable.

  • Excellent communication, writing, and verbal skills.

  • Self-motivated, entrepreneurial, and collaborative. 

  • A great sense of humor. The ability to foster and maintain a positive environment while upholding rigor and high standards.


The starting salary range for this position is $120,000 to $130,000, with a generous benefits package, a great team, and an environment committed to fostering staff growth and leadership. 

Working Location

DC Action's offices are located in Dupont Circle. The Director of Advocacy operates on a hybrid schedule working 2-3 days a week in the office to support in-person meetings with team members, constituents, and policymakers.

Application Process

DC Action has retained the services of Good Insight, a national executive search firm serving small nonprofits. See the full executive profile and application information at Resume reviews begin immediately. For best consideration, apply by early July, 2023. Early applications are encouraged due to the pace of the search.

Equal Opportunity Employer

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.