Program Associate I
Chicago, IL 
Posted Today
Job Description

The Opportunity

As a Program Associate focusing on strategic resource planning, this candidate will contribute to technical assistance to states, counties, districts, and their stakeholders. This associate will work on a team focused on improving systems of support to benefit traditionally underserved and underrepresented communities in education. This position will be responsible for projects with a high degree of organizational, political, and client/stakeholder complexity. In addition, this position will coordinate and contribute to the management of fee-for-service contracts designed to support organizational capacity building of local education agencies (LEAs), regional education associations (REAs), and other SEAs.

Core Focus Areas

Research, Analysis, and Document Support (80%)

  • Engage clients and a broad range of stakeholders in using processes such as stakeholder engagement, system assessment, process design, consensus-building, visioning, and strategic planning
  • Independently complete research tasks such as literature reviews, policy scans, or landscape scans
  • Under the leadership of a project director, implement complex analyses and interpretation that generate advice and recommendations to improve program quality, organizational structure, staffing, and resource allocation efficiency and effectiveness
  • Analyze program and federal and state requirements to support the development of policies and protocols to increase productivity, effectiveness, and efficiency
  • Facilitate conversations across organizations and with clients and their partners, analyzing group and power dynamics and responding accordingly in real time
  • Focus group facilitation
  • Data preparation and analysis in tandem with research team

Proposal and Resource Development (5%)

  • Coordinate and contribute to the creation of grant proposals, contracts, and outreach that results in the growth of WestEd services

Project Management

  • Track team communication and draft client communication
  • Monitor timelines and deadlines for team coordination

SPECIAL NOTICE REGARDING THE WORK LOCATION OF THIS POSITION - Currently, all staff at WestEd are working from home until further notice. Once we return to offices, this position will be based in one of WestEd's offices. Candidates can submit a request to work from home.

What We're Looking For

To help us make a positive impact on the systems that create the conditions for learners from numerous racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds to attain improved outcomes, we'll need someone who has:

  • An abiding commitment to equity, excellence, and having an impact on the lives of children
  • Master's degree or equivalent education/experience in a relevant area (5-7 years of experience, educational contexts preferred)
  • An understanding of the concepts of institutional and structural racism and bias and their impact on underserved and underrepresented communities in education
  • Experience in providing workshops, institutes, virtual learning, and making presentations to state education agencies, districts, school boards, teacher leaders and/or community groups
  • Demonstrated ability to create an environment of psychological safety by working collaboratively and effectively with diverse staff, colleagues, and clients
  • Experience participating in a diverse team to accomplish an agreed-upon goal
  • Ability to navigate complex projects, managing multiple tasks, and meeting deadlines in a fast-paced environment
  • Experience incorporating the perspectives of people from diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds in the consideration of impacts and outcomes of a decision-making process
  • Superior communication skills, including excellent writing and powerful presentation skills; comfort with large and small groups, including diverse audiences and policy makers. Experience in product development (e.g., strategic or master plans, interview protocols, training materials, etc.), and writing for publication
  • Experience working on politically sensitive and/or publicly high-profile projects

SALARY AND BENEFITS: Salary for this role is competitive, and commensurate with experience. WestEd offers a very generous benefits package including medical, dental, and vision coverage, as well as Life, AD&D and Disability insurance. We also offer various retirement plan options and Flexible Spending Accounts for medical, childcare, and commuter expenses. WestEd offers generous paid holidays and paid time off (PTO), among other benefits.

Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities

The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor's legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)

WestEd is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or veterans’ status or other status protected by applicable law.


Job Summary
Start Date
As soon as possible
Employment Term and Type
Regular, Full Time
Required Education
Master's Degree
Required Experience
5 to 7 years
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