Project Director - LEDA Advocacy Fellows Project (Part-Time)

Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America | New York, New York


LEDA is a national, not-for-profit organization dedicated to identifying and developing the academic and leadership potential of exceptional public high school students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. These students are currently underrepresented in our nation’s top colleges, universities and ultimately, leadership sectors. LEDA believes that highly competitive colleges and universities are a nexus for the development of leadership. These institutions require an infusion of diversity to improve the mix of ideas and information impacting leaders of public and private organizations across the nation. By helping socio- economically disadvantaged students gain admission to selective academic institutions, LEDA seeks to equalize educational opportunity. LEDA recognizes that we are better off as a nation and as a people if we offer equal opportunity regardless of socio-economic status, drawing upon the leadership potential of all of our most talented citizens. 

LEDA Advocacy Fellows Project - Overview

With a transformative investment from the Lumina Foundation, LEDA is launching a new pilot program to train and position young leaders from underrepresented backgrounds to lend their voices to federal policy discussions pertaining to post-secondary education. The LEDA Advocacy Fellows project builds on LEDA’s mission of insuring that diverse voices are at the table where decisions are made, enabling LEDA Scholars to contribute insights on community impact and youth perspective while simultaneously preparing the next generation of diverse leaders to address a range of policy issues.  Over the course of the grant period LEDA will:

  • Prepare a select group of LEDA Scholars to become LEDA Advocacy Fellows
  • Engage the LEDA Scholar Community (college students and college alums) to assess the extent of their advocacy activities
  • Deploy LEDA Advocacy Fellows in arenas where federal education policy discussions take place
  • Network with partners and other youth advocacy organizations to develop and promote best practices

Job Summary

LEDA is seeking a highly-dedicated, passionate individual to join our program team in order to lead the implementation of this pilot initiative.  This is a one-year, flexible, part-time staff position (approximately 3-4 days per week) with the potential for continuation beyond the grant period.  Reporting to the Executive Director, the Project Director will implement the vision for the LEDA Advocacy Fellows Project, collaborating with LEDA staff, engaging outside consultants and partners, establishing and ensuring adherence with program outcomes, and developing a long-term sustainability plan. 

Reports To

Executive Director 


Position Outcomes:

A successful Project Director will:

  • Facilitate training and deployment of Fellows
  • Oversee the design and execution of a robust survey instrument measuring advocacy activities and perceptions
  • Ensure alignment of the pilot with LEDA’s core program activities
  • Develop a long-term strategic plan for the initiative

Key Responsibilities:

LEDA Advocacy Fellows Selection and Training

  • Promote the LEDA Advocacy Fellows initiative and engage the Scholar community, in coordination with LEDA staff
  • Implement an application process to select approximately 15 LEDA Advocacy Fellows
  • Identify and collaborate with an outside evaluator/survey designer to administer a community survey and integrate results into program design
  • Identify a partner to help develop and implement a training process and protocol that meets Scholars’ needs and aligns with LEDA’s approach to leadership.
  • Oversee all logistics and execution of training for LEDA Advocacy Fellows

External Stakeholder Engagement

  • Synthesize practices utilized by leading youth advocacy initiatives of peer organizations to inform program design
  • Network with stakeholders, funders, and other partners interested in engaging diverse perspectives in the federal education policy discussions in order to position LEDA Advocacy Fellows as a resource to be called upon to participate in various forums and events
  • Develop a roster of strategic platforms for and events where authentic student voices are most needed and stand to be most impactful, including:
    • Capitol Hill briefings
    • Membership conferences for education organizations (e.g., College Board)
    • Higher-education convenings
    • Funder affinity groups
    • Lumina grantee convenings
    • Corporate social responsibility convenings
    • Student conferences
    • Educational networking conferences
    • Facilitate attendance and participation of LEDA Scholars at key events throughout the grant period
    • Develop a strategy to engage leading reporters and researchers who follow relevant policy issues and work with them to incorporate young people’s perspectives in their coverage

Capacity Building

  • Synthesize program learnings to inform future program design and sustainability
  • Engage LEDA’s leadership  (Board Members and staff) in a strategic review of this new initiative in the context of LEDA’s overall mission
  • Develop a sustainable framework to continue this project as part of  LEDA’s ongoing activities
  • Formulate a plan addressing budget, staffing, capacity, and operational needs
  • Enhance LEDA’s alumni database to manage this data and store information from the survey referenced in Goal #1.


  • Prior experience in federal education policy in a nonprofit, higher education, or government setting.
  • Extensive knowledge of the federal education policy landscape and expertise in relevant legislation.
  • Demonstrated commitment to promoting educational equity for students from underrepresented backgrounds.
  • Experiential or professional understanding of policy issues pertaining to college access and higher education as they affect low-income populations.
  • Outstanding analytical skills and track record in designing and administering survey instruments and tracking outcome data
  • Willingness to work independently and as a member of a team. 

  • Excellent interpersonal, communication and writing skills. 

  • Exceptional organizational, analytical and problem-solving skills. 

  • Ability to multi-task and manage deadlines. 

  • Minimum of five years’ experience in program administration and operations.
  • Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s Degree Ppreferred. 


This is a part-time staff position, 3.5 days per week. The salary will be commensurate with experience. LEDA offers a 401(k) retirement plan, paid sick and paid family leave. 

Work Environment:

LEDA offers a flexible, collegial work environment that welcomes new ideas and innovation. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer.

How to Apply

To be considered for this opportunity, please send an email with a cover letter, résumé, and salary requirements to with “Project Director” in the subject line.

Employment in this position is contingent upon consent to and successful completion of a pre-employment background check, which may include a criminal background check, reference checks, verification of work history, and verification of any required academic credentials, licenses, and/or certifications, with results acceptable to LEDA. Background check information will be used in a confidential, non-discriminatory manner consistent with state and federal law. 

Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America


Organization: Nonprofit Organizations