Senior Policy and Program Manager

Apply now Job no: 495498
Work type: Staff Full-Time
Location: Denver, CO
Categories: Research

The Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab at the University of Denver was created under the leadership of the Governor’s Office to unlock data-informed solutions to our most pressing social problems. Working together with a broad range of government and community partners, we conduct research with rigor to obtain the best available evidence to inform policies, programs, and investments. Our goal is to leverage data to inform policy and practice, set the wheels in motion to achieve and sustain change, and position our partners to pursue additional, meaningful change for the communities they serve with the guidance of eight essential elements: Prioritize Relationships, Learn Together, Apply Rigor, Activate Findings, Sustain Change, Make Connections, Welcome Risk for Reward, and act as a Bridge to the Research Community.

In 2021, the Colorado Department of Early Childhood (CDEC), received over $465 million in federal stimulus funding to support the recovery of the child care industry through the pandemic. The Colorado Lab was awarded a $4.8 million contract to serve as the Early Childhood Research and Evaluation (ECRE) Hub for a two-year period. The Colorado Lab will be responsible for facilitating the evaluation efforts for the early childhood stimulus-funded programs and policies. This will involve supporting approximately 8-10 evaluation teams (both internal and external to the Colorado Lab) to successfully design and implement their evaluation work. In addition, the Lab will be responsible for documenting and clearly communicating the actionable findings and lessons learned from these efforts to program and policy stakeholders as well as the public who can ultimately use the information.

Position Summary

The Colorado Lab seeks to hire a Senior Policy and Program Manager to support the launch of the ECRE Hub. This position will be essential for ensuring the Hub runs smoothly and reaches its full potential as a critical partner to State of Colorado leadership. In addition, the Senior Policy and Program Manager will partially support (approximately 20% time) the existing Colorado Lab’s Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) Evaluation Hub. This position would start November 7, 2022 with funding secured through September 30, 2024 with the possibility of an extension based on funding.

Essential Functions

The position will support the Director of the ECRE Hub to manage the portfolio of evaluation work, including managerial direction to operations staff who will be supporting the evaluation contracts and bringing together the meaningful communications materials from the evaluation work so it can be actionable for decision makers.

Example functions include:

  • Managing the selection process of expert evaluation teams capable of conducting the work required to meet evaluation goals.
  • Manage evaluation projects involving multiple partners, tight deadlines, and potentially high-profile topics. Help keep other people organized.
  • Productively engage in reciprocal partnerships with the Governor’s office, governmental agencies, and external researchers. The Colorado Lab is highly interactive with policy makers, and all staff are expected to play a role in supporting this value.
  • Facilitating evaluation team check-in meetings, documenting any challenges and progress toward key milestones.
  • Synthesizing updates from evaluation teams and bringing to ECRE Hub Director to help address challenges and co-develop strategies to support project success.
  • Leading the development of quarterly and annual reports for the CDEC that include the ECRE Hub and evaluation team achievements, overall lessons learned, any challenges encountered and strategy to overcome them, and anticipated activities moving forward.
  • Writing original content and facilitating the development of digital and written communications, including public research briefs, newsletter content, and slide decks for stakeholders.
  • Institutionalizing management processes such as meeting facilitation practices, template reports, and project trackers that can be leveraged across the evaluation hubs at the Colorado Lab.
  • Providing direction to operations staff as needed to support the budget and evaluation subcontracts of the ECRE Hub.
  • Engage in other duties as necessary, requested, and appropriate to support the mission of the ECRE Hub and Colorado Lab.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Professional experience and passion for addressing social policy problems and government performance using data-informed decision making.
  • Experience managing multiple high-stakes projects with multiple deliverables simultaneously.
  • Ability to work effectively with various key stakeholders, speak and write authoritatively and compellingly, resolve communication problems, and manage competing interests.
  • Ability to work well with project stakeholders regardless of position or authority, including executive leaders, team members, researchers, and operations staff.
  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal, and written communication and public speaking skills.
  • Exceptional negotiation and consensus-building skills for creative problem solving.
  • Exceptional organizational skills and demonstrated ability to create sustainable management processes.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, collaborative, team-oriented, often virtual work environment.
  • Self-motivated with an orientation towards results and a track record of driving results with limited supervisory direction.

Required Qualifications

  • 5 years of evidence-informed policy and program work with project management experience.
  • Master’s Degree in Public Administration, Policy, Business, or related field.
  • Excellent demonstrated written communication skills for a variety of audiences.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience working in local, state, or federal government.
  • Knowledge of early childhood policy issues.

Working Environment

Must be based in Denver region with a balance of virtual and in-person work.

Physical Activities

1. Ability to sit in front of a computer for an extended period of time.
2. Occasionally required to move about the office.

Work Schedule
Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Application Deadline
For best consideration, please submit your application materials by 4:00 p.m. (MST) September 27, 2022.

Special Instructions
Candidates must apply online through to be considered. Only applications submitted online will be accepted.

Salary Grade Number:
The salary grade for the position is 13.

Salary Range:
The salary range for this position is $90,000 - $100,000.

The University of Denver has provided a compensation range that represents its good faith estimate of what the University may pay for the position at the time of posting. The University may ultimately pay more or less than the posted compensation range. The salary offered to the selected candidate will be determined based on factors such as the qualifications of the selected candidate, departmental budget availability, internal salary equity considerations, and available market information, but not based on a candidate’s sex or any other protected status.

The University of Denver offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO pass. The University of Denver is a private institution that empowers students who want to make a difference. Learn more about the University of Denver.

Please include the following documents with your application:
1. Resume
2. Cover Letter
3. Writing sample of policy analysis or policy brief (excerpt max 4 pages). If you are not the sole author, provide a brief description of your role in the developing the product.

The University of Denver is an equal opportunity employer. The University of Denver prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age (40 years and over in the employment context), religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital status, veterans status, and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination under federal, state, or local law, regulation, or ordinance in any of the university's educational programs and activities, and in the employment (including application for employment) and admissions (including application for admission) context, as required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended in 2008; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967; and any other federal, state, and local laws, regulations, or ordinances that prohibit discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation. For the university's complete Non-Discrimination Statement, please see non‑discrimination‑statement.

All offers of employment are contingent upon satisfactory completion of a criminal history background check.

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