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Job Summary

The Youth Policy Lab is seeking an energetic, ambitious and entrepreneurial person to serve as Associate Director. In collaboration with the faculty directors, the Associate Director will lead the Lab’s outreach and strategic planning and manage the Lab’s day-to-day activities. The Associate Director will help to develop new partnerships and to identify new funding opportunities and will take the lead on external communications and outreach activities including meeting with potential partners, overseeing the development of written materials (newsletters, policy briefs, conference displays and website content), planning events to help raise the profile of the Lab, and representing the Lab at workshops, conferences and other events. The Associate Director will also be responsible for day-to-day management of the Lab – supervising administrative and research staff, ensuring that existing projects move forward in a timely manner, monitoring internal communication structures, overseeing financial management activities, and recruiting and hiring new staff. 

Background on the Youth Policy Lab

The Youth Policy Lab at the University of Michigan conducts applied research in the areas of education, health care, juvenile justice and workforce development to improve opportunities for young people in Michigan and beyond. We partner with state and local agencies, nonprofits and policymakers to develop and evaluate interventions for youth ages 0-25. Leveraging the collective expertise of faculty across the UM, we help organizations use individual-level client data to ascertain needs, identify promising strategies, refine service-delivery models and conduct rigorous outcome evaluations. 
Our approach focuses on developing hands-on, collaborative partnerships with the agencies and organizations with which we work. We start with questions that are most relevant to the organizations themselves and then provide technical assistance, information and analyses to help address the problems that are most pressing to them. The ultimate goal is not only to help address specific questions, but also to increase the capacity of these organizations to use data themselves to enhance programs and service delivery. 


Partnership Development, Grant Procurement and Outreach (50%) 

  • Identifies, develops and cultivates new and existing partnerships.
  • Establishes good working relationships and collaborative arrangements with city leaders, community groups, funders, policy makers, and other organizations to help achieve the goals of the Lab.
  • Represents the Lab at all appropriate public functions to publicize the organizations activities and garner new opportunities.
  • Drafts content for grant proposals and reports to sponsors.
  • Develops and oversees a communication strategy and marketing efforts aimed at increasing the visibility of the Lab including developing events to raise the visibility of the Lab, and overseeing the development of written materials such as newsletters, policy briefs and website content.
  • Responds to media inquiries.

Administrative Leadership & Financial Management (50%)

  • With the faculty directors, provides strategic planning and leadership, and ensures that planning decisions are used in setting project and organizational goals.
  • Manage Youth Policy Lab programming, including the supervision of administrative and research staff and functionally supervise joint staff shared with collaborating research operations.
  • Works with the project PIs to develop an organizational infrastructure that will support anticipated growth and ensures that programmatic objectives are supported internally.
  • Promotes an organizational culture that fosters passion for the mission, cooperation, open and frequent communication, and teamwork.
  • Oversees planning for core programmatic and research operations, ensuring that individual projects meet stated objectives. 
  • With the faculty directors, develops a sustainable funding model that ensures adequate revenues sufficient to maintain high quality programmatic activities and allow for continued growth. 
  • Oversees the implementation and management of a financial model to monitor ongoing operations. 

Required Qualifications*

  • A commitment to evidence-based youth policy, typically acquired through the completion of a master’s degree in a related field.
  • A minimum of seven years experience managing outreach initiatives and complex projects with the proven ability to coach staff, manage, and develop high-performance teams, set and achieve strategic objectives, and manage a budget.
  • Strong marketing, public relations, and fundraising experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills.
  • Action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptable, and innovative approach to business planning.
  • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people.

Desired Qualifications*

  • Past success working with a non-profit Board of Directors with the proven ability to cultivate existing board member relationships.
  • Knowledge of current community challenges and opportunities relating to the mission of the organization.
  • Knowledge of and experience working in the state of Michigan. 

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.