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Job Summary

The Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy invites applications for our Policy Engagement Manager, Program in Practical Policy Engagement (P3E).  The Policy Engagement Manager works closely with the Director and Associate Director on high-level projects to advance public policy through engaged learning, policy research and policy impact. This position will facilitate the program’s efforts to identify, design and undertake meaningful engaged learning opportunities for Ford School-affiliated students and faculty with people and organizations outside the University. Weekly work time will be split between the Ford School in Ann Arbor, the UM Detroit Center, and other sites where our partners are located. The Policy Engagement Manager will interface directly with students, faculty and organizational partners.

P3E is a new program that will leverage Ford's unique expertise and interdisciplinary approach to generating policy-relevant research, analysis and learning, and build on our existing engaged learning and mentoring programs.  For more information about the program: 

The Ford School is one of the nation’s foremost policy schools, housed at one of the world’s great public universities. We lead research that illuminates public policy challenges and opportunities. We prepare future policy leaders and analysts for dynamic careers in the public and private sectors in the U.S. and around the world. We work with policymakers to inform and improve local, state, national, and international policies. We foster dialogue and understanding about the most pressing policy challenges and opportunities of today. 
The Ford School has earned a reputation for academic rigor and excellence; a strong and growing commitment to diversity; and a collegial, welcoming, and stimulating interdisciplinary community.  We are housed in Joan and Sanford Weill Hall, a celebrated facility in the heart of the University of Michigan’s central campus in Ann Arbor. To learn more about the Ford School’s mission and activities—including our academic programs and research —please visit  


  • Identify and develop new and existing partnerships that connect people and organizations working on timely public policy issues with students seeking policy-focused engaged learning experiences.
  • Establish good working relationships and collaborative arrangements with community groups, nonprofits, policy makers and other organizations to help achieve the goals of the program.
  • Assist U-M faculty and students to find research partners and engage with real-world decision makers to help inform policy research to be timely, practical, and policy-relevant. 
  • Collaborate with the P3E Director, Associate Director, P3E staff, Ford School faculty and staff, and other UM programs and people working in the engaged learning/engaged research/policy impact space.
  • Engage with UM students to determine policy interests and evaluate their engaged learning experiences.
  • Represent P3E at appropriate public functions to publicize program activities and garner new opportunities.
  • Assist in the development of outreach strategies in Michigan, Washington DC, and potentially other communities in the U.S. and abroad.
  • Collaborate with Ford School staff on school and joint program initiatives and serve on school-wide staff committees to foster staff and community development.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications*

  • A comprehensive understanding of Public Policy, typically acquired through a graduate degree in a related field and/or a bachelor’s degree and significant work experience.
  • A minimum of 3 years’ experience with community relations, engaging with leaders in organizations focused on influencing and/or enacting public policy.   
  • Experience managing complex projects that require collaboration with multiple departments and/or organizations. 
  • Proven ability to exercise initiative, independent judgment, diplomacy, confidentiality and a high level of discretion when dealing with sensitive information.  
  • Ability to effectively interact with individuals from diverse backgrounds, including the ability to work cooperatively with faculty and staff throughout the Ford School and the greater U of M community.
  • Ability to communicate and work effectively with all levels of constituents.
  • Ability to work independently and as a team member, set priorities and adapt as priorities shift, handle multiple assignments and deadlines, and display excellent judgment, while operating in a flexible and professional manner.  
  • Ability to manage a large and diverse workload with attention to detail and the ability to meet deadlines in a timely manner.  
  • Excellent written and verbal interpersonal communication skills. 
  • Experience with technical tools including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Access, UM Google Mail, UM Google Drive, Salesforce and/or similar business-related software.  

Desired Qualifications*

  • Experience supervising student researchers. 
  • Experience working with university faculty.
  • Large network of potential partner organizations, especially in Lansing, MI or Washington, DC.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

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