Title: Advocacy & Partnership Associate

Reports to: Director of Policy & Advocacy

Location: Children’s Institute, downtown Portland, with travel throughout Oregon

Salary: $48,000 to $58,000 based on experience

Type: Full-time/exempt

Closing: This position is closed.

Email résumé and cover letter to jobs-apa@childinst.org with the subject line: Advocacy & Partnership Associate

Children’s Institute (CI) envisions an Oregon where every child is prepared for success in school and life. To meet this goal, we advocate for strategic investments in high-quality early childhood education and healthy development, the most effective strategies to improve long-term outcomes for children, with a focus on children who experience barriers to opportunity due to race, poverty, disability, and geographic location.

Children’s Institute prioritizes an integrated, team-based work approach and a flexible, collegial work environment while also embracing a sense of urgency in moving our mission forward.


Children’s Institute’s Advocacy & Partnership Associate has a passion for closing the educational opportunity gap, particularly in a child’s earliest years. This staff member will develop relationships with early childhood providers, community-based organizations, and early learning hub leaders in priority communities to support engagement in legislative advocacy. The focus will be working with partners in communities of color and rural Oregon. This position will support partners and providers in engaging parents and early childhood providers in advocacy. The position requires an ability to build lasting relationships, listen and respond to community partners, facilitate meetings, and effectively manage multiple projects. The candidate must have strong interpersonal skills to work with diverse partners, including legislators, partner organizations, early childhood providers, and parents. The position will require significant travel within Oregon.     

The Advocacy & Partnership Associate will be an important member of CI staff, charged with developing and expanding relationships statewide in collaboration with the Policy & Advocacy, Program, and Communications departments.

The Advocacy & Partnership Associate should have previous experience in or an ability to quickly learn and build knowledge in community engagement, advocacy, early childhood policy, public speaking, facilitation, and mobilization of early childhood providers and parents.



Engage partners to participate in effective advocacy for early childhood

  • Meet with and listen to community partners across Oregon to build relationships.
  • Build relationships with early childhood staff and advocacy staff at organizations working with parents and early childhood providers, with a focus in communities of color and rural Oregon.
  • Understand community needs and priorities for young children and families and be able to connect those needs with policy and budget priorities to inform the development of Children’s Institute’s legislative agenda.
  • Support community partners to host community forums, legislator visits to early childhood programs, advocacy trainings, and other events by convening planning meetings, moving forward on action steps, and preparing necessary materials and tools to ensure events are a success.
  • Attend and engage in community and partner convenings with parents and early childhood providers.
  • Identify and prepare parents and early childhood providers to meet with elected officials, testify at public forums and hearings, participate in lobby days, and submit written testimony.
  • Work closely with the communications team to document and communicate stories statewide.

Lift up the voices of community partners and parents in the development of an early childhood policy agenda

  • Identify opportunities to seek guidance and input on policy and budget priorities.
  • Listen, ask thoughtful questions, and gather information to deeply understand the experiences of community partners and connect those experiences with policy and system-level solutions.
  • Investigate, propose, and implement community-based participatory research to inform legislative priorities.
  • Work with local partners to develop agendas, talking points, and materials for parent and community forums at Early Works sites and across Oregon.

Other Responsibilities

  • Support equity initiatives within CI and as a public-facing staff member.
  • Collaborate across CI programs as needed.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Preferred 3+ years in advocacy and/or community engagement.
  • Preferred commitment through June 2021, based on secured funding through this date.
  • Knowledge of and commitment to principles of equity and inclusion.
  • Ability to take initiative and work collaboratively.
  • Excellent verbal communication and listening skills with demonstrated ability to build trust and rapport with a range of stakeholders including elected officials, partner organizations, early childhood educators, and parents, especially in communities of color and rural Oregon.
  • Strong facilitation skills in large and small group meetings and forums.
  • Demonstrated ability to understand and explain complex information and interpret ideas for a variety of audiences.
  • Existing relationships in communities of color and/or rural Oregon, or an ability to quickly build relationships.
  • Familiarity with or an ability to learn early childhood policy issues related to preschool, child care, and home visiting. Experience working with the Oregon legislature preferred.
  • Superior organizational skills.
  • Driver’s license and access to reliable transportation required.
  • Bilingual Spanish/English strongly preferred.


  • Employer fully-paid medical/dental coverage
  • Employer fully-paid Short-Term Disability coverage
  • 401(k) Retirement Savings Plan with qualified match and contribution
  • 125 Flexible Benefits Plan
  • Generous paid time off, sick leave, and holidays


Children’s Institute is an equal opportunity employer. It is the policy of CI to provide equal employment opportunity in accordance with applicable law to all qualified individuals without regard to their race, color, creed, religion, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, military status, political opinion, national origin, familial status, mental and physical disability, source of income, or any other status protected by federal, state, or local law in all personnel actions. Personnel actions include recruitment, selection, promotion, compensation, training, and termination. Relations between employees shall be based on mutual respect, and regard for the effectiveness and well-being of the organization.


Consistent with applicable disability law, Children’s Institute will provide reasonable accommodations to assist qualified applicants or employees with disabilities to participate in the job application process, to perform the essential function of a job, and to enjoy the same benefits and privileges of employment applicable to similarly situated employees without disabilities, provided the accommodation would not impose an “undue hardship” on the operation of CI.

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