External Affairs Manager

  • Newark, NJ, USA
  • Full-time
  • Hiring Start Time: Immediate Start (SY 20-21)

Company Description

Uncommon Schools is a nonprofit network of high-performing charter public schools that are closing the academic achievement gap and preparing students from historically underserved communities for success in college and beyond. Uncommon currently manages 55 schools serving more than 20,000 students in six cities: Boston, Camden, New York City, Newark, Rochester, and Troy. Uncommon graduates persist in and graduate from college at rates far higher than their peers. We believe that every child deserves an outstanding education, and we are committed to working beyond the walls of our schools to achieve that goal through our professional development workshops, books, and district partnerships. 

Job Description

About the Role

The External Affairs Manager will coordinate and empower our parents and schools to ensure high quality schools for every family through local and state level advocacy! They will establish and cultivate relationships with key elected officials and community leaders to ensure that they know, support and protect our schools; as well as design and execute on programs and initiatives that deepen the relationships between the schools and the communities we serve! The Manager will also advance our external-facing communications and initiatives, including school tour management, website and social media oversight, logistical support of external events and board meetings, and other administrative responsibilities. The position will report directly to the Regional Senior Director for Newark.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Advocacy and External Engagement

  • Develop and execute the local external engagement strategy to:
    • Educate community leaders, advocates and elected officials about our schools through relationship building, school visits and school-based community projects.
    • Deepen the connections between our schools and communities our schools serve by growing our presence at community events and meetings.
  • Analyze local policy as it relates to K-12 education and public charter schools, and make recommendations regarding regional policy implications
  • Run partner database, ensuring data entry and data integrity in databases
  • Track progress around all outreach efforts, analyze progress data, and design plans to adjust to real-time data.

Parent Advocacy and Engagement

  • Develop and implement a parent engagement and advocacy strategy to:
    • Further develop our current core parent advocacy group through consistent programming.
    • Identify and train new parent leaders at each of our schools to engage with officeholders and local leaders, mobilize large groups of parents for advocacy events and initiatives, and lead school-based community engagement efforts.
  • Drive outreach efforts with families and communities associated with our schools regarding opportunities for advocacy and involvement.
  • Lead and implement non-partisan voter registration and get out the vote campaigns among families, in coordination with our Newark schools and local partners.


  • Advise and drive the annual board scope and sequence around discussion topics, scheduled presentations and key board approvals.
  • Execute project plan and lead board meeting preparation (e.g. monthly communications, information gathering, packet creation, etc.)
  • Provide logistical support for board meetings (e.g. meeting setup, tech support, collecting notes, etc.)
  • Facilitate submission and approval process of all board resolutions with Uncommon teams and the Board of Trustees.

Compliance and Risk Management

  • Lead cross-functional coordination of state inquiries, submissions and reporting with internal teams.
  • Facilitate the information gathering process and timely responsiveness for OPRA Requests

General Outreach and Administrative Support

  • Oversee monthly tour schedule for donors, educators and prospective parents
  • Handle regional website updates, social media, and school newsletters
  • Provide logistics support for events and meetings
  • Run budget processes, inclusive of team purchasing and invoicing tasks


Desired Qualifications 

  • Strong strategic, analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to create and maintain systems that enhance organization efficiency.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills (written and verbal).
  • Ability to initiate and establish relationship with various partners.
  • Phenomenal teammate who is a self-motivated "go-getter," able lead and empower others.
  • Comfortable with ambiguity, flexible and able to adapt quickly to changing priorities, and a sense of humor in the face of challenging demands.
  • Knowledge of New Jersey and Newark public education, charter schools, and political landscape highly preferred.
  • Self-awareness with the ability to reflect and adapt to diverse environments.
  • Cultural competency and experience working with families from diverse ethnic and class backgrounds.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint), Google Applications and Social Media Platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).
  • Flexibility of schedule for early morning, evening and weekend meetings and events.
  • Fluency in Spanish preferred.
  • Able to independently travel to schools and community events.

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Minimum three years of professional experience in organizing, community engagement or other relevant work with schools and families in communities similar to those we serve.
  • Prior experience planning and leading large scale projects.
  • Prior experience with grassroots field organizing, including experience in political or issues campaigns, or leading a field organizing team a plus.

Additional Information

Uncommon Schools offers salaries commensurate with experience and a very generous benefits and vacation package. All staff members receive extensive professional development, and are equipped with a laptop computer and all necessary supplies.

Uncommon believes in the importance of being a diverse, equitable and inclusive organization that enables our students and staff to thrive. We are committed to building a talented team that reflects the diverse backgrounds and experiences of our students. At the same time, we work to ensure an inclusive community through creating a space for meaningful dialogue about issues of race and identity for our staff and students.  As an equal opportunity employer, we hire without consideration to race, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status or disability.

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