Vice President for Public Policy

Vice President for Public Policy

Job Title: Vice President, Public Policy
Department: Public Policy
Reports to: President and CEO
Direct Reports: Strategy Directors (State Policy, Federal Policy); Executive Assistant
FLSA Status: Exempt
Location:  Preference for Indianapolis or Washington, D.C.—A remote work opportunity (outside of Indiana or D.C.) within the contiguous US may be considered. Requires, on average, 8-10 days in the Indianapolis office per month with additional presence as needed.
Compensation: $300,000 – $310,000, commensurate with experience
Benefits include:  Health insurance (medical, dental, and vision), 401(k), pension, paid vacation and sick time, paid leave, 100% employer-paid group life, and long-term disability


The vice president for public policy is responsible for leading the development and implementation of state and federal policy initiatives designed to advance the foundation’s work in 2-year and 4-year institutions.

As an officer of the foundation and member of the executive team, the vice president for public policy provides input on the foundation’s strategic direction, serves as a critical internal and external thought leader and spokesperson, and ensures fiduciary oversight and operational excellence.

The vice president for public policy serves as a liaison to Lumina’s philanthropic, public, and private partners to enhance the foundation’s impact and credibility. The vice president also demonstrates ongoing responsibility and accountability for Lumina’s organization-wide outcomes and metrics to ensure high performance and contribution to the foundation’s emerging work.


Commitment to Racial Equity:  Advance Lumina’s commitment to ending systemic racism and barriers to learning beyond high school for students of color. Further Lumina’s specific practices that promote racial and ethnic diversity in hiring, contracting, grantmaking, inclusive decision making, and achieving fair and just outcomes arising from the department’s exercise of its duties and responsibilities. Effectively communicate Lumina’s commitment to internal and external partners.

State Policy:  Leads the development of clear strategies for increasing attainment in states, including approaches to track state progress in meeting attainment goals, coordination of efforts among grantees, partners, and contractors. Actively engages in post-high school education, workforce, and broader state budgeting and policy efforts in states.

Federal Policy:  Leads work to enhance the foundation’s presence in national and federal-level policy discussions. Works to engage federal policymakers through direct outreach, staff networks, testimony, and briefings for relevant committees and individual members of Congress. Supports the development of a strategic federal policy agenda that is aimed both at supporting a robust federal policy ecosystem committed to increasing credential attainment and investing in issue advocacy focused on our strategic priorities of student success, enrollment and re-enrollment, and employment-aligned credentialing.

External Representative: Leverages Lumina’s role as a leadership organization within philanthropy, education, and other aligned sectors. Develops and delivers speeches and presentations to key stakeholders designed to facilitate progress toward Goal 2025 and to situate Lumina’s Equity First orientation as the anchor for both our strategic and operational efforts.

Executive Team: Actively engages in the executive team and is accountable for all the defined leadership roles of that senior management group.

Collaborative Leadership:  Thrives in a work environment that requires strong lateral influence and competence.  Provide public policy leadership by actively engaging internal capacities to drive the work.

Functional Leadership: Support direct reports in their work by serving as an experienced, objective adviser and mentor.  Provide administrative oversight on expenses, travel, grantmaking, contracting, and other functional processes. On-board new hires to ensure they have the introductions, resources, training, and productivity tools necessary to be effective as quickly as possible.

Staff Development: Provide work assignments and mentoring opportunities to facilitate growth and development. Review individual and collective performance and provide clarifying examples where necessary. Support professional and career development by discussing and documenting with direct reports their professional development interests, strengths, and gaps.

Education and Experience

  • Graduate degree or demonstrated competency required in education, public administration, or other related content area.
  • At least 10 years of senior-level experience preferably in the higher education, nonprofit, public and/or philanthropic sectors. Broad knowledge of state and federal policy issues beyond education and workforce and the impact of such on education and workforce strategies.


  • High-level analytical, problem-solving, and strategic planning abilities.
  • Track record of public will-building via speeches, articles, and reports.
  • Political and policy acuity.
  • Expertise in change management development and implementation.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to communicate concepts and activities. accurately, effectively, and in ways that are suited to the Foundation’s varied stakeholders.
  • Expertise in managing people, projects, and budgets.
  • Ability to use technology effectively.

Work Environment and Physical Demands

  • Work may be performed in an office environment, mostly sedentary.
  • Visual and auditory acuity for extensive use of various forms of technology.
  • Travels 20%-30%, including overnight stays.

This description is only a summary of the typical job functions, not an exhaustive list of all possible responsibilities, and may be subject to change at any time due to reasonable accommodation or other reasons.

Applicants should send the following to the e-mail address below:

    • a letter of interest, and
    • a resume as an attachment outlining experience relevant to the position.

    Human Resources
    Equal Opportunity Employer

    Lumina employees are vaccinated against COVID-19. The foundation requires proof of vaccination or an approved religious or medical exemption for all staff.

    About Lumina Foundation

    Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation in Indianapolis committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. We envision a system that is easy to navigate, delivers fair results, and meets the nation’s talent needs through a broad range of credentials. Our goal is to prepare people for informed citizenship and success in a global economy.

    Lumina is working with partners to design a learning system that gives every person—regardless of race and ethnicity, income, or other socioeconomic factors—the opportunities that only education and training after high school can provide. We work with governmental, nonprofit, and private-sector organizations to achieve our mission. Our work relies on strategic communication, empowering leaders who can bring about change, policy outreach to state and federal officials, investments in proven and promising practices, and targeted efforts to measure and evaluate progress.

    Lumina has a passionate and committed staff. It is among the nation’s top private foundations, with an endowment exceeding $1.5 billion.