Education First Consulting


(Posted 10/25/10)

Company Overview

Education First Consulting is a national policy consulting firm that specializes in helping education policymakers, advocates and funders develop broad-based strategies that lead to greater learning and achievement for our nation’s students. Based in Seattle, Education First Consulting’s area of expertise is K–16 education, with extensive work on issues related to college- and career-readiness; teacher and principal effectiveness; STEM strategies; and postsecondary completion. Our mission is to help all students finish high school armed with the skills and knowledge to succeed in college and careers and our vision is to be the most trusted and effective education policy consulting firm in the nation. Our firm’s consultants are themselves leaders in education reform with successful track records in education policy, politics, research, communications and philanthropy.

We seek to work with and support clients we think are well positioned to make real change, including school districts, foundations, state governments and nonprofit advocacy organizations. Our clients include Achieve, American Federation of Teachers, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, Grantmakers for Education, Metro Nashville Public Schools, Seattle Public Schools, Tennessee Teacher Evaluation Advisory Committee, Texas High School Project, and state education advocacy organizations including Illinois’ Advance Illinois, Ohio’s Business Alliance for Higher Education and the Economy, Oregon’s Chalkboard Project and Washington STEM. Most recently, the firm worked with educators and policymakers in Hawaii, Maryland, Ohio and Tennessee to help craft each state’s strategy and Race to the Top application, which resulted in more than $1.2 billion in federal funds that will benefit over 2.8 million students in these four states. Education First continues to engage with each of these states as they launch their Race policy, communication and advocacy strategies.


Position Responsibilities – Consultant

Consultants manage client relationships and project work and coordinate with Education First’s Consulting team to direct the overall work of the engagement. The primary responsibilities of the Consultant include:

Manage Client Projects and Create Value for Clients

  • Identify and deliver on client needs. Work with partners, principals and other consultants to identify and provide to clients a range of strategic services, including analysis of education policy options and directions; strategic planning and strategy design; facilitation; grantmaking; advocacy and public affairs; positioning and/or strategic communications support; program design; qualitative research and benchmarking; and writing, coaching and project management.
  • Accomplish client and project goals. Advise clients on education reform issues, options and strategic directions. Lead and/or work with other team members to produce client deliverables and be accountable for the quality of deliverables produced by all team members. Research; recommend policy, positioning and communications options; and write up strategies, memos and reports. Meet with external partners. Prepare materials for and lead meetings.
  • Serve as project manager for strategic education reform projects. Set and monitor project workplans and drive the project to completion at or under budget. Mentor, guide and manage team members (up and down). Coordinate regularly with the project manager and/or client to ensure project success, including budgeting, planning and regular reporting of actual time spent and costs against the contract.

 Enhance the Firm’s Reputation

  • Help grow the firm’s position as a national education policy, communication and strategy thought partner to the nation’s most effective organizations. Position Education First for long-term success through public speaking, outreach and high client satisfaction.
  • Contribute to the firm’s communication pieces. Create content for firm’s website, policy papers, newsletters, op-eds, press releases, etc.

Identify New Clients and Create New and Repeat Business

  • Identify new clients and build long-term relationships with clients around the nation.
  • Sell profitable projects that involve you and other staff, using both set fees and retainers.
  • Develop and manage sales proposals.
  • Estimate projects accurately and finish projects at or under budget.

 This position requires travel related to client engagements and business development.


Experience & Qualifications

  • 5+ years implementing and/or advocating for successful education policies designed to improve P-20 education outcomes for young people, in settings including education reform organizations, foundations, governor’s offices, state boards/departments of education, or major school systems/school networks (and at either the national and state level).
  • Demonstrated experience working effectively on teams and with diverse constituencies.
  • Strategic mindset and approach to problem solving.
  • Outstanding project management, public speaking, writing and client communications skills.
  • Substantive knowledge of key education reform issues in the areas of teacher & leader effectiveness, STEM strategies, college & career readiness and/or college completion.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and budgets under tight deadlines.
  • Excellent client management skills.  
  • Ability to translate client materials/documentation into tools and products for broader field.
  • Master’s in public policy, public administration, business, education, JD or related fields preferred.
  • Philanthropic experience strongly preferred.


Personal Characteristics

  • A strong commitment to improving student learning and achievement and moving education systems beyond the status quo.
  • Highly organized and a detail-oriented self-starter committed to quality.
  • Flexible, resourceful and good humored.
  • Ability and desire to work independently in a virtual office environment.



Education First Consulting is a virtual consulting firm with headquarters in Seattle, WA. While the location is flexible, preference will be given to candidates in locations where current staff resides: Seattle, Portland (OR), Ohio, Tennessee and Washington D.C.




Education First Consulting offers a competitive salary, benefits and profit sharing.




Email your resume, cover letter and salary requirements to Please, no phone calls or other inquiries.