Open Position: Civic Engagement Manager

  • Civic Engagement
Civic Engagement Manager

Building on the foundation of a program built in 2018, the Civic Engagement Manager empowers college and university scholars to engage around key opportunities to implement best practices for civic engagement on- and off-campus. The Civic Engagement Manager should have a proven ability to conduct one on one meetings with faculty and secure their commitments to take leadership, and be able to support and monitor follow-through. The individual in this role should be able to conduct the duties of the Civic Engagement Manager in a nonpartisan manner, with a special eye toward building diversity, equity, and inclusion within the network. The Civic Engagement Manager should have a working understanding of civic engagement and other related dimensions of higher education, including: political learning, deliberative dialogue, democratic participation, and community engagement. The Civic Engagement Manager should also have an ability to understand and inspire high-level research and new thinking about civic engagement and the civic mission of universities. The Civic Engagement Manager reports to the Director of Policy.


In coordination with Scholars Strategy Network members, chapter leaders, senior staff, and collaborating organizations, the Civic Engagement Manager will:

  • Identify opportunities for scholars to collaborate with civic leaders, journalists, and policymakers to increase student civic learning and democratic participation, strengthen democracy, and reinvigorate the public purposes of higher education.

  • Assist scholars to act strategically on these opportunities to a) incorporate political learning and SSN resources into classroom experiences, b) facilitate the use of research evidence in public policy to remove barriers to student civic engagement, and c) address barriers to faculty engagement in civic learning and democratic engagement initiatives.

  • Track SSN member actions in civic learning and democratic engagement initiatives. Use this information to encourage SSN members to shift from one-time actions to deeper forms of engagement and leadership. Host quarterly webinars to convene these scholars from across the country to foster a learning community.

  • Integrate civic engagement initiatives into chapter programming and structure, including through the creation and rollout of subcommittees, the incorporation of civic engagement into chapter meetings, and trainings that empower chapter members to become leaders on their campuses.

  • Support the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition via SSN’s strengths of research, analysis, policy engagement, faculty training, and institutional change. This includes identifying and connecting scholars whose research speaks to legislation tracked by members of the SLSV Coalition; creating training and communities of practice for SSN scholars to integrate civic learning into their classrooms or develop research questions with partners to address barriers to student engagement; and assist campuses in accessing the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement data (NSLVE, run by the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education) and developing democratic action plans to institutionalize civic engagement.

  • Increase campus participation in NSLVE, the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, and publicly shared reports.

  • Recruit scholars who are already thought leaders or practice leaders to join SSN to engage in and lead projects related to civic engagement.

  • Find ways to use opportunities within the academic calendar and SSN’s organizational calendar to offer all SSN members chances to promote civic engagement, such as (but not limited to) monthly newsletters, social media content, national network convenings, academic association conferences, and SSN Trainings.

  • Encourage the creation of scholarly articles, briefs, OpEds, news articles, and podcasts on student civic engagement (including but certainly not limited to student voting) with the support of SSN’s Communications Team in order to inform decision-makers and advance public debates.

  • Assist the SSN Development Team in identifying, pursuing, and managing funding opportunities as they pertain to civic engagement programming and scholar engagement.


The ideal candidate for the Civic Engagement Manager position must have:

  • Dedication to SSN’s mission

  • Understanding of how to make use of SSN’s structure as a voluntary, federated association of member researchers

  • Ability to work independently and make strategic decisions about the direction of SSN’s civic engagement work.

  • Can read and understand academic research, speak to faculty with confidence and without reservation, and to translate complex research concepts into publicly accessible, concise, and clear language.

  • Strong organizational skills and ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously

  • Ability to track and assess progress on program metrics using digital information systems such as content management systems and Microsoft Office/Google suite applications.

  • Desire to learn directly from scholars studying facilitative voting laws, student learning outcomes, institutional change, and higher education policy.

  • Deep understanding of and established relationships within the field of civic engagement, including student civic learning, student voting, faculty promotion and tenure policies/processes, course development or curricular design, and institutional change.

  • Experience or knowledge of the public policymaking process and key actors and entry points within that process.

  • Ability to navigate complex systems and identify decision-makers or key actors.

  • Experience with community organizing, volunteer management, or campaign work

About the Scholars Strategy Network

The Scholars Strategy Network is a nonpartisan, nonprofit one-stop resource that connects journalists, policymakers, and civic leaders to America’s top scholars and their research. Together they inform news and help solve the nation’s toughest policy problems. Across the country, chapters and scholars volunteer their research, time and energy. Scholars join the network to become part of a community of leading researchers who are dedicated to improving policy and strengthening democracy. Through the network, journalists, policymakers, and civic leaders connect with responsive scholars and jargon-free research to support their work.

How to Apply

SSN is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, class, color, disability, ethnicity, faith, gender, national origin, race, sexual orientation, or gender identity. People of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ individuals, and women are strongly encouraged to apply. If you don’t check all the boxes, but think you could contribute to the team, please reach out.

To apply: email a brief cover letter, resume, short writing sample, and two references to Kelsie George at [email protected] with the subject line “Civic Engagement Manager” – [Your Name].”

Applications are being reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.