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Division Director, Economic Opportunity

Department: Economic Opportunity
Location: Washington, DC

The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) seeks an experienced professional to join us as the Division Director, Economic Opportunity. 

NGA is the nonpartisan organization of the nation’s governors. Through NGA, governors share best practices, address issues of national and state interest, and share innovative solutions that improve state government and support the principles of federalism.

The NGA Center works with governors and their staffs to identify innovative solutions to today's most pressing public policy challenges. The NGA Center for Best Practices—a 501(c)(3) organization—is the only policy research and consulting organization that directly serves the nation’s governors and their staffs. The NGA Center is focused on providing the nation 's governors with solutions that work. The NGA Center evaluates public policy innovations and provides governors with practical solutions to today's most pressing public policy challenges. This is accomplished by identifying and sharing best practices, conducting policy academies, providing tailored technical assistance, serving as an information clearinghouse, and other activities.  

The Economic Opportunity Division provides policy assessment, analysis, technical assistance, and best practices to governors and their senior policy staff on a range of state issues, policies and programs. NGA seeks a senior person to direct the division in providing a broad range of activities related to development and implementation of state activities in the following areas:

  •  Economic development policies and practices
  •  Human services programs
  •  Postsecondary education, and
  •  Workforce policies and programs. 

Applicants are invited to review current projects and publications of the Economic Opportunity Division at

The Economic Opportunity Division is also responsible for planning and convening annual meetings among groups of governors’ senior advisors in those advisors’ areas of responsibility.   Currently, the Division is providing extensive support to Montana Governor Steve Bullock’s NGA Chair’s Initiative, “Good Jobs for All Americans.”


The director will supervise a staff of about 12-15 people and manage an annual budget of $3 million to $4 million. The director, in consultation with the NGA Executive Director and the Director of the NGA Center, will be responsible for developing and achieving division goals and work products that address the needs of NGA’s membership. 

The ideal candidate will have a proven track record as an analyst, communicator, convener, project manager, team leader, and writer. Candidates should possess a solid foundation of understanding of state governments, especially economic development, human services, postsecondary and workforce policy programs.  The candidate must also be able to present research results through traditional and social media. The position requires knowledge of and experience with intergovernmental relations and intergovernmental policy and the sophistication needed to produce nonpartisan, objective and relevant research.  Experience as a fundraiser is also very desirable.

To meet its missions the NGA Center and the Economic Opportunity Division:

  • Identify and share best practices by evaluating public policy innovations and ensuring that all governors are aware of these advances through NGA publications, workshops and meetings, and challenge grants to states;
  • Provide tailored technical assistance by using comprehensive information to analyze state challenges with governors’ staffs, produce timely responses on specific requests, convene meetings of leaders and major figures in the field of interest and facilitate strategic planning processes; and
  • Serve as an information clearinghouse by cataloging and disseminating vital information on various gubernatorial initiatives through issue briefs, reports, webinars and other means.


An advanced degree plus significant work experience in relevant issue areas is preferred. State and/or local government experience in economic development, human services, postsecondary education, and workforce policy areas is also preferred. Candidates for this position must demonstrate the ability to:

  • Develop project activities consistent with the priorities of the governors
  • Provide leadership and vision, and manage staff to deliver high-quality consultation and technical assistance to governors and senior staff
  • Write, review and edit the work of others
  • Develop and monitor budgets
  • Develop project proposals and work plans
  • Effectively develop project funding
  • Manage grants and contracts
  • Communicate verbally in both informal and formal settings, and
  • Collaborate with others to solve complex problems.


Extensive travel to states is required and candidates must be able to travel approximately 25% of the time.

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

NGA is committed to providing a productive and safe environment. To achieve that goal, we conduct background and reference check investigations for all final applicants being considered for employment. 

Equal Opportunity Employment   M/D/F/V

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