Deputy Director

Jackson, MS, USA
Posted on  

Job Description


About Mississippi First

Mississippi First was founded in 2008 by Rachel Canter and her childhood friend, Sanford Johnson. Driven to change the fact that Mississippi has historically been last, our founders set a bold vision: a Mississippi first in education nationally. Mississippi First is a non-partisan, nonprofit, education policy organization that champions transformative policy solutions, ensuring educational excellence for every Mississippi child.


Reporting to the Executive Director and an integral part of the senior management team, the Deputy Director is a pre-K-12 policy expert who assists Mississippi First in developing and enacting its policy agenda. The Deputy Director will directly manage a team of (5) policy and special project team members, and assist the Executive Director in managing the executive team. As a pivotal member of the leadership team, the Deputy Director will work very closely with the Executive Director to understand the overall operations of Mississippi First and may serve to represent the organization during any absences of the Executive Director.

What You’ll Do (Implementation 100% of daily role)


  • Support the Executive Director in the development of the policy and advocacy strategy.
  • Support the Executive Director in the development of the partnerships and special projects strategy.
  • Implement each organizational strategy as defined by the Executive Director.


  • Assist the Executive Director in managing the policy and advocacy agenda, as decided on by the Executive Director.
  • Assist the Executive Director in developing and managing special projects and partnerships.
  • Manage the work of the Policy Team on a day-to-day basis.
  • Oversee the writing and editing of policy publications.
  • Guide and oversee the planning, design, development, and implementation of research and analysis projects across pre-K12.
  • Ensure the accuracy of statistical reports and data summaries, including graphics and tables that portray data, for use in policy analyses, research papers, briefings, and reports.
  • Serve as the primary manager of members of the Policy Team.
  • Manage the work of the Special Projects Team on a day-to-day basis.
  • Oversee the completion of special projects.
  • Serve as the primary manager of members of the Special Projects Team.

Organizational Leadership

  • Shadow the Executive Director to learn the operations of Mississippi First and serve as a representative of Mississippi First in the absence of the Executive Director.
  • Assist the Executive Director in the day-to-day management of operations and communications, as needed.

Other duties as assigned


What You’ll Need to be Successful


  • One of the following educational credentials:
  • A graduate degree in a preferred field (Master’s in Public Policy or graduate degree in education, education policy, research, public administration, statistics, economics, or other related fields) and more than five years experience in an education policy position; or
  • A bachelor’s degree in policy, economics, statistical analysis, social science, or a related field and seven or more years of experience in an education policy position, or
  • A bachelor’s degree in another field and ten or more years of experience in a policy position.
  • Five or more years of experience managing other adults in a professional setting.
  • Belief in the mission and goals of Mississippi First, including all of Mississippi First’s stated positions and policy areas.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of state and federal education policy and program issues and understanding of Mississippi First’s goals and ideas.
  • Strong research, problem-solving, and analytical skills, including the ability to read and interpret statistical analysis and technical research papers as well as analyze and understand education policy trends.
  • Exceptional writing and editing skills, including experience in developing both short white papers and memos and longer reports, as well as the ability to explain complicated policy concepts and quantitative results concisely.
  • Excellent oral communication and presentation skills.
  • Ability to work in teams with a positive, professional, and solutions-oriented attitude.
  • Experience in managing complex projects and meeting deadlines.
  • Advanced Word, Excel, and PowerPoint skills.


  • Experience working in a pre-K-12 education setting.
  • Experience managing a nonprofit, including financial, operational, or communications duties.


Location, Travel, and Commitment

  • The Deputy Director is expected to work 40 hours per week every week, Monday through Friday, except office holidays. Typical office hours are from 9-5, but the Deputy Director may set regular hours outside of this schedule with the approval of the Executive Director. Standard work hours (a regular schedule each week) are required.
  • The Deputy Director is expected to work from the assigned office location during all scheduled work hours unless there is required travel or the Executive Director has granted permission to work elsewhere. The Director may request a hybrid work arrangement in which in-office work occurs at least two days a week. 
  • Travel for this role is expected to be limited, but the Deputy Director must be able to attend out-of-state conferences 2-3 times per year.

Compensation and Benefits

  • This position offers a competitive salary, benefits, and paid time off.
  • The salary for this position will range from $100,000 to $108,000 commensurate with the candidate’s experience and education.
  • The Director will be eligible for employee benefits provided to all Mississippi First employees: health insurance, retirement, and a cell phone allowance. Travel reimbursement for work-related travel is offered to all employees, but home-to-work travel is not reimbursed. Mississippi First offers all employees office holidays (approximately 12 days per year) as well as paid time off based on the number of years an employee has worked for Mississippi First. New employees are entitled to 20 days per year in accordance with the adopted paid time off policy. 

Equal Opportunity Employer

Mississippi First is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and an equal opportunity employer, committed to building a diverse and inclusive workforce. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status.

Application Note

Applications received by March 29, 2024, will receive priority. The application process will be rolling, so the position may be filled before this date. Questions regarding this position can be submitted to No phone calls, please.