Overview of the Opportunity

Education First is seeking an early career professional to join the consulting team as an Associate. Associates lead research efforts and manage select workstreams on projects to deliver outstanding work to our clients. Associates present complex ideas to internal and external stakeholders and often serve as experts on various topics that contribute to the development and execution of client-facing deliverables. The Associate will join the Effective Organizations & Investments team.

What You’ll Do

  • Conduct research, analysis and develop deliverables
    • Develop research work plans, serve as research lead on project teams, and ensure client deliverables meet basic research standards
    • Develop protocols, administer and analyze surveys, facilitate interviews and focus groups
    • Gather, organize, synthesize and analyze data from multiple sources in order to generate ideas and guidance to advance team and client decisions
    • Develop and collaborate with project managers to create “client-ready” PowerPoint presentations, landscape scans, policy and research memos, briefs, reports, strategy documents and other products drawing from documentation and research
  • Coordinate client and project commitments
    • Design and facilitate client meetings and internal project team meetings
    • Lead key portions of projects such as particular work streams or work groups
    • Organize, prioritize and process large volumes of work under tight deadlines
  • Engage and build on ongoing strategy
    • Build advanced knowledge of P-16 education policy issues by staying up-to-date on legislation and research impacting the field
    • Engage in team problem solving, share evolving trends and best practices
    • Generate new ideas and create new approaches to projects to creatively solve problem


  • You have experience in education research, policy, consulting, philanthropy or other relevant environments focused on systems level change
  • You thrive working in a matrix organization managing several projects with conflicting tasks
  • You enjoy taking initiative and being a resourceful problem solver who anticipates barriers to success
  • You have strong qualitative research skills and experience, including interview and focus group analyses, landscape scans, literature reviews, legislative/policy analysis and/or synthesis of multi-method research
  • You have strong oral and written communication skills
  • You are organized with experience meeting deadlines across multiple priorities
  • You are able to lead by influence and can open lines of communication on project teams and incorporate the perspective of others


  • 100% remote, U.S. based team
  • Firmwide in-person engagements a few times a year
  • Telework subsidy
  • Professional development stipend
  • 20 PTO days, 11 holidays and biannual firmwide shutdown weeks
  • Medical, dental, vision and life insurance
  • 401(k) match
  • Sales bonus eligibility


The salary range for this position is $70,000 – $73,600. We typically set initial starting salaries between the market minimum and the 25th percentile of the pay range to ensure there is room for growth over time. Employees living in the following locations are eligible for a location-based supplement: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, DC, Denver, Hoboken NJ, Houston, Los Angeles, Madison, Miami, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Francisco and Seattle.

About Education First

Education First is a mission-driven education policy consultancy dedicated to ensuring that all students – and particularly students in poverty and students of color – are prepared for success in college, careers and life. We work with organizations that are shaping the future of P-16 education across the nation, including school networks and districts, state departments of education, policy and advocacy organizations, youth empowerment organizations, talent organizations and foundations.

We help these system leaders catalyze change through our services:

  • Conduct research and analysis on policies and provide contextual recommendations and strategic support to translate findings into concrete, sustainable action
  • Develop and implement visionary, coherent strategies and strategic plans by prioritizing inclusive voices, focusing on the right problems, and providing space to explore
  • Plan and facilitate meaningful convenings for organizations and individuals to learn, problem solve, collaborate, and advance their work
  • Design actionable and equitable solutions that meet client needs, achieve program goals, and implement initiatives with clarity and quality
  • Support grantmakers, funders, and foundations to develop thoughtful, high-impact investment strategies that align with their goals, interests, and resources

We are a team of more than 80 former teachers, district and state education leaders, policy advisors, and grant makers who live and work virtually in more than 20 states and DC. Because of our experience, we approach the challenges our clients face with humility, realistic solutions, and a commitment to follow-through. Our culture is built on genuine care for our clients and for each other. We celebrate original thinking, collaboration, entrepreneurialism, authenticity and fun.

Our Equity Commitment

We recognize that in order to pursue our own organizational mission at Education First, we must approach our work by studying gaps and inequities, asking tough questions about structural racism and more deliberately engaging diverse voices in problem-solving. We’ve been building our own skills to deliver solutions that center racial equity, with particular attention to equitable ways of thinking and working, and we are committed to helping our clients do the same in projects that have a goal of increasing equity at their core. Within Education First, we have committed to building a race equity culture – creating the conditions to adopt antiracist mindsets and actions.

We believe:

  • Black lives matter. We are collectively responsible to amplify and support Black students, families and leaders.
  • People are experts in their own experience. We cannot effectively support our clients to problem solve and innovate without centering the people they aim to serve.
  • Racism and inequity were designed, and can be redesigned. People make up the systems, policies and processes that govern our experience, and we must support our clients to explore their role in reimagining what could be possible.

For greater detail about our Equity Commitment, please visit our website.

Education First actively engages our team with a robust Race, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (RIDE) strategy to build our staff and organizational capacity to lead on issues of equity and to increase diversity, equity and inclusion at all levels of the firm. As a proud equal opportunity employer, we strongly encourage applications from candidates of all races, national origins, ages, religions, creeds, veteran or disabled statuses, sexual orientations, gender identities or gender expressions.