Founded in 2008, the Oklahoma Policy Institute is a nonpartisan think tank that uses data analysis to build on the organization’s role as a trusted independent source of data and information on budget, tax, criminal justice reform, mental health, and other economic and social policy issues. OK Policy’s mission is to advance equitable and fiscally responsible policies that expand economic opportunity for all Oklahomans through research, analysis, and advocacy. OK Policy also plays a leadership role in Together Oklahoma, a nonpartisan coalition of businesses, organizations, and citizens coming together to advocate for responsible budget and tax policies. David Blatt, who has been OK Policy’s Executive Director for 9 years, has announced he is stepping down in late 2019.
Oklahoma Policy Institute is a 501(c)(3) organization that:
- Uses policy and data analysis to inform grassroots and grass tops stakeholders on key issues
- Has a robust high-quality communications strategy across multiple platforms including a daily e-newsletter, fact sheets, in depth reports, and social media
- Is the Oklahoma State Priorities Partnership organization of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which provides access to funding, technical assistance, and a peer network
- Experienced rapid growth in 2018, adding 8 staff people, an Open Justice Oklahoma initiative that seeks to improve understanding of the justice system through analysis of public data, and a mental health fellowship that works to equip early career professionals with data, knowledge and advocacy tools to be effective
- Became, in 2018, an Annie E. Casey Foundation Kids Count organization, which provides access to funding, technical assistance, and a peer network and deepens the organization’s work on the impact of tax and budget on Oklahoma’s children and families
- Hosts an annual 4-day summer policy institute to give college and graduate students an in-depth intensive learning experience related to public policy issues impacting Oklahoma.
Organizational Structure and Budget
OK Policy has grown in the last two years from 9 to 16 staff. The senior leadership team includes the operations and development director, the policy director, the outreach and legislative director (currently vacant), and the strategy and communications director. The organization’s office is in Tulsa. Because of the recent organizational growth, most of the staff is new, although they are quickly gaining reputations as experts in their issue/skill areas.
The Executive Director reports to the Board which is made up of 14 community members from throughout the state. The board is made up of members who are Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.
OK Policy has an approximately $1.8 million budget and receives approximately 80 percent of its annual revenue from state and national foundation grants. Additional significant revenue sources include individual contributions and special events.
For additional information please visit OKPolicy.org.
OK Policy is looking for a leader who can build on the organization’s excellent reputation, cement its role as an integral part of Oklahoma’s nonprofit policy structure, and build the infrastructure to support the organization’s recent growth.
Leadership and Strategic Direction
- Ensure that OK Policy stays strategic and focused as the portfolio of work expands
- Maintain and build strong, diverse, and inclusive external relationships and partnerships, communication strategies and alliances with grassroots members and power brokers at the local, state and national levels
- Increase the size of the board and develop strategies for deeper board engagement that works for a geographically dispersed board
- Ensure that the policy analysis continues to be of high quality and is effectively communicated to different audiences
- Serve as spokesperson for the organization, while also providing opportunities for other members of the leadership team to shine
- Evaluate the current staffing structure, policies, and organizational infrastructure to determine if new systems can enhance organizational impact and efficiency
- Continue to enhance the leadership skills of OK Policy’s highly talented staff, most of whom have joined the organization in the last three years
- Maintain the organization’s strong financial position and continue to diversify funding sources
- With the addition of new staff, enhance organizational teamwork and culture
Experience and Attributes
The ideal candidate for this position will be a strong manager and leader with a deep commitment to data and policy analysis and a track record of raising money from private foundations. Candidate skills and subject matter knowledge should include:
- Passion for and track record of using data and policy analysis to inform and advocate for policy positions
- Strong fundraiser with a proven track record in raising funds from private foundations required. Familiarity with foundations who fund policy advocacy
- Highly skilled and diplomatic consensus builder with excellent listening and interpersonal skills
- The ability and patience to advance incremental change at the policy and legislative levels with broader long-term goals in sight.
- Excellent written and oral communications
- Track record of working with and leading diverse efforts across race, class, and political affiliation
- Knowledge of and relationships with Oklahoma political leaders and process strongly preferred
- No less than 5 years of managing staff and building internal operations
- College degree required
- Location in Tulsa strongly preferred
OK Policy is an equal opportunity employer and seeks applicants from diverse backgrounds. See our full non-discrimination policy here.
Please submit a resume and letter of interest by 5:00 pm on April 26, 2019 by email to:
RE: OK Policy ED Search
Applicants will be contacted for further information.
Inquiries about the position can be directed to Liz Brolick, Switchgear’s CEO, at 918-574-8750 or firstname.lastname@example.org