About TICAS

The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS) is a national nonprofit based in Oakland, CA, and Washington, DC. We are a trusted source of research, design, and advocacy for student-centered public policies that promote affordability, accountability, and racial equity in higher education. Our staff combines expertise in research and data, laws and regulations, change management, and the policymaking process.

We nurture close relationships with policymakers, providing specific recommendations and help them navigate legal, budgetary, and political hurdles. We build momentum for new policies by building diverse coalitions of advocates and constituents and by driving media coverage. We pride ourselves on the impact of our work and are known for our reliable research, carefully designed policy recommendations, and partnerships with policymakers and advocates. For more information, please visit the website: www.ticas.org


Job purpose

The Associate Vice President will have a track record of strategic leadership to direct TICAS’s policy and advocacy strategy on behalf of low-income students and historically marginalized students of color in California. The AVP will manage a skilled California policy team to develop and advance policies that improve college affordability and accountability statewide, including by influencing executive, legislative and regulatory policy processes through research and analysis.

The position will also represent TICAS in meetings with state executive and legislative branch policymakers, state experts and advocates, and guide the professional development of California policy team members.

TICAS is known nationally for its expertise on state oversight of higher education and arrangements for reciprocity in state oversight of higher education. Consequently, this role will also oversee the intersection of California and federal policy on that issue.

As a member of TICAS’ Executive Team, the AVP will also help deepen the organization’s strategic partnerships and alliances, seek alignment across new and existing program areas, and support fundraising efforts. Depending on the expertise of the candidate, there may be opportunities to oversee or build new strands of work.

Note: the California team is currently working remotely; it is anticipated that a return to an office (format yet to be decided) may take place early 2022.

Key duties and responsibilities

  • Conceives, develops, and executes strategies for pursuing TICAS policy goals in California.
  • Cultivates and deepens coalitions, strategic alliances, and partnerships to maximize TICAS’ effectiveness and advance our body of work.
  • Represents TICAS in press interviews, speaking engagements, testimony, and meetings.
  • Clearly communicates TICAS research and policy recommendations to policymakers, journalists, researchers, and advocates.
  • Oversees consumer protection and state reciprocity policy work in California and contributes to federal policy discussions on that issue.
  • Supports the President in fundraising for TICAS efforts, including building relationships with funders, developing proposals, and telling the stories of TICAS successes.
  • Sets ambitious but realistic goals, communicates clear priorities, and manages the work of the team (up to a maximum of five staff) to meet those goals.
  • Provides frequent feedback to staff and supports their professional growth.
  • Intentionally develops and implements strategies to recruit and retain diverse talent. Fosters an inclusive working environment that respects colleagues’ diverse perspectives, experiences, and expertise.
  • As the senior-most member of the California team, works with the COO to support the staff and takes responsibility for the office culture.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Skills and Qualifications

  • Must have a minimum of five years senior leadership in a related field or discipline.
  • Strong written and verbal communication and organizational skills.
  • Strong management skills and dedication to supporting staff.
  • Ability to exercise good and sound judgment.
  • Excellent at working in a team and independently.
  • Can balance both short- and longer-term priorities.
  • Exceptional attention to detail and commitment to continuous improvement.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

TICAS is committed to sustaining a diverse community with a work environment that is welcoming, respectful, and encouraging to all. TICAS fosters a culture of inclusion that celebrates and cultivates diversity along multiple dimensions, including race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, national origin, socioeconomic status, religion, culture, and experience.

TICAS strongly encourages applicants from diverse and historically underrepresented backgrounds to apply. 

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

Compensation: commensurate with experience; excellent benefits

Application process: Candidates should submit a brief cover letter (no more than one page) and resume to: Patricia Balana, pbalana@ticas.org.

In your cover letter (no more than one page), please include:

  • Why you are passionate about TICAS’ mission
  • How you believe you are the right fit for this position

Please include two professional references.