SHEEO Position Announcement: Vice President of Federal Relations

Position located in Washington, D.C.


SHEEO seeks to fill the position of vice president of federal relations. SHEEO is the national association of state higher education leaders who serve statewide coordinating and governing boards and other state higher education agencies. SHEEO responds to the changing needs of its members and the state higher education community and regularly pursues new projects that meet our members’ needs and align with the mission of the organization.

The vice president of federal relations will report directly to the president and will hold primary leadership responsibility for planning, implementing, and coordinating SHEEO’s portfolio of federal relations, policy, communication, and advocacy work. This position will monitor new and potential federal action (legislation, rules, and other policies and actions) that have relevance to our membership. The vice president of federal relations will be responsible for bringing these issues to the attention of SHEEO staff and SHEEO’s membership and for articulating their potential impact on our members and the institutions and students they serve. This is a new position; SHEEO has not previously maintained a permanent presence in Washington, D.C. The successful candidate will help develop SHEEO’s portfolio of work in Washington.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Make SHEEO’s leadership aware of new and potential federal action and its impact on our membership.
  • Represent the interests of SHEEO’s members to federal policymakers.
  • Draft monthly federal updates.
  • Plan for, organize, and lead SHEEO leadership and/or membership visits to lawmakers’ and other policymakers’ offices.
  • Plan for, organize, and lead any federal advocacy in which SHEEO decides to engage.
  • Assist the president in developing and communicating SHEEO positions on new or potential federal actions.
  • Serve as liaison between SHEEO and the various Washington, D.C. higher education associations, advocacy groups, think tanks, and foundations.
  • Serve on a variety of leadership groups and teams within SHEEO.
  • Advise and provide support to the SHEEO president, particularly about matters related to federal policy.
  • Plan and implement federal policy projects which support the SHEEO mission, strategic priorities, and the needs of SHEEO members.
  • Conduct or direct research and policy analysis on federal higher education public policy.
  • Develop and maintain knowledge regarding current activities and future trends in public higher education.
  • Manage a portfolio of grant-funded projects. Maintain relationships with funders and seek diversified funding sources.   
  • May provide supervision or direction to other SHEEO staff.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • An earned doctoral degree plus at least seven years of progressively responsible leadership experience.
  • Additional experience in higher education may substitute for the doctoral degree.
  • Expertise in the federal policymaking process and ability to analyze and interpret federal legislation and agency rules.
  • Experience working in Washington, D.C. and evidence of existing relationships with federal actors (House and Senate committee staff, U.S. Department of Education staff, higher education association leadership, etc.).
  • Experience and analytical expertise in one or more of the following areas related to postsecondary education: academic affairs, data systems, equity, finance, institutional research, and/or student success.
  • Demonstrated ability to obtain outside funding for special projects.
  • Knowledge of or experience with SHEEO agencies.
  • Record of publication in state higher education policy, public policy, or social science.
  • Skill in project management.
  • Skill in supervisory practices and techniques.
  • Fluency in statistics, data visualization, or other specialized skills.

Working Conditions:

This position will be in Washington, D.C. Periodic travel to SHEEO’s headquarters in Boulder, CO, and other national travel will be required.


Salary will be commensurate with successful candidate’s experience and demonstrated skill level. SHEEO provides excellent staff benefits.

Application Process:

Please apply by email to: Christina Whitfield at and include the following:

  • Letter describing how you meet the requirements of the position, addressed to Christina Whitfield, SHEEO, 3035 Center Green Drive, Suite 100, Boulder, CO 80301
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Names and contact information of three academic or professional references (References will not be contacted until you have given permission for us to do so.)

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. However, priority will be given to those applications received by November 29, 2019.

About SHEEO:

SHEEO serves its members as an advocate for state policy leadership, as a liaison between states and the federal government, as a vehicle for learning from and collaborating with peers, and as a source of information and analysis on educational and public policy issues. SHEEO seeks to advance public policies and educational practices to achieve more widespread access and successful participation in higher education, more new discoveries through research, and more applications of knowledge that improve the quality of human lives.

SHEEO is particularly interested in providing equal employment opportunities and employing a diverse staff. Read more about SHEEO on our website: