Third Way is a national think tank that champions modern center-left ideas. Our agenda is built on the bedrock belief that for political movements to succeed in our political system, they must relentlessly reimagine their policies, strategies, and coalitions. We are fighting for opportunity, so everyone has the chance to earn a good life; progress on social issues, so all have the freedom to live the lives they choose; and security, so we are protected from the global threats of the 21st century. 

Take your career to the next level at Third Way. We are committed to the professional development of our staff. As a member of our team, creativity and collaboration are encouraged and expected. Our new office space was specially designed to facilitate team projects and allow for groups large and small to brainstorm, discuss an idea or proposal, or map out a strategy.

Third Way is an equal opportunity employer that celebrates, supports and promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion. We will consider all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, sexual orientation or gender identity, or any other legally protected basis, in accordance with applicable laws.

Education Policy Advisor \ Senior Education Policy Advisor, Education

Social Policy, Education, and Politics

Third Way is a national think tank that was founded back in 2005 to champion modern center-left ideas. Our work is grounded in the mainstream American values of opportunity, freedom, and security. We are proud of the organization that we have built and continue to seek out talent who contribute to our ambitious mission. We are deeply committed to promoting a culture of results and respect where every employee has opportunities to contribute, develop, and grow professionally.

Third Way’s higher education team is committed to expanding the conversation about federal higher education policy from focusing solely on cost to comprehensively prioritizing return on investment for students and taxpayers. We are seeking an Education Policy Advisor or Senior Education Policy Advisor to join our efforts to promote policies that improve student outcomes across our higher education system and hold schools accountable if most of their students can’t graduate, get a good-paying job, or pay down their loans.

The Education Policy Advisor \ Senior Education Policy Advisor will produce and deploy compelling data analysis and written and digital content to explain how current federal guardrails are insufficient to protect students and taxpayers from poor-performing institutions and develop ideas for how we can update them to work better. This individual will be a core part of Third Way’s educational engagement with federal policymakers on higher education issues and collaboration with external partners to advance key policy priorities.

As an Education Policy Advisor or Senior Education Policy Advisor, a typical day might include…

  • Conducting in-depth, original-source research and analysis to shed light on issues involving higher education quality, accountability, and value;
  • Authoring high-impact reports, memos, op-eds, and presentations that persuasively illuminate the problems in our higher education system and explain how we can better ensure that students leave college better off than when they entered;
  • Producing data-informed policy recommendations on key actions that the federal government can take to help ensure students and taxpayers get a return on their investment and institutions of higher education are held accountable for student outcomes;
  • Crafting educational materials for and managing relationships with Members of Congress and Congressional staff, as well as other key constituencies—such as institutional leaders, advocacy groups, and partner organizations—to promote Third Way’s higher education agenda; and
  • Working with the higher education team and other Third Way staff and partners to plan and execute events, campaigns, and stakeholder engagement activities to further our mission.


This might be the job for you if you have…

  • An undergraduate or graduate degree in education, public policy, or another relevant field;
  • A minimum of 2 years of relevant experience (3-5 years of relevant experience for Senior Advisor) working on higher education policy issues, including working in or with Congressional offices or the Administration;
  • Advanced understanding of the US higher education system and the major players that drive the politics of higher education;
  • Demonstrated experience working with data from IPEDS, the College Scorecard and/or other federal higher education datasets to produce sophisticated quantitative analyses;
  • Exceptional writing skills, including the ability to explain complex topics to a non-expert audience in a clear, concise, and engaging way;
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail in writing, proofing, and working with data;
  • (For Senior Advisor) Oral advocacy experience, including through presentations, briefings, and interaction with members of the press; and
  • A desire to make a difference and an imprint as Third Way’s newest Education Policy Advisor \ Senior Education Policy Advisor.

In the Third Way Culture, we are looking for…

  • Self-starters: People who see and seize opportunities, take risks, learn from failure, and will bring a sustained passion for our mission.
  • Collaborators: People who work in teams—sharing ideas, brainstorming, co-authoring products, and advancing its shared priorities.
  • Creators: People who fosters divergent thinking; that aren’t afraid to take on the orthodoxies of the left or the right. Team members come up with original insights, find unique ways to look at data, and challenge their preconceptions.
  • Results-oriented: People who function with an organizational commitment to clear objectives, ambitious timelines, accountability for results, and a focus on impact.
  • Respectful: People who embrace the diverse perspectives of everyone and fosters the values of diversity, equity, and inclusiveness at all times.

Within 1 month you'll...

  • Participate in Third Way’s comprehensive onboarding program. You’ll learn about all aspects of Business Operations, which includes benefits, IT, finance, and office operations.
  • Meet your Third Way Buddy, be introduced to the entire staff, and start to learn the Third Way culture.
  • Participate in weekly one-on-ones with your manager to ensure you fully understand the expectations of the job.
  • Attend your departmental weekly meetings. You’ll learn about all aspects of the team, their strategic goals and tactics for the year ahead, what challenges they face, and how you will contribute.

Within 2 months you'll...

  • Attend program overview sessions to learn more about each team’s contribution to Third Way’s mission.
  • Work closely with the higher education team to produce and release at least one original written product.
  • Learn and experience Third Way’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and respect in the workplace.
  • Sit in on a riveting story about Third Way’s history with one of the original founders of Third Way. You will learn about our successes, as well as our failures. This will also afford you the opportunity to learn about future direction.
  • Learn how to communicate in Third Way voice and have a general understanding of our messaging around complex and sensitive higher education issues.
  • Participate in at least one internal professional development training.
  • Begin to build and deepen key relationships with partners and stakeholders.

Within 3 months you'll...

  • Feel a sense of comfort and familiarity with the staff, your team, and your work.
  • Continue to attend weekly departmental meetings with a stronger understanding of your team’s strategic goals.
  • Attend and participate in external functions and meetings with other members of your team.
  • Represent the higher education team at coalition meetings with key partners and in meetings on the Hill.
  • Bring new ideas and suggestions to your weekly one-on-ones with your manager and partner with them to establish your long-term goals for the remainder of the year.

Third Way is committed to the health, safety, and wellness of all employees, candidates, stakeholders, and communities. In support of that commitment, all current and newly hired employees are required to provide proof of Covid-19 full vaccination. Proof of full vaccination status will be required after an offer of employment is extended and accepted. Failure to provide proof of full vaccination prior to the start date will result in the offer of employment being rescinded.

Third Way offers a flexible, hybrid work environment to support our employees’ healthy work\life balance.


Third Way is an equal opportunity employer that celebrates, supports and promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion. We will consider all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, sexual orientation or gender identity, or any other legally protected basis, in accordance with applicable laws.