Montgomery County Education Association

Montgomery County Education Association

Managing Director, Public Affairs

Based in Rockville, MD


PROGRAM AREA: Communications, Political Action, Community Engagement
POSITION TITLE: Managing Director, Public Affairs
REPORTS TO: Executive Director
SALARY: $151,212.74

The Montgomery County Education Association is seeking candidates for a new position on its Management Team.

MCEA represents 14,000+ teachers and other professional educators in the Montgomery County Public Schools system in suburban Washington D.C. MCEA is the largest local educators’ union in the state of Maryland, and one of the largest in the nation. MCEA is an affiliate of the National Education Association. We are committed to educational excellence and social justice and believe that the well-being of our members is inextricably linked to the well-being of our students, their families, and our communities. For more information, go to www.mceanea.org.

The Managing Director of Public Affairs is a strategic leader in MCEA and part of the union’s management team that is accountable for executing the union’s mission, goals, and annual priorities in pursuit of the union’s vision through the development and implementation of the communications, political, and community engagement programs.

As a member of Senior Staff, the Managing Director of Public Affairs is responsible for effective execution of the organization’s communications, political program, and community engagement programs including oversight of program resources and assigned staff, and the inclusion and involvement of MCEA leaders and members, to accomplish MCEA’s strategic goals.

This position provides oversight to appropriate related committees of MCEA and serves on various workgroups as needed relation to development of strategies, policies, and procedures that relate to the areas directed, including as a representative of the union with outside coalition partners and other external allies.

Under the supervision of the Executive Director, this position will:


  • Actively participate in MCEA workgroups and committees as assigned.
  • Perform other related duties as required/assigned by the Executive Director.
  • Work extended hours including weekends and evenings, as necessary, to perform assigned responsibilities.
  • Provide strategic advice to leadership on the full breadth of responsible program areas, including the cross-organizational integration necessary for effective results and consistency.
  • Work with leadership on message development and delivery.
  • Plans and implements internal and external public relations programs.


  • Create and articulate a positive vision of the union among stakeholders.
  • Manage the planning, budgeting, and controlling of program operations ensuring that administrative activities and tactical efforts are consistent with and supportive of the overall mission and goals of the association.
  • Prepare reports for submission to the Executive Director, Board of Directors, and the Representative Assembly.
  • Manage and implement a comprehensive, strategic communications, political, and community engagement program plan.
  • Develop and implement integrated communications strategy for legislative, issue, and political campaigns.
  • Direct the development of programs, position papers, messages and mailings, talking points, testimony, etc. to communicate effectively and present Union positions and programs to Union constituency and government officials.
  • Respond to inquiries from leaders, staff, and members.

Community Engagement:

  • Develop and lead a community engagement and advocacy program with measurable impact on education policy and program.
  • Manage the development of strategies and coordinate tactical plans to form coalitions with external organizations that share MCEA’s philosophies, interests, and goals.


  • Work with the Organizational Specialist, Communications to develop and maintain relationships with media, including reporters, editorial boards, etc.
  • Oversee the communications program including but not limited to the:
    • Development and delivery of media including: e-newsletters, blog posts, press releases and media advisories, website updates, and social media and ensure consistent branding in all aspects of MCEA’s work.
    • Management of MCEA social media pages and channels including Facebook, Twitter, IG, and YouTube
    • Monitoring of web and social media analytics to evaluate and inform program implementation to improve efficacy and grow reach.
    • Redesign and maintenance of the union’s website and other electronic communications.
    • Identification of strategic media opportunities, organizing public press events, and responding to media inquiries.
    • Preparation of spokespeople for interviews.


  • Work with the Political Action Organizational Specialist to develop and maintain relationships with elected officials, their staff, and representatives of political parties.
  • Oversee the political program, including but not limited to:
    • Educating and engaging members concerning election activities consistent with MCEA priorities.
    • Implementing MCEA ‘s candidate endorsement process.
    • Implementing Political Action Fund (PAC) fundraising
    • Lobbying to advance the MCEA legislative agenda.
    • Keeping leadership, staff, and general membership informed on public policy considerations affecting their work.
    • Preparing policy positions and necessary materials consistent with the MCEA legislative agenda.
    • Monitoring of the flow of legislation and advocacy on behalf of MCEA’s positions on relevant bills, including the preparation of testimony, content of lobbying meetings, and written communications to elected officials.
    • Promoting legislative advocacy among members.

Assigned Staff:

  • Support assigned staff in their development.
  • Oversee the assignment, coaching, support, evaluation, counseling, and progressive discipline of assigned staff both confidential (Executive Assistant, Public Affairs) and with a collective bargaining agreement (currently includes the Organizational Specialist, Political Action and Organizational Specialist, Communications).
  • Create a positive work climate and culture in the department.
  • Identify professional development needs and opportunities for department staff.
  • Onboard new assigned staff.
  • Arrange for coverage of assigned staff responsibilities during staff absences.

The successful applicant must be able to demonstrate understanding of and proficiency in:

  • Analyzing and evaluating the impact of political and community matters on the union and in the design, recommendation, and implementation of an effective strategic response.
  • Working with and engendering cooperative support, and consulting/counseling/ advising with leaders, members, and all levels of association management, governance, and staff.
  • Effective listening, strategic thinking, advocacy, time and people management, observation, information gathering, and persuasion.
  • Mastery of speaking (both in dialogue and group presentations), professional writing, and editing skills.
  • Grasping complex policy issues and communicating clearly to diverse audiences.
  • Establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with outside community groups, political leaders, government officials, non-profit organizations, education organizations, unions, and other coalition partners.
  • Managing interpersonal disputes and minimizing the effects of conflict on future interactions and job effectiveness.
  • Working independently and effectively with, and motivate or lead, individuals and groups both inside and outside MCEA to achieve MCEA’s goals.
  • Developing and implementing strategic initiatives to effectively carry out a large-scale and complex public affairs agenda for the association.
  • Thinking quickly and providing clear and persuasive responses in debate-like situations.
  • Working with and maintaining data and information of a confidential nature.
  • Exercising discretion and independent judgment.
  • Demonstrating initiative and resourcefulness.
  • Working in a Microsoft Office suite environment.
  • Performing duties with a high level of efficiency and accuracy.


  • Bachelor's in marketing, communications, journalism, public relations, public policy, political science, and/or equivalent; advanced degree preferred.
  • Minimum two years’ experience supervising & evaluating employees.
  • Minimum four years’ experience managing communications, media projects and/or political campaigns.
  • Minimum three years of experience in strategic planning, leadership, project management, supervision, and budgeting.
  • Excellent writing, editorial expertise and communications skills, and the ability to make information easily accessible for all audiences.
  • Knowledge of the values, goals, and mission of MCEA, tenets of unionism, and the core issues that resonate within the public education arena.
  • Functional knowledge of website management (i.e. HTML, FTP, etc.) and social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram).
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment and to handle multiple projects simultaneously.

Other skills and qualities desired:

  • Bilingual in Spanish/English a plus.
  • Knowledge of current education, political and legislative issues at the local, state and national levels.
  • A strong commitment to organized labor and the role of educators in public schools.
  • Familiarity with Bargaining for the Common Good and Just Schools movements.
  • Minimum one year of experience in community-labor partnerships or community organizing.
  • Experience working with Immigrant Communities.
  • Strong VAN skills.
  • Positivity, imagination, creativity, strong listening skills, and high energy.


  • Salaried position; requires nonstandard work hours and/or weekend and holiday work.
  • Work is on-site/in-person.
  • Travel is required, primarily within Montgomery County.
  • Must possess a valid driver’s license, must have auto insurance that covers business driving, and must possess an automobile for business use.

MCEA offers a competitive salary. The Managing Director salary is calculated as 10% over the top step on the MCEA staff union, the Professional Staff Organization’s, salary scale. MCEA also provides a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, vision and prescription drug coverage, retirement savings plan, and long-term disability insurance.


  • Work is performed in a variety of settings – in schools, school district offices, a typical office work environment.
  • This position requires frequent driving throughout the county to various locations.
  • Must be able to occasionally remain in a stationary position up to 50% of the time.
  • The person in this position needs to regularly move about inside the office and other locations.
  • Constantly operates a computer, cell phone, and office productivity machinery, such as a copy machine and computer printer.
  • Frequently moves equipment & supplies weighing up to 25 pounds for various meeting and event needs.

MCEA is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity for all employees and to providing employees with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status.

Position will be open until filled. Qualified applicants should send cover letter, résumé, and 3 writing samples to: Heather Carroll-Fisher, Executive Director, c/o Mary Neal at: mneal@mceanea.org. Subject: Managing Director, Public Affairs

WHEN APPLYING: Be sure to indicate that you saw this information at UNIONJOBS.COM.