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Tennesseans for Student Success

Assistant Director of Government Relations

Tennesseans for Student Success


Job Summary

Tennesseans for Student Success is a statewide network of teachers, parents, community leaders, and volunteers dedicated to supporting, championing, and fighting for Tennessee’s students and their futures. We are committed to building on Tennessee’s historic gains in education. Having been named the fastest-improving state in the nation in education, breaking ACT records, graduating more students on time, and offering early opportunities for success are just the beginning. We work every day to make sure today’s students are more prepared and have even more opportunities for success than those who graduated before them. Our organization’s efforts include legislative advocacy, grassroots organizing, and engagement across the state, and issue advances to support high-quality public education systems across Tennessee.

TSS’ Assistant Director of Government Relations will play a critical role in supporting the organization’s work at the state and local level, specifically in protecting accountability, championing higher standards, supporting an aligned assessment, promoting innovation in education, and supporting Tennessee’s efforts at improving student achievement.

Job Responsibilities

The Assistant Director of Government Relations will support TSS efforts to:
1. Assist the General Counsel and VP, Government Relations in scheduling, attending, monitoring, and tracking legislative policies, activities, hearings, and other relevant government affairs events that impact TSS’s work and mission;
2. Assist in organizing meetings or events that enhance relationships between TSS leadership and external stakeholders, helping to elevate TSS initiatives and profile;
3. Demonstrate familiarity with the state legislative process and the ability to quickly comprehend and learn local legislative processes;
4. Develop intentional relationships with members of the administration, the legislature, relevant departments, commissions, and school boards, as well as school administrators across the state;
5. Actively lobby the state legislature for the purpose of passing and opposing TSS-identified policies;
6. Develop and successfully execute TSS Day on the Hill in partnership with the TSS advocacy team and other similarly aligned stakeholders;
7. Support the analysis of policy proposals from state and local regulatory boards, commissions, and other state and local agencies;
8. Provide varying levels of support on education policy projects, as determined by the government relations team;
9. Manage database contacts and groups to ensure information is accurate and up to date;
10. Support TSS team members during advocacy, election, and outreach campaigns;
11. Contribute posts to the TSS blog;
12. Perform all work in a culturally responsive manner consistent with TSS’ mission;
13. Participate in general TSS staff activities and other duties as assigned.


You are a proactive and persistent problem solver. You hold yourself personally responsible for results and are patiently persistent as you follow up and follow through. You find ways to get the information you need to meet your goal. You get the job done and are allergic to excuses. You do not wait to be told what to do. You’re adept at laying out a project plan that reflects the organization’s expectations as well as the team’s skills and then driving the team toward successful implementation, ensuring that key deadlines are met along the way, and navigating unexpected challenges or changes in the environment. You think of the needs of other team members and their projects, constantly anticipating and problem-solving in advance of deadlines.

You are a “details” person. Your inbox and hard drive are well-organized, and you can find documents in just a few seconds. You also thrive on organizing others, creating and implementing systems to ensure every moment is well spent. You make sure things don’t fall through the cracks. You would be embarrassed to go into a meeting unprepared. You think five steps ahead, anticipating legislator, staff, partner, or stakeholder needs.

You are an excellent communicator. You use clear and concise language without being overly verbose or talkative, your writing is concrete and actionable. You’re comfortable writing proposals and memos and building presentations from scratch. Others have said that your writing is concrete and actionable. You use examples to back up your claims. You understand the context in which you are communicating, and respond professionally and effectively, tailoring your message depending on the audience. You are skilled in communicating with a wide range of critical stakeholders and are comfortable drafting anything from a proposal to a PowerPoint presentation. You also know how to present data graphically, in a logical and visually appealing way, that allows those not as familiar with the data to understand the story behind the numbers. In responding to inquiries, you understand how to be honest and strategic, while navigating legal and political implications, as well as the news readers’ perception of your quote and how it will fit into the larger story.

You are innovative and have an entrepreneurial spirit. You understand that the only constant in life is change and you are able to adjust quickly to changing priorities or a new direction entirely. You are skilled at taking pieces of the original plan and molding them to the new one, remaining organized even in the face of change. You rise to the challenge of dealing with the unfamiliar, effectively coping, and staying calm and composed. You find early-stage efforts invigorating and respond to challenges in a positive and proactive way. You are resourceful, have a creative approach to problem-solving, and believe in the continuous improvement of processes. You are excited to come in near the ground level and build something whose impact (if successful) will last well beyond your lifetime.


  • Education: Bachelor’s Degree Required. A graduate-level degree is preferred but not required.
  • Experience: At least two (2) years of professional experience, ideally in education, state government/legislature, or in a policy think tank, government relations, or public policy organization.
  • Physical Requirements: Ability to stand or sit for prolonged periods.
  • Job Type: Full-time, salaried (with great benefits).
  • Travel: 25%

Additional Information


  • 100% Employer Paid Benefits for employees & dependents
  • 14 Paid Holidays
  • Unlimited Sick Pay
  • 20 Days Accrued PTO in the First Year
  • Cell Phone stipend
  • Professional Development Opportunities
  • Employer matched 401k
  • hybrid work schedule

How to Apply

To apply, please send a cover letter and a PDF of your resume via email to brooke@tnsuccess.org.
1. Cover letter and PDF of your resume.
2. A writing sample (memo, presentation, or other material) similar to that which may be produced in this job. The sample should reflect your analytical, research, and communication skills.


  • Date Posted: August 1, 2023
  • Type: Full-Time
  • Job Function: Legal
  • Service Area: Other
  • Start Date: 10/01/2023
  • Working Hours: 40 hrs/wk; flex schedule