Director Of Strategic Initiatives - Youth Safety (DME)

Washington, DC
Full Time
Senior Manager/Supervisor

Deputy Mayor for Education (DME)

Open Date:  March 25, 2024

Closing Date:  Open until filled

Excepted Service,  Grade 8 - ($106,497 - $159,747)


This position is located in the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education (DME). The DME is responsible for developing and implementing the Mayor's vision for academic excellence and creating a high-quality education continuum from birth to 24 (from early childhood to K-12 to post-secondary and the workforce).  The three major functions of the DME include (1) overseeing a District-wide education strategy, (2) managing interagency and cross-sector coordination, and (3) providing oversight and/or support for the following education-related agencies.

Incumbent is responsible for developing, tracking, and coordinating the implementation of priority initiatives that support the Office’s short- and long-term vision for education and supervising direct report(s) executing strategic initiatives. The position also has non-supervisory responsibilities related to convening and coordinating the work of other agencies’ senior staff to accomplish the Office’s priorities. Incumbent r coordinates closely with other DME senior leaders and staff to ensure the DME cluster achieves the Mayor’s ambitious vision for academic and workforce excellence and creating a high-quality education continuum from birth through career (from early childhood to K-12 to post-secondary and into family-sustaining jobs).


Incumbent works under the general direction and administrative guidance of the Deputy Mayor, who defines overall objectives to be achieved, but relies upon the incumbent’s expertise.  Incumbent is expected to demonstrate initiative, creativity, and sound judgment in planning, developing, and implementing short- and long-range objectives. Incumbent informs the supervisor of potentially challenging findings, issues, or problems with widespread impact.  Work is reviewed for conformance to established policies and procedures, feasibility, compatibility with the organizational goals, guidelines. or effectiveness in achieving intended objectives.


Guidelines are broadly stated and non-specific, (e.g., broad policy statements and basic legislation) that require extensive interpretation.  Guidelines consist of pertinent District government and Federal laws and regulations.  Incumbents must use judgment and ingenuity in interpreting the intent of the guides that exist and in developing applications to specific areas of work.  Frequently, the incumbent is recognized as a technical authority in the development and interpretation of guidelines.


Incumbent serves as a senior advisor to the Deputy Mayor on the vision for youth safety and ensuring students are safe in schools, in transit, and in community. This role drives the DME’s efforts, in close coordination with the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice (DMPSJ) and other key government clusters, to keep youth safe and to improve educational outcomes for students in the care of D.C.

Functionally, incumbent engages deeply with content experts and community members, strategically coordinates across District stakeholders, ensures cohesive city-wide planning, and provides agency oversight and support. Incumbent’s specific responsibilities include:

Serves as a key member of the DME’s senior leadership team, encourages a team-based environment by building alliances, promoting open communication, and collaboration to achieve joint objectives.

Conducts extensive research on best practices, policy issues and resources to guide and inform on the development of major projects.

Ensures all policy recommendations and strategic initiatives are deeply grounded in racial justice and equity and center the experiences and voices of residents with the greatest needs and historically marginalized communities.

Develops other quantitative and qualitative analyses and research, as required for consistency with commonly accepted practices for program evaluation. Assures policy issues and recommendations are well-defined, and recommends needed amendments to laws, regulations, and other rules.

Coordinates with other senior leadership team members to ensure resources like budget, facilities, legislation, and data analyses are operating in support of office goals and strategic initiatives. Collaborates to ensure strong alignment across existing and new initiatives.

Builds relationships with external and internal partners to include schools, other education agencies, District agency partners that provide services to schools, private sector partners, and national and local experts.

Maintains an effective working relationship with all levels of management officials and team members. Build trust-based relationships and partnerships to deliver shared goals and drive coordination.

Plans work to be accomplished by subordinates, set and adjust short-term priorities, and prepare schedules for completion of work; assign work to subordinates based on priorities, develop performance standards and evaluate work performance of subordinates; give advice, counsel, or instruction to employees on both work and administrative matters; interview candidates for positions in the unit; recommend appointment, promotion, or reassignment to such positions; hear and resolve complaints from employees, referring group grievances and more serious unresolved complaints to a higher level supervisor or manager; effect minor disciplinary measures, such as warnings and reprimands, recommending other action in more serious cases; identify developmental and training needs of employees, providing or arranging for needed development and training; find ways to improve production or increase the quality of the work directed.

Manages and oversees the development, ongoing coordination, and completion of select strategic policy projects. Manages comprehensive, long-range project plans, providing the sequence of tasks, target dates and persons responsible.

Builds and implements processes to track results, advance work, and resolve challenges that arise.

Students in the Care of DC Coordinating Committee

Oversees and leads the work of the Students in the Care of DC Coordinating Committee to identify challenges and resolve issues that students in detainment, commitment, incarceration, and foster care face with the goal of improving educational outcomes.

Identifies and recruits committee members, develops meeting materials, conducts external research, provides technical assistance to committee members, and facilitates committee meetings in accordance with best practices, local laws, and federal laws.

Supports the committee in leading the development of all external-facing documents, including an inaugural strategic plan and annual report(s).
Collaborates with partner government agencies, including Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice (DMPSJ), Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS), Department of Corrections (DOC), and Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA), on developing and executing solutions to identified issues.

Youth Safety

Lead continuous development and refinement of the DME cluster’s approach, in close partnership with DMPSJ and other District agencies to improve the safety of youth in the District.

Collaborates closely with the counterparts on the DME policy team on developing cross-cutting policy recommendations, including reducing truancy and chronic absenteeism, to improve social-emotional learning and development, and to ensure conflict resolution skill-building.

Engages regularly with national and regional experts to identify evidence-based best practices and recent research and determine applicability to District policies and practices.

Engages regularly with DC Public Schools (DCPS) and public charter school leadership and staff to ensure schools have appropriate resources to address safety concerns. Streamlines and strengthens communications between schools and public safety agencies including the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA).

Regularly reviews and analyzes relevant safety data, and supports development of new data collection methods, as appropriate, to generate actionable insights and develop systemic policy solutions.

Supports day-to-day troubleshooting of specific safety incidences and leverages learnings from incidents to develop strong policy proposals for the Deputy Mayor and other District leadership.

Perform other related duties as assigned.


Strong background in K-12 education and/or public policy to develop, track, and coordinate effective implementation of priority initiatives and policies that impact youth.

Demonstrated knowledge of leading research and best practices to promote youth safety to inform policy priorities.

Demonstrated knowledge of the juvenile justice system, the criminal justice system and/or the child welfare system to ensure policies are grounded in priority student populations.

Demonstrated ability to build and maintain effective relationships within school systems, city agencies, community partners, and/or other civic/private sector entities to ensure efficacy of coordination.

Demonstrated knowledge of the public-school landscape in the District of Columbia in order to develop, track, and coordinate effective implementation of priority initiatives and policies.

Demonstrated organizational and strategic leadership in order to advise the Deputy Mayor and manage a team.


There is a legal requirement that each new appointee to the Excepted and Executive Service either: (1) be domiciled in the District of Columbia at the time of appointment; or (2) establish District domicile within one hundred eighty (180) days of appointment.  The law also requires that Excepted and Executive Service employees maintain District domicile during the period of the appointment.  Failure to maintain District domicile during the period of the appointment will result in forfeiture of employment.


This job is designated as “security sensitive” due to the position’s duties and responsibilities.  Security sensitive positions are positions of special trust that may be reasonably expected to affect the access to or control of activities, systems, or resources that are subject to misappropriation, malicious mischief, damage, or loss or impairment of control of communication.

The position may be subject to criminal background checks and/or driving record checks, as well as random drug and alcohol testing pursuant to D.C. Act 15-620.

Drug Free Workplace

The District of Columbia government maintains a drug-free work environment policy. All District employees are subject to post-accident/incident and reasonable suspicion drug and alcohol testing.


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