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Ombudsman for Public Education, District of Columbia State Board of Education (SBOE)



This position is in the District of Columbia State Board of Education (SBOE). SBOE’s mission is to provide policy leadership, support, advocacy, and oversight of public education to ensure that every student is valued and learns the skills and knowledge necessary to become informed, competent, and contributing global citizens.
The incumbent works under the supervision of the State Board, which provides administrative direction. The incumbent independently plans and executes specialized programs of marked difficulty, responsibility, and significance along professional, technical, administrative, and fiscal lines. The incumbent is expected to work collaboratively with the Executive Director of the State Board and the Chief Student Advocate to manage agency-wide administrative and operational activities. Findings and recommendations are accepted without change.


Provides leadership, mentorship, and management to employees, including performance management, time and attendance, and professional development. Conducts and oversees strategic planning, evaluates the program's effectiveness, and develops improvement strategies.

Oversees community engagement and manages stakeholder relationships (i.e., authorizers, elected officials, community leaders, community-based organizations, funders, etc.) to drive and sustain systemic change to ensure equitable access to education.

Develops outreach strategies and directs public outreach activities to encourage communication between residents, schools, and policymakers to enhance educational outcomes for public school students.

Identifies systemic concerns and barriers for students within public education and educates the public, including local and national decision-makers, on resolving such obstacles and problems by identifying local and nationally promising practices.

Initiates and serves as an expert in policy discussions on areas impacting student access to public education, including but not limited to special education, student discipline, school climate and environment, system-imposed barriers, and school-imposed barriers.

Manages and supports a team that ensures the following services to the public through case-managed files establishes a central office for receiving, assessing, and addressing public education-related complaints and concerns from citizens, providing prompt and professional handling, recommendations, and follow-up, as well as data analysis and reporting to drive improvements.


Adept in conveying information persuasively to a broad range of local and national stakeholders to present concise and compelling reports and briefings to members of the Board, external stakeholders, including LEA leaders, local and federal policy advisors, and funders, executive staff, program managers, and representing the State Board appropriately.

Mastery knowledge in providing leadership in a managerial/supervisory capacity and a team-based environment and securing the support and cooperation of subordinate staff.

Mastery knowledge in education policy, law, and public administration, especially student discipline and special education issues, program operations, goals, objectives, and strategic planning.

Advance knowledge in planning and policy development, interpreting legislation, project management and administration, business planning, and resource development.

Advance knowledge by engaging in and effectively utilizing analytical and evaluative principles and concepts to assess and improve program effectiveness.

Demonstrated expertise in strategic planning, evaluating the effectiveness of the programs, and developing and evaluating strategies for making improvements.

Mastery knowledge in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with individuals, decision-makers, groups, and constituencies interested in or affected by the State Board's programs.
Skill in navigating rigorous and contentious political environments to facilitate resolutions and ensure that decisions align with fairness and established principles while addressing politically charged situations.

Skill in building relationships with urban community leaders and organizations to effectively serve as intermediaries, address community concerns, advocate for fairness, and navigate the intricacies of urban community dynamics while upholding transparency.

Superior ability to coordinate, negotiate, and integrate the work of others, to keep initiatives focused, to assess the effectiveness of efforts and programs, and to provide expert guidance for the adjustment of programs and priorities accordingly.

Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with a relevant bachelor's degree and at least ten (10) years of relevant work experience or an equivalent combination of education, training, and experience. 




The work is performed in an office setting.


Duration of Appointment: Excepted Service 

Tour of Duty: Monday – Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm

Pay Plan, Series and Grade: ES-0301-08

Salary Range: $106,497 - $159,747 Per Annual, based on funding

Collective Bargaining Unit: This position is not in the Collective Bargaining Unit

Promotion Potential: No Known Promotion Potential

Position Designation: This position is designated as security sensitive and therefore the incumbent of this position will be subject to enhanced suitability screening pursuant to Chapter 4 of DC personnel regulations, Suitability and as such, incumbents of this position shall be subject to criminal background checks, and background investigations, as applicable.

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 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.

Residency Requirement: The law also requires that Excepted 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.

EEO Statement: The District of Columbia Government is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified candidates will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, matriculation, physical handicap, or political affiliation.

Closing Date is Tuesday, December 19, 2023.

Interested candidates must submit a cover letter and resume to Bernice Butler at [email protected].  Only individuals who meet the minimum qualifications will be contacted. Applications will be screened as they are received. All cover letters and resumes must be submitted by 11:59 pm on Tuesday, December 19, 2023, to be considered for this position. The State Board anticipates making a final decision and offer on or around February 7, 2024.