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Director, Research Accelerators

Public Agenda

Public Agenda

85,000 – 100,000 USD per year
Posted on Friday, September 1, 2023

About Public Agenda

Public Agenda is a mission-focused research and public engagement organization. We seek to strengthen democracy by expanding voice and participation opportunities for all Americans. We focus on improving democracy itself and the systems and institutions that determine whether the promise of American democracy will be realized in the lives of everyday people—systems such as health care, education, and criminal justice. We discover pathways and tools for change, and we connect what we are learning to individuals and organizations who can put it to use.

We are seeking a Director to oversee a new operational model that will function alongside our existing programming. We call the model the research accelerator, and its purpose is to provide individuals and organizations dedicated to democracy renewal and adjacent goals with reliable and actionable evidence to support their efforts. The research accelerator model will form the centerpiece of a new initiative called the Public Agenda Democracy Renewal Project. Through the Democracy Renewal Project, Public Agenda will provide grant funding to support research on promising democracy-strengthening interventions, synthesize and disseminate findings, and translate information into tools for practical implementation. The goal is to generate, interpret, and synthesize a body of quantitative and qualitative data to provide philanthropies, advocacy leaders, policymakers, and journalists with better information about the efficacy of democracy renewal approaches.

About the Position

The Research Accelerator Director is an integral member of the leadership team, contributing to Public Agenda’s strategic direction, national partnership development, and efforts to translate research into action and impact for the American people. The ideal candidate is someone who possesses strong social science research skills, is passionate about data-informed approaches to challenges facing our democracy, brings an asset-based and equity-centered orientation to project and partnership development, has experience building systems and executing projects or initiatives, and is comfortable working with a wide variety of stakeholders.

Public Agenda’s staff is geographically distributed, and this is a work-from-anywhere position within the United States. Staff members must be available to work during standard Eastern Time business hours.

The successful candidate must be available to travel for quarterly organization-wide meetings and occasional additional conferences and meetings.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Work with a national panel of practitioners, funders, and researchers to identify practice-relevant questions for research, craft requests for proposals to investigate those questions, review proposals, and select projects to fund.
  • Organize and support connections with and among researchers; ensure progress toward objectives and deliverables.
  • Lead work to synthesize and report on research findings.
  • In partnership with our communications staff, promote research opportunities, share research findings (including through in-person convenings) and grow dissemination channels for application tools.
  • Engage with practitioners, funders, journalists, and policymakers to share findings and explore implications.
  • Work closely with colleagues to contribute to efforts to engage funders.

Desired qualifications, skills and abilities:

  • Significant experience in research and execution
  • Strong strategic and operational sense; ability to read and respond to dynamic contexts and organize systems to meet evolving programmatic requirements
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate research findings and evidence-based implementation approaches in oral and written form to key stakeholders, such as funders, policymakers, advocates, and journalists
  • Experience with a range of quantitative and qualitative research approaches
  • Personal integrity, commitment to resource stewardship
  • Balanced, solutions-seeking orientation; strong listening skills
  • Commitment to Public Agenda’s mission
  • Comfort working in a nonpartisan organization committed to ideological diversity
  • Commitment to a respectful and equitable workplace
  • Ph.D. in a relevant social science preferred

*Public Agenda is a qualifying employer under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF).

The annual salary range for this position is $85,000 – $100,000.

Send Cover Letter and Resume to:  careers@publicagenda.org

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by the individual(s) assigned to this position. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, and skills required. Management reserves the right to modify, add, or remove duties and to assign other duties as necessary. In addition, reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of this position.

Our organization is committed to equal employment opportunity and diversity in the workplace.  We will not discriminate against employees or applicants for employment on any legally-recognized basis [“protected class”] including, but not limited to: veteran status, uniform service member status, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information or any other protected class under federal, state, or local law.

Interested candidates should submit (1) a resume or CV, (2) a cover letter describing your interest in and qualifications for the position, and (3) a research-related writing sample (of any length) to careers@publicagenda.org.

Public Agenda is an equal opportunity employer.