Economic Research Director

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
Madison, WI
Date Posted:  May 5, 2023
Closing Date:  June 5, 2023

Position Summary

The Research Director develops, directs, and coordinates research on economic development, industry, labor market information, and business trends; supervising analysis of key issues, trends, and reports; and manages the WEDC portfolio of research tools. The Research Director provides oversight and guidance which produces high quality reports and presentations for leadership and external partners to make data-driven decisions, as well as provides support and training to staff and partners on various analytical resources.


The Research Director will spend the majority of their time in these activities:

  • Lead the work of the Research Team.
  • Manage and direct research and monitoring of economic development, labor market information, and business trends.
  • Direct research, statistical analysis, verify data, and maintain statistical information reporting systems on the local, state, national and global business climate.
  • Provide expertise in economic modeling tools and techniques for determining return on investment to assist in funding determinations.
  • Preside over the preparation of detailed and customized company profiles and research to facilitate the contact by WEDC personnel and external partners.
  • Guide sound, concise, and timely recommendations and reports based on research to advance WEDC and its investment strategies.
  • Manage and develop professional staff within the Research Team who are responsible for the successful implementation of requests for information, labor market information and proactive data analysis for WEDC.
  • Lead in identifying opportunities for tool improvements and assist in finding potentially new application areas.
  • Responsible for the coordination of WEDC research tool procurement and oversee the catalog of WEDC research tools.
  • Administer identification, collection, analyzation, verification, and maintain data sets.
  • Maintain mastery and continue to develop skills with various databases, staying abreast of data and tools that continue to become available.
  • Coordinate and facilitate meetings of the WEDC Research Roundtable.
  • Maintain effective relationships cross functionally within the organization to ensure effective lines of communication.
  • Represent WEDC in speaking engagements and participate in activities, seminars, and conferences.
  • Other duties as assigned.


Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Economics, Economic Development, Community Development, Urban or Regional Planning, or related field; Master’s degree preferred.
  • Minimum of seven years of experience in economics, statistics, business analysis, urban or regional planning, public policy, or related field.
  • At least one year of management experience.
  • Certified Economic Research Professional (CERP), Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), or Economic Development Financial Professional (EDFP) preferred.

Skills and Talents:

  • Understanding of economic development theory and practice.
  • Advanced and refined research skills using a range of sources.
  • Versed in economic tools to analyze labor market information and other types of data (e.g. Economic Modeling, Shift Share Analysis, Location Quotients, and Regression Analysis).
  • Strong quantitative, qualitative, analytical, and problem-solving skills.
  • Leadership skills and ability to motivate others.
  • Ability to think strategically, systemically, and creatively.
  • Proficiency in navigating public resources to attain labor market and business intelligence information.
  • Highly structured, organized, and attentive to detail.
  • PC applications including word processing, spreadsheet, database management and Windows software.
  • Strong project management and organizational skills.
  • Strong research, writing, and communication skills.