Senior Policy Fellow – Inclusive Urban Growth (Research to Action Lab)

Urban Institute
Washington, DC
Date Posted:  May 22, 2024

The Research to Action Lab seeks an experienced, dynamic, and highly motivated senior urban policy expert to lead Urban’s work on inclusive growth and equitable recovery in U.S. cities. This will include designing and implementing new approaches to place-based advising that delivers data, research, and evidence-based insights to support cross-sector collaboration and local policies to advance racial equity and shared prosperity. The Senior Policy Fellow will also partner with scholars from across the Urban Institute to design research and data analysis that supports inclusive growth and equitable recovery in cities, and they will help translate findings from research to support decision-making by local leaders. They will be responsible for synthesizing and elevating lessons from local engagements for national audiences, including federal policymakers. The Senior Policy Fellow will also design, develop, and launch new Urban projects that advance evidence-based policy and practice related to inclusive growth and equitable recovery in cities.

Responsibilities include:

•       Provide strategic, intellectual, and entrepreneurial leadership for Urban’s work on inclusive growth and equitable recovery in cities, including applying data and evidence to support local decision-making and strengthening federal-local relationships.

•       Advise local civil society and public-sector leaders on evidence-based and data-driven strategies to support racial equity and shared prosperity in cities.

•       Engage Urban researchers and leverage expertise and ongoing work across Urban that can inform and support place-based advising strategies.  

•       Develop and maintain responsive and productive relationships with the existing project funders, as well as engage other potential funders.

•       Conceptualize new programs of work, identify funding opportunities, and fundraise to launch new programs of work.

•       Establish and maintain strong collaborative relationships with a diverse set of key external contacts and networks to ensure Urban’s work on inclusive growth and equitable recovery in cities is responsive to the field and the needs of policymakers at all levels of government.

•       Contribute management and subject matter expertise to various bodies of work in the Research to Action Lab that support knowledge building and advance evidence-based policy and practice.

•       Develop products such as policy briefs, blogs, features, and research analyses related to project work.

•       Mentor and manage policy and research staff, supporting growth and development of team members and advancement of junior staff along Urban’s career pathways.

What you’ll bring: 

•       Graduate degree (MA, MPP, Ph.D.) in Urban Studies, Public Policy, Public Administration, Political Science, Economics, Sociology or a related social science field, or the academic knowledge of and experience in a discipline that is generally associated with the attainment of a Master’s degree.

•       A minimum of 10 years of experience in leadership and management roles in research, nonprofit or public institutions, including designing and managing programs, supervising staff, mobilizing resources, and fostering cross-sector collaboration.

•       Established expertise in one or more policy areas related to inclusive growth and equitable recovery in cities, as demonstrated by a track record of significant research contributions, policy impact, and/or leadership in government, practice, or philanthropy.

•       Deep understanding of the leading organizations, networks, and primary stakeholders necessary to advance inclusive growth and equitable recovery in cities and the ability to engage with and foster conversations and collaborations among them.

•       Proven fundraising success, including connections with established leaders in philanthropy and/or government, and ability to quickly develop a strategy for supporting new work.

•       Comfort and sophistication in applying a race and equity lens to research and policy questions, analyses, and recommendations.

•       Desired candidates need not be a researcher but should have an ability to meaningfully engage with highly technical research and create connections between it and other relevant research, social and economic trends, and policymaking.

•       Proven management skills including experience coordinating or staffing high-level advisory groups and interdisciplinary teams.

•       Experience coaching staff and teams to desired outcomes.

•       Outstanding oral and written communications skills, including the ability to produce clear, concise, and compelling analyses of complex policy issues and research evidence.

•       Experience with strategic communications, including outreach to media and target audiences in the public, business, and nonprofit sectors.

•       A collaborative and can-do attitude that will push the project forward, maintain interest and excitement among staff and partners, and capacity to serve as a motivating force for ambitious and complex initiatives.

•       A commitment to and experience with principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion both in policy development and at interpersonal levels.

What you’ll experience:

Working in the Nation’s Capital, the epicenter of public policy among a network of policy experts, you can expect to have an impact on policy areas you care about and work with great colleagues who are smart, mission-driven, and collaborative. You will blend academic rigor with on-the-ground collaboration, be encouraged and supported to fulfill your potential through meaningful work that matters and, enjoy a welcoming workplace free from harassment, discrimination, and intolerance.

In addition, we offer a comprehensive benefits package that includes: medical, dental, disability, and life insurance coverage. Competitive paid time off allowance, and eligibility to participate in a generous retirement savings plan plus elect a pretax benefit for commuting expenses.

The Urban Institute is committed to Equal Employment Opportunity without regard for race, ethnicity, gender, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other protected status under applicable law.

The Urban Institute is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer Minorities/Women/Disabilities/Veterans.