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Policy and Research Director, Local Progress


Position Title: Policy & Research Director, Local Progress

Position Location: Washington, DC preferred, but qualified applicants outside DC (but within the US) will be considered.

About Local Progress 

Local Progress (LP) is a movement of local elected officials advancing a racial and economic justice agenda through all levels of local government. We are elected leaders who build power with underrepresented communities, share bold ideas and policy among our network and fight to reshape what is possible in our localities all across the country. Hand-in-hand with community-based organizations and unions committed to advancing a social justice agenda, the elected officials and staff of Local Progress are building the network to facilitate a genuine “inside/outside” strategy to reforming municipal policy and politics. Founded in 2012, Local Progress has grown to over 1,200 local elected official members representing cities, counties, and towns in 47 states. 

Local Progress is a hosted project of the Center for Popular Democracy and CPD Action (together, CPD/A). 

About the Position

We are seeking a Policy & Research Director. This is an exciting opportunity for someone who is eager to learn and develop policy and research capacity with an intersectional approach across various issue areas. This role will drive the development and growth of national program areas, including reimagining public safety, combatting state-level pre-emption, economic justice, preventing evictions, and advancing housing for all. Additionally, the Policy & Research Director will serve elected officials in a variety of geographies (LP has state-based staff in FL, NC, TX, MN, and NY and members in 47 states) in individual policy work to support individual members in addition to supporting our collective impact work. 

The Policy & Research Director will report to the Program Director.

Primary Responsibilities

The Policy & Research Director will:

  • Drive the creation and growth of Local Progress' policy and research capacity, including planning and prioritization, fundraising, staffing and supervision, and leveraging capacity from partners and other external sources (academia, law firms, etc.)
  • Oversee and drive research design/support for LP research projects that support various policy, advocacy, and campaign goals, including the creation of policy materials, original research, and data collection.
  • Perform in-depth legislative analysis specific to needs and campaigns in particular jurisdictions.
  • Build and maintain strong working relationships with external partners to identify areas for collaboration and partnerships.
  • Develop policy templates and tools, scalable across the Local Progress network, including policy toolkits, template resolutions, and frameworks/guidance for equitable making. 
  • Collaborate across LP teams to effectively disseminate findings and policy implications through reports, member programming, leadership bodies, web products, media, and testimony.
  • Analyze federal legislation, executive orders, and policy guidance to inform guidance to members and identify opportunities for campaign/mobilization opportunities and rapid response support.
  • Provide guidance and mentorship for staff in conceiving of and implementing research projects and support their development in skills and technical analysis. 
  • Oversee and maintain standards, including legal compliance, of research and materials for the organization.

The Ideal Candidate Will Have:

  • About 10-12 years of research, policy, or legal experience with an advanced degree in law, policy, public administration, economics, or related social sciences field;
  • At least 1-2 years of effective supervision experience, with the ability to support staff working on policy areas with which the candidate doesn’t have direct experience;
  • Detail-oriented with excellent written and verbal communications; able to convey and translate complex information for a variety of audiences and settings; creative and proactive in identifying and co-conceiving creative research opportunities;
  • Experience with research tools such as LexisNexis and ProQuest; comfortable with reading, analyzing, and comparing legislation and navigating various government websites and other data sources;
  • Ability to effectively manage up and across the organization, drive work plans and recommendations on complex and multifaceted issues;
  • Ability to manage multiple projects, anticipate obstacles and identify ways to navigate challenges, identify and involve stakeholders appropriately, and drive projects independently;
  • A demonstrated commitment to social, racial, and economic justice and a deep interest in local policy, politics, and government.

Salary and Benefits:

CPD/A is a unionized workplace. This is a supervisory position not included in our bargaining unit. Salary will be determined according to a salary scale that takes into account years’ experience, location, job category, and other factors, but is expected to be $85,000-$100,000.

We have a generous benefits package, including health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, 15 vacation days per year, 10 sick days per year, 13 paid holidays per year, and contributions to individuals’ 401K plans. 

CPD/A is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer and actively recruits people of color, womxn, individuals with disabilities, and members of the LGBTIQAA+ community.

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