The Urban Institute
Policy Analyst (Research to Action Lab) (R&D)
At the nonprofit Urban Institute, we believe in the power of evidence to improve lives and strengthen communities. Our employees are empowered to influence policy, open minds, shape decisions, and offer solutions. We encourage intellectual honesty, innovation, diversity, and mutual respect, and our analysis elevates the debate, wherever it takes place.
Urban's greatest asset is our people. We strive to attract and cultivate a vibrant, creative, and diverse community. Our employees drive Urban's mission through entrepreneurship, innovation, leadership, effective communication, results-orientation, and relationship cultivation. Our success depends on engaging individuals who possess and value these attributes. Public policies work best when they are rooted in facts, and our research sparks solutions in programs and practice. Our analyses and recommendations help expand opportunities and equity for all people, reduce hardship among the most vulnerable, and strengthen the fiscal health and effectiveness of government.
The Research to Action Lab serves decision-makers in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors eager to advance social change. Our multidisciplinary team draws on the breadth and depth of Urban's economic and social policy expertise to design research-driven strategies, deliver tailored technical assistance and training, and curate effective convenings that infuse critical debates with evidence. Nimble and innovative, the Lab engages directly with policymakers and practitioners, providing strategic guidance to help navigate the most pressing policy and programmatic challenges and spark disruptive solutions tailored to meet the moment. Our team also works collaboratively with Urban scholars and external partners to design and manage evidence-based programs that leverage Urban's expertise and capacities to catalyze meaningful change for people and communities.
The successful candidate will contribute to Research to Action Lab workstreams in multiple ways: supporting the translation of research insights to policy and practice; supporting program management through technical assistance, meeting planning, and innovative engagement strategies; and advancing program goals through the development of work plans, budgets, and effective stewardship of partner relationships. The candidate will support interdisciplinary portfolios of existing work as well as new and emerging opportunities, working closely with staff at all levels and across Urban's policy centers.
Conduct background research across multiple policy domains, contributing to policy solutions by articulating the key evidence-based takeaways and insights for existing projects as well as proposals for new bodies of work
Support senior staff in synthesizing research findings to identify and recommend best practices in program or policy interventions, and equip changemakers with guidance in the form of templates, toolkits, blogs, and other accessible products
With the guidance of senior staff, provide technical assistance and training to support stakeholders and advance project goals
Support the execution of virtual and in-person roundtables, working groups, and other meetings by coordinating logistics, engaging partners, developing agendas and meeting content, taking notes, and summarizing action items
Draft assigned sections of reports, op-eds, blogs, talking points, and presentations for external audiences
Manage projects to ensure the timely completion and release of research reports and other deliverables in collaboration with colleagues in the Lab and across Urban
Track program deliverables and finances across multiple projects and teams, proactively monitoring work quality, budget, and deadlines, and communicating progress and potential challenges to supervisors and project teams to mitigate risks
Support and prepare senior staff for regular internal and external meetings
We are seeking a candidate who values diversity and inclusion; thrives in a fast-paced, dynamic office environment; and possesses strong writing, oral communication, problem-solving, time management, and relationship management skills.
The successful applicant will have:
Master's Degree or Bachelor's degree and 2-4 years of experience
An emerging capacity with policy analysis in affordable housing, economic development, community development, anti-poverty, or other social and economic policy topics, with an interest in racial and socioeconomic equity and addressing structural racism as a cross-cutting issue
An emerging understanding of local, state, and federal policies, programs, and agencies and an ability to assess the application, outcomes, and impacts of policy proposals and programmatic interventions
Ability and willingness to work across multiple policy domains and to support interdisciplinary work
Experience working with and creating content for federal, state, or local policymakers or philanthropic, non-profit, and/or mission-engaged for-profit organizations
A strong interest in evidence-based policymaking and the capacity to collect, understand and translate research and policy content across multiple domains for use in policy development and practice
Excellent oral and written communication skills with an ability to communicate effectively with diverse internal and external audiences; experience engaging and communicating with external clients and stakeholders a plus
A commitment to effective project management and the ability to juggle multiple priorities while maintaining attention to detail
Strong interpersonal skills and comfort working both independently and in team environments supporting collaborative projects
A willingness to learn and demonstrate the initiative to suggest improvements or innovations for tasks and project responsibilities
An ability to adapt to changes in work assignments, deadlines, and project management styles
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 evidence-based 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.