Policy Director, Criminal Justice
Policy Director, Criminal Justice
R Street Institute
The R Street Institute—a free-market think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C., and with regional offices across the country—seeks a skilled, energetic and experienced person to lead Washington, D.C.’s premier right-of-center criminal justice policy program. Over the past several years, R Street has had a large impact on criminal justice policies around the country and this position would continue on, and add to, that body of work. Examples of policy changes we have strongly influenced include: restoration of Pell Grants for incarcerated individuals, major components of the 2018 FIRST STEP Act, state-level juvenile justice reforms from Maryland to Michigan and numerous changes in police practice.
A typical day at R Street might include writing an op-ed with the head of a prison ministry program, helping a member of your staff prepare for an upcoming legislative hearing in Texas, reviewing a longer paper on ways to improve police relations with communities of color and speaking with a police captain about best practices for fighting human trafficking.
Other Aspects of Your Role
- Devise and spearhead a data-driven policy research agenda – speaking and writing extensively on criminal justice topics.
- Oversee and manage an experienced staff of experts working on a wide range of criminal justice and law enforcement issues.
- Establish the strategic direction and focus of R Street’s criminal justice program in concert with our allies and partners.
- Assure the fiscal solvency of our program by creating proposals for new ventures and maintaining relations with existing supporters with support from R Street’s Business Development department.
- Form new partnerships with selected organizations.
Skills and Qualifications
- Significant proven experience in a criminal justice field. This may take a wide variety of forms and does not necessarily have to be in a think tank or academic setting or even a paid job. Lived experience can be highly relevant to this type of work and, if not clear from your resume, a discussion of personal experience in a cover letter will be extremely helpful.
- An understanding of the conservative movement and the way right-of-center organizations have interacted with criminal justice reform.
- A broad understanding of a range of criminal justice issues beyond any narrow specialty. We do not expect people to be expert in all matters of criminal justice, of course, but a basic command of most areas is important.
- A record of published work and public speaking on criminal justice topics.
- Excellent speaking and writing skills.
- Hands-on experience in a criminal justice-related role such as a police officer, public defender or corrections officer is a plus, as is experience in managing large foundation grants. We encourage those directly impacted by the U.S. criminal justice system to apply.
While agreement with every position R Street has ever taken, even in the criminal justice world, is not necessary, we want to hire someone who agrees with most of our past work. We would advise interested candidates not already familiar with our work to review our web page before applying.
R Street offers a flexible working arrangement. The candidate can either work the majority of the week in our D.C. offices or telecommute. The ideal candidate will live in or near the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and when it is safe to do so, will attend in-person meetings, conferences, regularly spend time on Capitol Hill, and may travel on occasion throughout the United States and internationally.
R Street strives to provide a compensation package superior to those at other think tanks and nonprofits. In addition to a competitive salary, we provide a health insurance option entirely paid by the employer (even for families); wellness benefit; a choice between a child care assistance, pet care assistance or student loan repayment assistance benefit; employer-subsidized mobile phones benefit; 401(k) contributions with up to a 4 percent match; and an exceptionally generous vacation policy.
R Street does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, era of military service, gender identity, relationship structure or anything else that’s illegal, immoral or stupid to use as a basis for hiring.
We currently plan to accept applications for this job until filled. We will contact qualified individuals for video interviews on a rolling basis. Due to COVID-19, we will hold interviews virtually, via Zoom, until our DC office reopens. To apply, please upload a cover letter and resume in Microsoft Word or PDF format.
Job posted: 2021-01-28