Program Manager, Center on Opportunity and Social Mobility

21 Aug, 2023


Program Manager, Center on Opportunity and Social Mobility

American Enterprise Institute (AEI)
Washington D.C.

About the Role

Launched at the beginning of 2023, the Center on Opportunity and Social Mobility (COSM) at the American Enterprise Institute seeks to shrink opportunity gaps facing disadvantaged Americans and strengthen social mobility by publishing rigorous research and developing innovative policy solutions.


COSM seeks a full-time, in-person Program Manager to work with the center’s Director, Scott Winship, and Deputy Director, Kevin Corinth. Working closely with the Directors, the Program Manager will develop and implement a short and long-term strategic plan for COSM; manage research on safety net programs, measurement of economic well-being, social capital, poverty, homelessness, and related topics; envision and carry out the launch of new COSM products; and manage a team of research assistants and scholars. The Program Manager will also be responsible for strategizing COSM’s influence, outreach, and communications.



Very high-level role responsibility: Manage, advise on, and execute high-priority projects as well as manage center personnel with varying research, administrative, and operational responsibilities.



  • Works closely with COSM Director and Deputy Director to develop and implement short and long-term strategic plan for COSM
  • Propose and provide feedback on ideas to continuously improve the functioning, reach, and product quality of COSM
  • Stay up to date on evolving opportunity and mobility policy issues and strategize COSM’s influence on these issues
  • Advise RAs and scholars on strategies for specific products at all stages: ideation, design, research execution, and communications
  • Work closely with AEI’s government relations team to ensure COSM’s work is influencing national and state-level policy discussions
  • Work closely with AEI’s development team to ensure COSM’s mission is communicated accurately to interested supporters
  • Work closely with AEI’s communications and media team to strengthen COSM’s public presence
  • Work closely with AEI’s coalitions team to construct a national interest list for COSM and build relationships with local partners across the nation

Product Development

  • Oversee and manage existing COSM publication series, including “The Social Breakdown,” “Perspectives on Opportunity,” and “COSM Commentary”
  • Launch and manage new COSM publications and product series
  • Manage special projects including major conferences and events, special reports and volumes, books, data visualization projects, database projects, and other projects
  • Maintain
  • Work with AEI’s digital and marketing team to ensure stays up-to-date as COSM’s product portfolio expands
  • Ensure all COSM products are professionally produced and consistent in terms of logo, formatting, mission alignment, color, and design
  • Maintain and constantly improve upon workflow systems with other teams at AEI: development, communications, government relations, media, and outreach

Personnel Management

  • Manage COSM’s team of 10 scholars, 3 RAs, and interns
  • Maintain and constantly improve upon team’s internal workflow systems
  • Guide research assistants, analysts, and associates on AEI and department policies
  • In coordination with the Domestic Policy Program Manager and COSM Director, address performance issues in a professional and thoughtful manner
  • Foster a supportive and collegial environment between scholars, RAs, and interns
  • Guide Research Assistants on research strategies and career development
  • Develop and update job descriptions for COSM positions
  • In coordination with the Domestic Policy Program Manager, COSM Director, and pertaining scholars hire for COSM open positions and assign RAs to scholars


  • COSM schedule management
  • Ensure staff maintains and installs proper software (e.g.,, STATA)
  • Manage shared department folder for record-keeping purposes and organization
  • Ensure RAs collect and coordinate travel information for their scholars
  • Ensure RAs are trained on all necessary administrative tools, systems, and tasks
  • In coordination with RAs, ensure that COSM’s mailing lists are up-to-date and maintained
  • Work with RAs to expand COSM’s contact list and reach


  • Maintain a streamlined process for reporting on products, events, government-related meetings, and media appearances
  • Serve as a liaison between COSM, government relations, media & communications, domestic policy, and other teams
  • Oversee communications for promotional efforts and ensure a consistent tone

Physical requirements and Working Conditions at AEI

  • The employee is regularly expected to stand, sit, talk, hear, and use hands and fingers to operate a computer, telephone, and keyboard
  • This job requires close vision abilities due to computer work
  • The employee must be able to lift up to 30 pounds at times
  • The employee must be able to work in a confined area
  • Moderate noise (e.g., from computers, phone, printers, and light traffic) is expected
  • Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential responsibilities associated with this position


  • 2-5 years of experience in research, management, or politics. 1+ years of experience at AEI is preferable
  • Detail oriented
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Proven ability to prioritize
  • Time management skills and proven ability to meet deadlines
  • Self-starter with the ability to identify complex problems, review information, evaluate options, and implement solutions
  • Maintain collaborative relationships within and between departments
  • Supervisory and leadership skills
  • Ability to work in high-pressure and fast-pasted environment
  • Ability to represent COSM and communicate COSM’s mission professionally
  • Passion and enthusiasm for COSM’s mission

How to Apply

Qualified candidates should submit the following application materials in one PDF document:

  • A cover letter demonstrating interest in poverty and social mobility, explaining why you are qualified for this position, and your salary requirements
  • Resume noting managerial experience and skills
  • Writing sample such as a thesis, independent research paper, or other


Applications should be submitted to Talent Market via this link:


There is no application deadline for this position. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. This job will remain posted on our site until it is filled.


Questions can be directed to Lydia Ocampo, Outreach Specialist at Talent Market, who is assisting with the search:


While we thank all applicants in advance for their interest in this position, we are only able to contact those to whom we can offer an interview. Only direct applications will be considered. No phone calls, please.


Talent Market is a nonprofit entity dedicated to promoting liberty by helping free-market nonprofits identify talent for critical roles. We provide consulting and recruiting services at no cost to 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations that clearly and directly focus on advancing the principles of economic freedom, free enterprise, free trade, free speech, property rights, rule of law, and limited regulation.

Job posted: 2023-08-21