Research Director, State Fiscal Policy

19 Aug, 2020


Research Director, State Fiscal Policy

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Washington, DC

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a high-caliber strategic policy organization that informs and shapes public policies to reduce poverty, promote equity, and build opportunity, seeks a Research Director for its State Fiscal Project.

States and localities collect more than one-third of all taxes in the United States and spend half of all domestic public-sector dollars. Their policy choices make a crucial difference in our lives and play an important role in determining if longstanding structural inequities are overcome, remain the same, or get worse. In the next few months and years, state policymakers will face particularly consequential decisions over how to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic’s disastrous impacts on state revenues and address disparities rooted in racism and other forms of oppression, as well as in the country’s related extreme concentrations of power and wealth.

In this high-stakes environment, CBPP and the State Priorities Partnership — the network of independent state policy organizations we founded and coordinate — are advancing racial, social, and economic justice, which are among the foundations of a stronger future.


The Research Director will lead a widely respected team of ten researchers and two interns working for state policies that help build anti-racist, equitable, and inclusive communities and an economic recovery whose gains are broadly shared. The team researches and develops policy ideas aimed at structural policy changes that dismantle barriers to opportunity and reduce inequalities, produces timely and thorough analyses of state tax and budget issues using an equity and anti-poverty lens, writes policy papers, provides technical assistance to state-level policymakers around the country (and to federal policymakers focused on issues that affect state finances), and provides training and strategic advice to state-level nonprofit organizations.

The Director’s primary role will be to manage and coordinate this team, maximizing its impact on real-world policy debates by improving team-wide practices and processes, nurturing a team culture that is healthy and inclusive, and helping maintain the team’s high research standards.

In addition, the Director may help produce written analyses, provide testimony to state legislatures, interact at times with the news media, and provide public presentations.

In doing this work, the Director will work closely with State Priorities Partnership groups, building deeply respectful and highly productive working relationships with these groups and their state-level partners.


  • At least ten years of experience working on tax, budget, and/or economic issues at the state or federal level as legislative staff, executive-branch staff, and/or independent researcher or advocate.
  • At least five years of experience managing a team of researchers, legislative or executive branch staff, and/or advocates.
  • An exceptional ability to communicate clearly and effectively as a manager across lines of difference, including to resolve conflicts and offer constructive feedback.
  • A high degree of emotional intelligence, empathy, and self-awareness, and an appreciation for multiple group identities and dynamics.
  • A sophisticated understanding of racial equity and structural racism and a clear grasp of how to employ this analysis to improve state policies.
  • Strong writing and presentation skills combined with strong analytic skills and experience using these skills to improve public policy.
  • Demonstrated skill/experience in analyzing complex fiscal policy issues, explaining those issues (both in writing and orally) to broader audiences, and explaining the impact of those issues on families and hard-hit communities.
  • Demonstrated skill/experience engaging effectively with staff at partner organizations, ideally including mentoring analysts with less experience.
  • Some travel is required.

This position reports to the Vice President for State Fiscal Policy
Terms of Employment: Full-time, exempt.
Bargaining Unit Status: This is not a bargaining unit position.


Salary and title commensurate with experience; excellent benefits, including three health insurance options, dental and vision care, life and long-term disability insurance, retirement, and generous vacation leave, sick leave, and holiday schedules.

Please upload a cover letter and resume. In your cover letter, please include a discussion of what draws you to the mission of the Center.

Please submit your application here.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is an Equal Opportunity Employer that values and welcomes diversity in the workplace and strongly encourages all qualified persons to apply regardless of race, color, age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, credit information, pregnancy or parental status, family responsibilities, personal appearance, creed, military or veteran status, religion, ancestry or national origin, union activities, disability, or other status protected by applicable law.

Job posted: 2020-08-19