Senior Policy Program Manager (Executive Office Research)

10 May, 2023


Senior Policy Program Manager (Executive Office Research)

Urban Institute
Washington, D.C.

About Urban Institute:


At the Urban Institute, we believe in the power of evidence to improve lives and strengthen communities. As a nonprofit focusing on social and economic policy, our researchers and policy entrepreneurs open minds, shape decisions, and identify transformative solutions to the most pressing issues of our time.


Our Mission


To open minds, shape decisions, and offer solutions through economic and social policy research.


Our Values


Collaboration, Equity, Inclusivity, Independence, and Integrity


For more information on the Urban Institute, please visit


The Opportunity:


Central to Urban’s mission is fostering a truly inclusive community that ensures ongoing relevance to a changing world. The WorkRise seeks a dynamic, entrepreneurial, and highly motivated leader to direct a new content portal and to contribute to the inititaive’s translation of research into actionable insights for changemakers at all levels.


In directing the content portal, you will further WorkRises’s mission to build a more equitable and resilient labor market that expands opportunity and ecomoic mobility for workers, especially those working for low-wages and those who have faced structural disadvantages due to systemic racism. In practice, you will spend up to 50 percent of your time leading the WorkRise content portal’s work to translate rigorous scholarly research into actionable insights via the web-based content portal. The remainder of your time will be spent providing advice and technical assistance that WorkRise’s diverse range of stakeholders make evidence-based decisions that have meaningful impacts on the ecomomic well-being of workers.


The Senior Policy Program Manager will also contribute to various WorkRise projects  that support knowledge building and advance evidence-based policy and practice that advances labor market opportunity.


What You’ll Do:

  • Provide strategic, intellectual, and entrepreneurial leadership for the WorkRise content portal
  • Develop and advance a framework for elevating racial equity and workplace justice in the management of and vision for the WorkRise content portal
  • Manage all aspects of the WorkRise content portal operations, including setting programmatic priorities; assigning roles and responsibilities; managing project team performance; monitoring initiative progress, budget, and schedule; ensuring timely and accurate funder reporting; and designing and implementing internal learning and evaluation strategies
  • Establish and maintain strong collaborative relationships with a diverse set of key external contacts and networks to ensure the WorkRise content portal  is responsive to the field and positioned to support and advise national, state, and local policymakers, community leaders, service providers, employers, and the media to advance labor market mobility
  • Contribute management and subject matter expertise to various bodies of work at WorkRise, and across the Urban Institute more generally, that support knowledge building and advance evidence-based policy and practice
  • Design and facilitate convenings for practitioners, policymakers, and other stakeholders and advance outreach and relationship building activities to support programs of work
  • Develop products such as policy briefs, blogs, features, and research analyses related to project work
  • Mentor and manage policy and research staff, supporting growth and development of team members and advancement of junior staff along Urban’s career pathways


Who You Are:


We recognize that there is a spectrum of lived and professional experience that will set candidates up for success in this role. While no one candidate will have every experience outlined in the position description, ideal candidates will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:

  • A Master’s degree in Public Policy, Political Science, Public Administration, Urban Studies, Sociology, or a related field; or the academic knowledge of and experience in a discipline that is generally associated with the attainment of a Master’s degree and senior management experience with 10 – 15 years of experience in policy/program analysis, designing and managing programs, and mobilizing resources
  • Previous experience working to boost labor market mobility and to promote racial equity at the local, state, or federal level and possess a deep understanding of the knowledge needs of policymakers and pracititoners, including both workers’ adcocates and employers
  • Deep understanding of racial equity and labor markets and the ability to help researchers bring an equity and inclusion lens to policy research, weaving that perspective throughout programs of work, and informing how problems are defined and evidence is communicated
  • Demonstrated strong interest and capacity in research translation and synthesis and the ability to meaningfully engage with highly technical research and create connections between it and other relevant research, social and economic trends, and policymaking
  • Demonstrated ability distill complicated concepts into clear, direct messages to diverse audiences
  • Demonstrated passion for WorkRises’s mission, including both the north-star outcome of a labor market that provides equitable opportunity and economic security for all as well as the research-to-practice model that shapes WorkRises’s strategic vision
  • Strong interpersonal skills and have the ability to work effectively in teams and to navigate between researchers, policymakers, practitioners, and funders; experience delivering technical assistance or engaging with community-based organizations to advance programmatic and policy priorities a plus
  • Thoughtful management skills, including experience leading cross-departmental teams with a track record of success in managing, collaborating, mentoring, training, and delegating to improve team and project results
  • Demonstrated commitment to and experience with principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion both in the development of policy and practice and at interpersonal levels.


What You’ll Experience:


No matter your role with Urban, you will contribute to meaningful work that makes a difference for people and communities across the country. And whether you call the Washington, DC area or elsewhere home, you can expect to be part of a welcoming and hybrid workplace. We are committed to cultivating a community and working in a manner defined by collaboration, equity, inclusivity, independence, and integrity.


Urban’s greatest asset is our people.


The target salary range for this position is $140,000 – $200,000. Salary offered is commensurate with experience and considers internal equity. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. Salaries are just one component of Urban Institute’s total compensation package. Urban is committed to supporting our staff’s physical, emotional, and financial well-being through a robust benefits package for yourself, eligible dependents, and domestic partners. It includes generous paid time off, including nine federal holidays, medical (including prescription), dental and vision insurance, and transit benefits. Urban is unique in that we offer 403(b) retirement plan participation immediately after you’re hired and a generous employer contribution after six months of service and 500 hours, with immediate vesting. You’ll also have access to a health advocate, personal finance coaching, an Employee Assistance Program, and educational assistance for undergraduate and graduate degree programs. This position has the opportunity to be fully remote.


As a federal contractor, Urban will comply with Executive Order (EO) 14042 that requires federal contractors, subcontractors, and their respective employees to comply with Covid-19 vaccinations. All Urban Institute employees must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by Januray 18, 2022, and comply with masking and distancing requirements, regardless of responsibilities or work location. New hires must also be fully vaccinated before starting work.  Employees may request exemption from vaccination against COVID-19 based on either a medical condition or a sincerely held religious belief that prevents them from being vaccinated.  Where such an exemption is approved, Urban will discuss with each employee potential accommodation.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of the work being performed by the people assigned. This posting is not an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, and requirements. Urban management reserves the right to amend and change duties, responsibilities, and requirements to meet business and organizational needs as necessary.


The Urban Institute is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. All qualified candidates will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender or gender identity, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, veteran status, pregnancy or family responsibilities, matriculation, disability, political affiliation, or any other protected status under applicable law.


We are committed to equal employment opportunity and providing reasonable accommodations to applicants with physical and/or mental disabilities. If you have a physical and/or mental disability and are interested in applying for employment and need special accommodations to use our website to apply for a position, please contact Human Resources at Reasonable accommodation requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2023-05-10