Now Hiring: Director, Workforce Development

POSITION TITLE: Director, Workforce Development   

LOCATION: Washington, DC



The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Washington, DC that creates ideas that improve the socioeconomic status and civic engagement of African Americans. Founded in 1970 to support newly-elected Black officials who were moving from civil rights activism into governance, the Joint Center quickly evolved into America’s Black think tank. Currently, the Joint Center is focused on developing solutions to diversify congressional staff and to equip workers with skills to succeed in the evolving economy.  The Joint Center’s Future of Work initiative focuses on developing and disseminating data and solutions to mitigate challenges and maximize opportunities posed by automation, artificial intelligence, and other technologies for workers in communities with large Black populations. 


The Director will lead the Joint Center’s Future of Work initiative. Specifically, this role will coordinate activities with internal and external scholars and experts that examine how technologies like automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence affect the African American community.  

This Director will report to the Joint Center’s President.  The Director will undertake research projects and write and publish solutions-oriented reports, policy briefs, and commentaries, manage Joint Center policy analysts in doing this work, and commission and manage projects with external researchers.  The Director will also represent the Joint Center in professional forums, including conferences, briefings, congressional hearings, meetings, in the media, and in other venues. The position will organize and lead issue-focused meeting.



In support of the Joint Center’s mission, fully engage in and play a leadership role in debates over the future of work and Black workers.

Conduct high-quality research and policy analysis, and manage the Joint Center’s future of work research agenda.

Research and write influential, solutions-oriented, and accessible policy reports, policy briefs, short policy commentaries, and web posts.

Build and manage a team of internal policy analysts and research assistants as the program grows. 

Commission research projects and manage external researchers. 

Represent the Joint Center in the media and at conferences, public events, legislative hearings, and meetings.

Build and engage a community of experts interested in future of work and Black workers. 

Organize events and meetings.

Development activities (research, donor engagement and relationship maintenance, solicitation) to ensure the sustainability and growth of the future of work program.

Draft and edit communications related to the Joint Center’s future of work program, including grant applications, blog posts, and newsletter entries.

• Demonstrate initiative, vision, creativity, and flexibility in building the Joint Center’s future of work program and other processes, systems, and programs that support the Joint Center’s mission.   

Demonstrate the versatility to support the Joint Center’s growth into new areas.

Perform other duties as assigned. 


J.D. or a Masters or Ph.D.  (the following fields of study are preferred— business administration, computer science, economics, economic development, education, government, labor studies, public administration, public policy, political science, social policy, sociology, statistics, technology policy, or urban planning).

Experience in research of a workforce or innovation topic, such as: future of work, automation and artificial intelligence, job training and technical education that produces a workforce with new skills that match the needs of employers, or economic development.  We prefer someone who has had previous think tank experience as a program associate, analyst, or fellow, who has had management and development experience, and who has had at least 10 years of work experience. 

• An exceptional researcher: This position requires an ability to identify, read, scrutinize, and draw upon primary literature in an area, both in writing reports and policy briefs and in editing the work of others.  It requires an ability to develop relationships with other researchers in the area and obtain feedback from them on the Joint Center’s work. We seek a candidate who is focused on evidence-based and results-oriented research and solutions. This position requires intellectual curiosity, an ability to scrutinize and question facts and theories of experts, an ability to explain and defend one’s position, humility to embrace the learning of new skills and approaches, a desire to grow as a researcher, and an ability to revise work to meet the needs of the Joint Center and our stakeholders. 

• Leadership: The ideal candidate will be visionary and forward-thinking, and will inspire team members to produce large quantities of high-quality, accessible reports and commentaries that have a major impact in Black communities.  The candidate will be aware of industry trends, have a strong business acumen, and will build and constantly improve the systems and processes of the workforce program.       

• An exceptional writer and editor: The successful candidate will be meticulous in his or her work and produce written products that are thoroughly sourced and without factual errors. The successful candidate will also have experience breaking down dense jargon—for example, theoretical future of work concepts, legislative language, or demographic data—for a lay audience, community activists, and elected officials. A candidate must demonstrate an ability to:

o Vary and tailor her or his writing style for reports, policy briefs, grant reports, blogging, and press releases, etc., and modify her or his writing style to comport with the voice and style of the Joint Center;

o Conduct policy research, synthesize analysis and best practices from various experts and sources and customize them to unique challenges faced by the Joint Center’s stakeholders, and provide concise, in-depth analysis and sharp, practical, and actionable policy recommendations. 

o Meet deadlines consistently.

o Edit the work of others and help develop the research and writing skills of others.

• An Exceptional Public Speaker and Research Manager: The successful candidate will have extensive experience with public speaking and interacting with the media.  The candidate will demonstrate an ability to build and engage a community of experts interested in future of work and Black workers, commission research projects and manage external researchers, and manage internal policy analysts and research assistants as the program grows.   

• Commitment to Community and Collaboration: The successful candidate will have an interest in the advancement of the African American community, and an ability to collaborate closely with organizations that serve the African American community.  She or he will also have an ability and willingness to collaborate closely on projects of mutal interest with organizations from other communities, such as

o organizations that work on innovation, future of work, and workforce development in Latino, Native American, Appalachian, Hmong American, Vietnamese American, and Cambodian American communities, and  

o organizations that work on topics like policy implications of artificial intelligence, automation, and the future of work.


Interested applicants should send a cover letter explaining interest in the position, a resume listing relevant qualifications, a listing of relevant published works with hyperlinks (e.g., policy reports, policy briefs, and shorter works like newspaper commentaries and blog posts), and a listing of relevant media or event appearances (with hyperlinks to any video or audio available) as one document to the Joint Center at in PDF format with “Director—Workforce Development” in the subject line. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, and a hiring decision will be made as soon as the appropriate candidate is identified.  No phone calls please.    JOB-TYPE, SALARY, & BENEFITS  


This is a full-time position.  The salary for this position is generous relative to comparable positions and comes with an excellent benefits package that includes health, vision, dental, and life insurance.