Analyst Institute (AI) is a progressive institution that collaborates with nonprofits and campaigns around the country to increase the impact of their programs by conducting and integrating evidence-based research into their programs. We exist because of groups across the left who are committed to doing better work now, learning for the future, and empowering other progressives with what they learn. Analyst Institute’s goal is for all progressive political and social justice campaigns to be informed by rigorous evidence.
We also serve as the stewards of Analyst Group, which is a space for engaged practitioners, researchers, and donors that collectively share evidence with each other to help the whole movement grow stronger. Analyst Group is far-reaching and has thousands of members, from community organizers to the leaders of national campaigns and the largest nonprofits. As an organization, we’ve grown from a small shop of researchers ten years ago to our current team of over 20 skilled practitioners, organizers, and researchers.
Where we’ve been:
Analyst Institute has been a driving force in bringing the value of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to progressive campaigns and organizations (labor, community engagement groups, political campaigns, issue advocacy groups, etc.). In partnership with these organizations, we’ve conducted hundreds of RCTs over the past decade. We’ve also synthesized these studies along with research from allied progressive researchers and academics into meta-analyses that inform robust recommendations on program tactics, which are applied broadly by practitioners in the Analyst Group community.
Where we’re going:
Years ago, AI was one of only a few advocates and implementers of experimental research on campaign practices outside of academia; now we exist within a broader marketplace of progressive experimentalists. Additionally, we’ve seen a huge cultural shift where nonprofits, progressive campaigns and organizations are largely committed to institutional learning and reaping the long-term gains from research. This change in the composition and culture of our community has allowed us to think bigger and more ambitiously about the problems AI can tackle and the impact we can have. While we’ve long played a leadership role in producing innovative research that pushes the community forward, we seek to expand the scope of these efforts. At the same time, opportunities to deepen our strategic partnerships and convene even wider sets of civic and progressive organizers and campaign operatives abound. We are searching for an executive director who can lead us in these efforts.
The executive director will need to communicate with both internal and external stakeholders about the work of the organization and shape its long-term vision. While the executive director plays the most central role in driving the organization’s strategy, a strong executive team supports the director in this effort. This job requires wearing many “hats,” but with the partnership of talented and supportive colleagues that comprise the AI family.
The executive director will require the cultural competence to move through the various communities that AI supports and partners with in order to enrich relationships and strengthen ties with practitioners, donors, researchers, and staff alike. We expect leadership that continually brings our organization into closer alignment with our progressive values and, as such, expect strong intersectional justice and equity analysis from our executive director.
The executive director will build relationships and trust with high-level practitioners and funders to drive adoption of current best practices, as well as advise partners when the evidence is less clear, operating with humility and conveying appropriate levels of uncertainty. The executive director will also engage with partners on prospective research in partnership with members of the team, and work to ensure that our research agenda is consistently informed by our partners’ challenges and goals. Building strong strategic partnerships requires a breadth of knowledge about the progressive landscape. It also requires mastery of our strategic recommendations and working knowledge of the underlying body of research that supports those recommendations.
Our relationship with donors is unique in that we are a grantee (fundraising is an important component of this job) but also a partner to funders and organizations, helping to guide investments into evidence-informed strategies and tactics. This dynamic requires high levels of awareness, humility, and thoughtfulness to effectively navigate. Moreover, while the executive director will inherit an existing set of donor relationships, our ambitious agenda requires expansion and deepening of those relationships.
Strategic and research leadership
Applied data science is a fast developing field; new political and advocacy research tools are being developed each year. The executive director needs to be a strategic leader in this work, maintaining and advancing AI’s reputation for cutting edge research, impartial rigor, and for the creative application of innovative academic and commercial tools to progressive challenges.
While this position is largely external-facing, the executive director will also need to lead and inspire staff, continually articulating a compelling vision for where we’re going. The executive director will also work closely with our managing director and equity and inclusion steering committee to promote an open, inclusive, collaborative, and fun work environment, as well as fair and equitable labor practices.
There are a broad range of personal and professional experiences that will help someone succeed as the executive director. We’re looking for vision and applicable experience more than pedigree. A specific level of educational achievement is not required, but someone with several years of experience in campaigns, nonprofits, or the larger progressive infrastructure at a senior level — particularly with exposure to experimental research and/or data science and analytics — will be best equipped to succeed in this role.
At Analyst Institute, we learn every day that the diversity of our team — in background, identity, thought, and experience — is one of our greatest strengths. We’re an equal opportunity employer, and we strongly encourage people of color, people with disabilities, women, non-binary candidates, and LGBTQIA candidates to apply.
This position is located in our Washington, D.C. office. It requires some travel to donor and partner conferences, but others on the senior team share the burden.
Salary is commensurate with experience, ranging from $130,000 to $150,000 per year, plus bonus potential.
We offer 100% premium-covered health and dental care, 401(k) matching, a professional development fund, and generous parental leave.
The search team consists of select senior staff, board members, and an outside consultant. The first step in the process is submitting a resume and cover letter. Qualified applicants will be advanced through the following stages: a writing exercise, a video-conference interview with staff and board members, and an in-person interview with the board. We will consider applications on a rolling basis, but we would like to hire a new executive director this spring, so we encourage all applications to be submitted by March 15th.