Policy Researcher

New York City
Salary commensurate with experience + full benefits
Jun 29, 2019
Metro Area
New York
Full Time

The Center for an Urban Future (CUF) seeks a full-time Policy Researcher with exceptional writing skills to lead new research on expanding economic opportunity in New York City. CUF is a leading New York City-based think tank whose reports, commentaries, and data briefs serve as a catalyst for smart and sustainable public policies to reduce inequality, increase economic mobility, and grow the economy in New York.

The Policy Researcher will break new ground on topics central to CUF’s mission, including expanding and improving workforce development, boosting academic and career success for students at New York’s community colleges, and developing skills-building strategies for a fast-changing economy; sparking job creation across all five boroughs; supporting entrepreneurship and small business growth; strengthening under-resourced communities; elevating the needs of New York’s aging infrastructure; and spurring policy change to help combat inequality and expand economic opportunity. The policy researcher will be responsible for researching and authoring major CUF reports, data briefs, policy briefs, and commentaries, which are widely used by policymakers and covered extensively in the media.

CUF is looking for an outstanding writer capable of blending journalistic-style reporting with traditional data and policy analysis and who excels at distilling complex topics into clear, compelling, and accessible prose. The ideal candidate should have a track record of publishing long-form articles or policy reports, a passion for New York City, and some familiarity with New York’s policymaking landscape. By leading new research projects on some of the most important issues in public policy, the policy researcher’s work will have a meaningful and sustained impact on the city’s future.


  • Research and author high-impact policy reports on a variety of topics aligned with the Center for an Urban Future’s mission to expand economic opportunity, reduce inequality, and grow New York City’s economy.
  • Collect and analyze data from a variety of sources related to demographic, economic, and social issues in New York and other cities.
  • Develop op-eds and commentaries that advance CUF’s policy recommendations and connect our research to current events.
  • Identify new opportunities for CUF research, including newsworthy data findings, new ideas for CUF publications, and pitches to potential funders.
  • Brief policymakers, advocates, and leaders from the public and private sectors on CUF research findings and policy recommendations.
  • Maintain CUF’s visibility on key research topics and policy issues by presenting at conferences and events, testifying at hearings, participating in roundtables, and identifying new opportunities to influence the policy debate at the city and state levels.


  • Must possess exceptional writing and research skills
  • 3+ years of experience as a journalist or policy researcher
  • Experience conducting interviews, collecting and interpreting data, and analyzing policy
  • Track record of authoring published articles or policy reports.
  • Strong oral communication skills
  • Demonstrated thought leadership on issues around expanding economic opportunity
  • Self-starter and problem solver who can balance multiple tasks and responsibilities
  • Comfortable working with data
  • Proven ability to undertake lengthy assignments and meet deadlines
  • An undergraduate degree in public policy, urban planning, journalism, economics, government, social science, or a related field is required
  • Proficiency in Excel is required
  • Experience with PowerPoint and Adobe Creative Suite programs is preferred
  • Knowledge of IPUMS, CARTO, ArcView GIS mapping, Stata, and/or Python is a plus 

This position is perfect for an entrepreneurial researcher, journalist, or policy analyst with a passion for New York City and the drive to tackle the city’s greatest challenges and opportunities.

This is a full-time position. Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience.   

How to Apply
Send resume, cover letter, and at least three writing samples. Examples of non-academic writing are preferred. Please put “Policy Researcher” in the subject line. No phone calls, please. The Center for an Urban Future is an equal-opportunity employer committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace. We welcome and actively seek applications from people of all cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.

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