Job Title: Project Director
PVN ID: VB-2106-004066
Category: Research

Job Description

General Description

About us

The CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance has a mission to improve the financing, delivery, and measurement of critical public services through research, technical assistance, and education. We lead projects aimed at reforming the criminal justice system, measuring urban inequality, expanding the reach of social service providers, and more. Each project has a dedicated team of research and policy experts who collaborate closely with internal and external organizations. Our staff have the opportunity to work with colleagues and supervisors across projects and with different types of expertise. We are seeking new team members with enthusiasm to shape the future of state and local policy.   


Our goals for diversity and inclusion

We strive to foster an office environment and an approach to work that welcomes and respects different perspectives, backgrounds, and life experiences. We are working towards our goal of recruiting and retaining staff and board members who are diverse in terms of race, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, religion, veteran status, socioeconomic status, disability, and justice system involvement.


Who we are looking for

We are hiring a Research Project Director to oversee and manage a substantial portfolio of research and evaluation work related to the implementation of New York City’s police reform agenda (“NYC Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative Draft Plan: Parts 1 & 2”). The agenda is centered on “envisioning an NYPD that is the nation’s exemplar institution for fair, just, transparent, and accountable policing regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, immigration or socioeconomic status.” More information about the plan can be found here.

Among the specific initiatives in this portfolio are process and outcome evaluations of three New York Police Department (NYPD) initiatives that are included in the plan, and the development and implementation of performance frameworks for measuring progress on the full set of initiatives and police reform more broadly. The Research Project Director will be responsible for managing all aspects of the projects in the portfolio, including strategizing, supervising staff, keeping the work on task and timeline, and ensuring the quality of the work. The Research Project Director will also be responsible for elevating issues—as needed—to the Research Director, who will provide broad oversight and strategic support to the project; and for ensuring close collaboration with a policy team that is advancing a complementary portfolio of technical assistance work on  a number of the same initiatives in the plan.

This is an excellent opportunity for a civic-minded professional interested in working in a public policy setting, and for a range of audiences that include government officials, community providers, funders, researchers, and the general public. This is also an excellent opportunity to develop an understanding of government policymaking in New York City and nationally, in a number of areas including criminal justice, racial equity, government operations and community development.

The Research Project Director will be responsible for a range of tasks, which may include but are not limited to:

  • Developing and operationalizing research and methodological plans and adapting them throughout the course of the work as needed
  • Overseeing qualitative and quantitative research activities that include interviews, focus groups, performance monitoring, and survey work
  • Strategizing and problem-solving issues that arise and thinking critically about all aspects of project work, including when course changes are needed to meet the overall goals
  • Supervising a team of five to seven staff in their day-to-day project-related tasks
  • Creating and managing workplans and ensuring that the work stays on task and timeline
  • Establishing workflow processes and expectations for internal and external elements of the work
  • Managing the budget for the portfolio of projects
  • Ensuring the integrity of all deliverables
  • Building and managing day-to-day relationships with government and community partners on the initiative
  • Representing ISLG at external meetings and events and facilitating meetings with staff and/or external stakeholders as needed
  • Overseeing the development of research reports, briefs, memos and other written deliverables
  • Presenting to various stakeholder audiences, including government and community members
  • Working closely with the Research Director on high-level strategic questions and in liaising with the Mayor’s Office, NYPD, and other government partners
  • Working closely with the Research Director and other ISLG Senior Leadership to contribute to project development and strategy for the Institute overall


Our office is located in New York City and the position will be housed there over the long-term, however, work will be remote through the immediate term.

Other Duties


We would love to hear from you if:

  • You have an MA, or PhD
  • You have 8 or more years of professional experience with an MA (5 or more years with a PhD)
  • You have at least 4 years of experience managing research projects, including experience managing a substantial research portfolio in an applied setting
  • You have experience with various aspects of project development and management, including:
    • Designing and/or conceptualizing research projects
    • Developing and managing workplans
    • Supervising staff
    • Strategizing and problem-solving
    • Developing and overseeing budgets
  • You have exceptional interpersonal skills, with the ability to create and maintain excellent working relationships with internal staff and external government and community partners
  • You can translate analytical and research findings into policy and practice recommendations
  • You are able to adapt to changing demands and requirements as projects develop, and to participate in collaborative project development with a diverse internal team and external stakeholders
  • You have excellent time management skills and experience working in deadline-driven environments
  • You can prioritize and work on a number of tasks simultaneously
  • You have an exceptional commitment to accuracy and attention to detail
  • You have excellent writing skills
  • You value and apply a racial equity lens to your work
  • You are flexible


This is a full-time position in New York City with a salary range of $110,000-$130,000 and excellent benefits, including:

  • Comprehensive medical/dental/vision insurance
  • Paid vacation and personal days
  • Paid sick leave
  • CUNY tuition reimbursement program
  • Pre-tax benefits for transit and healthcare costs
  • Family/parental leave
  • Life insurance
  • A retirement plan with employer contribution.

Our staff also benefit from:

  • A positive work/life balance
  • Opportunities for advancement within the organization
  • Engagement with the broader CUNY network
  • Working with organizational leadership who have years of significant public sector and policymaking expertise


How to Apply

To apply you will need to submit a cover letter describing your qualifications and interests and attach your curriculum vitae. Questions about the position can be addressed to  Application review will commence immediately and continue until the position is filled.

Key Features

CUNY Institute for State and Local Gover
Full Time
Annual Salary Range
$110,000.00 - $140,000.00
Closing Date
Dec 28, 2021 (Or Until Filled)