Director of Research
Mission of the Children's Defense Fund
The Children's Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.
CDF provides a strong, effective and independent voice for all the children of America who cannot vote, lobby or speak for themselves. We pay particular attention to the needs of poor children, children of color and those with disabilities. CDF educates the nation about the needs of children and encourages preventive investments before they get sick, drop out of school, get into trouble or suffer family breakdown.
CDF began in 1973 and is a private, nonprofit organization supported by individual donations, foundation, corporate and government grants.
The Director of Research is responsible for CDF's research activities, statistical analyses and presentation of data on children and families. The research, findings and data disseminated will support CDF's policy priorities and activities in child poverty, child health, early childhood development, education, child welfare and mental health, juvenile justice and gun violence prevention. The Director of Research carries out research and statistical analyses in close coordination with others on CDF's policy and communications teams. The Director of Research will report to the Director of Policy.
- Assume leadership and major responsibility for the preparation of CDF publications and communications including major reports, issue briefs, speeches, testimony, press releases, columns and blogs, in order to ensure consistency in the use of timely, high quality and valid data and research across these materials. In particular:
- Develop and prepare, together with the policy team, CDF's annual State of America's Children, the organization's flagship report, describing how children fare across all the CDF's areas of concern at the national level and in individual states.
- Develop and prepare, together with the policy team, CDF's Portrait of Inequality report and related materials on inequities in children's opportunities by race and ethnicity
- Oversee development of CDF's annual Children in the States factsheets.
- Develop and update CDF's annual Protect Children Not Guns report on gun violence among children and teens.
- Develop and assist policy staff on issue briefs in their respective policy areas and on other concerns as necessary. These briefs are intended to highlight CDF's core concerns, the data to support them, their impact on children, and effective policies and programs to address the concerns.
- Keep updated CDF's Moments and Each Day data on how children are impacted by various actions.
- Prepare and update CDF's publications and fact sheets on ending child poverty.
- Ensure the data and research presented on CDF's website is up to date, relevant and easily accessible to varied audiences.
- Develop new research reports, briefs and other data products to advance CDF's mission and policy priorities with multiple audiences.
- Keep abreast, with CDF's Policy Team, on new data, research and reports across CDF's policy areas and ensure they are used appropriately.
- Provide accurate, compelling and up-to-date data points for speeches and columns, blog posts, and op-eds for CDF's policy, communications and leadership team.
- Identify compelling state, national and international data, research and comparisons that help make the case for the needs of children and expanded opportunities to address those needs as part of CDF's policy agenda.
- Provide direct research support to the policy team, including assistance in developing research protocols and surveys, identifying appropriate data and research, preparing state by state impact data, etc.
- Monitor federal budget and tax policies as they relate to investments in children, safety net programs, tax credits and other concerns related to children's well-being and outcomes as well as other spending that might limit the government's ability to invest in children. Develop factsheets to keep child advocates informed about important budget and tax concerns related to children and families.
- Serve as CDF's liaison to the U.S. Bureau of the Census in CDF's role as a Census Information Center for data on children
- A demonstrated interest in and commitment to social justice and improving the quality of life for children and families especially children of color, poor children and other vulnerable children.
- Excellent research and analytical skills and the ability to synthesize extensive information and data into succinct clear written products. .
- Experience with and understanding of how to use data and research for advocacy. Ability to present data and research in a compelling and persuasive manner while maintaining the highest standards of accuracy.
- Good political judgment and understanding of current political dynamics.
- Familiarity and experience with major federal data systems and other data sources, including international sources, that provide data about child outcomes, including the U.S. Census Bureau, National Center for Health Statistics, data from the Departments of Health and Human Services, Education and Justice, World Health Organization, UNICEF and others.
- At least a Master's degree in public policy, economics, public health, or other related discipline with strong quantitative training and
- A minimum of five years of relevant work experience in data analysis or research related to children.
- Integrity, institutional loyalty and high standards of excellence and accuracy. Very good attention to detail.
- A self-starter, capable of working independently and under pressure, who can learn about new topics and issues quickly.
- An ability to take initiative, set priorities, efficiently and effectively organize work, manage multiple tasks simultaneously and change course on short notice.
- Experience in mentoring and developing the professional skills of more junior staff.
- A team player who thrives in a fast-paced environment.
Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience. Attractive benefits package.
To apply, please submit cover letter, resume and salary requirement.
THE CHILDREN'S DEFENSE FUND IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER