Posted: May 16, 2024

Managing Director, Economic Studies (Job ID: 2024-3439)

The Brookings Institution - Washington, DC
Salary: $175,000.00 - $200,000.00 Annually
Application Deadline: N/A

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC. Our mission is to conduct in-depth research that leads to new ideas for solving problems facing society at the local, national and global level. 

We bring together leading experts in government and academia from all over the world, rooted in open-minded inquiry and representing diverse points of view, who provide the highest quality research, policy recommendations, and analysis. Research topics cover a full range of public policy issues in economics, foreign policy, development, governance and metropolitan policy. 

With fair and transparent business practices, clear communication, mutual respect, and a collaborative atmosphere that offers both professional and personal development opportunities, Brookings offers an inclusive and welcoming workplace that values the efforts of all contributors. 

The Economic Studies program analyzes current and emerging economic issues facing the United States and the world and, based on that research, provides innovative, practical policy recommendations. ES’s work covers a broad array of economic issues, including economic growth, economic opportunity and mobility, the labor market, regulation, health policy, the environment, tax policy, retirement policy, and fiscal and monetary policy. Economic Studies scholars influence key economic policies by conducting rigorous and relevant research and then disseminating and communicating their findings to the policy community and to the broader public. 

Position Location: This position requires primarily in-office work at Brookings main campus in Washington, DC. 

Vaccine Policy: Brookings requires all staff to submit proof of complete vaccination against COVID-19 to be in Brookings buildings.    Individuals that (i) have a qualifying medical condition that contraindicates a COVID-19 vaccination, or (ii) who object to being vaccinated based on a sincerely held religious belief, may request a reasonable accommodation. Brookings policies on masks and other pandemic mitigation measures will continue to be informed by DC and CDC guidelines.  

The Managing Director oversees daily operations and advises on key strategic priorities for the Economic Studies (ES) program at the Brookings Institution—a prominent research program with an 85 person team and an annual budget in excess of $20 million. Reporting to the Vice President and Director of ES, the Managing Director is responsible for translating the Director’s strategic goals into operational plans and ensuring that the efforts of the program’s various operational teams align with those strategic objectives. The Managing Director also directly manages the program’s administrative and personnel functions, serves as a liaison with staff and scholars throughout Brookings, and represents ES on the Institution’s management team. 

Program Leadership & Strategy (70%) 

*Provide advice and guidance to the Vice President and Director on matters related to the program’s overall direction, strategies, and objectives, and assist in crisis prevention and management through effective communication. 

*Lead the program’s strategic operations planning for launching new research projects, centers, and initiatives, as well as the operations planning for phasing out completed projects, centers and initiatives. 

*Serve as a representative of the Vice President and Director—as well as the program—at internal and external venues as appropriate. 

*Assist the Vice President and Director in establishing and upholding the program’s culture and values across centers, projects, and teams. 

*Develop and execute operational plans—consistent with the program’s budgetary goals—working with scholars and staff across projects, centers, and departments, that further the Vice President and Director’s objectives for the program. 

*Provide direct day-to-day management of projects and centers when required, as directed by the Vice President and Director. Duties may include but are not limited to: conceptualizing and managing efforts for research, policy, events, outreach, communications, staffing, budget, grant management, scheduling, and other activities as assigned. 

*Provide mentorship and management support to scholars and centers by advising on opportunities for sharing support staff resources efficiently and effectively, assisting with performance evaluations and other administrative managerial tasks, and directly supervise research support staff where appropriate, providing guidance on improving team performance, including staff with cross-center and cross-project responsibilities, such as Program Coordinators, and Program Assistants. 

*In collaboration with senior staffing manager and institutional DEI committees, oversee the program’s annual development of objectives and key initiatives to ensure progress on DEI objectives, working to ensure ES is an attractive, inclusive place for staff to do their best work. 

Program Personnel Management (30%) 

*Oversee all administrative and personnel management activities for the program. 

*Supervise the senior staffing manager, ensuring the program complies with Brookings HR policies. 

*Assist with all recruiting, talent acquisition, performance management, staff retention and termination activities, and wage and salary concerns. Develop and recommend to the VP staffing plans to achieve program goals and objectives. 

*Lead staff engagement initiatives, developing formal and informal methods for staff to communicate ideas, concerns, and feedback with each other and with the leadership team. Direct staff appreciation and cohesion efforts. Promote and provide effective communication of department and institution-wide goals to staff at all levels. 

*Support and supervise the operational tasks performed by the project manager for the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity (BPEA). Serve as point person for BPEA strategic interests for the ES Management Team and ES Center Directors. 

*Lead staff development initiatives for ES, including developing and implementing strategies for hiring, training, mentoring, and retaining staff, to build the department’s reputation as a top-notch place for diverse, early-career talent in research and research operations and administration. 

*Assist the Vice President and Director with the annual review process for staff and scholars. 

*Ready to make an impact? In this role, you will support Brookings values of collegiality, respect, inclusion, diversity and community, and bring the following qualifications: 

Education/Experience Requirements 

A commitment to the mission of the Economic Studies program at Brookings. Bachelor’s degree required; graduate degree strongly preferred. Management experience in government, nonprofit, public policy, and/or economic research strongly preferred. Minimum ten years of experience with increasing managerial and leadership experience, ideally with a prominent policy organization or agency. Experience directing and overseeing day-to-day operations, including work in public policy or research environment managing multiple, complex projects. Experience managing nonprofit communications, finance, and/or development functions as well as knowledge of best practices in each area. A track record as an effective communicator who is articulate and persuasive in written and verbal communications. 

Knowledge/Skill Requirements 

A superior communicator who shares information readily and concisely; listens as well as gives advice; earns respect and trust of people at all levels. Articulate and sophisticated individual who presents well and can interact comfortably with diverse individuals and groups. Strong analytical, organizational, and planning skills, and the ability to synthesize abstract concepts into clear and accessible language. Decisive, tough, fair, and resourceful with the ability to anticipate and act on events and opportunities in an appropriate manner. A collegial style and an appreciation for the work of Brookings scholars and the vital national policy questions their work addresses. Ability to manage multiple projects and deadlines and maintain disciplined adherence to program goals. Must be a team player who welcomes collaborative decision making. Must have sound judgment and the ability to use discretion in handling sensitive and confidential HR issues and information. Must be currently authorized to work for any employer in the U.S 

Brookings provides a generous benefit package that is comprehensive and includes both traditional benefits and unique offerings. 

Brookings requires that all applicants submit a cover letter and resume. Please attach your cover letter and resume as one document when you apply. Successful completion of a background investigation is required for employment at Brookings. 

Brookings welcomes and celebrates diversity in all its forms. We welcome applications that reflect a variety of backgrounds based on ideology, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, veteran status, first generation college goers, and other factors protected by law. Brookings is proud to be an equal-opportunity employer that is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace. 


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