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Executive Director For A Youth-driven Public Policy Think Tank

Visionary leader who values diversity, innovation, and engagement in the policymaking process

The Century Foundation is seeking a creative and energetic executive director, committed to lifting up youth voices and perspectives, to set up, launch, and run a newly created youth-driven public policy think tank. The ideal candidate will be a visionary leader who values diversity, innovation, and engagement in the policymaking process and has demonstrated an ability to generate and then translate great ideas into policy impact.

This one-of-a-kind national think tank is a two-year funded project of The Century Foundation and will be launched in early 2019. The executive director will be tasked with establishing this new organization from the ground up, including securing office space, hiring staff, developing curriculum, training new thinkers, overseeing communications plans, and managing the work of 7–10 emerging policy researchers to develop actionable policy solutions. These researchers will also be matched with TCF and external mentors to guide their policy work.

This is an extraordinary opportunity for an up-and-coming leader in the progressive policy space to take on a high-profile leadership role, with strong support and backing from an already established and connected research institution. TCF will provide back office, communications, and leadership support, but TCF is looking for an on-the-ground, action-oriented thought leader and facilitator for this new “start up” policy program. The overarching goals for the project are to (1) foster talent and help seed a new generation of smart, engaged thinkers and innovators to help influence policy in the years to come, and (2) launch new research and policy recommendations in the lead-up to the 2020 Presidential Election.


  • Lead the recruitment process to source a diverse group of emerging public policy thinkers to work full-time for two years on a policy agenda
  • Develop a blueprint for the two-year think tank, including onboarding and offboarding, skills development, research design, policy execution, external communications, and events
  • Oversee all public communications from and about this project, including webpages, social media, channels and media partnerships
  • Guide emerging thinkers through the process of designing and executing on quality research and policy writing to deliver public policy change
  • Coordinate a public policy bootcamp and ongoing curriculum to support emerging public policy researchers with varying degrees of experience to achieve success
  • Facilitate group collaboration within the think tank toward the development of set of youth-driven policies to be launched in the lead up to the 2020 Presidential Election
  • Connect with peer organizations in the youth advocacy and progressive policy arena and create opportunities for the emerging thinkers to work in partnership with others toward shared policy goals
  • Build an audience and community around the work of the think tank
  • Communicate effectively with TCF leadership on the progress and efficacy of the project and potentially manage additional relationships with ambassadors, mentors, and additional thought partners
  • Seek out strategic supplemental external funding to supercharge and grow the project (base funding for the two-year project will be provided by The Century Foundation)
  • Ensure compliance with TCF’s 501(c)3 tax status and internal HR policies, including enforcing lobbying restrictions, restrictions on political activities, and managing personnel in accordance with TCF’s standards
  • Track and monitor operational budgets, expenses, and revenues in collaboration with the TCF finance team


  • 10 years professional experience, including 3–5+ years of management experience leading teams on collaborative and ambitious projects
  • A background as a policymaker, researcher, or advocate with deep knowledge in at least one policy field
  • A well developed understanding of how politics and policy interact, and how to drive national change, taking both into account
  • A passion for engaging with emerging voices on public policy challenges and solutions
  • Demonstrated ability to dissect, interpret, and utilize both academic and policy research
  • Experience in developing structured training and curriculum for diverse cohorts
  • Exceptional writer and communicator
  • Ability to review and edit written materials for substance and style
  • Familiarity with nonprofit governance structures, legal limitations, and lobbying restrictions a plus
  • A network of policy-relevant contacts in New York and/or Washington, D.C.
  • Willingness to participate in and oversee press outreach, media interviews, and social media strategy
  • Grants management and fundraising experience preferred
  • A commitment to fostering an inclusive and collaborative workplace culture
  • Experience managing projects within defined budget parameters and overseeing enforcement of HR policies.

About TCF

Founded in 1919 by the progressive business leader Edward Filene, TCF is a think tank that pursues our mission by conducting timely, nonpartisan research and policy analysis that informs citizens, guides policymakers, and reshapes what government does for the better.

TCF is at the forefront of positive change in some of the most critical areas of domestic and foreign policy including pursuing fairness and opportunity in education; protecting workers and further strengthening the social safety net; encouraging democracy and ensuring personal rights in the tech age; and promoting stability and prosperity abroad.

Please submit a cover letter and résumé to [email protected] Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. No inquiries by third-party vendors and no phone calls please.

The Century Foundation is committed to diversity and building an inclusive environment for people of all backgrounds. Everyone is encouraged to apply, including LGBTQ people, people of color, and people with disabilities.

TCF is a progressive non-partisan think tank, founded in 1919 and initially funded by Edward...
Posted on September 10, 2018
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