Washington Budget and Policy Center is hiring a Research and Policy Director 

  • Location: Candidates may be based anywhere in Washington state. Position will require occasional in-person work in Seattle, Olympia, and elsewhere within Washington state
  • Reports to: Executive Director
  • Salary Range: $88,000-$100,000 per year, in alignment with Budget & Policy Center compensation philosophy

Download the PDF of this job description.

The Washington State Budget & Policy Center (B&PC) is looking for a strategic and visionary leader to guide and support the work of our team of talented policy and research staff to develop and advance state policies that increase economic security, racial equity, and community well-being. This is a chance to lead and support a policy team that has played a key role in passing bold economic and tax policies such as the Working Families Tax Credit and the capital gains tax – and that is working on a range of new transformational policies from guaranteed basic income to ending criminal legal system fines and fees.

This is a perfect role for someone who prioritizes team well-being, has a deep commitment to research and policy work with a focus on equity, and most importantly, wants to be part of a collaborative, relationship-oriented, passionate, and fun team of people working to promote justice and dignity for communities across Washington state.
The Budget & Policy Center is a dynamic organization with a vision for an equitable and healthy Washington state. We are interrogating and integrating our organizational processes as we adjust our work to be in alignment with our commitment to anti-racism. This position will be an integral part of these organization-wide conversations and support how this commitment is realized within the policy team and across teams.

General Scope of Work:

  • Supporting a Strong and Impactful Team of Policy Staff (approximately 50% of time): This Research and Policy Director supervises all research and policy staff and will work alongside team members as a coach and mentor as the team engages in policy research, advocacy, strategic communications, and coalition building. The Director will focus on supporting staff development and well-being, inspiring and distributing leadership among staff, and fostering a collaborative team environment. The Director will play a key role in building our research and legislative agenda and workplan, aligning the workplan for the policy team with the overall organizational goals and priorities, and ensuring B&PC’s policy and research work uses a racial equity lens and analysis of structural racism.
  • Developing and Maintaining Key Organizational Partnerships and Representing B&PC’s Policy Work to External Audiences (approximately 25% of time): In collaboration with the Executive Director, the Research and Policy Director will have an opportunity to work with policy team members to build and maintain authentic relationships with external partners that focus on grassroots organizing – working to share power and decision-making with organizations that work directly with communities of color, communities with low incomes, and those who are most impacted by economic and fiscal policy. The Research and Policy Director will play a key role representing B&PC before policymakers, stakeholders, the public, and the news media, and supporting organizational fundraising efforts by tracking and reporting on grants and helping build relationships with funders.
  • Providing Strategic Direction and Leadership (approximately 25% of time): This position is a key member of the organization’s internal leadership team. They will be responsible for working with the Executive Director and Communications Director to implement the organization’s strategic goals, guide organizational decision making, ensure team workplans align with organization’s strategic plan, and cultivate a shared sense of purpose and values.
The general scope of work listed above may fluctuate based on time of year and organizational priorities.


We understand that no one candidate meets every qualification and we strongly encourage everyone to apply who is interested in doing this work. More than anything, we value lived or professional experience that lends itself well to joining a mission-driven, passionate team driven by a desire to create economic and racial justice. We are less concerned about checking the boxes of qualifications.

Must Have:
  • Relationship-oriented leader with a focus on collaboration, teamwork, growth, and continuous learning, and demonstrated experience with sharing power and knowledge.
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience managing staff and/or teams, with a focus on shared leadership, mentorship, and collective impact.
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience in public policy research and analysis, preferably with qualitative and quantitative research experience and policy expertise in one or more of the areas that the Budget & Policy Center focuses on, such as economic security or tax and budget issues.
  • A deep analysis of how racism and white supremacy show up in state policymaking processes and experience using this analysis to build more equitable internal and external practices.
  • Detail-oriented and highly organized, with an ability to balance individual needs and priorities with needs of team.
  • Ability to write and talk about complex subjects in a way that is understandable to non-technical audiences and coach others in using strategic communications and messaging effectively with our core audiences.
  • Willingness to represent B&PC’s policy work in front of both large and small audiences and serve as a media spokesperson.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office, especially Excel.
  • Ability to travel to Seattle, Olympia, and other parts of the state approximately 2 to 3 times per month as needed for in-person meetings or events (travel expenses are reimbursed and all travel will be in alignment with public health guidance).

Nice to Have:

  • Experience working on tax, budget, and/or economic issues at the local, state or federal level as an advocate, researcher, or legislative or executive-branch staff.
  • Familiarity with the legislative process and how research, communications, and outreach work together to shape public policy debates.
  • Demonstrated skill/experience in analyzing complex fiscal policy issues, explaining those issues (both in writing and orally) to broader audiences, and explaining the impact of those policies.
  • Experience centering the knowledge of impacted communities by prioritizing community input, evaluating ideas with partners at the beginning of (and continually throughout) research and policy development, and rejecting a deficit-based frame.
  • Experience with the U.S. Census Bureau’s multiple data sources and systems or Washington state government agency data sources.
  • Proficiency with a statistical analysis software such as SPSS, STATA, or R or data visualization tools like Adobe Creative Suite or Tableau.
  • Fluency in a language other than English that is prevalent in Washington state (for example, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, or Russian).
  • Experience in fundraising (e.g., grant writing and contract management).
  • Experience working in coalitions and with partner organizations to advance shared goals.
  • Graduate degree in a relevant field such as public policy, economics, social work, or law.

Salary and Benefits

The annualized salary for this position ranges from $88,000 to $100,000 per year, depending on experience. Salary ranges are set in alignment with our organizational compensation philosophy, which is reviewed and updated regularly by the board of directors. The Budget & Policy Center also offers a comprehensive benefits package including health, vision, and dental insurance, life and long-term disability insurance, retirement, employee assistance program (EAP), and flexible spending accounts. We also offer four weeks of paid vacation and five personal days per year in addition to 10 paid holidays and generous sick leave. Each B&PC staff member also has a dedicated professional development budget of $750 per year. Travel expenses will be reimbursed.

This position works weekdays during regular business hours; however, limited evening and weekend work may be required to respond to urgent needs or participate in community events.

Currently, the Budget & Policy Center staff are working primarily remotely, and we anticipate maintaining a hybrid work environment with remote work options in the future. This position does require occasional in-person work at the Budget & Policy Center’s Seattle-based office as well as some events and convenings in Olympia and other parts of Washington state, so candidates should be based in Washington state. Our primary office is located in the heart of downtown Seattle, with service from bus routes, light rail, and trains from around the region.

To Apply

Please send a resume, cover letter, and one writing sample to [email protected]. Put “LAST NAME, FIRST NAME, Research & Policy Director” in the subject line of the email. In your cover letter, please highlight 1) why you’d love to join our team, 2) up to three of your top skills that match our qualifications, and 3) how you incorporate racial equity into your work. The writing sample should be related to policy and research and be no more than 4 pages.

Deadline to apply is Monday, April 25th, 2022, at 10 a.m. This deadline may be extended as needed based on applicant pool.

After an initial screening of applicant materials, we anticipate the following steps in the process. Please note the timelines may need to be adjusted based on candidate and hiring committee availability and we will keep candidates informed of changes. This process will be conducted virtually and we plan to provide a stipend to candidates for time spent in interviews.

  • First interview with 2 members of hiring committee (45 min.) – tentatively late April
  • Second interview with full hiring committee and activity (1 hour interview and 1 hour for skills-based activity) – tentatively early May
  • Meet and greet with other members of B&PC policy team (45 minutes) – tentatively mid to late May
  • Reference checks – tentatively mid to late May
  • Possible final interview with Executive Director and/or hiring committee (1 hour) – tentatively mid to late May

The Budget & Policy Center values a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. We encourage applications from Black, Indigenous, and People of Color; immigrants; people with disabilities; people of any sexual orientation or gender identity; and people with low-income backgrounds and other diverse life experiences. We value the lived experiences that our staff bring to bear on the work as deeply relevant expertise

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