Director of Research

Location: Oakland, CA

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Manager/Supervisor

This position is a chance to show your leadership skills as well as your technical expertise in applied research that creates real social change.  You will shape and lead new projects, manage and process rich data, apply new data science and visual design techniques and be part of a great team.

Intellectual curiosity, solution-driven orientation, commitment to the organization’s mission, flexibility and creativity within the specifications of the position are assets, as is knowledge of the Oakland/Bay Area. This position requires someone with a combination of training, skills and experience in social sciences, database development/management; spatial analysis using GIS, applied social research and community engagement.  The ideal candidate will be a highly proficient social researcher with demonstrated commitment and experience in applied analysis and demonstrated skill with spatial analysis tools.  The Director will be responsible for quality control and guidance of all research carried out by the Council, under the leadership of the CEO.

This role will require managing internal research and supervision of external consulting research work along with frequent public presentations of our work. A successful candidate will need to demonstrate an ability to synthesize complex issues and to connect data to social issues in a effective way.



  • Design and implement research studies, conduct data analysis and prepare written products and reports
  • Form partnerships with public, private, and non-profit data custodians
  • Collect, analyze and interpret administrative, survey and other data through statistical programs such as SPSS, Excel and Access or Python/R
  • Supervise and coordinate the work of staff research associates and assistants
  • Manage primary and secondary research in such areas as demographics, housing, health, criminal justice, education, workforce and economic development
  • Respond to organizational and community requests for data, analyses, maps and other information
  • Participate in policy analysis on local, regional and national issues impacting low-income families and communities
  • Work with community-based organizations and residents in building their capacities to collect, analyze, interpret and use data and information for planning and implementation activities
  • Resource development including managing and negotiating research contracts and grant writing
  • Serve as a member of the Senior Management Team
  • Integrate the practice of community participatory research into our work
  • Perform other duties as required



Education Requirements:

Masters required in a relevant field of study including Sociology, Public Health, Public Policy, Planning, Geography, GIS, Econometrics or other social sciences.



  • 10+ years of relevant experience in social science research, urban planning, geographic information science, economic development, public policy analysis and/or advocacy, public health, or related field
  • 6+ years experience in research, data analysis and interpretation and report preparation
  • 3+ years leading and coordinating research teams/analytical work groups
  • Proven track record of intergovernmental relations and collaboration with other organizations


Training, Experience and Proficiency in:

  • Excellent written and oral communications
  • Research project design and management
  • Creating and maintaining databases (Excel & SQL required)
  • Research methods and quantitative analysis using statistical packages (SPSS, R, Python)
  • Data visualization techniques for varied audiences
  • Working with GIS software (ArcGIS 9.x/10 required)
  • Theories of social change
  • Group facilitation, meeting management and multi-stakeholder partnerships
  • Supervising staff
  • Experience leading workshops and making public presentations
  • Facilitation, training and research support for people without backgrounds in research (preferably in support of community planning and action)
  • Working with people from diverse ethnic, linguistic economic and professional backgrounds
  • Bi-lingual a plus



This is a full-time (37.5 hours per week) regular position with an attractive benefits package.  Salary: $80,000-$100,000, depending on qualifications and experience.


The Urban Strategies Council is an equal opportunity employer.

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