Director, Race and Democracy


Thank you for your interest. This position has been filled.

About the Roosevelt Institute

Until economic and social rules work for all Americans, they’re not working. Inspired by the legacy of Franklin and Eleanor, the Roosevelt Institute reimagines the rules to create a nation where everyone enjoys a fair share of our collective prosperity. We are a 21st-century think tank bringing together multiple generations of thinkers and leaders to help drive key economic and social debates and have local and national impact. We advance this mission through the work of our staff, fellows, and network of students and alumni.

Our Culture

At Roosevelt, we recognize that the culture of the workplace and opportunities for career growth and development are important to all. We believe that diversity of background and experience among our people make our work to reimagine the rules of our social and economic realities stronger. Roosevelt is an equal opportunity employer and, as affirms in policy and practice to consider all applications in all job classifications, without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, familial status, military status, height and weight, genetic predisposition or carrier status, arrest record, or other legally protected status. We strongly encourage people of color, people with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ candidates to apply.

What You’ll Do

Reporting to the managing director, research and policy, the director, race, and democracy, will lead the Roosevelt Institute’s Race and Democracy Program—Roosevelt’s newest program area. The Race & Democracy program investigates the racial rules and racialized institutions that structure our economy and offers innovative paradigms and policies to help build a more equitable economy and society. You’ll develop a portfolio on key governing institutions and their relationship to a functioning democracy; and develop our program’s research portfolio + publication pipeline: strands of work on race, inequality and democracy; stratification economics and law and political economy (LPE). Our resident expert on Race & Democracy, you’ll drive internal strategy, and represent Roosevelt in the media—among advocacy groups, funders, and elected officials.

In this role, you’ll combine research (~25 – 30% of the time), writing, long-range strategy development with leadership, and day-to-day management of a team (deputy directors, program managers, research associates, and part-time Fellows). While the director will need to have some understanding around the broad contours of stratification economics and LPE, ideally, we’re looking for you to have expertise on race, inequality, and their implications for our democracy.

Research and Writing

  • Conduct research and author papers and other products, such as blog posts, articles, and Op-Eds
  • Engage fellows, external partners, and outside experts in the development of research agendas and products
  • Develop new lines of long-range research and policy proposals, with a special focus on strengthening democratic institutions

Program Strategy and Leadership

  • Develop program area research agenda in conjunction with the program area’s experts, including identifying areas for new long-range thought leadership
  • Lead a team of full-time staff and contract experts, aligning them around program goals, overseeing research product development, and ensuring that the whole of the program’s work and products is greater than the sum of its parts
  • Partner with advocacy and communications teams to develop overall programmatic goals and materials
  • Where appropriate, represent the organization’s program work with the press, government officials, funders, and allied organizations
  • Manage and review the research and writing of fellows, contractors, and staff to ensure quality and rigor
  • Partner with the development team to articulate clear goals, strategies, and deliverables for proposals to support program work and to track and report-out on progress


  • Manage all program area staff to ensure timely delivery of high-quality products and support their long-term development goals
  • Oversee product pipeline for the program area and ensure all products are delivered on time and meet the highest research standards

What You’ll Have

  • Law degree or advanced degree in Economics, history, political science, sociology, public policy, or related subject preferred—but not required
  • Research expertise at the intersection of race, democracy, economics, and/or law
  • Exceptional writing, editing, and communications skills
  • Experience writing and/or communicating about policy ideas to a wide audience
  • Demonstrated success managing multiple complex projects at once and leading teams— including balancing the needs of multiple stakeholders (e.g., academic and research experts, advocacy and media goals) and timely delivery of projects
  • Experience collaborating with teams across an organization to develop and execute on program strategies, as well as troubleshooting and course-correcting as needed
  • Passion for the Roosevelt Institute’s mission and strategy of intervening at the level of paradigm shift

Note: Candidates advanced to the Hiring Manager interview will be asked for two items: a research writing example, and an OpEd.

Not sure if you meet all the qualifications? Please apply!

We know talent comes in many forms. Our only requirement is that you’re passionate about advancing democracy—to create meaningful change. Join our team and help envision a new equitable future for all.

The salary range for this role is $137,000.00 – $150,000.00 annually. The Roosevelt Institute offers excellent benefits that include 100% paid medical, dental, and vision for employees and 80% paid for dependents; life insurance; vacation; personal and sick time; paid parental leave; professional development; healthcare- dependent- and commuter FSA; and a 403(b) Retirement plan with up to 4% contribution.