Director of Research

Director of Research

Full time, permanent

Hybrid, Dupont Circle, Washington, DC


At DC Action, we know the District’s young people can accomplish anything when they have a fair chance.

And we also know how much stands in their way -- particularly our young people most affected by poverty and racism. These are powerful injustices, and they must be met with an equally powerful response.

We’re uniting all those fighting on behalf of DC’s children and youth to pursue a single, shared vision for what it looks like to grow up in our city. Because, while childhood exists on a continuum from birth to adulthood, the systems, programs and organizations designed to support our children and youth are too often fragmented by age.

Together with our young people, parents and community partners, we’re advocating with one voice for public policies that support kids at every step from early childhood to early adulthood. We are stronger, louder and more effective together. And, whether we are focused on helping a toddler learn her letters or a young man pursuing his professional passion, we share one goal: that all of DC’s children and youth grow up safe, resilient, powerful, and heard.

Please visit Our Policy Priorities to learn more about our work, values and impact.


DC Action is seeking a Director of Research with a strong commitment to racial equity and improving outcomes for children and youth. The Director of Research produces compelling and timely research that centers the needs and perspectives of Black and brown children and youth that persuade policymakers to advance change. The Director will also develop and guide community-based participatory research partnerships that advance equity in education, health and economic security. The Director of Research will report to the Chief of Staff and supervise the Research and Data Manager.


  • Build and strengthen our internal systems for qualitative research management that makes information more accessible, timely and effective for advancing change 
  • Develop and guide community-based participatory research partnerships that advance equity in education, health and economic security
  • Produce compelling and timely research reports and briefings that center the needs and perspectives of Black and brown children and youth 
  • Participate as a member of DC Action’s coalitions supporting their research needs
  • Contribute to the learning of DC Action staff around our core issue areas, and expand our base of knowledge and thinking about how we approach, understand, and include equitable research in our work
  • Identify new partnerships that will allow our research to reach wider, more diverse audiences 
  • Represent DC Action before diverse audiences in public forums, including presenting testimony before policymakers and the media to deliver results of qualitative research, as well as persuasive and case making arguments 
  • Supervise the Research and Data Manager, manage consultants and fellows. 


  • Strong commitment to improving the lives of children and youth
  • A passion for economic, racial and social justice.  
  • A Master’s degree in public policy, education, political science or a related field
  • At least 7 years of experience with qualitative research, including designing and facilitating focus group protocols and performing structured interviews
  • Prior experience with and knowledge of DC government and issues relating to children, youth and families
  • A self-starting work style and is self-motivated
  • Excellent communication, writing and verbal skills
  • Exceptional project management skills, strong attention to detail
  • The ability to work independently, but also able to collaborate and work as part of a team and with diverse partners
  • Demonstrated ability to thrive in a small, fast-paced, entrepreneurial organization committed to the well-being of children and youth 


The starting salary range for this position is $90,000-$130,000, commensurate with qualifications and experience. DC Action offers a generous benefit package, a great team, and a working environment committed to fostering staff growth and leadership. We are able to offer our employees 100% employer-sponsored medical, dental, vision insurance, student loan assistance, 401K retirement plan with employer match, generous vacation, personal and sick time, family and medical leave, days off to vote and volunteer, along with an employee assistance program offering counseling, mental health and financial support.


To apply, please complete the Director of Research Job Application and upload your resume along with two professional writing samples.  

This announcement will remain posted until the position is filled. No phone calls please.   

DC Action recognizes and honors diversity in race, ethnicity, culture, age, abilities, gender, sexual orientation, and places where people live. We seek to reflect this diversity in all aspects of our work, including the composition of our board, staff, and volunteers. Further, DC Action seeks to be a multicultural and culturally competent organization that works for equity among all people. We strongly encourage applications from people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community and other underrepresented and historically marginalized groups. 

Please note that only those individuals whose qualifications match the current needs of this position will be considered applicants and will receive responses from DC Action.