Manager, Policy Research

Race Forward advances racial justice through research, media and practice. Founded in 1981, Race Forward brings systemic analysis and an innovative approach to complex race issues to help people take effective action toward racial equity. Race Forward publishes the daily news site Colorlines and presents Facing Race, the country’s largest multiracial conference on racial justice.

The Research Program’s mission is to produce forward-looking, innovative and accessible analysis and thinking about systemic racism and racial justice, grounded in the stories and perspectives of people of color. Research also provides guidance and support for impact planning and evaluation to other Race Forward programs.

The Policy Research Manager will work with the Vice President for Research to design, manage and/or conduct short and long-term racial equity/justice research related to Race Forward’s policy focus areas, as well as for community-based organizations, advocacy partners, and collaboratives. In particular, the position will primarily consult with leaders and staff of the organization’s Policy Program, as well as community-based organizations. Candidates with community-based participatory research experience and expertise are particularly encouraged to apply. The position requires at least monthly travel and preferably will be based in the Race Forward’s New York, NY or Oakland, CA office. This position reports to the Vice President for Research.


  1. Collaborate with key internal and external stakeholders to conceptualize, design and manage short and long-term research projects in support of local policy initiatives (e.g., food justice, energy democray, alternatives to mass incarceration, etc.).
  2. Support Policy Program project consultations and other technical assistance to community-based organization and collaboratives (e.g., comprehensive policy priorities briefs, field scans, GIS mapping, etc.)
  3. Conduct and direct additional research as necessary, including qualititative research (e.g., structured interviews, surveys, focus groups, etc.) of partner organizations
  4. Contribute to team efforts defining and measuring the impacts of racial justice activities and solutions (internal and external), such as policy and practice impacts, capacity building of advocates, narrative change initiatives, etc.
  5. Provide project management for effective inter-program collaboration on major projects.
  6. Serve as a bridge between the Policy Program and the Research Program to identify opportuntities for collaboration, synergy, and alignment between the two teams
  7. Track and research local model policies and compile data that relate to Race Forward’s place-based work and policy work
  8. Write appropriately for multiple public products such as literature reviews, reports, survey analysis, research/policy briefs and reviews, newsletters, and online editorials/blogs.
  9. Design and deliver presentations on research findings and other Race Forward products and content in community meetings, professional and media settings.
  10. Supervise, train and help hire other staff and interns, as directed.
  11. Support organizational fundraising efforts, including but not limited to conducting foundation visits, drafting grant proposals and reports, and making presentations at philanthropic conferences.
  12. Active participation – including shared responsibility for facilitation and note-taking – of departmental and organizational meetings.
  13. Additional duties as assigned by the Vice President for Research.

Skills and Qualifications

  1. Masters degree in communication, political science, public policy, social psychology, sociology, or another social science or interdisciplinary field strongly preferred, but not required.
  2. At least 5 years experience in applied social science and/or racial and social justice-related policy research, preferred (e.g., in service to community based organizations, non-profit organizations, labor unions, state/local government; experience conducting racial equity impact assessments; etc.).
  3. Good judgment and high professional standards of care, handling confidential survey data.
  4. Experience doing field research and working with a variety of different research methods, particularly with community-based participatory research.
  5. Strong familiarity in racial justice theory, history and current conditions affecting diverse communities, including AANHPI (Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander), American Indian, Black, Latino and AMEMSA (Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian) communities, both U.S.-born and immigrant. Strong familiarity with progressive social change practices and landscapes, particularly in racial justice and related fields (e.g., poverty, labor/employment, criminal justice, immigration, education, health care, food justice, reproductive justice, LGBTQ rights, etc.).
  6. Strong written and oral communication skills. Ability to write in multiple styles for lay and professional audiences. Ability to write quickly with high level of competence. Excellent listening ability with grassroots community advocates.
  7. Ability to conduct literature reviews and landscape analyses, analyze data, identify key findings, and prepare reports that present information in a compelling and motivating manner.
  8. Demonstrated ability to meet frequent deadlines when working both individually and in team settings.
  9. Extensive experience with quantitative and/or qualitative anlysis software. For example: STATA, SPSS, NVivo, Dedoose, ArcGIS mapping, etc.
  10. Experience and explicit interest in supervision, project management, and/or training.
  11. Experience with multimedia forms of presenting research, including Power Point, live webinars, and other video and audio forms.
  12. Patience, a strong and collaborative work ethic, good judgment and a well-honed sense of humor.
  13. Comfort in diverse settings, from grassroots meetings to professional conferences.


The starting salary for this position is $75,000. In addition we offer an excellent benefits package including health and dental insurances, employer contribution to retirement plan and to flexible spending account, vacations, and a sabbatical.

How to Apply

Submit a cover letter, resume / CV (not to exceed 3 pages), list of 2-3 references, and up to two writing samples to with subject heading “POLICY RESEARCH MANAGER ”.

 At a minimum, your cover letter should speak to:

  • any specific content areas of racial justice-related policy research expertise that you would bring to the program
  • your experience(s) creating, managing and/or analyzing original data collected for community-centered research
  • your demonstrated skills and/or commitment to community-centered project conceptualization and management

A review of applications will begin on July 6 and continue until the position is filled.

Race Forward is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, color, sex, gender identity, age, national origin ordisability.