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Policy Program Manager (Justice Policy Center) at The Urban Institute in Washington, Washington DC

Posted in Management 30+ days ago.

Type: Full-Time

Job Description:

Who we are:

At the nonprofit Urban Institute, we believe in the power of evidence to improve lives and strengthen communities.  Our employees are empowered to open minds, shape decisions and offer solutions.  We encourage intellectual honesty, innovation, diversity, and mutual respect, and our analysis elevates the debate, wherever it takes place.

Urban’s greatest asset is our people. We strive to attract and cultivate a vibrant, creative, and diverse community.  Our employees drive Urban’s mission through entrepreneurship, innovation, leadership, effective communication, results-orientation, and relationship cultivation.  Our success depends on engaging individuals who possess and value these attributes.

The Justice Policy Center (JPC) conducts research, policy analyses, and evaluations to improve justice policy and practice at the national, state, and local levels.  We conduct rigorous evaluations and in-depth data analyses—and we give context to the data through interviews with individuals involved in the justice system at all levels. We also produce reports and provide technical assistance that translate complex research into actionable strategies to enhance the safety and well-being of individuals and communities.

People from communities that are overrepresented in the criminal justice system and people with direct experience with the criminal justice system are encouraged to apply.

How you’ll contribute:

The Justice Policy Center (JPC) is seeking a full-time Policy Program Manager to focus on Urban’s responsibilities related to the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI). JRI provides states a data-driven approach to managing criminal justice populations more effectively and cost-efficiently, and to investing savings in strategies that reduce recidivism and improve public safety. Urban serves as the oversight, coordination, and assessment provider for the initiative. The Policy Program Manager will collaborate with senior researchers and management, JRI team members, and JRI partners to ensure the successful execution of JRI tasks, the timely completion of deliverables, and the identification and pursuit of related business development opportunities.

We are seeking individuals who have experience in project management, policy analysis, and policy research management and a strong background in policy solutions related to criminal justice in the United States.


  • Support effective project management, including assigning roles and responsibilities; managing project team performance; monitoring project progress, budget, and schedule; funder reporting; and designing and implementing policy analysis strategies and products

  • Write reports, policy briefs, and other publications to disseminate findings from research projects

  • Mentor and manage research and policy staff

  • Manage relationships, within Urban and externally with key partners

  • Communicate directly with state policymakers, corrections officials, researchers, and other criminal justice stakeholders

  • Act entrepreneurially to identify and develop ways in which JPC can better advance its mission of educating the public, press, and policymakers

  • Support the development, design, and implementation of policy analysis and technical assistance on issues relating to improving justice policy

  • Plan and coordinate convenings and other outreach to support programs of work

What you’ll bring:

The successful candidate will:

  • Possess the academic knowledge of a discipline that is generally associated with the attainment of a master's degree in Public Policy, Public Administration, Economics, Sociology, Criminology, or a Bachelor’s Degree with several years of related professional experience and 5–10 years of relevant professional experience

  • Demonstrate subject matter expertise in criminal justice policies, programs, practices, and research evidence

  • Develop and manage detailed workplans and project budgets using prior project management experience and strong organizational skills

  • Exhibit creativity, intellectual curiosity, and the ability to distill complicated concepts into clear, consistent, and direct messages to diverse audiences

  • Communicate and collaborate effectively with various stakeholders and funders

  • Display outstanding interpersonal skills and show ability to lead and work effectively in project teams

  • Use previous experience supervising or mentoring employees

What you’ll experience:

Working in the Nation’s Capital, the epicenter of public policy among a network of policy experts, you can expect to have an impact on policy areas you care about and work with great colleagues who are smart, mission-driven, and collaborative. You will blend academic rigor with on-the-ground collaboration, be encouraged and supported to fulfill your potential through meaningful work that matters and, enjoy a welcoming workplace free from harassment, discrimination and intolerance.

In addition, we offer a comprehensive benefits package that includes: medical, dental, disability, and life insurance coverage. Competitive paid time off allowance, and eligibility to participate in a generous retirement savings plan plus elect a pretax benefit for commuting expenses.

The Urban Institute is committed to Equal Employment Opportunity without regard for race, ethnicity, gender, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other protected status under applicable law.

The Urban Institute is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer Minorities/Women/Disabilities/Veterans.