Managing Director, Economic Studies (Job ID: 2020-2279)

Posted Date 3 months ago(7/16/2020 9:23 PM)
Economic Studies
Job Function
Job ID
Commensurate with experience


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The Brookings Institution (Brookings) is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC. Our mission is to conduct in-depth research that leads to new ideas for solving problems facing society at the local, national and global level. We bring together leading experts in government and academia from all over the world, rooted in open-minded inquiry and representing diverse points of view, who provide the highest quality research, policy recommendations, and analysis. Research topics cover a full range of public policy issues in economics, foreign policy, development, governance and metropolitan policy.

With fair and transparent business practices, clear communication, mutual respect, and a collaborative atmosphere that offers both professional and personal development opportunities, Brookings offers an inclusive and welcoming workplace that values the efforts of all contributors.

Join the leadership team at the Brookings’s Economic Studies (ES) program, and work with experts focusing on addressing obstacles to long-term economic growth and opportunity. ES analyzes current and emerging economic issues facing the United States and the world and, based on that research, provides innovative, practical policy recommendations. ES’s work covers a broad array of economic issues, including the labor market, regulation, health policy, and fiscal and monetary policy. ES scholars influence key economic policies by conducting rigorous and relevant research and then disseminating and communicating their findings to the policy community and to the broader public.

Please note: This position is based in Brookings' Washington, DC office.  The person hired for this position must be willing to move or currently reside in Washington DC, Maryland, or Northern Virginia. In response to COVID-19, Brookings staff are temporarily teleworking.


Ready to contribute to Brookings success?


The Managing Director reports to and serves as a strategic partner to the Vice President and Director of Economic Studies (ES), a $20M, 85-person policy research program at Brookings. An equal part deputy director, chief of staff and chief operations officer, the Managing Director serves as a key advisor on a wide range of strategic issues and crisis management and oversees day-to-day operations. The Managing Director is responsible for translating the Vice President and Director’s strategic goals into operational plans and ensures that the efforts of the program’s various operational teams align with those strategic objectives. They also directly manage the program’s administrative and personnel functions, serve as a liaison with staff and scholars throughout Brookings, and represents ES on the Institution’s management team..


Program Leadership & Strategy 

  • Provide advice and guidance to the Vice President and Director on matters related to the program’s overall direction, strategies, and objectives, and assist in crisis prevention and management through effective communication.
  • Serve as a public representative of the Vice President and Director—as well as the program—at internal and external venues as appropriate.
  • Represent the program in a constructive and collegial manner in internal discussions, meetings and committees, and serve as a stand-in for the Vice President and Director, where needed, across the institution.
    Assist the Vice President and Director in establishing and upholding the program’s culture and values across centers, projects, and teams.


Program Research Operations and Management 

  • Develop and execute operational plans—consistent with the program’s budgetary goals—working with scholars and staff across projects, centers, and departments, that further the Vice President and Director’s objectives for the program.
  • Provide direct day-to-day management of projects and centers when required, as directed by the Vice President and Director. Duties may include but are not limited to conceptualizing and managing efforts for research, policy, events, outreach, communications, staffing, budget, grant management, scheduling, and other activities as assigned.
  • Provide management support to scholars and centers by advising on opportunities for sharing support staff resources efficiently and effectively, assisting with performance evaluations and other administrative managerial tasks, and directly supervising research support staff where appropriate, including staff with cross-center and cross-project responsibilities, such as ES Events Manager, Program Coordinators, and Program Assistants.
  • Lead the program’s strategic operations planning for launching new research projects, centers, and initiatives, as well as the operations planning for phasing out completed projects, centers and initiatives.


Program Personnel Management 

  • Oversee all administrative and personnel management activities for the program.
  • Supervise the Senior Staffing Manager, ensuring the program is complying with Brookings HR policies.
  • Assist with all recruiting, talent acquisition, performance management, staff retention and termination activities, and wage and salary issues.
  • Lead staff engagement, appreciation and cohesion initiatives, developing formal and informal methods for staff to communicate ideas, concerns, and feedback with each other and with the leadership team.
  • Promote and provide effective communication of department and institution-wide goals to staff at all levels.
  • Lead staff development initiatives for ES, including developing and implementing strategies for hiring, training, mentoring, and retaining staff, to build the department’s reputation as a top-notch place for diverse, early-career talent in research and research operations and administration.
  • Assist the Vice President and Director with the annual review process for staff and scholars.


Ready to make an impact? In this role, you will support Brookings values of collegiality, respect, inclusion, diversity and community, and bring the following qualifications:


Education/Experience Requirements:


  • Bachelor’s degree required; graduate degree strongly preferred.
  • Public policy, economics or business background and experience preferred.
  • Minimum ten years’ experience with increasing managerial and leadership experience.
  • Proven success directing and overseeing day-to-day operations, including work in public policy or research environment managing multiple, complex programs and projects.
  • Experience managing communications, finance, and/or development functions a plus.
  • Experience developing solid working relationships with a senior leadership team and high-level stakeholders across an organization.
  • A track record as an effective communicator who is articulate and persuasive in written and verbal communications.
  • Demonstrated ability to multi-task, be organized and flexible, meet deadlines and prioritize job responsibilities.


Knowledge/Skills Requirements:


  • A superior communicator who shares information readily and concisely; listens as well as gives advice
    and respects the abilities of others; earns respect and trust of people at all levels.
  • Articulate, polished and sophisticated individual who presents well and can interact comfortably with high-level individuals and groups.
  • Enthusiasm for coaching and mentoring staff at all stages of their career and a commitment to developing a workplace culture of engagement and inclusion across teams.
  • Strong analytical, organizational and planning skills and the ability to synthesize abstract concepts into clear and accessible language.
  • Decisive, tough, fair, and resourceful with the ability to anticipate and act on events and opportunities in an appropriate manner.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and deadlines and maintain disciplined adherence to program goals.
  • Must be a team player who welcomes collaborative decision making and has an appreciation for the work of Brookings scholars and the vital national policy questions their work addresses.
  • Energetic and willing to work hands-on in developing and executing program strategies and operations, with activities ranging from the routine to the highly creative and visible.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Possesses professional maturity.


Additional Information:


What can we offer you? Brookings provides a generous benefit package that is comprehensive and includes both traditional benefits and unique offerings.


Successful completion of a background investigation is required for employment at Brookings.


Brookings is an equal-opportunity employer that is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace. We welcome applications from all qualified individuals regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, physical or mental disability, marital status, veteran status, or other factors protected by law.







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