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The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), a nonprofit Washington D.C. think tank created in 1987 to develop comprehensive, women-focused public policy research, seeks a new President.

IWPR’s mission is to advance the status of women of diverse backgrounds and experiences through social science research, policy analysis, and public education. IWPR draws on analytical tools and databases in economics, political science, sociology, and other social sciences to provide the best available research. IWPR primarily focuses on issues affecting the well-being of women and their families, including pay equity and employment discrimination, paid family and medical leave and sick days, retirement security, access to child care, and postsecondary education, among others. IWPR reports those findings in reports, fact sheets, conference presentations, interviews with the news media, and in testimony before congressional committees and in state and local legislatures across the nation.

IWPR believes that public policy should ensure that women have the same opportunities to achieve economic success, political representation, good health care, and support for their ambitions as men. IWPR contributes to achieving this vision through policy analysis with an intersectional and gendered lens, effective communication of research findings, and partnership with those who can leverage IWPR’s work to achieve policy change.

Policymakers, news media, and advocacy groups rely on IWPR to bring clarity to local, state, and national dialogues about the impact of policy issues on women. Named a top think tank in the United States, IWPR has a diverse and expert staff representing all the major social science disciplines, as well as statistical analysis and model design. IWPR’s research and expertise are cited in over a thousand news stories each year, including in international, national, and local media and in digital media outlets, and its staff appear regularly before local, state, and federal policymakers and at policy-oriented research conferences. IWPR has five key program areas:

  • Employment, Education, and Economic Change: IWPR analyzes women’s progress toward pay equity and how women are affected by employment and job discrimination, the impact of workforce development and job training policies on women, women’s access to higher education (especially for single mothers), STEM and innovation issues, and how women are affected by macroeconomic trends like unemployment.
  • Democracy and Society: IWPR analyzes women’s level of civic and political engagement of women, the effect of unionization on women, indicators of the status of women and girls in the United States and internationally, issues facing women who are members of racial and ethnic minorities or immigrants, and the status of women internationally.
  • Poverty, Welfare, and Income Security: IWPR focuses on how women are affected by changes in Social Insurance programs, by poverty and social safety net programs, and how policies affect women’s ability to build assets and protect themselves from temporary losses of income.
  • Work and Family: IWPR analyzes the availability, cost, and quality of early child care and education, access to paid family and medical leave and sick days, and fair and flexible work scheduling.
  • Health and Safety: IWPR researches how health outcomes differ by gender and race/ethnicity, the intersection of economics and reproductive health, and policies and practices to address from violence against women.

For more information on the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, please visit

The Opportunity:

IWPR seeks a President who can build on IWPR’s 31 years of work in advancing the status of women through accurate, widely-respected policy analysis focused on how policy initiatives affect women. IWPR’s new President must have a vision for IWPR’s future growth and success, a collaborative style, media savvy, thorough training and experience in how a wide range of policy initiatives affect women, and exceptional fundraising skills. IWPR’s new President must be thoroughly versed in economic approaches to policy issues and able to explain and communicate economic analysis to diverse audiences. This position presents an enormous opportunity for an experienced leader to have a significant impact on the status and well-being of women in the United States and around the world.

The next President of IWPR will have the opportunity and challenge to build upon and grow the founding President’s 31 years of work in creating, expanding, and solidifying the Institute. The successful candidate must be both visionary and pragmatic, have extensive experience in both research and management, and be capable of both inspiring staff to their best efforts and making tough decisions necessary to achieve the Institute’s goals. This executive should have a track record of building lasting relationships with funders, adeptly cultivating donors to help sustain the work of IWPR for the long-term.

Working with the Institute’s Board of Directors, Management Team, and staff, the next President will be a highly visible leader of the research community, the public policy community, and the feminist community. This leader will have the capacity to communicate with a wide range of audiences – researchers, public policy makers, congressional staff, government staff at both the federal and state/local level, journalists, and the general public – on technical research issues, practical policy issues, and broader issues concerning the kind of society in which we all want to live.

Specifically, the new President will:

  • Develop long-term strategies for achieving IWPR’s mission.
  • Develop short-term goals, plans, and policies to achieve the long-term strategies.
  • Build a sustainable organization that provides critical research and analysis to the policymaking community.
  • Secure the necessary funding for IWPR’s work from foundations, corporations, unions, organizations, government agencies, and individual donors.
  • Enhance IWPR as a productive and collaborative place to work that will both elicit the best work of IWPR’s talented staff and attract new staff. Use an entrepreneurial mindset to solve problems in innovative ways and respond quickly to changes in the marketplace and the public policy community.
  • Expand the reach, influence, and public recognition of IWPR as the primary source of credible research on policy issues relevant to women.
  • Cultivate relationships with Congress, the Executive Branch, state and local policymakers, the media, and other stakeholders while serving as the primary spokesperson for IWPR before the research and public policy communities and the general public.

Candidate Profile:

The ideal candidate for this position will be an inspiring, pragmatic, resourceful, and flexible leader who has a strong commitment to improving the status of women in America and the world; a deep understanding of public policy issues affecting women and of research techniques that can illuminate those issues; and the managerial acumen to build and sustain an organization that can achieve IWPR’s mission. Top candidates will be able to demonstrate bold, visionary, and strategic thinking in order to lead the organization into its next exciting chapter.

The ideal candidate will possess the following professional experience and expertise, as well as personal competencies and characteristics:

Leadership and External Relations

  • 10 to 15 years of senior management experience in either a for-profit, non-profit, or government organization.
  • Track record of serving or capacity to serve as a thought leader and media spokesperson to articulate how policy ideas can improve the status of women.
  • Exceptional communications skills, including clear and persuasive writing and speaking in both “long-form” and “short-form” communications media.
  • Extensive experience in developing and analyzing policy ideas and working with advocacy groups, thought leaders, and other stakeholders to ensure that this analysis informs public policies.
  • Proven experience in building coalitions with external stakeholders, including funders, advocacy groups, and policymakers.
  • Demonstrated experience and success securing financial resources from multiple funding sources, including foundations, individual donors, government organizations, and corporate partners.
  • Ability to anticipate research topics and areas which will allow IWPR to identify and cultivate new sources of funding, and to remain at the forefront of informing public policies affecting the status of women of diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Public Policy/Research Expertise

  • Deep knowledge of social science research, data sources, and analytical techniques.
  • Extensive experience with how issues specific to women impact the broader U.S. and world economies.
  • Respect for high ethical and intellectual standards in carrying out public policy research so as to ensure that IWPR’s research maintains its reputation for accuracy and credibility.
  • Political savvy and ability to maneuver through complex policy thickets effectively.

Organizational Management and Acumen

  • Ability to work well with others, including staff, senior management, Board members, funders, policymakers, other researchers, media, and others who play critical roles in ensuring IWPR’s success.
  • Commitment to recruiting, retaining, and sustaining a diverse staff with regard to race, ethnicity, sexual and gender orientation, and relevant disciplinary training.
  • Approachable and open-minded, with genuine interest in mentoring staff and building a collaborative and collegial organizational culture which brings out the best in all members of the team.
  • Proven experience in overseeing budgeting, financial management, human resource management, and other managerial skills necessary to build and sustain a successful organization.
  • A track record of innovation and entrepreneurial skill in devising creative solutions to challenging organizational and programmatic issues.

Other professional and personal qualities

  • Intellectual curiosity, high emotional intelligence, and well-honed listening skills.
  • A disinclination to take oneself too seriously; a healthy sense of humor.


An advanced degree in a related field (e.g., economics, sociology, public policy, business, etc.) is required; a PhD or dual advanced degrees is desirable. IWPR’s next President must have the professional and academic credibility to lead the team, which includes several senior staff members who are scholars in their respective fields.


$210,000 – $240,000 and will be commensurate with experience.


The Institute for Women’s Policy Research has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. This search is being led by Naree W.S. Viner and Turner Delano. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume here or email Turner at the following:

Turner Delano

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBT applicants.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that partners exclusively with mission-driven clients, institutions of higher education and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our clients and ensuring they have the strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit


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