The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) conducts and communicates research to inspire public dialogue, shape policy, and improve the lives and opportunities of women of diverse backgrounds, circumstances, and experiences. We are the leading think tank in the United States applying quantitative and qualitative analysis of public policy through a gendered lens.

IWPR advances women’s status through social science research, policy analysis, and public education. We develop new policy ideas, encourage enlightened public debate, and promote sound policy and program development. Our work also helps to change minds and improve the practices of institutions. IWPR operates on the principle that knowledge is power and that social science evidence based on strong data and analysis, compellingly presented and systematically disseminated, makes a difference in moving public policy.


Reporting to the Vice President of Research, the Program Director for Postsecondary Education will lead IWPR’s research and fundraising on issues of higher education and educational equity. They will develop and implement a strategic vision for this area of IWPR’s research, design and direct studies on relevant issues, oversee staff who work in this program area, and collaborate with the senior leadership team and external stakeholders to advance the mission, vision, and values of IWPR.

The ideal candidate is a collaborative leader who is capable of visionary thinking. They have excellent writing and editing skills and deep expertise in translating high-level research for broad audiences through blogging, op-eds, briefing papers, reports, and other similar mediums. They have strong public presentation skills and are comfortable speaking to the media. They are a proven fundraiser with expertise and extensive networks in the field of postsecondary education. They have experience using and integrating racial equity and intersectional frameworks and analysis in research study designs, written reports, and other publications.

Program Design and Management:

  • Develop a vision for the goals and work of the program area, and communicate this vision both internally and externally
  • Contribute to the development of IWPR’s broader research and policy agenda
  • Design and lead IWPR’s research on higher education, including developing and completing research projects with the postsecondary education project team
  • Write and edit reports, briefing papers, and fact sheets for publication
  • Coordinate with communications department on report design and research releases
  • Supervise and mentor staff, fellows, and interns
  • Recruit and hire program staff
  • Work with the Director of Development, the Vice President of Research, and senior leadership to develop and manage the budget for the program work proposed


  • Represent IWPR to outside groups, funders, media outlets, and other stakeholders
  • Present on IWPR’s research at conferences, events, and other meetings
  • Strengthen external partnerships in the field of postsecondary education


  • Work with Vice President of Research and senior leadership to design a fundraising strategy and work plan for the program area
  • Conduct outreach to prospective funders and coordinate and leader funder meetings
  • Write and edit grant proposals, LOIs, and concept papers

Minimum Requirements/Qualifications:

  • PhD or equivalent expertise in a social science discipline or higher education policy preferred
  • More than 10 years of experience in research and policy field
  • Knowledge of postsecondary education data sets, including IPEDS, NPSAS, and BPS
  • Experience with multivariate statistical methods, survey research, and or/ qualitative research design and analysis
  • Familiarity with higher education, early education, workforce, and/or public benefits policy
  • Experience with advocacy, state-level policy, and/or action research a plus
  • Ability to manage multiple projects on deadline and within resource parameters
  • Comfort with media relations and public speaking
  • Deep awareness of intersectional analysis and experience in engaging diverse participants in the research process
  • Excellent inclusive management skills and sensibilities
  • Experience with writing accessibly for a general audience
  • Proven track record of successful fundraising

This is an on-site, full-time exempt position. The salary range is $110-$130,000/year. IWPR also offers a competitive benefits package.

To apply, submit a compelling cover letter, resume, and writing sample to resume@hri-online.com. Please indicate the position you are applying for in the subject line of the e-mail.

Applications will be accepted until position is filled. Individuals from underrepresented groups encouraged to apply. IWPR is an equal opportunity employer. We consider applicants without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected status.