Director, Research – Center for Justice and Economic Advancement (Apply by: Friday June 14, 2024)

Director, Research – Center for Justice and Economic Advancement (Apply by: Friday June 14, 2024)

  • Full Time
  • Remote

Website Jobs for the Future

About JFF 

Jobs for the Future (JFF) drives transformation of the U.S. education and workforce systems to achieve equitable economic advancement for all. Seeing that millions of people are unfairly shut out of quality jobs and the chance for a better life, our goal is to align education, workforce, and employment changemakers toward a shared North Star: By 2033, 75 million people facing systemic barriers to advancement will work in quality jobs.  

To achieve that goal, we design solutions, scale best practices, influence policy and action, and invest in innovation. With a staff of more than 300 people across the country working remotely and in offices in Boston (headquarters), Washington, DC, and Oakland, California, we operate at the national, state, and local levels, forging deep partnerships with employers, investors, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and education and workforce development providers to break down barriers and reimagine what’s possible.   

We’re on a path of ongoing growth and expanding impact. We have an operating budget of $105 million, and we’re funded by dozens of leading government agencies, foundations, and corporations. Learn more about JFF and join us as we build a future that works—for everyone.  



Diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and well-being (DEIBW) are core to JFF’s North Star and mission. We employ and build diverse teams across race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity and expression, age, and lived experiences and are constantly working toward ensuring these differences are celebrated and included. We aim to cultivate a culture that centers the overall care, well-being, and success of the employee through flexible work hours, balanced workloads, professional development, and equitable career advancement opportunities. Learn more about what DEIBW looks like in practice at JFF. 

We seek to invest in and learn from those who represent the communities we serve, particularly individuals from populations who have been explicitly or implicitly excluded from the workforce. Knowing its importance to the success of our work and the engagement of our staff members, we aspire to attract and retain a diverse team and welcome people of all backgrounds to apply to our open roles. JFF is a fair chance employer and in alignment to our North Star, we strongly encourage individuals whose highest level of education attained is less than a 4-year degree; People of Color; and people with records to apply. 


About the Position 

Reporting to the Senior Director, Research, Evaluation and Analytics (REA) the Director will be the designated research lead and liaison to JFF’s Center for Justice & Economic Advancement (CJEA). In this newly created role, you will use your content knowledge related to justice, reentry and corrections domains to develop and direct the execution of CJEA’s research agenda.  

As a Director, Research you will lead the development of a research agenda for the CJEA team, helping to understand and measure progress towards impact areas, surface critical research issues, and develop a strategy to curate important field research. This impactful work will enable CJEA to serve as a platform to advance understanding of the experiences impacting people with records’ economic mobility. 

As a contributor to both the REA and CJEA teams, you will be instrumental in leading collaboration internally, and with external partners, especially researchers and stakeholders who are directly impacted by the criminal system, to identify significant topics, programs and policies that contribute to the shared understanding of effective supports for the economic mobility for people with records. 

This role is ideal for an analytical and strategic researcher, who is skilled in both qualitative and quantitative methods, and is eager to impact programs and projects in support of economic mobility for people with records. 


About the Team 

JFF’s Research, Evaluation & Analytics (REA) team works to create a future where evidence-driven programs and policies empower individuals, transform education and workforce systems, and ensure that everyone has access to quality jobs and meaningful career pathways. Through our Evaluation Services, Research to Advance the Field, and Labor Market Information Analytics, the REA team provides insights that shed light on the development, implementation, and impact of programs and policies that support inclusive and equitable economic advancement for all. REA collaborates with staff and project teams across JFF to provide data-based insights that inform and enhance our work, as well as the broader ecosystems in which we work.  

Additionally, the Center for Justice & Economic Advancement (CJEA) promotes economic mobility for people with records of arrest, conviction and incarceration through a multipronged impact agenda. The impact drivers include expanding talent development opportunities, equipping employers to implement fair chance hiring practices, establishing state and federal policies that normalize opportunity, and creating and curating research to inform practice, systems and policy changes. 


What you’ll do   

Lead impactful research and evaluation efforts  

Lead research and evaluation on topics that advance CJEA’s impact agenda, serving as a subject matter expert both internally and externally 
Lead teams of researchers and the program team to analyze and develop research products, ensuring quality control and on-time completion of deliverables (including managing budgets, workplans, program staff and partners) 
Conduct research on topics impacting economic mobility for people with records, including education and training models; fair chance hiring and employment; labor market experiences and outcomes; and experiences of specific populations, like young adults and women  
Determine and implement appropriate quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches, and data collection and cleaning processes, integrating a lens of racial equity and an asset-based framework to understand, elevate, and communicate issues critical to CJEA’s impact agenda and people impacted by the criminal justice system  
Evaluate the outcomes of CJEA lines of business and collaborate with partners to evaluate external programs through contracts and grants 
Lead and author the translation of research and evaluation findings across multiple formats (i.e., reports, briefs, digital material, and presentations) and products, (i.e., reports, blogs, infographics and journal articles) to communicate results of research and evaluation projects 
Lead the development of new research and evaluation proposals in collaboration with JFF and external partners to support funding for CJEA 
Foster a culture of collaboration, inclusion and results through learning 

Develop external relationships with research professionals/organizations and sites for partnering on research and evaluation to advance CJEA agenda and field-building work 
Contribute to learning and growth of the REA team through discussions with internal staff and external funders to identify, shape, and pursue new work related to people with records and how the experiences and issues impacting this population inform issues across JFF’s portfolio 
Empower and mentor research project teams and ensuring they have the tools and resources needed to execute work, meet expected deliverable deadlines and produce high-quality project outcomes  
Proactively build relationships and trust with internal and external stakeholders, encouraging them to share their collective expertise and knowledge  
Center diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging at all stages of designing and executing projects   

Contribute to CJEA, REA and JFF’s programmatic strategy  

Shape and implement new and existing bodies of work that support JFF’s strategic goals/mission and respond to and influence developments in the field 
Participate in strategic planning for the REA team; contributing to prioritization of what we research, when to research it, and how that research is conducted; provide decision support to senior management for planning and program development  
Engage with other units to support strategic and project objectives and/or develop research-based lines of inquiry in education and workforce development 
Synthesize and communicate insights from research and evaluation offering creative solutions and innovations to inform program strategy and execution 
Design work rooted in closing equity gaps and driving systemic change in partnership with JFF Practices, Centers, or JFF Labs 

Who you are   

You bring lived experience with the justice system and/or professional experience leading research and evaluation efforts related to economic mobility for people with records, through both qualitative and quantitative methods (New hires at the Director II level at JFF typically bring 12 years of prior professional experience through a combination of full-time, part-time, internship, and/or freelance positions)  
You are a strategic and analytical researcher, skilled at developing, piloting, recruiting for, and fielding surveys and interview protocols for research and evaluation 
You have demonstrated success collecting, cleaning, managing, and analyzing quantitative data and are familiar with statistical software (i.e., Stata, R, SPSS); you have experience with data visualization tools a plus (i.e.,Tableau) 
You are adept at analyzing qualitative data, coding and analyzing themes for findings and the development of promising practices for the field 
You have led research projects in a manner that efficiently uses resources and probes the most relevant content by executing workplans, timelines and budgets to ensure success of research projects 
You are committed to empowering, developing and coaching others through feedback, to ensure effective and consistent delivery of programs and services, while expanding the capacity and expertise of the team 
You are a skilled communicator and demonstrate the ability to present to a range of audiences including practitioners, policymakers and researchers through products, presentations, (including at national conferences and workshops) to disseminate research lessons and findings 
You have demonstrated experience working with diverse stakeholders, especially those who are directly impacted by the criminal system to develop research and resources (i.e., action research, first person blogs) 
You possess high energy and passion for JFF’s mission and North Star, and the ability to apply JFF’s core values to all areas of your work    
You are energized by stewarding JFF’s DEIBW values and practices within your day-to-day work, including embracing the differences and celebrating the diversity that each individual brings to JFF  
You value building positive and collaborative relationships with others, including people whose identities and backgrounds differ from your own 

What We Offer  

 At JFF, we’re fueled by the desire to create a world where everyone has equal opportunity for economic advancement. Our team works hard to push the boundaries of what is possible, and in return, we provide a gratifying work experience, competitive salaries, and a comprehensive benefits program that includes flexibility and choice as core values in order to support people wherever they are in their lives and careers.  

JFF has offices in Boston, Oakland, and Washington, DC; employees are welcome to use JFF office space to work in-person or hybrid, or completely remote. To improve the employee experience and promote productivity while working remotely, JFF offers an annual home office stipend to all regular full-time and part-time employees. In addition, new employees receive office equipment as needed.   

The hiring range for this role is $120,000 – $150,000 annually, in alignment to JFF’s Director II salary band and our compensation philosophy. Starting salaries for new hires will be determined based on a combination of the new hire’s relevant experience and market demands. 


To Apply  

As part of your application, please include your resume and a thoughtful cover letter, addressed to Lisa Soricone, Senior Director, Research, Evaluation and Analytics, outlining how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of the position. 

We are accepting applications through June 14, 2024. Applications submitted by that date will be reviewed, and candidates will receive updates on their candidacy by the week of June 21, 2024.  

At JFF, we’re also committed to accessibility and want to ensure that everyone, including people with disabilities, can fully access and engage with our application and hiring process. If you are unable to complete this application due to a disability and/or have specific access/accommodation needs in order to fully participate in our hiring process, please contact us at 


Positions at JFF are not eligible for employer-visa sponsorship or open to F-1 student visa holders. 

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