Director of Policy and Research

Center for Community Progress
Washington, DC
United States
Professional Areas: 
Community Development
Public Policy
Public/Nonprofit Administration
Experience Level: 
AICP Certification: 
Not required

JOB TITLE: Director of Policy and Research               

REPORTS TO: President and CEO                               

BASED IN: Washington, D.C.    


The mission of the Center for Community Progress is to foster strong, equitable communities where vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties are transformed into assets for neighbors and neighborhoods. Founded in 2010, Community Progress is the leading national, nonprofit resource for urban, suburban, and rural communities seeking to address the full cycle of property revitalization. The organization fulfills its mission by nurturing strong leadership and supporting systemic reforms. Community Progress works to ensure that public, private, and community leaders have the knowledge and capacity to create and sustain change. It also works to ensure that all communities have the policies, tools, and resources they need to support the effective, equitable reuse of vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties. More information is available at


The Center for Community Progress seeks an innovative and knowledgeable Director of Policy and Research to develop, launch, and manage an active policy education, research, and issue advocacy program focused on state and federal policy related to neighborhood stabilization and revitalization through the prevention and reuse of vacant, abandoned, and problem properties. The Director of Policy and Research will work closely with staff responsible for local and state technical assistance engagements, leadership and education programming, and communications.


  • Monitor and analyze federal and state policy and legislative developments related to community development and revitalization, with a particular focus on the prevention and reclamation of vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties;
  • Work with program staff to develop an organizational policy agenda and organizational positions on key policy issues related to property vacancy, abandonment, and deterioration; develop supporting materials, including issue briefs, factsheets, talking points, blogs, op-eds, and other resources;
  • Work closely with program staff and other partners to track and analyze vacancy-related trends, assess the need for policy or legislative solutions at the federal or state level, and work with partners to identify or develop proposed solutions;
  • Build key strategic partnerships and relationships, including with Congressional and Executive offices, and national nonprofit partners, to support policy, outreach, education, and reform efforts at the federal level;
  • Identify opportunities for policy reforms in target states and work with state and local partners to build, inform, and/or sustain state-level coalitions around these reforms;
  • In collaboration with communications staff, organize and execute awareness-raising campaigns around key policies related to vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties;
  • In collaboration with other program staff, support a consortium of state policy advocates;
  • Ensure Community Progress’ advocacy and policy efforts are informed by research and best practices; and
  • Lead organizational efforts to ensure that all advocacy and policy work is grounded in sound research and data.


  • Demonstrated commitment to public and community service with an enthusiasm for Community Progress’ mission;
  • Knowledge of and prior work experience related to the challenges facing America’s cities as they relate to blight prevention, vacant properties, land reuse and revitalization;
  • Familiarity with and understanding of federal and state legislative processes;
  • Strategic thinker with ability to identify, prioritize and leverage opportunities for engagement;
  • Excellent analytical and communication skills; ability to make complex information accessible to a wide variety of audiences;
  • Excellent writing skills;
  • Ability to multitask and manage stress well in a fast-paced environment with frequently shifting priorities;
  • Strong relationship-building skills and track record;
  • Sharp attention to details as well as an appreciation for the big picture;
  • Awareness of the federal, state, and local policies that have historically contributed to a concentration of property vacancy, abandonment, and deterioration in underserved communities; and
  • Commitment to nonpartisanship and a demonstrated ability to collaborate with individuals, groups and policymakers with opposing points of view and diverse political perspectives.


  • Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of five (5) years of experience in policy development, education or advocacy, campaign development, and/or coalition building with at least two (2) years working on policies related to neighborhood stabilization or prevention and reuse of vacant properties.


  • Master’s degree in public policy or related field and a minimum of three (3) years working on policies related to neighborhood stabilization or prevention and reuse of vacant properties.


Submit a cover letter (including salary expectations), resumé, brief writing sample, and at least three references via e-mail to Leah Landes at Applications must be received by August 15, 2018.


The Center for Community Progress is an equal opportunity employer.

Published on:
July 9, 2018 - 9:30am
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email View All Jobs