The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Washington, DC that creates ideas that improve the socioeconomic status and civic engagement of Black communities. Founded in 1970 to support newly-elected Black officials who were moving from civil rights activism into governance, the Joint Center quickly evolved into America’s Black think tank. Currently, the Joint Center is focused on diversifying congressional staff, the future of work in Black communities, and developing a policy incubator that explores emerging challenges that confront Black communities and solutions.


Initially, the Senior Fellow for Diversity & Inclusion will lead the Joint Center’s research and public education focused on diversifying congressional staff. The Senior Fellow will research, write, and publish reports like the Joint Center’s previous reports on diversity among top staff in the U.S. Senate, U.S. House, and state congressional delegations, and commission and manage projects with external researchers. The Senior Fellow will also write blog posts and commentaries, and represent the Joint Center in professional venues, including conferences, briefings, meetings, and in the media. Working with a Joint Center communications specialist, external communications consultants, and the Joint Center’s president, the Senior Fellow will lead public education campaigns on the research. Eventually the Senior Fellow will, based on a landscape analysis and demand, grow the Joint Center’s diversity & inclusion research agenda into other areas of great societal influence with little diversity (e.g., government relations, major corporate boards, large non-profit boards and leadership, private asset management, big tech). The Senior Fellow must be open to working in a startup-like environment and providing major input into the strategic direction of the organization. The Senior Fellow will report to the Joint Center’s President. We prefer someone with a Ph.D., J.D., or Master’s degree with an extensive publication record and who has had 5-15 years of work experience at a think tank, a non-profit research organization, or in investigative journalism.


  • Develop and conduct original research, reviews of existing research, and policy analysis on various issues related to congressional staff diversity.
  • Draft and edit communications related to the Joint Center’s congressional staff diversity work, including, blog posts, op-eds, online articles, and newsletter entries.
  • Represent the Joint Center in the media and at conferences, public events, legislative hearings, community events, and meetings for both expert and lay audiences.
  • Work with Joint Center staff to develop and communicate bold and innovative policies in the congressional staff diversity space.
  • Manage an internal communications specialist and an external communications firm in driving a public education campaign.
  • Commission research projects and manage external researchers.
  • Engage in outreach to identify, deepen relationships with, and work in coalition with community stakeholders, key policymakers, and national partner organizations.
  • Engage in development activities (research, donor engagement and relationship maintenance, solicitation, and grant applications and reports) to ensure the sustainability and growth of the Joint Center.
  • Demonstrate the versatility and vision to support the Joint Center’s growth into new areas.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • Graduate Degree Required.
  • Demonstrated Research Experience: The successful applicant will have at least 5 years of work experience as a researcher, preferably at a think tank, other research organization, or as an investigative journalist. A deep understanding of research methods and the ability to scrutinize data to come to evidence-based conclusions is important for the success of the program.
  • Leadership: The ideal candidate will be visionary and forward-thinking, and will run a program that produces large quantities of high-quality and accessible reports, briefs, and commentaries that have a major impact on the public.
  • An exceptional writer and editor: The successful candidate will be an excellent communicator and will have experience breaking down dense jargon (e.g., theoretical concepts, legislative language, or demographic data) for a lay audience, community activists, and elected officials. A candidate must demonstrate an ability to:
    • Vary and tailor writing styles for various audiences and outlets and modify writing styles to comport with the voice and style of the Joint Center;
    • Meet deadlines consistently.
    • Edit the work of others and help develop the research and writing skills of others.
  • An Exceptional Public Speaker: The successful candidate will have extensive experience with public speaking and interacting with the media.
  • An Experienced Manager: The candidate will demonstrate an ability to build and engage a community of experts on diversity issues, commission research projects and manage external researchers, and manage internal policy analysts, research assistants, and communications specialists as the program grows.
  • Commitment to Community and Collaboration: The successful candidate will have an interest in the advancement of Black communities, and an ability to collaborate closely with organizations that serve Black communities. She or he will also have an ability and willingness to collaborate closely on projects of mutual interest with organizations from other communities that advocate for people of color, as well as organizations that work on improving the functioning of Congress.
  • Ability to participate in teams, including a willingness to circulate widely, communicate openly, and listen to and learn from others.
  • Excellent judgment and follow through
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills. Tenacity, flexibility, resilience, and high energy.


Interested applicants should send a cover letter explaining interest in the position, a resume listing relevant qualifications, a listing of relevant published works with hyperlinks (e.g., reports, policy briefs, and shorter works like newspaper commentaries and blog posts), and a listing of relevant media or event appearances (with hyperlinks to any video or audio available) as one document to the Joint Center at in PDF format with “Senior Fellow, Diversity & Inclusion” in the subject line. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, and a hiring decision will be made as soon as the appropriate candidate is identified. No phone calls please.


This is a full-time position based in Washington, DC. The salary for this position is generous relative to comparable positions and comes with an excellent benefits package that includes health, vision, dental, and life insurance.

The Joint Center is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran status.