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Vice President, Metropolitan Housing & Communities

Urban Institute

Urban Institute

Washington, DC, USA
Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2024

About Urban Institute
At the Urban Institute, we believe in the power of evidence to improve lives and strengthen communities. We are a nonprofit research organization that provides data and evidence to help advance upward mobility and equity, create inclusive economic growth, and improve the well-being of families and communities. For more than 50 years we have been a trusted source for changemakers who seek to solutions to pressing problems.

Our Mission
To open minds, shape decisions, and offer solutions through economic and social policy research.

Our Values
Collaboration, Equity, Inclusivity, Independence, and Integrity
For more information on the Urban Institute, please visit https://www.urban.org.

The Opportunity
The Metropolitan Housing and Communities Center aims to bolster affordable housing, eradicate homelessness, facilitate land use and zoning reform for equitable development, improve transportation access, foster opportunity-rich neighborhoods and cities, create strong and efficient housing finance tools and housing markets, and fortify communities against the challenges of climate change.

The Urban Institute seeks a full-time Vice President to be charged with all daily operations and leadership of the center. The center’s staff numbers over 80 researchers, policy, technical assistance, and operations staff who cover a wide range of policy issues that affect housing and communities. The Vice President of the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Center will report to the Senior Vice President of Research & Programs and will work closely with Center Vice Presidents as well as leaders in Operations. This role will serve as part of Urban’s leadership team.

What You’ll Do:

Strategic Leadership & Vision

  • Develop and implement a clear vision, strategy, and theory of change for broadening and deepening our capacity to inform and influence public policy and practice and drive impact for people and communities.

  • Work with Leadership team to identify and prioritize strategic research and policy priorities with an eye for moving the needle on specific impact objectives.

  • Proactively identify opportunities that support the needs of changemakers in our policy ecosystem, advance policy program goals and solutions for the field.

  • Inspire and nurture an environment in which researchers and policy experts can think boldly and ambitiously—in collaboration with funders and stakeholders—to build and grow compelling research and policy programs.

  • Create effective relationships with other Urban teams to develop partnerships, seed innovations, support intersecting research, and promote program development, fundraising, and support Institute-wide initiatives.

Program Development, Fundraising & External Engagement

  • Steward practice areas and existing bodies of work, helping them grow and take advantage of opportunities for policy impact and fundraising success.

  • Cultivate new external partnerships and collaborate with the Center’s practice area leads and Urban leadership to manage relationships with multiple funders, expand funding opportunities, and ensure a robust and diverse funding pipeline.

  • Maintain strong collaborative relationships across the policy ecosystem in order to represent Urban among government, business, media, and academic leaders.

  • Empower and engage researchers and program staff in the recognition of emerging trends and needs and the development of innovative research programs that broaden the organization’s scope and attract new funders.

Center Management and Financial Oversight

  • Manage, guide, and supervise practice area leads, center staff, center operations, and organizational initiatives, including setting clear direction and performance expectations, building team skills, and assessing progress.

  • Develop and implement policies and practices that support staff growth, creating intentional pathways for professional development and advancement at all levels. Recruit and retain talent to lead research and policy programs.

  • Manage the Center’s budget and operations in adherence to organizational guidelines and protocols and for long-term financial stability.

  • Oversee quality assurance activities Center-wide to ensure research excellence, and deliver high-quality research and policy products on time and within budget.

  • Act as a risk-management resource to staff to troubleshoot project-specific issues and concerns and ensures that Center staff have the resources and support necessary to continue developing transformative work.

  • Champion the building of an increasingly diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment across all of Urban.

Who you are:

The successful candidate will:

  • Have a track record (15+ years) of entrepreneurial leadership and strategic thinking.

  • Possess a graduate degree in a relevant social science field.

  • An understanding of policy and the policy-making process and a point of view about how research can drive action, forward progress, and impact.

  • Be deeply familiar with quantitative and qualitative research methods and design and a commitment to research rigor and independence.

  • An ability to lead in a complex, multi-disciplinary environment that is undergoing change and growth while it works to develop research-informed solutions to come of society’s most pressing problems.

  • A management style that is open and consultative with a focus on team building and creating a culture of belonging and inclusion.

  • Have experience working with funders and a track record of fundraising/business development.

  • Compelling and thoughtful communication style that meets the needs of internal and external audiences and engenders trust and collaboration.

  • Personal alignment with Urban’s belief that creativity and intellectual growth thrives in an environment that welcomes differences in viewpoints, backgrounds, and experiences.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of the work being performed by the people assigned. This posting is not an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, and requirements. Urban management reserves the right to amend and change duties, responsibilities, and requirements to meet business and organizational needs as necessary.

What You’ll Experience:
No matter your role with Urban, you will contribute to meaningful work that makes a difference for people and communities across the country. We are committed to cultivating a community and working in a manner defined by collaboration, equity, inclusivity, independence, and integrity.

Position Location
This is a hybrid position, with the expectation of two days in our Washington, DC office and the option of three days of remote work per week. Local candidates will be given preference.

Urban’s greatest asset is our people.
The targeted salary range for this position is $250,000 - $280,000. Salary offered is commensurate with experience and considers internal equity. Salaries are just one component of Urban Institute’s total compensation package. Urban is committed to supporting our staff’s physical, emotional, and financial well-being through a robust benefits package for yourself, eligible dependents, and domestic partners. It includes generous paid time off, including nine federal holidays, medical (including prescription), dental and vision insurance, and transit benefits. Urban is unique in that we offer 403(b) retirement plan participation immediately after you’re hired and a generous employer contribution after six months of service and 500 hours, with immediate vesting. You’ll also have access to a health advocate, personal finance coaching, an Employee Assistance Program, and educational assistance for undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of the work being performed by the people assigned. This posting is not an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, and requirements. Urban management reserves the right to amend and change duties, responsibilities, and requirements to meet business and organizational needs as necessary.

Diversity and Inclusion
Candidates from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. The Urban Institute is an equal-opportunity employer and is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. All qualified candidates will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender or gender identity, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, veteran status, pregnancy or family responsibilities, matriculation, disability, political affiliation, or any other protected status under applicable law. The Urban Institute is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer Minorities/Women/Disabilities/Veterans.

We are committed to equal employment opportunity and providing reasonable accommodations to applicants with physical and/or mental disabilities. If you have a physical and/or mental disability and are interested in applying for employment and need special accommodations to use our website to apply for a position, please contact Human Resources at humanresources@urban.org. Reasonable accommodation requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.