Deputy Chief of Research and Impact

The National Employment Law Project (NELP) seeks a Deputy Chief of Research and Impact with strong leadership, research, and advocacy skills who will support a cohesive vision of research across NELP that informs our commitment to building Black, immigrant worker power and advancing transformative solutions to achieve racial and economic justice.

The Deputy Chief will be an integral member of the Program and Strategy Management Team, incubating cross-cutting and emerging areas of research, developing, and implementing persuasive analyses of public policies, data, labor market conditions, and employment laws through a racial equity framework across the organization. This is an extraordinary opportunity to leverage your talent and join a team that ensures progressive and impactful worker-driven policies are at the forefront of current and future worker rights in the U.S. labor market.


Who We Are

Founded in 1969, the nonprofit National Employment Law Project (NELP) is a leading advocacy organization with the mission to build a just and inclusive economy where all workers have expansive rights and thrive in good jobs. Together with local, state, and national partners, NELP advances its mission through transformative legal and policy solutions, research, capacity building, and communications. Our victories over the last decade have impacted the lives of an estimated 100 million workers and their families. We lead and collaborate in fights for higher pay and just benefits, secure and safe jobs, and support at each stage in a worker’s life. For more information, read our annual reports and explore our website:

NELP has a team of 55 staff people based across offices in New York City, Washington D.C., and Berkeley, CA, with an 11-person Board of Directors, an annual budget of $17M-$20M, and hundreds of partners in the field with whom we work to further our mission.


What You Will Do
You may be based in any of NELP’s three office locations in our hybrid work model and will report to the Chief of Strategy. The Deputy Chief of Research and Impact will work closely with the Chief of Programs, Chief of Strategy, other executive leaders, and the directors of program and strategy teams, and researchers to deepen alignment with our theory of change and ensure effective implementation of high-impact research strategies, internally and externally

You will work in conjunction with NELP’s staff of lawyers, policy experts, researchers, and strategic communications experts. As Deputy Chief of Research and Impact, your role will involve coordinating work between NELP’s executive leadership and our five researchers housed in our program and strategy teams developing strategic cross-team research projects, identifying new NELP-wide research projects, and supervising a small team of two researchers. The Deputy will work closely with the Chiefs of Programs and Strategy to evolve and shape this newly created position over the first year. Your work includes:


Organizational Vision and Strategy

  • Engaging with organizational leadership and staff to develop NELP’s vision and implementation plan for research, which will both shape and be responsive to organizational strategies within a racial equity framework.
  • Continuing to clarify NELP’s organizational research strengths and articulate our impact in the world in close consultation with the executive team and staff.
  • Exploring and implementing strategies for NELP to boost the reach and impact of its research, such as collaborations with academic and other researchers, the creation of research project advisory bodies, the development of a “research fellows” program that would serve as a research pipeline for the larger movement, or other approaches.
  • Engaging with partners and allies to identify opportunities for collaboration with an eye toward NELP’s role in the racial and economic justice ecosystem.
  • Staying abreast of emerging trends and newly published research relevant to NELP’s work and helping NELP to integrate learnings into our work and vision.
  • Representing NELP in coalitions, public forums, legislative and agency hearings, and in the media.

Team Leadership and Thought Partnership

  • Leading and supervising a small team of two researchers who will be conducting primary and secondary research that supports our mission and vision, including measuring and evaluating the impact of NELP’s advocacy campaigns and initiatives.
  • Engaging with five researchers on the program and strategy teams as they advance campaign and issue area goals by refining research protocols and being a resource, peer reviewer, and thought partner (e.g., providing feedback on research design, helping to identify data sources, ensuring all our research is aligned with NELP’s vision and advances our goals).

Managing and Conducting Research

  • Elevating our impact and reach by managing and authoring original research products combining empirical work and policy analysis that center racial equity; plus, supervising and drafting reports, op-eds, blogs, and educational materials to advance our policy agenda.
  • Managing and engaging in designing, implementing, analyzing, and synthesizing the results of surveys, focus groups, interviews, or participatory research to ensure our policy agenda is responsive to the needs and experiences of workers of color and amplifies the lived expertise of Black, immigrant workers.
  • Managing and conducting literature reviews and data analysis to support amicus briefs and strategic litigation.


Who You Are

We understand that the right candidate may not have all these qualities below; however, we are seeking a commitment and excitement to build your skills or experiences in these areas:

  • You have 10+ years of progressively responsible research experience in an area of social justice that aligns with our values and mission, e.g. working with unions, worker centers, and/or other membership-based grassroots organizations; or in the area of labor and employment rights, civil rights and racial justice. Orientation toward building worker power and fighting for racial and economic justice with your research is a plus.
  • You have at least 3+ years of managerial, supervisory, or team leadership experience where you fostered a collaborative and inclusive work environment that encourages innovation and continuous improvement.
  • You have a PhD or Master’s degree in policy, public administration, labor studies, sociology, economics, or another relevant social sciences field, or equivalent experience.
  • You have training and experience using SPSS, Stata, R, or other statistical packages; you are detail-oriented and skilled at designing quantitative and qualitative research projects and implementing high-quality, thorough research and data analysis; experience using government survey and administrative data is a plus. Training and experience in survey research methods, spatial analysis, data visualization, and/or corporate research methods is a plus.
  • You have strong racial equity competencies, including an understanding of how race and power shape systems in our society and culture. You are committed to continuously learning, reflecting, and growing these competencies, especially as they inform your research practices.
  • You understand how to use research to advance and support policy advocacy campaigns. Experience with strategic communications and narrative work, a plus.
  • You are a relationship-builder and have a proven track record of cultivating relationships to advance research priorities, including with academics, labor, national policy groups, worker centers, or other allies.
  • You are a high-level strategic thinker who has a track record of increasing organizational success, building effective collaborative initiatives, operationalizing a vision across an organization, and using evaluation tools and metrics to support accountability.
  • You have strong project management skills and can prioritize effectively. You are a strategic and clear-headed thinker and doer, have experience managing multiple projects, overseeing, and tracking details, and a record of achieving timely results.
  • You are a self-aware leader who cultivates empathy through open and honest dialogue, builds relationships that foster trust and transparency across lines of difference, and offers direct, honest feedback with compassion and clarity of purpose.
  • You are an effective, persuasive communicator with strong presentation, speaking, written, and nonverbal skills and a demonstrated ability to convey complex concepts, technical information, and data in a clear and compelling way.
  • You are adept at engaging with the media, presenting, and/or testifying.
  • You operate with a commitment to excellence, integrity, diplomacy, humility, and camaraderie.


Start Date, Location, Compensation and Benefits: This position is based out of one of our three offices (Berkeley, New York City, or Washington D.C.). Staff may be located a commutable distance from one of the three offices. NELP has a hybrid model that requires staff to work in-person at least six days per month, with the option of in-person or remote work the remainder of the time. This hybrid model seeks to leverage both the benefits of working with colleagues in-person and the benefits of flexible remote arrangements. This position will require some travel, including for NELP internal meetings or conferences. The start date will be as soon as possible.

The salary for the Deputy Chief of Research and Impact is $140,000-$150,000 depending upon years of experience.

Compensation also includes an excellent comprehensive benefits package, including full coverage of family health insurance, a medical reimbursement plan, generous vacation and sick leave, plus additional organization-wide holidays, significant contribution from employer to a retirement plan (both an unelected contribution and employer match); and for qualifying participants, up to 26 weeks of paid parental leave, 12 weeks of paid medical leave, 6 weeks of paid family medical caregiving leave, a sabbatical leave program, childcare/eldercare reimbursement assistance, and student loan repayment assistance. Staff at NELP are members of Local 2320, UAW, excluding management and certain other categories. This position is in management.


To Apply

Candidates must be eligible and authorized to work in the United States. This position is open until filled, and applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

APPLY AT THIS LINK by uploading these items:

  • A resume
  • A cover letter that thoughtfully addresses your alignment with the position
  • A work sample (of any kind or length) that demonstrates your research and writing capacities
  • Additional work samples are welcomed, but not required.

Nonprofit talent agency People Power is the search partner for this hire. We appreciate your time and interest in contributing your talents to NELP’s mission. Thank you! You will receive an email auto-reply to your application. We wish we could respond personally to all applicants, but only those chosen to interview will be contacted. Please do not contact NELP directly to inquire about the status of your application.

We welcome your interest and feedback. If you would like to make a *confidential* inquiry and/or have questions regarding your qualifications for this position, compensation or benefits, our process or internal timeline for hiring, or suggestions for how to improve this announcement or the opportunity itself, please email Kate Brumage at People Power:

NELP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and an equal opportunity, fair chance, affirmative action employer, committed to building a diverse and inclusive workforce.  All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status. 

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