Managing Director, Economic Studies

Brookings Institution
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Jan 29

Position description

Ready to contribute to Brookings success?

The Managing Director reports to the Vice President and Director of Economic Studies (ES), a $20M, 85-person policy research program at the Brookings Institution, where they serve as a key advisor on strategic issues and crisis management and oversee day-to-day operations. The Managing Director is responsible for translating the VP and Director’s strategic goals into operational plans and ensuring that the efforts of the program’s various operational teams align with those strategic objectives. They also directly manage the program’s administrative and personnel functions, serve as a liaison with staff and scholars throughout Brookings, and represents ES on the Institution’s management team.

Program Leadership & Strategy (35%)

  • Provide advice and guidance to the Vice President and Director on matters related to the program’s overall direction, strategies, and objectives, and assist in crisis prevention and management through effective communication.
  • Serve as a public representative of the Vice President and Director - as well as the program - t internal and external venues as appropriate.
  • Represent the program in a constructive and collegial manner in internal discussions, meetings and committees, and serve as a stand-in for the Vice President and Director, where needed, across the institution.
  • Assist the Vice President and Director in establishing and upholding the program’s culture and values across centers, projects, and teams.

Program Research Operations and Management (35%)

  • Develop and execute operational plans - consistent with the program’s budgetary goals - working with scholars and staff across projects, centers, and departments, that further the Vice President and Director’s objectives for the program.
  • Provide direct day-to-day management of projects and centers when required, as directed by the Vice President and Director. Duties may include but are not limited to conceptualizing and managing efforts for research, policy, events, outreach, communications, staffing, budget, grant management, scheduling, and other activities as assigned.
  • Provide management support to scholars and centers by advising on opportunities for sharing support staff resources efficiently and effectively, assisting with performance evaluations and other administrative managerial tasks, and directly supervising research support staff where appropriate, including staff with cross-center and cross-project responsibilities, such as ES Events Manager, Program Coordinators, and Program Assistants.
  • Lead the program’s strategic operations planning for launching new research projects, centers, and initiatives, as well as the operations planning for phasing out completed projects, centers and initiatives.

Program Personnel Management (30%)

  • Oversee all administrative and personnel management activities for the program.
  • Supervise the Senior Staffing Manager, ensuring the program is complying with Brookings HR policies.
  • Assist with all recruiting, talent acquisition, performance management, staff retention and termination activities, and wage and salary issues.
  • Lead staff engagement initiatives, developing formal and informal methods for staff to communicate ideas, concerns, and feedback with each other and with the leadership team. Directs staff appreciation and cohesion efforts. Promote and provide effective communication of department and institution-wide goals to staff at all levels.
  • Lead staff development initiatives for ES, including developing and implementing strategies for hiring, training, mentoring, and retaining staff, to build the department’s reputation as a top-notch place for diverse, early-career talent in research and research operations and administration.
  • Assist the Vice President and Director with the annual review process for staff and scholars.


Ready to make an impact? In this role, you will support Brookings values of collegiality, respect, inclusion, diversity and community, and bring the following qualifications:

Education/Experience Requirements:

Bachelor’s degree required; graduate degree strongly preferred. Public policy interest and experience preferred; background in economics or business preferred. Minimum ten years’ experience with increasing managerial and leadership experience. Experience directing and overseeing day-to-day operations, including work in public policy or research environment managing multiple, complex programs and projects. Experience managing communications, finance, and/or development functions a plus. Experience developing solid working relationships with a senior leadership team, high level stakeholders. A track record as an effective communicator who is articulate and persuasive in written and verbal communications. Demonstrated ability to multi-task, be organized and flexible, meet deadlines and prioritize job responsibilities.

Knowledge/Skills Requirements:

A superior communicator who shares information readily and concisely; listens as well as gives advice and respects the abilities of others; earns respect and trust of people at all levels. Articulate, polished and sophisticated individual who presents well and can interact comfortably with high-level individuals and groups. Strong analytical, organizational and planning skills and the ability to synthesize abstract concepts into clear and accessible language. Decisive, tough, fair, and resourceful with the ability to anticipate and act on events and opportunities in an appropriate manner. A collegial style and an appreciation for the work of Brookings scholars and the vital national policy questions their work addresses. Ability to manage multiple projects and deadlines and maintain disciplined adherence to program goals. Must be a team player who welcomes collaborative decision making. Energetic and willing to work hands-on in developing and executing program strategies and operations, with activities ranging from the routine to the highly creative and visible. Possesses professional maturity.

Application instructions

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