Policy and Research Director


Position Description:

Based in Nashville, ThinkTennessee is a nonpartisan think tank that empowers state and local leaders to act on pragmatic ideas that promote opportunity for everyday Tennesseans and move our state forward.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on getting actionable information into the hands of policymakers, the media, nonprofit organizations and citizens, we create top-notch research and policy analysis and grow statewide partnerships to affect real and long-lasting change.

The Policy and Research Director will work alongside ThinkTennessee’s president, staff and board to develop our annual policy agenda and will design, oversee and coordinate the execution of related policy and research reports, along with other initiatives.


Key Job Responsibilities:

Lead ThinkTennessee’s Policy and Research Efforts

  • In collaboration with ThinkTennessee’s president, staff and board, proactively lead the development of our annual statewide policy agenda, including identifying new and innovative policy ideas that align with ThinkTennessee’s goals
  • Perform original research; design, oversee and coordinate the execution and dissemination of all research projects and policy-related initiatives
  • Track local, state and federal legislation, policy and research related to ThinkTennessee’s priority issues
  • Draft blog posts and other written pieces on new policy issues and organizational initiatives
  • Oversee ThinkTennessee’s law clerks and research analysts

Ensure ThinkTennessee’s Advocacy, Policy and Communications Efforts are Informed by Best Practices

  • Build and sustain a robust network of policy scholars who advise, inform and contribute to ThinkTennessee’s work
  • In collaboration with ThinkTennessee staff, develop and maintain strong partnerships with other local, state and national organizations supportive of ThinkTennessee’s policy goals



Education and Experience

  • PhD, MPP or MPA preferred
  • 3+ years work experience in a relevant field, e.g., public policy or journalism


  • Ability to initiate and lead large and complex policy and research projects; excellent at using data to tell a story
  • Familiarity with Tennessee’s political and policy environment
  • Skilled at gathering data through existing sources and generating new data through research
  • Familiarity with quantitative and qualitative research methods; experience conducting data analysis
  • Capacity to synthesize and distill findings for a variety of internal and external audiences
  • Understanding of how political contexts relate to forward-looking public policy development
  • Knowledge of commonly used datasets, e.g., U.S. Census information
  • Ability to manage people and processes to meet established deadlines
  • Exceptional writer and communicator


  • Passion for and demonstrated commitment to ThinkTennessee’s mission
  • Self-motivated with a strong work ethic; exceptional level of attention to detail
  • Ability to flourish in a start-up environment and adapt to changing priorities and duties within the organization’s overall mission

Compensation:  Competitive salary commensurate with experience; eligible for retirement benefits.

Deadline for applications is February 26, 2018.

To apply for this job email your cover letter and resume to info@thinktn.org

Apply using webmail: Gmail / AOL / Yahoo / Outlook