Senior Research and Policy Advisor

Catholic Relief Services
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Jun 21

Position description

The Senior Research and Policy Advisor will be responsible for a portfolio of key policy issues, collaborating with the government relations team to advance an identified set of policy objectives. The Advisor will create policy notes, memos, research papers, etc. that help advance the identified issues in the policy space (for some examples of existing work, see here), targeting primarily US Government policy. The Advisor will also be integral in formulating policy frameworks which will undergird the work of the government relations team and issues-based campaigns. Successful candidates will help set the research agenda for the identified policy issues in coordination with CRS' overseas programming and MEAL divisions, while also representing CRS in DC coalition groups, think tank roundtables, and other venues. The successful candidate will be strategic and tactical, able to perform analysis, research and writing, and help to position CRS as a leading thinker in the policy issues at hand.

Roles and Key Responsibilities

Analysis, research and writing

  • Conduct policy analysis, research and writing for timely and demand-driven policy products including policy memos, white papers, and talking points for leaders.
  • Conduct desk research and background literature reviews to underpin any future research and writing.
  • Conduct, supervise, or collaborate on field-based research and writing. This will include planning field visits, working with country program teams to develop a research plan, developing questionnaires, culminating in policy-relevant and useable research reports. The Advisor will be responsible for seeing the research products through to dissemination, in coordination with other Mission and Mobilization stakeholders, including working with Government Relations team, and Marketing & Communications for events, panel speakers, and other dissemination channels.
  • Advance agency strategy and thought leadership through the creation of evidence-based policy documents on identified topics.
  • Coordinate with programmatic research to utilize existing research and translate into policy products and/or recommendations.
  • Ongoing engagement with CRS' Overseas Operations and field teams to keep informed of emerging policy issues.
  • Attend regional meetings, other opportunities as needed and able.

Policy Engagement:

  • Lead, support or collaborate on policy issues, in coordination with the Government Relations team.
  • Engage with coalitions, think tanks, universities and other opportunities to understand the landscape of discussion around topic areas.
  • Strategize on how to advance policy prescriptions in collaboration with the Government Relations team and Campaign/Movements team.

Basic Qualifications

Education and Experience

  • Masters' Degree in relatedfield, such as International Development, MPH, MPP, MPA, or JD.
  • Minimum of 7-10 years work experience in related field, with writing samples from previous employment.
  • Humanitarian or development field experience preferred.
  • Knowledge of current policy discussions and/or experience with localization, local leadership, governance or social cohesion a plus.

Required Languages - None required.

Travel - International and domestic travel, depending on budget, up to 3 times per year (6-9 weeks total).

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Extensive knowledge about the field of international development.
  • Strong analytical, research and writing skills- writing sample required.
  • Strong interpersonal communications.
  • Ability to work effectively on multiple priorities in a fast-paced environment and under deadlines.
  • Ability to work independently, take leadership on issues, think strategically and creatively, utilizing collaboration and coordination when applicable.

Agency-wide Competencies

  • Integrity.
  • Continuous Improvement & Innovation.
  • Builds Relationships.
  • Develops Talent.
  • Strategic Mindset.
  • Accountability & Stewardship.

Supervisory Responsibilities

May supervisor interns.

Application instructions

Please be sure to indicate that you saw this position on

follow us on Twitter