Job Description

About Insight Center for Community Economic Development

Founded in 1969, the Insight Center is a national research and action economic justice organization, working to ensure that all people become and remain economically secure. We examine hidden truths to unearth and address the root causes of economic exclusion and racial inequity. We are working to shift inequitable power structures, so that everyone can fully participate in the economy and has the freedom to bring their full selves to our diverse nation regardless of zip code, race, immigration status or gender.

Specifically we:

  • Provide groundbreaking research to ignite systemic change,
  • Produce powerful tools, thought pieces and resources to shift narratives and build political and public will,
  • Turn forward thinking ideas into action by convening diverse thought leaders who can make a difference in the economic security field; and,
  • Engage in effective advocacy with key partners for policies that combat economic exclusion.

We address these issues at the root level through innovative, multidimensional initiatives and partnerships that leverage our core capacities in research, ideation, narrative change, and leadership to foster systemic, transformational change.

While we work across the nation, we are headquartered in Oakland, California, our lab for progressive policy innovation and thought leadership. 

About the Job

The Director of Policy and Advocacy is a key contributor to the Insight Center’s policy and advocacy work, and supports an organizational culture of collaborative decision-making and teamwork. Specifically, her/his work will focus on the policies, laws and systemic practices that lead to economic exclusion and racial inequities, with an explicit focus on barriers to work and workforce development. S/he will identify and examine mechanisms that increase debt, including from employment arrangements, court judgments, civil asset forfeiture, lease agreements and installment loans, etc. that target and disproportionately affect low income communities and communities of color. S/he will also take leadership in Insight’s work to redefine how the field thinks about economic security.

Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:
  • Minimum seven years’ experience working in policy, philanthropy, politics or advocacy or other relevant field.  A relevant advanced degree is desired, particularly a JD, but not required. Work experience can substitute.
  • Commitment to eradicating structural inequality.
  • Experience in researching, analyzing and addressing economic, racial and other inequities.
  • Excellent writing and qualitative research skills.
  • Knowledge of policy and policy-making process at a local (county) and State level.
  • Strategic mindset and ability to turn strategic imperatives into tangible action and outcomes.
  • A commitment to staff engagement and development, with a demonstrated ability to exert influence broadly and successfully across an organization, fostering a positive professional atmosphere.
  • Outstanding oral communications skills, with the ability to effectively present new and complex ideas, mount persuasive arguments, and negotiate.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop high level relationships with a wide range of stakeholders, including but not limited to policy makers, media, funders, scholars, advocates, and community leaders.
  • Ability to organize/prioritize work and meet deadlines within a fast paced environment with multiple and competing demands.
  • Excellent team building and problem solving abilities.
Core Job Functions and Responsibilities:
  • Leads Insight’s policy and advocacy work.
  • Develops new concepts and initiatives in partnership with other program directors and staff.
  • Provides direct input into organization-wide budgets and contracts.
  • Entrepreneurial – creates and leads selected fundraising strategies, including seeking and developing proposals.
  • Identifies and builds relationships with potential partners and funders.
  • Manages a portfolio of projects with particular emphasis on barriers to work, debt mechanisms and other economic related issues.
  • Helps raise Insight Center’s visibility.
  • Builds collaborative leadership and advocacy efforts with others in the field.
  • Represents Insight Center publicly as an expert on economic security issues.
  • Conducts research, writing and analysis related to economic security.
  • Supervise associate level staff.
Personal characteristics that will contribute to success include:
  • Cultural sensitivity and empathy in interactions with people of diverse backgrounds.
  • Demonstrated curiosity and humility in reaching beyond current areas of understanding and comfort.
  • Sound judgment and diplomacy.
  • Strong interpersonal skills. An approachable style, empathetic listening skills, and an ability to connect with different types of stakeholders.
  • Sense of humor, positive attitude, and self-awareness.
Physical and Travel Requirements:
  • Comfortable with contemporary office software.
  • Willingness to travel as dictated by projects.
Salary and Benefits:

The salary range for this position is $85,000-$93,600, annually, depending on qualifications. Excellent benefits, including medical and dental, retirement plan contribution, 3 weeks paid vacation, 15 paid holidays, and sabbatical.

How to Apply:

Please send resume and cover letter to with “Director of Policy and Advocacy” in the subject line. No calls please. Applications will be reviewed as they are submitted. Position is open until filled; priority consideration will be given to applications received by February 2, 2018.

The Insight Center is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to a policy of equal treatment and opportunity in every aspect of its relations with staff members and prospective employees, and will not discriminate against applicants for employment because of race, creed, color, national origin, age, disability, marital status, sex, or sexual orientation. The Insight Center encourages employment applications from people who are representative of the culturally and ethnically diverse communities. The Insight Center will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.