Assistant Director of Research and Policy

Remote - Washington, DC

The Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research, policy, and advocacy organization committed to promoting access to and success for all students regardless of race, background, or circumstance. Established in 1993, IHEP provides timely, evidence-based, and student-centered research to inform policy decisions and address our nation’s most pressing education challenges. We achieve this change through research, advocacy, policy development, and field engagement.


IHEP seeks an Assistant Director of Research and Policy to lead IHEP’s data and transparency portfolio, and support IHEP’s analytical work. Reporting to the Director of Research and Policy, the Assistant Director will build and implement a vision for the IHEP-led Postsecondary Data Collaborative (PostsecData) research and policy agenda.

IHEP is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and operates fully remotely on a day-to-day basis; however we come together, in-person in D.C., once a quarter to connect, build cohesion, and bond as a full staff. We welcome remote applicants for this position with the understanding that this role will require in-person attendance at meetings in the D.C. area and additional travel outside the D.C. area.


  • Lead IHEP’s postsecondary data and transparency portfolio to promote the use of data to advance student access and success, as well as improvements to our postsecondary data infrastructure, including:
    • Refine and lead IHEP’s PostsecData research, policy, and advocacy agenda, coordinating with the Director of Research and Policy and Vice President of Research and Policy.
    • Stay abreast of rapidly evolving postsecondary education data issues among federal and state policymakers, within higher education policy and research communities, and in the media.
    • Conceptualize, design, and manage research projects to advance IHEP’s PostsecData agenda. This includes working closely with research analysts and other members of the research and communications/government affairs team to oversee and conduct research and data analyses and develop briefs, reports, and other public content. These projects include a variety of quantitative and qualitative research, literature and policy scans, data analyses, convenings, and partner engagement.
    • Identify, curate, and share concrete lessons learned from research and policy analysis to inform IHEP’s policy positioning and policy development around postsecondary data issues.
    • Design and implement effective PostsecData learning experiences for state and institutional practitioners and policymakers.
    • Serve as a subject matter expert for IHEP on postsecondary data policy and advocacy issues, and serve as a key ambassador for IHEP in relevant coalitions.
  • Support the Director and Vice President of Research and Policy in directing the PostsecData portion of IHEP’s research portfolio, including allocation of personnel and other resources; and oversight of budgets, deadlines, and deliverables.
  • Supervise a research analyst and develop their capacity to engage in effective data analysis, policy research, and project and budget management.
  • As part of the Management Team (MT) and in partnership with organizational leadership, support the conceptualization, design, and development of proposals to secure funding for PostsecData’s policy and research agenda.
  • Collaborate closely with other MT members on the Research Team to ensure streamlined operations, build morale, maintain communications across projects and teams, and encourage an inclusive and collaborative work environment.
  • Foster and maintain IHEP’s relationships with partnering organizations, funders, and other researchers.
  • Publicly advance IHEP’s postsecondary data research and advocacy agenda through public speaking engagements.
  • Other duties, as requested.


IHEP seeks a candidate who is passionate about higher education as a vehicle for social mobility and racial justice; committed to data, rigor, and evidence-driven reform; and knowledgeable about higher education policy and research. An ideal candidate will have at least four years of work experience building and proving a combination of the following qualifications, experiences, and skills:

  • Strong analytic, critical and strategic thinking, and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to work independently, manage multiple projects, work under pressure in a fast-paced environment, and remain flexible and adaptable, as well as strong interpersonal skills to work effectively in a team environment. 
  • Excellent verbal, interpersonal, and written communication skills, especially for describing complex and data-rich subject matter in clear and concise ways.
  • Strong attention to detail and ability to follow through and push projects to completion amidst competing responsibilities.
  • Demonstrated commitment to building and maintaining a healthy, respectful, and inclusive organizational culture that prioritizes diversity and equity.
  • Knowledge of and passion for issues related to racial and socioeconomic equity and postsecondary data and transparency.
  • Knowledge of and experience with quantitative research, policy mechanisms, and advocacy strategies.
  • Self-motivated and eager contributor to a team who shares in the accolades of successes.
  • Experience managing at least one staff member or intern in ways that both contribute to the larger organizational good, and promote the individual’s professional growth, is a plus.
  • Desire to continuously grow and learn.


IHEP recognizes that a talented and justice-focused, diverse, inclusive, and equitable workforce benefits individuals, partners, and IHEP as a whole. We recognize that all employees bring their own capabilities, experiences, and characteristics to their work. IHEP believes in treating all individuals with respect and dignity and strives to achieve a supportive environment in which all employees reach their maximum potential. At IHEP, diversity encompasses differences including, but not limited to, those of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, age, religion, socioeconomic status, political affiliation, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family responsibilities, experience, and education. The wide array of perspectives that results from such diversity promotes innovation and business success, further supporting the organization’s mission.

IHEP values a healthy work-life balance and offers a comprehensive benefits package with generous paid time off; health, dental, and vision benefits; 401K matching; life and disability insurance; flexible work arrangements; and other benefits. Salary is commensurate with experience. The salary range for the position is $85,000 - $100,000.

For the safety and wellbeing of our staff, IHEP requires all employees to be fully vaccinated with a primary series of COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer, Modern, or J&J/Janssen) as a condition of employment.


Interested candidates should apply here by submitting a cover letter and resume.

IHEP participates in E-Verify and confirms all employees are authorized to work in the United States through a Form I-9. For more about your right to work, see this information from the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section of the Department of Justice.

The Institute for Higher Education Policy is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages diversity in all facets of the organization’s work.