Center for Economic Democracy Director of Research Remote · Full time

As a new role within CED, the Director of Research will be responsible for leading CED’s research capacities to advance a range of policy, educational and theoretical outcomes. The Director of Research will be a vociferous learner with the ability to understand and synthesize diverse information sources and translate them for CED’s internal and external stakeholders. The role will require a strong foundation in political economy, with the ability to engage in post capitalist theory and strategies for change, while also advancing applied research projects and initiatives. An ideal candidate will have experience in social movement research roles, ranging from legislation and policy, to union and corporate target research. The Director of Research will be an expansive and creative thinker with excellent writing and communication skills. They will be self driven and take initiative, while also enjoying collaborative work with a variety of teammates and partners. The position will be based in Washington DC, co-located with the Sr. Director of National Programs. The role is primarily remote, with at least quarterly trips to Boston where CED is headquartered.


Research Management 

As an organization, CED has diverse and ongoing research needs. The Director of Research will manage CED’s research processes to ensure that appropriate capacity is being allocated to key priorities. They will also support program staff in research project design and management. 

Political Economy Research and Design 

The Director of Research will help shape and lead CED’s formal efforts to synthesize and co-create a more comprehensive vision for economic democracy as an alternative to capitalism. This work includes: 

  • Articulate complex ideas: This will help define and communicate Economic democracy as a long-term alternative to capitalism and authoritarian state socialism to more audiences.
  • Facilitate & codesign political study groups: To help CED staff and partners and other learning processes to build shared vision and momentum for long-term policy objectives  
  • Strategic Program Development: Engage in landscape analysis and support strategic planning to help design new interventions that advance economic democracy

Policy Research and Writing 

The Director of Research will ensure that CED produces quality research to inform and support our policy objectives in collaboration with our movement partners. Current campaigns and projects include Participatory Budgeting in Boston, worker co-op policy advocacy in Massachusetts, federal funding for community ownership, bioregional supply chain development, and community-controlled finance.

  • Supporting CED program areas - collaborate with CED staff and coalitions to identify and research priority topics necessary to advance policy strategies and outcomes
  • Policy Research & Design - lead efforts to research and draft legislation and regulations that will be advanced through CED’s campaigns and coalition efforts 
  • Policy Advocacy - lead efforts to promote CED’s policy positions using quantitative and qualitative research, resulting in policy briefs, reports, fact sheets, infographics, and other public-facing collateral
  • Strategic Advising - provide thought partnership and research capacity for key program partners and national coalitions, integrating CED’s findings, strategies, and insights into that advising

Training & Education 

As a member of the Education Circle program area, the Director of Research will contribute to CED’s educational and training work. This will include efforts to co-design a new curriculum, create learning tools and resources, and lead educational opportunities for our partners.

  • Education Curriculum - support the development and refinement of CED’s educational content (like Economics for Emancipation), while helping train and share our materials
  • Collaborative Research - represent CED in key educational and research spaces, to share our collective learnings and best thinking, and remain current on theories of change and visions for economic alternatives
  • Research Methods - provide in-house coaching and advising to support CED staff and interns in conducting high-quality academic and/or participatory research
  • Internal Learning - support CED staff and partners’ ability to engage in the field of political economy and long-term alternatives to capitalism

CED Staff Participation 

The Director of Research will participate in regular CED staff meetings and responsibilities.  CED has a strong and growing culture of internal participatory governance, inspired by the Worker Self-Directed Nonprofit model.

  • Team Meetings - participate in all-staff meetings, retreats, Program Circle meetings, and Organizational Development Circle (time-bound), including rotating facilitation and notetaking roles
  • Team Responsibilities - fulfill general CED staff responsibilities, such as participating in Accountability Processes, annual budgeting, team goal setting, supporting fundraising, etc. 
  • Peer Advising: provide ad hoc strategic advising and thought partnership on policy and research to other CED staff, not directly involved in national programs.


The ideal candidate will possess at least 3 of the following domains:

  • A minimum of 7 years of relevant experience, in one or more of the following areas:
  • Community organizing and campaigning
  • Labor organizing and unions
  • Legislative advocacy, public policy, or research
  • Electoral politics, civic engagement, GOTV
  • Cooperative economic development and ownership
  • Popular education, content delivery, and/or curriculum development
  • Urban planning and participatory design
  • Communications and narrative strategy
  • Progressive, multi-racial networks and coalition organizing
  • Design and conduct research projects that meet both academic and professional guidelines. 
  • Multi-stakeholder engagement: ability to build relationships with various types of stakeholders, ranging from organizers to business owners to funders to government officials.
  • Understanding of the legislative process at the local, state, and/or national level. 
  • Political analysis: highly developed political and economic analysis, with points of view on a vision for economic democracy and how to get there
  • Written and oral communication: the ability to express complex ideas in compelling ways, both written and verbally, with the ability to adapt to various audiences, including funders investors, and people with no prior exposure to concepts of economic democracy

Desired qualities of all CED employees:

  • Committed to social, economic & ecological justice + working towards liberation & well-being of all people.
  • Experience with Google Suite, Slack, Microsoft Suite, and Canva/Adobe Suite; general tech competence
  • Enjoys collaborative work environments and is interested in supporting the growth and success of teammates.
  • High emotional intelligence and strong interpersonal communication with a collaborative orientation toward teams
  • Can align with CED’s guiding team principles: 
  1. Practice trust (i.e. choosing to trust, earning it, and bolstering it by practice) through rigorous communication, collective reflection and input, and democratic work planning.
  2. Create a community of collective care through support and accountability to our own lives, each other, our organizational partners, and the movement.
  3. Find joyful abundance through collective problem-solving.
  • Embodies the Venn diagram below:

Position Details

  1. Salary: $75,000-$105,000
  2. Generous benefits package, including health, dental and vision coverage, 3% retirement match, student loan assistance program, health savings account, and remote work reimbursements.
  3. CED will prioritize candidates who live in the Washington, DC area and is open to candidates from other locations. CED is headquartered in Boston, MA. A majority of staff are located in Massachusetts, with some staff in California and the DC metro region. Regular travel to Boston will be required for in-person staff retreats and other key events. 
  4. Position open until filled. Priority will be given to applications received by March 1. Anticipated start date: Apr 15 to May 15.


Center of Economic Democracy is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, height, weight, or marital status in employment or the provision of services.


$75,000 - $105,000 per year