The Niskanen Center Inc Policy Analyst, Social Policy Washington, DC · Full time

The Policy Analyst carries out data intensive research and analysis, communicates these findings in easily accessible forms such as white papers, reports, and commentaries, and translates these findings into policy proposals.


Department: Social Policy

Location: Washington, DC 

Schedule:  Flexible hybrid, minimum 2 days in-office per week

Job Status: Full-Time

Experience: 1-3 years (can include internship, graduate, and PhD experience) 

Salary:  $70,000- $93,000, plus a generous benefits package

Reports to: Director of Social Policy

The Niskanen Center

Named “the most interesting think tank in American politics” by Time magazine in March 2023, the Niskanen Center is a public policy think tank and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening liberal democratic governance and promoting widespread prosperity and opportunity. Our vision of market liberalism is rooted in an effective public sector and a competitive private sector and is committed to upholding the principles of a pluralistic and open society that encourages engagement, cooperation, discussion, and learning.  

Realizing our mission requires building on the best of progressive and conservative thought. We unite scholars and policy analysts from across the political spectrum to address pressing policy issues, from climate change to child poverty. We address gaps in policy research and development, translate the best policy ideas across political divides, promote those ideas to policymakers, and build coalitions that cut across partisan boundaries to enact positive change.

The Position

The Social Policy Team is responsible for advancing a fundamental premise of the Niskanen Center: ongoing social progress, widespread prosperity, and reduced inequality depend on a vibrant and innovative private sector. To advance this goal, the Social Policy Team engages on several issues such as family economic security, housing, employment, and health.  


To support this goal, the Policy Analyst carries out data intensive research and analysis, communicates these findings in easily accessible forms such as white papers, reports, and commentaries, and translates these findings into policy proposals. The Policy Analyst will contribute to existing work as well as new and emerging opportunities, working closely with other team members, other Niskanen staff and fellows, and outside experts and stakeholders. 

Successful candidates should have substantive expertise in healthcare with emphasis on supply-side issues, childcare policy, or paid family leave. This position reports to the Director of Social Policy. 

This position is based in Washington, D.C. Please note that the Niskanen Center is transitioning to a flexible, hybrid policy requiring staff to work 2 days in-office per week. Staff are welcome to work from the new DC office by Metro Center or remotely from anywhere in the DMV area on remote days.

Key Responsibilities

Data Analysis and Research

  • Conducts advanced data-intensive research and analysis as part of larger projects.
  • Develops innovative and novel research projects to advance team's strategic priorities.
  • Deploys one or more software packages or programming languages to advance data analysis.
  • Develops graphics and tables, applying data visualization strategies.

Policy Research and Development

  • Analyzes federal and state legislative proposals, administrative policies, and regulatory change.
  • Translates research into reports and new policy initiatives.



  • Produces first drafts of major research reports based on their research and analysis and occasionally authors complete reports.
  • Authors commentaries based on research and new analyses.
  • Shares research findings with legislative staffers, advocacy organizations, and journalists.


Outreach and Engagement

  • In collaboration with the Niskanen Government Affairs Team, developing and implementing strategies to educate members of Congress, the Administration, and other stakeholders about Niskanen policy priorities.
  • When invited by policymakers, providing research and policy proposals.
  • Developing and growing relationships with policy and advocacy organizations, policy experts, and other partners and stakeholders.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Experience working with a common data software program (R, Python, Stata, etc.) and datasets (Current Population Survey, American Community Survey, etc.)
  • Familiarity with policies related to health, childcare, or paid family leave
  • Ability to respond to multiple demands in a complex, fast-paced, and rapidly changing policy environment. 
  • Excellent oral, research, and written communication skills.
  • Ability to translate complex issues to key takeaways for diverse audiences
  • Comfort engaging outside individuals and organizations.
  • High degree of integrity, ability to build trust, communicate effectively, and collaborate with others.

Benefits and Diversity Commitment

Unlimited paid time off; office is closed on all federal holidays plus the week between Christmas and New Years; paid parental leave; 100% health, dental and vision insurance for the employee; 401(k) plan; commuter benefits in DC.

Niskanen Center is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without discrimination of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status. We also seek to expand our professional networks and workplace composition to better reflect our dedication to diversity, equity and inclusion.

How to Apply

We only review applications after the deadline: applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm ET on September 18, 2023. Please include a cover letter, resume, and writing sample combined into one pdf. Be prepared to present additional materials during the interview process.

No phone calls, please.


$70,000 - $93,000 per year