Nevada (Reno or Las Vegas)

Position Summary   Director of Social Policy

The Kenny Guinn Center for Policy Priorities (“Guinn Center”) is a nonprofit (501c3), independent (bipartisan) policy research center focused on delivering relevant, fact-based and well-reasoned analysis of critical policy issues that advance solutions toward a vibrant Nevada and Intermountain West region.

The Director of Social Policy is charged with leading all research on Federal, state, and local social policies (e.g., housing, health, demographics, ageing, safety nets), and for contributing to a full range of outreach and engagement tactics.  The Director of Social Policy is charged with building a research program and policy agenda that informs current public debates about social policies in Nevada and the region. The Director of Social Policy is responsible for conducting rapid-response and long-term analysis of data and programs, as well as developing and writing policy papers and testimonies of various lengths and formats for a variety of audiences.

The ideal candidate is a self-starter (with nonprofit experience) with demonstrated success in leading and managing qualitative and quantitative research projects, organizing public engagement and outreach activities, and communicating effectively to a broad audience.

Primary Responsibilities

  1. Research and Analysis
  • Develop and execute a project plan and agenda for evaluating and analyzing relevant public policies that affect Nevada and the Intermountain West region.
  • Serve as the Guinn Center’s institutional expert on social policy.
  • Analyze emerging public policy issues and trends and produce Guinn Center policy publications including issue briefs, white papers, conference papers, presentations, and testimony, using primary and secondary research sources.
  • Lead and participate in coalitions of experts and advocates on social policies.
  • Represent the Guinn Center in high-visibility forums, including meetings with elected officials, policymakers, issue experts and stakeholders, national conferences, and the media.
  • Provide strategic recommendations, as appropriate, to Guinn Center leadership, including the Executive Director and Board of Directors.


  1. Public engagement and outreach
  • Manage existing and build new relationships with community partners.
  • Help plan and organize events to share Guinn Center research.
  • Help plan and manage working groups across many stakeholders.
  • Support development efforts by drafting concept papers, letters of intent, proposals, reports, and all other necessary fundraising-related documents along with other senior leadership.


  1. Grants & Contract Management
  • Be knowledgeable about current grant and contract obligations, reporting requirements and reporting formats and templates, and work with staff to ensure those obligations and reporting requirements are met.
  • Help maintain a database of current and prospective funders.
  • Help prepare narrative and narrative and financial reports to foundations and other funders as needed.


The ideal candidate will possess the following skills and experience:

  • Graduate degree in relevant field.
  • Five years’ experience analyzing public policies; Working knowledge of social policies in areas of health and/or housing is a plus.
  • Extensive and strong writing ability, including developing and writing articles, studies, reports, or other publicly available documents.
  • Ability to conduct research using qualitative and quantitative methods (e.g., ability to run multivariate regression using STATA is a plus).
  • Self-starter with significant experience working in non-profit environment.
  • Strategic thinker who has the ability to build programing and public engagement activities.
  • Outstanding project management skills suited to a dynamic work environment with multiple ongoing responsibilities, tight deadlines, and expectations for high-quality work.
  • Experience communicating policy ideas in public settings such as coalition meetings, legislative hearings, conferences, and with the media.
  • Results-oriented leader with a track record of senior-level success leading and securing resources for policy organizations.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with staff and board.
  • Highly-organized, attentive to detail, goal-oriented, and capable of multi-tasking.
  • Strong leader with ability to work independently with minimum direction.
  • Ability to think independently and uphold the (politically) independent nature of the organization.
  • Flexibility for occasional travel (limited to Nevada and the Intermountain West region)

Salary and Benefits

Competitive salary plus benefits. Opportunity for growth. Equal Opportunity Employer. Position can be based in Reno or Las Vegas. The Kenny Guinn Center for Policy Priorities is a 501 (c)(3) policy research center focused on providing data-driven solutions to decision makers in Nevada and the Intermountain West. For more information, please visit

To Apply

This position is open until filled. To apply, send resume/cv (including list of publications), cover letter with salary requirements, 3 references, and two relevant writing samples to: Subject line: Director of Social Policy Search.


The Guinn Center is looking for a part-time intern (12 hrs/wk) who will have an opportunity to work at a new organization. The successful applicant will be engaged in the following activities:
• Research policy issues (including education, social policy, tax policy, economic development, water)
• Attend legislative hearings during the 2017 Legislative Session, take notes, and contribute to the Guinn Center’s Legislative Flash 101
• Author original blogs and contribute to the Guinn Center’s blogs
• Help organize public engagement events (which could involve mundane tasks such as printing name tags and handouts, and assembling packets)
• Help manage communications strategy and social media, and
• Support senior leadership

A successful applicant will:
• Be open-minded (we’re a BIPARTISAN think tank)
• Have excellent writing and communications skills, and be able to meet deadlines
• Have a general understanding of/interest in policy issues affecting Nevada/Intermountain West
• Have previous research, data and/or outreach experience
• Have command of Powerpoint and Excel and feel comfortable creating graphs and charts
• Feel comfortable interpreting numbers/data
• Consider himself/herself highly independent and able to operate in an environment with limited management
• Be able to work productively in an open, collaborative space (our office is at Switch’s Innevation Center, 215 & Decatur)
• Be able to pass a background check and enjoy free coffee/tea

To Apply
Please send a writing sample, a resume, and the names/contact information of three references to Dr. Nancy E. Brune at Phone inquiries welcome at 702-522-2178.

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