Director of Applied Research

Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) Director of Applied Research
Location Virtual team, but must be US based and authorized to work.
Application deadline 1 August 2023
Contract type Permanent
Hours Full-time
Salary $105 - $125K (contingent on geographic location within the US)
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The Institute for Social Policy and Understanding is seeking a driven, experienced and passionate applied research professional to lead its research and education programming. This is a unique opportunity for a talented individual to join a dynamic and dedicated team.

Brief description of organisation

ISPU is nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that conducts and widely shares objective research about American Muslims to support well-informed dialogue and decision-making. Unique in its field, ISPU has built up a strong reputation as the go-to resource for information, insight and analysis on American Muslims and issues impacting them. Our work educates the general public and equips advocates, policy makers, journalists, educators and more to do their work smarter and more effectively, ultimately furthering community development and sound public policy. Please visit to learn more.

Brief description of role

Having built a strong body of research over 20+ years, and amidst increasing demand for further research and broader dissemination, the right candidate will be stepping into an impactful, and well-regarded organization primed for growth. With a core four-person research and outreach team, this is an excellent opportunity for an applied research professional to help take ISPU’s programming to the next level. The right candidate will be a multidisciplinary applied researcher who is also able to effectively communicate with broad audiences and a strategic thinker who is also willing and able to manage people and processes.

Key roles and responsibilities

The Executive Director is responsible for leading, directing, and managing all aspects of ISPU’s work as well as its overall strategy, growth, and external representation. This includes:

  • Overall leadership and organizational management
  • Resource development
  • Board relations and governance
  • Financial management

The Executive Director will lead an all-virtual team of 11 full-time and one part-time employees. They will maintain and prioritize our very positive work culture. They will lead an Executive Team made up of four members and will manage an annual budget of $1.6m.

Experience and skills

The Executive Director must have:

  • At least five years of progressively responsible experience leading an organization, department, or major project with a $1-$5 million annual budget at a non-profit, policy, or research organization, or in business or academia.
  • Proven success in growing an organization and building effective partnerships.
  • A track record of successful fundraising and enthusiasm for fundraising and external relations, including demonstrated ability to identify and solicit major individual and institutional gifts and familiarity with foundations and grant making process.
  • Outstanding communication skills and a strong executive presence, with the ability to inspire and engage as a presenter and in writing.
  • The ability to think strategically and programmatically and successfully manage diverse operations.
  • The capacity to build strong and collaborative teams, encourage communication, excellence and accountability.
  • Strong business acumen with experience overseeing financial management, including budget development and accountability measures.  Familiarity with Islam and Muslim culture, and with the American Muslim community.
  • Ability to travel nationwide (30-35%).