Policy Director – Criminal Justice

R Street Institute Policy Director
Location Washington DC
Application deadline 31 March 2021
Contract type Permanent
Hours Full-time
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The R Street Institute—a free-market think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C., and with regional offices across the country—seeks a skilled, energetic and experienced person to lead Washington, D.C.’s premier right-of-center criminal justice policy program. Over the past several years, R Street has had a large impact on criminal justice policies around the country and this position would continue on, and add to, that body of work. Examples of policy changes we have strongly influenced include: restoration of Pell Grants for incarcerated individuals, major components of the 2018 FIRST STEP Act, state-level juvenile justice reforms from Maryland to Michigan and numerous changes in police practice.

The role

A typical day at R Street might include writing an op-ed with the head of a prison ministry program, helping a member of your staff prepare for an upcoming legislative hearing in Texas, reviewing a longer paper on ways to improve police relations with communities of color and speaking with a police captain about best practices for fighting human trafficking.

Key roles and responsibilities

  • Devise and spearhead a data-driven policy research agenda – speaking and writing extensively on criminal justice topics.
  • Oversee and manage an experienced staff of experts working on a wide range of criminal justice and law enforcement issues.
  • Establish the strategic direction and focus of R Street’s criminal justice program in concert with our allies and partners.
  • Assure the fiscal solvency of our program by creating proposals for new ventures and maintaining relations with existing supporters with support from R Street’s Business Development department.
  • Form new partnerships with selected organizations.

Experience and skills

  • Significant proven experience in a criminal justice field. This may take a wide variety of forms and does not necessarily have to be in a think tank or academic setting or even a paid job. Lived experience can be highly relevant to this type of work and, if not clear from your resume, a discussion of personal experience in a cover letter will be extremely helpful.
  • An understanding of the conservative movement and the way right-of-center organizations have interacted with criminal justice reform.
  • A broad understanding of a range of criminal justice issues beyond any narrow specialty. We do not expect people to be expert in all matters of criminal justice, of course, but a basic command of most areas is important.
  • A record of published work and public speaking on criminal justice topics.
  • Excellent speaking and writing skills.