Visual designer

The Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) is an independent nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization in Washington, DC dedicated to strengthening prosperity and human welfare in the global economy through expert analysis and practical policy solutions. It was named best economic think tank in the United States, with research in areas such as trade and macroeconomic policy cited regularly in major news outlets.

The role

The Institute seeks a full-time Visual Designer to help communicate the latest indepth economic research through data visualizations, graphics, videos, and other digital products. Join a nimble and respected communications team that takes pride in producing news-driven, fact-based, and creative content for international policymakers, journalists, global business leaders, and educators. Preference will be given to candidates who can eventually work primarily at PIIE’s Dupont Circle office in Washington, DC (office attendance is currently optional), though PIIE will consider strong remotely based candidates.

The Visual Designer will primarily work with the Digital Content Producer, Social Media and Digital Communications Manager, editors, and economists, with plentiful opportunities to pitch original ideas and have an impact on the public’s understanding of major issues of the day. The ideal candidate will be comfortable translating complex economic research into accessible and compelling visual content for web platforms and social media, sometimes under quick turnarounds. Responsibilities include reviewing research, concepting, discussing ideas, designing original data visualizations and graphics, and occasional video/audio editing. A basic understanding of data visualization is required (how to depict data in graphs). Animation/motion graphics and illustration skills are a plus.

Applicants must have a strong background in visual communication for the web, an exceptional eye for detail, an organized work style, and the ability to work well in a mutually supportive, collaborative environment. For examples of PIIE’s previous work, check out its PIIE Charts series or @PIIE on Twitter.

Key roles and responsibilities

  • Stay up-to-date on Institute research in progress, published pieces, and related material, and pitch creative content ideas to communicate findings.
  • Work with Digital Content Producer and researchers to create data visualizations and other digital products that are clear, accurate, and engaging, utilizing best practices.
  • Determine best content formats, with consideration given to audience insights and time available for production and dissemination.
  • Help keep digital assets organized and deliver drafts and final assets to relevant staff.
  • Provide assistance on internal and promotional graphic projects as needed.
  • Stay informed on research, news, and policy developments, as well as data visualization best practices and strategies for visual storytelling.
  • Consult with researchers and communications staff when needed on story ideas to determine feasibility and creative direction.
  • Offer ideas to enhance and grow PIIE’s website outreach and presence on social media, news outlets, and other venues.

Experience and skills

  • A portfolio that demonstrates a clear command of design (if possible, please include journalistic, data-based, or research-based design examples).
  • At least 1-3 years of experience. We will consider making this a senior-level position for the right candidate with more experience.
  • Advanced knowledge and experience with the Adobe Creative Suite programs, specifically: Illustrator, Photoshop, and Premiere. After Effects and Audition are a plus.
  • Excellent interpersonal and collaborative skills.
  • Basic understanding of data visualization—how to translate data into graphs, such as bar charts, line charts, or scatterplots—and/or information design.
  • Ease with multitasking in a busy, news driven environment—plus an ability to effectively manage time, adapt to changing priorities, and work within deadlines.
  • Knowledge of economics issues or other datacentric/research-based fields is a plus, as well as experience producing content for educational use.
  • Experience with animation is a plus.

Other useful information


This person will typically sit at a desk for long periods of time throughout the day and use a computer to include monitor, mouse and keyboard. Some walking to and from various offices, and the printer will be required. Some bending and stooping may be necessary to do filing. Occasionally may be expected to lift boxes of up to 25 lbs. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


The work environment is a moderately open one with a combination of cubicles and offices. The noise level is generally quiet. The office, lavatories and building are all handicapped accessible. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


Monday through Friday – 40 hours per week. Must be able to work a flexible schedule based on the needs of the business.


Salary commensurate with experience. PIIE offers a highly competitive benefits package, including medical, dental, disability, and life insurance coverage; eligibility to participate in a generous retirement savings plan (after one year of employment, PIIE contributes 10 percent of the employee’s salary each month to a retirement account and the employee becomes fully vested after three years); competitive paid time off for vacation and sick leave; and significant subsidies for tuition in education and training programs.