Director of Research
The Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy

Cambridge, Massachusetts


The Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy, an independent, non-partisan organization committed to the development of effective education policy through examination of evidence, thoughtful discourse and informed action, seeks nominations and applications for the position of Director of Research. As a leading voice in Massachusetts’ public discourse on education policymaking, the Rennie Center engages legislators, policymakers, practitioners, the media, and other diverse stakeholders to promote significant improvement of public education across the state. The Rennie Center is committed to a set of strategies that involve collaborating with diverse organizations in the education reform field to pursue the following activities:

  • Independent Research: The Rennie Center produces independent research to promote public discourse on educational improvement and to inform policy discussions of key decision makers and opinion leaders. Our research reports and policy briefs are broadly disseminated to policy stakeholders in the public, private, nonprofit, and media sectors.

  • Constructive Discourse: The Rennie Center is committed to engaging diverse perspectives and voices in a constructive policy discussion. By convening conferences, forums, meetings, policy briefings, panel discussions, town meetings and other events, we promote constructive dialogue on school improvement and student achievement.

  • Outreach and Engagement: An effective public agenda can be best shaped by applying independent research, creating opportunities for civil discourse and making a concerted effort to inform and include policy makers, the public and the field in the process. The Rennie Center is dedicated to widely disseminating its independent research to enrich the policy conversation.

The ideal candidate will be a seasoned, self-driven researcher, leader, and manager with experience ensuring the delivery of timely, high-quality research products and convenings that drive and inspire change. S/he will be an outstanding communicator in both speaking and writing, and have a demonstrated record of success stewarding fruitful, long-term relationships with donors, partners and other collaborators. The search committee is assisted by Allison Kupfer Poteet of Nonprofit Professionals Advisory Group; application information and instructions are located at the end of this document.




In 2002, current Education Secretary Paul Reville founded the Rennie Center as a division of the Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth (MassINC). In summer 2005, the Center became an independent non-profit committed to addressing the critical challenges of reforming education in Massachusetts. The Center envisions an education system that educates every child to be successful in life, citizenship, employment and life-long learning, and offers educators and policy makers a "safe place" to consider evidence and perspectives, discuss issues and develop new approaches to their work. Seeking to foster thoughtful public discourse and informed policy making through non-partisan, independent research, civic engagement, and effective action, the Center is committed to a set of strategies that involve collaborating with diverse organizations in the education reform.


Required Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. or Ed.D. in education, public policy or social sciences (e.g. economics, sociology) and 3-5 years experience in a leadership position for education research and/or policy projects;

    • Or, Master’s in education, public policy or social sciences and 7-10 years experience in a leadership position for education research and/or policy projects;

  • Demonstrated experience designing and conducting applied research projects;

  • Demonstrated success earning grant funding for project proposals, stewarding existing donor relationships and cultivating new ones;

  • Demonstrated skill in applying both quantitative and qualitative methodologies;

  • Knowledge of key education reform issues both in Massachusetts and nationally;

  • Exceptional written and verbal skills; the ability to quickly produce written work that is cogent, effective, and error-free; and

  • Outstanding organizational skills and the ability to motivate and manage staff to achieve multiple and concurrent objectives in a lean, dynamic and fast-paced environment.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Policy experience at the national, state or large urban district level;

  • Teaching or administrative experience in K-12 schools;

  • Familiarity and demonstrated skill in engaging and interacting with funders, policymakers, educators, and other key stakeholders; and

  • Understanding of and comfort working in a small, non-profit work environment, including collaborating on a daily basis with all members of the organization.



Additional information about the Rennie Center can be found at


Due to the pace of this search, candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applications including a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, your resume (in Word format), salary history, and where you learned of the position should be sent to: In order to expedite the internal sorting and review process, please type your name (Last, First) as the only contents in the subject line of your e-mail.

The Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy
is an equal opportunity employer.

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