The Organization
Woodstock Institute is a leading nonprofit research and policy organization in the areas of fair lending, wealth
creation, and financial systems reform. Woodstock Institute works locally and nationally to create a financial
system in which lower-wealth persons and communities of color can safely borrow, save, and build wealth so
that they can achieve economic security and community prosperity. Our key tools include: applied research;
policy development; coalition building; and technical assistance. Woodstock Institute has been a recognized
economic justice leader and bridge-builder between communities and policymakers since it was founded in
1973 near Woodstock, Illinois. Now based in Chicago, we work with community and philanthropic groups,
financial institutions, and policymakers. Funded by foundation grants, consulting fees, and charitable
donations, we conduct research on financial products and practices, promote effective local, state, and federal
policies, convene a coalition of community investment stakeholders working to improve access to credit, and
help people use our work to understand the issues and develop and implement solutions.

The Position

The Director of Applied Research designs and conducts applied research projects to:

  1. Examine the relationships between economic and demographic characteristics and disparities in
    access to economic opportunity,
  2. Support Woodstock Institute’s policy advocacy, which gives qualified research professionals an
    unusually good opportunity to see how the results of their research have an impact in policy changes,
  3. Expand and maintain Woodstock’s Community Lending Data Portals and Mapping Tools to
    facilitate access to mortgage and business lending data for community groups, advocates, policy
    makers, and other stakeholders.

Key Organizational Relationships

The Director is a member of the senior management team and reports to the President and CEO. The
Director supervises the research staff, including the Research Analyst, Associate and/or Assistant, interns,
and independent contractors. The Director collaborates with local and national colleagues on research
projects, and works in close collaboration with the policy, communications, development, and administrative

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Design and conduct applied research projects in support of Woodstock Institute’s mission
  • Produce and publish reports, fact sheets, and presentations
  • Represent Woodstock Institute through participation or speaking engagements at meetings, conferences, and through various media channels
  • Supervise research team, including updates of online Community Lending Data Portals and Mapping Tools and operation of Technical Assistance Program
  • Play a major role in the formation of foundation and corporate grants and contracts including providing detailed information for narratives, goals, outcomes, evaluation and budgets for grant proposals and reports, as well as implementing research contracts
  • Stay abreast of developments in the field and participate in professional development activities
  • Participate in communications, media, and advocacy outreach as appropriate
  • Collaborate with local and national colleagues on research and coalition work
  • Lead Woodstock’s Research Committee of the Board of Directors and manage the network of Senior Research Fellows
  • Other duties, as assigned and justified.



  • Experienced researcher with a graduate degree in economics, urban planning, policy, or related field, with strong quantitative research and analysis skills
  • At least 5 years’ experience in research and policy advocacy in areas of fair lending, wealth creation, community development and/or financial systems reform, including work with HMDA, CRA, small business lending data, consumer lending data, and public data at the local level
  • Excellent English language writing, public speaking, and presentation skills; demonstrated ability to write, edit, and publish research reports and related policy recommendations
  • Demonstrated commitment to social and economic justice issues as evidenced by professional or personal work
  • Warm and collaborative interpersonal skills; comfortable with diverse groups, including community groups, nonprofit advocates, funders, policymakers, regulators, and academics
  • Ability to work independently and meet deadlines while juggling multiple tasks requiring attention to detail
  • At least 2 years’ experience in hiring, training, and supervising junior staff and/or interns
  • Willing and able to travel within the state and across the country
  • Work in the downtown Chicago office at least 3 days per week.


  • Fundraising and grant writing/reporting experience, as well as soliciting research contracts
  • Spanish language skills would be a plus

Salary and Benefits
Salary depends on experience and qualifications but will range from $80,000 to $120,000 per year. Benefits include medical, dental, vision and retirement.

How to Apply
To apply, send a resume, cover letter, writing sample, and list of three professional references to the research
inbox at

Woodstock Institute is an equal opportunity employer.