Job Opportunity: Policy Manager


SRCD is hiring a Policy Manager. Join our dynamic team or share if you know of any strong candidates.


Position Description:

The Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) is a professional research society established in 1933 by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences. Our diverse membership of more than 4,000 scientists contributes to the child development field. Within our Policy Department, we advance our members interests in science advocacy, we implement a federal, Congressional and state-level Fellowship program, and we advance evidence-based policymaking.

We are looking for a motivated and skilled Policy Manager to join our Policy Department and help us improve the lives of children and families. You will be joining us at an exciting moment for our policy work. We have just announced the Child Policy Hub, a new suite of policy programs that have come out of our strategic plan for policy. In the Hub, programs will connect policymakers with researchers, train researchers on policy skills, and produce policy briefs on pressing issues facing children and families.

You will help drive forward this new Child Policy Hub, building our members’ capacity to engage on policy issues and playing a crucial role in advancing evidence-based child and family policymaking. You will report directly to the Director for Policy and work collaboratively with colleagues in the Policy Department and across the organization to achieve these goals. You will be an ambitious policymaker with an understanding of basic research methodologies, and a passion for evidence-based policymaking. You will have several years of experience in federal policymaking. You will be driven to make children and families’ lives better, and be passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion. With exceptional communications skills, both written and oral, you can also work independently and collaboratively. This work is dynamic, creative, collaborative, and has real-world impacts on child development.

Join us at the ground floor and help build a new and exciting policy program.  

Major Duties and Responsibilities Include:

  • Build and maintain relationships with key stakeholders on issue areas, including federal and Congressional staff, think tanks, advocacy organizations and coalition groups, and others.
  • Help build new Child Policy Hub programs at every stage: contribute ideas, project manage new content creation, oversee the delivery of Congressional Hill days, train members, and more.
  • Consider how diversity, equity, and inclusion is built into all of our activities.
  • Connect and support our members to engage on child & family policy issues, including designing, writing, editing, and delivering trainings, and connecting members with relevant advocacy and policy groups
  • Author and co-produce policy briefs and other materials (e.g., fact sheets, blogs, memos, briefings, presentations, website content).
  • Monitor science and child & family policy advocacy activities in relevant agencies, in Congress and at the state-level.
  • Develop targeted dissemination plans for policy-related products tailored to key policy audiences.
  • Supervise a Policy Associate(s) and/or Policy Intern.
  • Look for continuous improvement by tracking and analyzing performance metrics for our policy goals.
  • Coordinate SRCD’s other policy-related activities and events, as needed.

Required Skills

We strive to use diversity, equity and inclusion best practices at SRCD. This means we will use a skills-based interview system. This system looks for that spark of potential, based on concrete examples of the skills you need to do this job. We will score you on the following four skills:

  • Communication: Excellent written and oral communication skills. Communicate in a straightforward, honest and engaging manner, adapting communications for different audiences to maximize understanding and impact. Be able to translate and summarize research studies into plain English. Encourage the use of different communication methods, including digital resources, icons and visual displays. Ensure communication has a clear purpose and adapts to people’s individual needs. Share information as appropriate and check understanding. Ensure that important messages are communicated with colleagues and stakeholders respectfully, taking into consideration the diversity of interests.
  • Decision making: Analyze and use a range of relevant, credible information from internal and external sources to support decisions. Understand your own level of responsibility and empower others to make decisions where appropriate. Invite challenge and where appropriate involve others in decision making. Consult with others to ensure the potential impacts on end users have been considered. Display confidence when making difficult decisions, even if they prove to be unpopular. Present strong recommendations in a timely manner outlining the consideration of alternative options, costs, benefits and risks.
  • Leadership and management: Promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, respecting difference and external experience. Welcome and respond to views and challenges from others, despite any conflicting pressures to ignore or give in to them. Stand by, promote or defend own and team’s actions and decisions where needed. Seek out shared interests beyond own area of responsibility, understanding the extent of the impact actions have on the organization. Inspire and motivate teams to be fully engaged in their work and dedicated to their role. Manage work with multiple competing deadlines, demonstrating strong organizational techniques. Communicate proactively when deadlines may be missed, and determine alternatives paths to deliver work.
  • Understanding research: Ability to assess the strength of evidence and understand the basics of quantitative and qualitative methodological approaches. You do not need to be a statistician, but rather to be able to question and challenge why researchers have made the choices they have and the limitations and applicability of findings to policy contexts. This may be demonstrated through formal learning (e.g. a degree) or in your professional experience. Ensure you speak to how, exactly, you have gained these skills in your cover letter. 

Education and Experience (these will be assessed in your written application)

  • Minimum of 4-6 years (required) of professional policy experience at the federal level; child and family policy experience strongly preferred
  • Master’s degree in public policy or related discipline (for those without a Master’s degree, we will accept 3 additional years’ experience, for a total of 7-10 years, of relevant work)

To Apply:

To apply, please send (1) a resume and (2) cover letter to In your cover letter, we will score you based on your communication skills, your ability to understand research, and on the education and experience required for this position (as defined above). The cover letter should clearly outline how you possess the skills and required years of experience for this position. Please cite specific examples of times you have exhibited the skills we are searching for. It should not be longer than two pages. Please do not send writing samples or other documents – they will not be reviewed.

If you are invited to interview, you will be assessed on all four skills, as defined above. We will send more information to candidates ahead of the interview.

We encourage applications from people with diverse backgrounds. We strive to be an inclusive employment environment, building diversity, equity and inclusion into all of our work. The Society for Research in Child Development is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or disability.

Compensation and benefits

This is a full-time position in Washington, D.C. We work in a hybrid pattern, with employees in person at our downtown office on Tuesdays and Wednesdays of each week.

The salary range is $75,000-$82,000, depending on years of experience. We offer an exceptional paid time off allowance, which is currently over 7 weeks per year (288 hours total) in employees’ first years, increasing with the length of service. This is in addition to federal holidays and an office-wide closure between Christmas and New Year. We strongly support employees to participate in school events for their children and maintain a culture of work-life balance. We are a friendly and welcoming team, who strive to place diversity, equity, and inclusion at the center of our interactions and work.

SRCD also offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes medical, dental, vision, disability, and life insurance coverage. We offer up to six months of paid parental leave. For employees with children, a tax-free savings plan can be used to help cover childcare expenses. We offer a retirement savings plan with a 6% match, plus a monthly $100 commuting expense stipend.

Application Deadline:

Applications will close on Monday, June 10, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. ET. We will aim to conduct interviews in late June. The role will start on July 1, 2024.