Career Opportunities



Director of Applied Research


The Director of Applied Research designs and conducts applied research projects to examine the relationships between economic and demographic characteristics and disparities in access to economic opportunity and to support Woodstock Institute’s policy advocacy.  The research encompasses equitable lending and investments, wealth creation and preservation, and access to safe and affordable financial products, services, and systems, and how they impact lower-wealth persons and communities of color.  The position gives a qualified research professional an unusually good opportunity to see the results of his/her research have an impact in policy changes.  The Director also collaborates with local and national colleagues on research; convenes and participates in regional coalitions; makes presentations and conducts communications, media, and advocacy outreach; supervises other staff researchers and interns; and, plays a major role in foundation, corporate, and contract fundraising. The Director is a member of the senior management team and reports to the President.



·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, mortgage, small business, and consumer lending data, and public data at the local level.

·Demonstrated commitment to economic justice issues. Familiarity with economic and racial justice research, practitioners, and thought leaders.

·Warm and collaborative interpersonal skills. Comfortable with diverse groups, including community groups, nonprofit advocates, funders, policymakers, regulators, and academics.

·Self-starter with ability to work independently and juggle multiple tasks and deadlines.

·Excellent writing, public speaking, and presentation skills. Demonstrated ability to write, edit, and publish research reports and related policy recommendations.

·Fundraising and grant writing/reporting experience.

·At least 2 years’ experience in hiring, training, and supervising junior staff and/or interns.

·Willingness to travel frequently within the state and across the country.


Salary, benefits, and other information

·Salary will depend on experience. Likely range between $60,000~$90,000.

·Generous benefits package, including 6 percent contribution by organization to retirement plan.

·Position is based in downtown Chicago office of Woodstock Institute.


To apply: Please submit resume and cover letter by March 10, 2017, to David Erickson-Pearson Executive Search at  Preferred start date: April 17, 2017. Woodstock Institute is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages qualified applicants from diverse backgrounds and protected classes to apply.



Policy Director


The Policy Director reports to the President, and leads Woodstock’s policy advocacy and government relations work at the local, state, and national levels. The Policy Director also leads state and national coalition work and assists with fundraising. The Policy Director collaborates with the research team in setting the organization’s research agenda, and develops and disseminates the organization’s policy positions in collaboration with the communications team. The Policy Director supervises the communications work of the Communications & Development Associate. This is a full-time position located in Chicago with a competitive salary, professional development opportunities, and generous benefits, including an employer contribution to a retirement account after one year. Expected salary range: $50,000 to $80,000, depending on experience.\


Responsibilities include

·​Lead policy/advocacy initiatives at the local, state, and national levels, including trips to Springfield, IL, and Washington, D.C. Must register as an Illinois lobbyist and comply with all applicable requirements.

·Participate in the regulatory rulemaking process, including drafting comment letters.

·Draft fact sheets and policy briefs, analyze policy proposals, and track local, state, and    federal legislation and rules relevant to Woodstock’s priorities.

·Assist research team with data analysis; develop policy recommendations for reports.

·Build and strengthen relationships with community organizations, coalition partners, industry representatives, and policymakers.

·Write blogs, newsletter articles, and press releases; interact with media; contribute to Woodstock’s social media presence; conduct presentations at meetings and conferences.

·Work with the President to develop and maintain relationships with funders and donors and to write grant proposals and reports.

·Work with Woodstock’s board and staff to implement the organization’s strategic plan



·Bachelor's degree in public policy, urban planning, economics, or related field, and at least five years’ experience in policy advocacy, government relations, and state or national coalitions, including drafting legislation and comments on proposed rules, and providing testimony and public presentations. Master’s degree or law degree preferred.

·Strong commitment to economic and social justice issues, as evidenced by previous professional or personal work. Familiarity with financial justice issues, such as high-cost lending and consumer protection; access to safe and affordable personal and small business credit; student loan debt and access to quality higher education; barriers to jobs and worker economic security; fair, affordable, and accessible housing and homeownership; the Community Reinvestment Act; the Dodd-Frank Act; retirement savings, child accounts, and other avenues for asset building and closing the wealth gap for low- and moderate-income and other marginalized populations.

·Excellent written and spoken English language communications skills required. Must have strong grammar and editing skills. Must have social media skills and the ability to write effective grant proposals and reports. Experience using logic models preferred. Foreign language skills a plus.

·Must be able to travel frequently to Springfield and other destinations, and to occasionally attend work-related events outside regular work hours in evenings and on some weekends.

·Highly collaborative interpersonal skills required. Must be self-motivated, show initiative and leadership, and have the ability to work independently and effectively with people at all levels and in an organized manner in a fast-paced environment. Must be able to successfully juggle multiple priorities and meet deadlines.

·Must have at least two years’ experience supervising and mentoring junior staff or interns.

·Woodstock Institute is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages qualified applicants from diverse backgrounds and protected classes to apply.


To apply: By 11:59 pm Central time on March 17, 2017, send cover letter, resume, two examples of recent original written work, and the name, address, and contact information for two references, to Patricia Woods-Hessing, at No phone calls, please. Must be available for a one-hour telephone interview on Monday, March 20, between 11 am and 5 pm Central time, and for an in-person interview in Chicago sometime March 21-22 between 9 am and 5 pm Central time. Any travel is at the applicant’s expense. Woodstock Institute is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages qualified applicants from diverse backgrounds and protected classes to apply.