- Director, Policy & Research, USA

Director, Policy & Research

Civic Council of Greater Kansas City

Kansas City, Missouri

The Opportunity

The Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization dedicated to bolstering the quality of life and economic development in the KansasCity region, seeks a professional to serve at the director level for policy and research.  The successful candidate will be adept at identifying and furthering work on issues central to the economic success of the Kansas City region, knowledgeable about public policy issues facing the region and an excellent writer. 

Accountabilities; Key Duties and Responsibilities

Reporting to the President and Vice President(s) of the Civic Council, the Director has primary responsibility for researching, analyzing and communicating public policy issues at the Civic Council. The director also supports and works with committees and task forces comprised of member volunteers and community stakeholders.  The Director has a thorough knowledge of where to find statistical information and research relevant to the Civic Council’s work and can produce written analyses of complex issues in a format easily understood by non-experts.

In carrying out his/her duties and responsibilities, the Director, Policy & Research: 

• Researches and analyzes existing and prospective issues and proposals affecting the community, with particular emphasis on projects requiring significant public or private funding or some combination of both.

• Conducts original research or initiates contractual arrangements to produce original research to inform public policies or community initiatives.

• Plans and formulates aspects of research and planning proposals such as objective or purpose of project, applications that can be utilized from findings, costs of projects, human resources requirements; negotiates contracts with outside providers of research, oversees work, ensures contractor compliance with scope of work and other contract terms and monitors quality of work.

• With the President and Civic Council Board and membership, works with appropriate community groups to obtain consensus on issues and methodologies for research.

• Serves as staff lead for research requirements and evaluation requests made by KC Rising leadership and various work groups and task forces under the direction of KC Rising

• Assists the President and other Civic Council staff in providing support to the Civic Council Board and KC Rising, as research and analysis of issues is required.
Provides staff support to designated Civic Council committees and task forces.

• Creates and then maintains, updates and analyzes the Civic Council’s success indicators and benchmarking against Top 50 metros/cities.

• Develops strong relationships with the research community in the Kansas City region to become a resource to help with region-impacting initiatives which are relevant to the Civic Council agenda and is aware of existing outside expertise.

• Anticipates community needs and develops innovative ways to respond to and finance such needs. Tracks issues that are, or have the potential to become, critical to the region or member operations.

• Is sensitive to political risks and realities and relates constructively to governmental entities at municipal, county, metro, state and federal levels.

• Remains informed of the activities and projects of the Civic Council, and is alert to opportunities to offer alternatives and resources that allow the committees to function more effectively.

• Develops and implements methods and procedures for monitoring projects, such as preparation of records of expenditures and research findings, progress reports, and staff conferences, in order to inform the Board of the current status of each project.

• Produces high-quality, insightful policy briefs, white papers or summaries of complex public policy issues.

Key Qualities and Essential Skills

The successful candidate will demonstrate:

• Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions; to interpret an extensive variety of technical instructions in mathematical or diagram form and deal simultaneously with several abstract and concrete variables.

• Ability to work independently to set direction and accomplish required tasks; to evaluate options and make decisions in the implementation of a strategy that has been developed and approved by the board of directors/president.

• Ability to work in and lead teams with Civic Council members, community partners, peers and other staff members.

• Ability to work with mathematical concepts such as probability and statistical inference; to apply concepts such as fractions, percentages, ratios and proportions to practical situations;

• Ability to find and access data from a variety of sources with the skill-set to pursue primary research discovery; to be proficient with the internet; to effectively use Microsoft Word, EXCEL and Power Point to produce and deliver presentations.

• Language and presentation skills, including the ability to read, analyze, and interpret the most complex documents; to respond effectively to the most sensitive inquiries or complaints; to facilitate groups; give and share credit and take responsibility for mistakes or failure; to write speeches and articles using original or innovative techniques or style; to make effective and persuasive speeches and presentations on controversial or complex topics to public groups and the Civic Council Board, Committees and Task Forces. 

In addition, the Director, Policy & Research, will possess the following traits:

• Ability to juggle multiple tasks
• Ability to work quickly and accurately
• Ability to create collaborative relationships
• Ability to blend strategic thinking with detailed follow-through on projects and responsibilities
• Passion for community building
• Passion for continued learning about new topics and issues
• Ability to work more than a 40-hour week if needed to accomplish a task
• Demonstrated understanding of the importance and value of integrity, professionalism, responsiveness, loyalty to members and the organization and ability to maintain confidentiality
• Ability to be flexible and adapt to rapidly changing conditions and priorities
• Ability to work with a variety of individuals, from community partners to CEOs of major corporations and their assistants

Education and Experience

Bachelor’s degree in Business, Political Science, Public Policy, Public Administration, or related field.  Advanced degree a plus.

Minimum of 3 years’ related experience in a research- or policy-based setting.

Experience working with community stakeholders in collective impact work with demonstrated results is preferred.

Application Deadline and Procedure

This position will remain open until filled; however, applications received by Friday, October 26, will receive priority consideration.
Apply by email to:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Attach to the e-mail in PDF:
• Letter of application
• Resumé, detailing measurable success in the areas of key qualifications for the position
• List of five professional references we may contact
Complete applications will be acknowledged by return e-mail within one week of submission.

Questions may be directed to:  HCapSearchNP, Jennifer Furla, Partner, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 816-591-5493.
The Civic Council of Greater Kansas City is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The Civic Council affords equal employment opportunity regardless of age, race, gender, creed, national origin, disability, gender identity, veteran status or any other legally protected categories. 

About the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City

Formed in 1964 with the goal of aggregating the resources of the region’s largest companies to address major challenges and opportunities, the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City is a privately-funded membership organization that focuses on long-term issues that will impact the quality of life and the economic development of the Kansas City region.

The Civic Council places a high value on aligning its work with that of other civic groups, is highly collaborative, undertakes initiatives that require a long-term, strategic focus, and often works in the background. Its role ranges from catalyst/convener to researcher and provider of seed funding or incubation for initiatives.

The Civic Council in 2014 launched KC Rising (kcrising.com), a significant initiative to grow the region’s economy. This high-priority effort emerged from a review of the region’s economic performance, showing a metropolitan area that was lagging its peer metros in job growth, population expansion, and innovation and business  development. KC Rising was developed to create and execute on a regional economic business plan focused on Trade, Ideas and People. KC Rising is business-led, highly collaborative, informed by research, and accountable to sponsoring organizations and the community through a performance evaluation process.

 Key KC Rising Partners include:  Kansas City Area Development Council; Mid-America Regional Council and the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

Job posted on 26th September 2018
Please mention Political Jobs when applying to this position