Pew Research Center: Director, Pew Research Center Labs

Lead the creation of Labs that will provide the expertise to experiment with new data sets and seek out new research methods and opportunities that complement and expand our traditional research agenda.

Pew Research Center Company: Pew Research Center
Location: Washington, DC

Organization Overview
Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It currently conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research in the areas of U.S. politics and policy views; media and journalism; internet and technology; religion and public life; Hispanic trends; global attitudes and U.S. social and demographic trends. Pew Research does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts. Pew Research Center's work is carried out by a staff of approximately 130 based in Washington, DC.

Position Description
Pew Research Center is looking for a Director to lead the creation of the Pew Research Center Labs. The Labs are envisioned as an integral, and integrated, part of the Center that will provide researchers the intellectual and analytical expertise and support needed to experiment with new data sets and seek out new research methods and opportunities that complement and expand our traditional research agenda. The Director will have the ability to recruit several dedicated Labs staff members from internal and external sources, and the Labs' structure will include opportunities for existing staff to develop new skills and pursue new ideas. Over time, methods and practices developed in Labsshouldbecome part of the Center's core work. The Labs Director will serve as an ambassador to the Center's constituencies - including the general public, journalists, public officials, and academia-- by interpreting, explaining and demonstrating the value and potential of the expanding world of big data.

The longer term goal is to expand both the range of questions the Pew Research Center asks and the tools available to provide answers, while maintaining the Center's reputation as an honest and trusted source of neutral information through transparency, nonpartisanship and methodological clarity.

  • Responsible for the creation and launch of Pew Research Labs. The Labs are envisioned as an integral part of the Center that will provide researchers the support and intellectual and analytical capacity to experiment with new data sets and research methods in ways that complement the traditional research of the Center, which focuses on understanding the public's attitudes, values and behaviors.
  • Hire external data science-oriented staff, and identify and recruit internal staff to work on Labs projects
  • Identify and gain access to a wide variety of newly emerging forms of data, including establishing partnerships for access to data in private hands
  • Solicit and nurture research project ideas from across the Center, as well as generating research ideas as an individual performer, focusing on the potential for leveraging the Center's store of structured data along with big data explorations to create a stronger, more diverse research output
  • Lead the Center generally in its exploration of new forms of data and analysis, and serve as the Center's ambassador in this domain to the general public and its expert constituencies
  • Develop and maintain standards for research conducted with new data and methodologies that can and will be publicly available to all researchers

  • An MS or PhD with a strong quantitative focus, as well as familiarity with the social sciences in general
  • Relevant experience at a senior or management level in a research-oriented environment
  • Established reputation and credibility in the emerging big data community
  • Experience taking a research project from conceptualization through data analysis to completion
  • Experience with computational statistics and/or predictive analytics
  • Experience working with large data sets in relational databases and/or Hadoop, and creating reproducible analysis in languages like R and Python.

Knowledge and Skill Requirements
  • The candidate should have the ambition and creativity to build something new, and the communication and leadership abilities needed to bring people along
  • Proven strong management skills, including the ability to attract and retain top talent
  • Enthusiasm for exploring big questions with data, puzzle solving, and honest communication about the strengths and limitations of data
  • Entrepreneurial spirit, including demonstrated ability to recognize and capitalize on new opportunities to further the mission of Pew Research Center Labs
  • Well versed in a variety of analytical techniques involved in working with big data in its many guises
  • Ability to work in a highly collaborative environment with researchers from a variety of different social science disciplines
  • Ability to network and communicate effectively with key external constituencies, including government officials and journalists
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills and a keen understanding of the importance of clear and ongoing communications with staff at all levels
  • Mature leadership, seasoned judgment and high integrity
  • Must have a core passion for the mission of an organization that prides itself in providing research information to citizens, journalists and policymakers and is dedicated to the highest principles of accountability

Application Procedure
Applicants should send a resume, cover letter (indicating where you learned of the opening) with salary expectations to

Responses can also be mailed to:
Human Resources Department
Pew Research Center
1615 L Street, NW Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036

We are an equal opportunity employer.