Posted: Apr 13, 2021

Research Officer for Education Leadership

The Wallace Foundation - New York, NY
Salary: $160,000.00 Annually
Application Deadline: N/A

The Wallace Foundation -- an independent, national, New York-based philanthropy with $1.75 billion in assets – traces its origins back more than half a century to DeWitt and Lila Acheson Wallace, founders of The Reader’s Digest Association. The Foundation’s mission is to foster equity and improvements in learning and enrichment for young people, and in the arts for everyone. Grounded by its core values, which guide how staff work together and with grantee and external partners, the Foundation aims to create a workplace where everyone can thrive and support the mission.

The Foundation is seeking a Research Officer to manage its portfolio of research grants and grantees associated with its investments in Education Leadership. The Officer serves as a key member of the education leadership strategy and implementation teams, where the Foundation’s education leadership directions, including research directions, are collaboratively developed and refined. Both teams are comprised of staff from the Foundation’s program, communications, and research units. The Research Officer for Education Leadership will contribute their research perspectives and expertise to support the Foundation’s overall strategy in education leadership, and in particular, to identify related research directions and opportunities to build the knowledge base in ways that advance the Foundation’s strategy.

The four primary dimensions of the Research Officer for Education Leadership position are:

  • Effectively manage the design, review, award, and implementation of a range of research projects developed as a part of the Foundation’s knowledge agenda in education leadership;
  • Intellectually contribute research perspectives to the Foundation’s collaborative process of designing, implementing, and refining its education leadership strategy;
  • Conduct in-depth editorial reviews of commissioned research reports to support knowledge-sharing and dissemination of lessons learned with the broader fields of practice and policy; and
  • Contribute to the Foundation’s research capacity and approach as a part of the Research Unit.

As the Foundation begins a new 6-year initiative focused on equity-centered leadership in Fall 2021, the Research Officer will manage a suite of grants employing a range of predominantly qualitative and mixed methods including ethnography, impact and effects study designs, and development of an equity assessment tool.

Reporting to The Wallace Foundation’s Director of Research, the Research Officer will bring deep knowledge of research in education leadership and equity and a depth of experience with qualitative research in particular. Strong candidates will also demonstrate exceptional relational, translational, and active-listening skills which will be crucial for contributing to sound decision-making in the Foundation’s collaborative team structure. The Foundation values the flexibility to adapt to change, a desire to learn, and the ability to work productively both on one’s own and with colleagues inside and outside the organization.

While no one candidate will embody all the qualifications enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:

  • A Ph.D. in a relevant social science discipline;
  • Scholarly history of conducting research and publishing peer-reviewed papers in the context of education leadership and equity;
  • At least seven years’ experience designing and conducting education research (serving as a PI, co-PI, or project director);
  • Deep understanding of the research literature in education leadership, particularly with respect to the equity dimensions and implications of practices, policies, and systems change efforts;
  • Grasp of the education leadership field at large, current issues it is engaged with, and how research could be conducted and presented to advance practice;
  • Excellent writing skills, spanning academic and more public/practitioner related audiences;
  • Extensive professional networks with the education leadership research community;
  • Capacity to work productively in a collaborative team structure;
  • Experience working with or in district and school contexts, and/or working as a practitioner in a K-12 district or school context is desirable;
  • Experience managing the collection of quantitative and qualitative data, including sensitive data from children, while meeting the requirements of relevant laws and norms;
  • Demonstrated commitment to accountability and transparency;
  • Ability to synthesize and add value by connecting site lessons, research, and the broader system;
  • Excellent conceptual, analytic, and forward-thinking skills;
  • Exceptional project management skills and ability to multi-task in a fast-paced environment;
  • Outstanding ability to connect, convey and receive complex ideas, and drive consensus and mutual understanding in writing, speaking, active listening, and synthesis.

The salary for this position is $160,000.

Benefits include:

  • Health, dental and vision for employee and covered dependents as of date of hire.
  • 403(b) Retirement Plan with employer contribution.
  • Generous Paid Time Off (PTO) and schedule of annual holidays.
  • Tuition reimbursement and professional development initiatives for growth.
  • Leaves of Absence providing employees time to manage personal or family responsibilities, recover from an illness or injury, or respond to civic duties.

For the full position description and to apply, please visit:

More information about The Wallace Foundation may be found at:

This search is being led by Allison Kupfer Poteet and Sarah Hecklau of NPAG. Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Candidates may submit their cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume via NPAG’s candidate portal.

The Wallace Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to maintaining a diverse workplace where differing perspectives are a source of strength.