Economic Opportunity Director

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on

Organization Overview and Opportunity

Pioneer Institute is a public policy think tank dedicated to improving education and healthcare outcomes, expanding economic opportunity, and fostering accountable government and a healthy civic culture in Massachusetts and across the United States. Our scholars and staff advance ideas rooted in the values of our representative democracy — liberty, personal responsibility, free enterprise, fact-based argument and the free exchange of ideas. Building on the power of our country’s federalist governance structure, we develop nonpartisan, academic-quality research and programs, and disseminate proven policy innovations for the betterment of other states and the nation.  

The Institute is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. It was founded in 1988 and has a sterling reputation. Pioneer is well run and has a passionate staff, including recognized, first-class policy experts whose work is peer reviewed. The communications and education team effectively disseminates policy work using dynamic, contemporary strategies, with a commitment to reaching rising generations. The Board of Directors and donors are proud of the highly leveraged outcomes associated with their investment in Pioneer’s accomplishments, as well as the integrity with which it operates. For more information, please visit

What is the Ultimate Goal of the Position: The Director’s agenda (research, media, engagement, additional products) will primarily focus on advancing policies that enhance a thriving economy so that entrepreneurs grow their business here and provide plentiful job opportunities. A significant part of the work will require engaging with policymakers, the media, business and community leaders, and the public to increase their understanding of economic realities. The Director would lead and further expand Pioneer’s Center for Economic Opportunity.

This position reports to Pioneer’s Chief Operating Officer.

Preferred Skills/Background

  • Advanced degree in economics or public policy
  • Experience working with state and local policymakers, or directly in state or local government, preferably in economic development
  • Historic knowledge of the Massachusetts government and public policy arena
  • National level work and a national network
  • High-level critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • 4 to 7 years of relevant experience (preference given to those with 7 years), including the ability to analyze large sets of data
  • Working knowledge of various software for data manipulation, visualization, statistics, and automated reporting
  • Excellent communications skills, including the ability to translate complex topics into comprehensible reports
  • Superb writing and editing skills
  • Strong presentation skills
  • High energy and commitment to Pioneer’s mission


  • Conceptualize and carry out research on key areas of the Massachusetts and regional economy to provide policy makers the basis for sound decision-making.
  • Write and commission research papers, and develop other media (e.g., videos, podcasts, data visualizations, campaigns) targeted at policymakers and the public to inform them of opportunities to advance the state’s economy and areas where misdirected public policies decisions led to shortages or perverse incentives.
  • Interpret and forecast the trends of the market by studying present and historical trends.
  • Advise on solutions to address housing and transportation improvements.
  • Evaluate and improve Pioneer’s economic database and MassEconomix website, and devise strategies to market and maximize use of these tools
  • Implement Pioneer’s existing strategic plan and work with staff to develop subsequent strategic plans
  • Create and conduct, or commission, surveys, as needed
  • Analyze tax and economic proposals before the legislature
  • Manage staff and fellows as assigned


  • Significant flextime time to be used for vacation, personal, or sick time
  • 10 paid holidays per year
  • 85% paid medical (Harvard Pilgrim Health Care) and dental (Altus Dental)
  • Long-term disability
  • 401(k) plan (Pioneer makes an automatic Safe Harbor contribution of 3% of salary; with immediate vesting)

Pioneer Institute is an equal opportunity employer.

To apply: Please send a cover letter and resume to Mary Z. Connaughton, Chief of Operations, Pioneer Institute