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Lead Researcher, State Climate Policy

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Posted on Friday, September 22, 2023

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) is a nonpartisan research and policy institute that advances federal and state policies to help build a nation where everyone — regardless of income, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, ZIP code, immigration status, or disability status — has the resources they need to thrive and share in the nation’s prosperity.

CBPP combines rigorous research and analysis, strategic communications, and effective advocacy to shape debates, affect policy, and inform effective implementation both nationally and in states. It works closely with a broad set of national, state, and community organizations to design and advance policies that promote economic justice; improve health; broaden opportunity in areas like housing, health care, employment, and education; and lower structural barriers for people of color and others in communities that continue to face systemic barriers to opportunity. CBPP promotes policies that will build a more equitable nation and fair tax policies that can support these gains over the long term. CBPP also shows the harmful impacts of policies and proposals that would deepen poverty, widen disparities, and worsen health outcomes.

CBPP coordinates a highly effective network of state-level fiscal policy organizations in 40 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico called State Priorities Partnership. CBPP and Partnership groups have long succeeded in producing federal- and state-level policy change that builds prosperity in low-income communities and advances racial and economic equity. We have particular expertise in shaping state and federal tax and budget policies as they relate to issues of equity.

Climate change poses great risk to people living in communities that have faced systemic under-investment. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) includes billions of dollars in funding that state, local, territorial, and tribal governments can use to respond to the climate crisis. These include both direct federal grants as well as “direct pay” tax credits that allow (for the first time) tax-exempt entities like state and local governments to receive funding through the tax code. The amount of funds available could create new economic opportunities and make a crucial difference to the climate resiliency of marginalized communities, but much of how these provisions will work is uncertain and complex and, without additional support, communities of color and low-income communities could face even greater investment disparities if better-resourced communities are better positioned to access the funding the Inflation Reduction Act makes available.

The Role

CBPP seeks a Lead Researcher to lead a new project focused on helping marginalized communities access and make the most of the IRA climate funds. The Lead Researcher will influence, review, and summarize Treasury guidance about these funds, lead the production of a “train the trainer” module aimed at helping intermediary organizations and others understand how to maximize the climate resiliency impacts of the IRA in marginalized communities, and support a cohort of Partnership groups working on the ground with community-based partners to make the most of the IRA in six states.

The Lead Researcher will be an established policy professional with substantial experience examining public policy issues related to taxation and/or climate resiliency. They will also demonstrate a history of commitment to racial and economic justice, and ideally have engaged directly in pursing policy change in ways that build power in historically excluded communities.


  • Produce and deliver a “train the trainer” module to state, local, and tribal government associations, advocacy and organizing groups, and other intermediary organizations on what opportunities exist in the IRA to support the climate resiliency of marginalized communities, what the Treasury guidance allows, how direct pay works, and what models they can draw on.
  • Work with CBPP’s experts on federal tax policy to influence and summarize guidance about the IRA climate funds, especially as it relates to direct pay and other issues related to the funding available to state and local governments.
  • Provide analytic and strategic advice to a cohort of six Partnership groups engaged in state-level work on this project, and help these groups prioritize and maximize their impact.
  • Conduct research and produce written materials or interactive web tools lifting up model uses of IRA funds, particularly those that benefit historically marginalized or low-income communities and identify other state-level climate policy advances that can help support health and climate justice.
  • Manage news and media relationships pertaining to the IRA, which includes handling interview requests as needed, and handing any public presentations.


  • At least ten years of experience, of which at least seven years should be working on climate and/or tax policy issues at the state or federal level as legislative staff, executive branch staff, and/or as an independent researcher or advocate. A graduate degree in a relevant field may be substituted for two years of work experience.
  • Demonstrated skill/experience in developing advocacy strategies to improve public policies.
  • Excellent communications skills, including strong writing, speaking, and interpersonal skills.
  • A demonstrated commitment to reducing racial, gender, and other inequities across all lines of difference.
  • Strong quantitative and analytic skills, including a facility with spreadsheets and a penchant for accuracy.
  • Demonstrated skill/experience in analyzing complex fiscal policy issues, explaining those issues (in writing and orally) to broader audiences, and explaining the impact of those issues on families and hard-hit communities.
  • Demonstrated skill/experience engaging effectively with staff at partner organizations and mentoring analysts with less experience.
  • Some travel (perhaps 5 percent of total time) is likely to be required.

CBPP is currently operating on a hybrid work schedule of two in-office days (Tuesday and Wednesday) per week, as well as the first Thursday of each month in our Washington, D.C. office. The team is open to remote candidates for this position if they are open to periodic travel to our office in D.C., but they have a strong preference for local candidates.

This position reports to the Director of State Fiscal Policy Research.

Terms of Employment: full-time, exempt. Two-year term position.

Bargaining Unit Status: This is a bargaining unit position.

Please upload a cover letter and resume. In your cover letter, please include a discussion of what draws you to state fiscal policy analysis.


Salary for the role starts at $140,000 annually, with the exact salary to be determined based on total relevant experience, excellent benefits (including health insurance, vision and dental coverage, life and long-term disability insurance, retirement, MERP, and DCAP), and generous vacation, sick leave, and holiday schedules.

Please submit your application here.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is an Equal Opportunity Employer that values and welcomes diversity in the workplace and strongly encourages all qualified persons to apply regardless of race, color, age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, credit information, pregnancy or parental status, family responsibilities, personal appearance, creed, military or veteran status, religion, ancestry or national origin, union activities, disability, or other status protected by applicable law.