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Chief Economist or Visiting Scholar

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Posted on Thursday, March 28, 2024

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.

Over the next two years, federal and state policymakers face critical fiscal policy questions that get at the heart of where we are headed as a nation — who will get invested in, how will we finance those investments, and will we build toward a country where the economy works for everyone? In 2025, regardless of the outcomes of the elections this fall, policymakers will make a number of consequential policy decisions — from addressing expiring tax and health provisions to deciding who and what we will invest in as a nation — that will have a significant impact on the economy and the well-being of millions of people. CBPP is preparing for these debates now and will be deeply involved in shaping these decisions in ways that promote economic justice and broaden opportunity.

To further this work, CBPP seeks an economist to engage on macroeconomic, fiscal policy, and labor market issues. The ideal candidate will be a strong communicator looking to bring economic analysis to real-world policies and debates that will affect the nation’s future and the lives of millions of people. The ideal candidate will also have experience in one or more of the following areas: macroeconomics, fiscal policy, labor market issues, poverty and inequality, racial equity, housing, and discrimination. This position is an excellent opportunity for an economist who wants to engage deeply and meaningfully in critical policy issues. We are interested in candidates looking to join CBPP on a permanent basis (Chief Economist) or for 18-24 months (Visiting Scholar).

The Chief Economist or Visiting Scholar will be a senior leader within CBPP’s Federal Fiscal Policy team and will serve as an advisor to CBPP leaders, including the President, and as a resource to the entire organization. The Federal Fiscal Policy team analyzes the federal budget, budget proposals, and long-term budget trends. Its tax policy work focuses on revenue adequacy, fairness, racial equity, and tax compliance as well as the impact of tax policies on the economy. It also works on issues related to the federal budget process and its rules, which can have a significant effect on the policymaking process. The Federal Fiscal Policy team includes research assistants who would be available to assist the Chief Economist or Visiting Scholar and mid- and senior-level staff with expertise in budget issues, federal taxes, Social Security and disability policy, and the U.S. territories.

Applicants seeking long-term employment or a term position of 18 months to two years are welcome to apply. Those hired into a term position would be a Visiting Scholar, while those seeking a long-term position would be the Chief Economist.

Responsibilities

  • Engage in key economic debates through writing, speaking, working with partners, participating in and planning convenings, talking to press, and engaging on social media.
  • Partner with others at CBPP to engage with policymakers and their staff. The Chief Economist or Visiting Scholar will work on a mix of short- and long-term projects on a range of current economic debates.
  • Keep abreast of the state of the economy and the latest macroeconomic data, including tracking key trends and analyzing their implications across different income and demographic groups.
  • The Chief Economist or Visiting Scholar will engage on a number of potential issues. These may include:
    • The advantages of strengthening the revenue base and addressing other shortcomings of our current revenue system, including its favorable treatment of high-income and high-wealth households and profitable businesses;
    • The impact of federal and state fiscal and programmatic policies on labor market outcomes, particularly as they relate to marginalized populations and people in low-paying jobs and the special economic challenges they face;
    • The importance of increasing public investment in people and communities, including how investments can benefit the economy overall, improve measures of well-being, and promote equity;
    • The distributional and equity implications of tax and budget policies, including addressing persistent income and wealth inequality across racial and ethnic groups;
    • The economic implications of the nation’s long-term federal fiscal trajectory;
    • The role of monetary policy on the economy;
    • Labor policies such as minimum wage, unemployment insurance, and paid leave;
    • The economic impacts of economic and health security policies; and
    • Trends in housing and impacts on households with low incomes.

Qualifications:

We don’t expect candidates to have expertise in all of these areas. We are seeking candidates with expertise in macroeconomics, labor economics, and some policy issues relevant to our work; a willingness to explore the economic questions in some new areas in partnership with CBPP experts; and a desire to engage in public debate to influence policymaking.

  • Experience and interest in applying economic knowledge and principles to current debates;
  • Ability to communicate economic principles and the impacts of government policies for non-academic policy audiences, including policymakers and media, and to help them understand how economic issues and policy decisions affect people and communities;
  • Interest in working on issues that are in the public debate and that policymakers will decide on in the near-term, willingness to work in a fast-paced environment with quick-turnaround projects, and a commitment to CBPP’s mission (https://www.cbpp.org/about);
  • The strongest candidates will have prior experience in engaging in national policy issues or prior experience in government or think tanks;
  • Minimum ten to fifteen years of relevant experience; and
  • Master’s degree or PhD in Economics. Related academic training or experience in the role of an economist will also be considered.

This position reports to the Senior Vice President for Federal Fiscal Policy.

Terms of Employment: Chief Economist: full-time, exempt, permanent.

Visiting Scholar: full time, exempt, 18-24-month term.

Bargaining Unit Status: This is not a bargaining unit position.

CBPP currently operates on a hybrid work schedule that includes at least two days per week in-person at our Washington, D.C. office; up to 10 percent travel for events will be expected. We will consider remote candidates for this position, but up to 20 percent travel to our office for team meetings and/or events is required. While a remote candidate would have some flexibility around their regular working hours, they would be required to attend meetings during core business hours on Eastern Time as needed and would be expected to meet Eastern Time deadlines.

Compensation: The salary range for the role is $150,000 to the low $200,000s 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 upload a cover letter and resume. In your cover letter, please include a discussion of what draws you to the Center's mission.

To apply, please submit your resume and cover letter 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.