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Policy and Research Manager, Criminal Justice Reform



Renton, WA, USA · Oakland, CA, USA · Oakland, CA, USA · California, USA · Washington, DC, USA
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2023

FWD.us is a bipartisan political organization that believes America’s families, communities, and economy thrive when everyone has the opportunity to achieve their full potential. For too long, our broken immigration and criminal justice systems have locked too many people out from the American dream. Founded by leaders in the technology and business communities, we seek to grow and galvanize political support to break through partisan gridlock and achieve meaningful reforms. Together, we can move America forward.

FWD.us is working to safely and significantly reduce the jail and prison population, to reduce the number of people with criminal convictions, and to support the millions of family members impacted by incarceration and the criminal justice system.

We are seeking a Policy and Research Manager to support our criminal justice reform work. The ideal candidate is a self-starter; can manage multiple projects; likes working in a solutions-oriented, fast-paced campaign environment; welcomes operating in a bipartisan framework; and values working with those directly impacted and non-traditional allies to achieve public policy victories. Candidates directly impacted by the criminal justice system, including formerly incarcerated candidates, are strongly encouraged to apply.

The Policy and Research Manager will report to the Vice President of Criminal Justice Research and Policy.


  • 7 or more years of experience working in policy or advocacy, preferably criminal justice reform
  • Deep understanding of the criminal justice system and how both law and practice impact the system
  • Experience working with state, local, and/or federal policymakers and/or criminal justice practitioners
  • Experience working in coalition with other organizations and actors
  • Experience and ability to work with partners on both sides of the aisle
  • Excellent strategic planning, writing, and communications skills
  • Experience conducting and/or strategically deploying legal, public opinion, quantitative, or qualitative research
  • Exceptional organization and project management skills plus the ability to adapt to changing priorities or deadlines
  • An urgency to drive meaningful change in our nation’s criminal justice system is a must


  • Lead policy and research work for legislative, electoral, narrative, and implementation campaigns to advance criminal justice reforms
  • Identify, prioritize, and refine policy targets and language
  • Track legislation and evolving political dynamics
  • Create and oversee strategic communications, research, and legislative products to support campaign work
  • Work closely with coalition and campaigns staff as well as external partners to prioritize high-impact work

Compensation and benefits: Starting salary commensurate with experience. We offer health, dental, and vision insurance benefits, matching 401k, sick leave, holiday schedules, a generous family leave policy, and many other supports for our staff.

This position will be expected to work three days a week out of either the Washington, DC, or Oakland, CA office. Travel 1-2 times a month is expected.

COVID-19 Considerations

FWD values the health and safety of our staff, their families, and our community. In support of these values, all FWD staff are required to be fully vaccinated and boosted. If selected for this job, incoming hires are required to be fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19. Requests for reasonable accommodations or exceptions related to medical or religious reasons will be considered. Candidates are NOT required to state their COVID-19 vaccine status in their application.

Equal Opportunity Employment/Diversity

We are an organization committed to making the world a better place for all people. Diversity is a source of our strength, and allows us to make better decisions, be more impactful, and excel at our jobs day to day. We see our internal commitment to diversity as reflective of how we view the world and the changes we want to see become reality.

This organization is an equal opportunity employer and complies with all applicable federal, state, and local fair employment practices laws. The company strictly prohibits discrimination and harassment against employees and applicants for employment on the basis of an individual’s race, color, religion, creed, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, veteran status or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local laws. This policy applies to all terms, conditions and privileges of employment, including recruitment, hiring, placement, compensation, promotion, training, discipline and termination.

The organization understands that too often what are viewed as the traditional credentials are subjective criteria that exclude historically marginalized communities and act as barriers to hiring and recruiting the best candidates.

As part of FWD’s best hiring practices, we do not have educational requirements for any of our jobs. Many of our jobs do require specific interpersonal, skill-based, technical, policy or other requirements and applicants for those jobs will be evaluated based on their level of expertise, to include lived experience and work experience - which could have taken place at an educational institution or elsewhere.

FWD.us believes in fair chances and employment opportunities that benefit everyone. Ensuring that people who have had contact with the criminal justice system--including incarceration for serious offenses and substantial periods of time--have the opportunities upon their release to fully succeed and contribute to this country is central to our work and is a value to which we are absolutely committed to uphold in how we operate and who we hire. We do not conduct criminal background checks on applicants, unless required by state or federal law for specific roles.

The company makes reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities to allow such persons to perform the essential functions of their jobs, to the extent required by law. Employees or applicants who would like to request a reasonable accommodation should contact Management. The company will also, where appropriate, provide reasonable accommodations for an employee’s sincerely-held religious beliefs or practices.

Applicants directly impacted by the criminal justice or immigration systems, including formerly incarcerated individuals, are strongly encouraged to apply.