Senior Associate, National Equity Atlas

Program · Oakland, California
Department Program
Employment Type Full-Time (100% FTE)
Minimum Experience Experienced
Compensation 80,000 - 110,000

This professional-level position, available immediately, is an exciting opportunity to join the staff at PolicyLink. PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing racial and economic equity by Lifting Up What Works®. We are currently working remotely – We strongly prefer Oakland as well as other locations within California as the home base. The Sr. Associate will be required to travel to the Bay Area regularly if they are based in other parts of California.

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Position Overview

Putting the power of reliable, accurate, and deeply disaggregated data into the hands of movement leaders and policymakers is a key strategy that PolicyLink is using to win on equity and achieve transformative policy changes that improve the lives of the 100 million people in America living in or near poverty. Through a research partnership with the University of Southern California Equity Research Institute (ERI) led by Dr. Manuel Pastor, we produce the National Equity Atlas: America’s most detailed report card on racial and economic equity and a first-of-its-kind data and policy tool to design high-impact equity solutions. National Equity Atlas products and research inform policy campaigns led by PolicyLink and our allies, elevate equity issues in the policy debate, and equip local leaders with relevant data and policy solutions.

PolicyLink is seeking a Senior Associate to join our team and partnership. The ideal candidate is passionate about producing data and research that is relevant and actionable for those working on the front lines to advance racial economic equity. They are skilled at generating relevant and timely research ideas, exploring and analyzing a range of datasets, executing collaborative research projects, producing compelling data displays and maps, and writing about data in an engaging and accessible way — and looking for an opportunity to further grow skills and leadership by joining our dynamic team.

The senior associate will lead Atlas research engagements with community partners, including the development of reports, analyses, and local equity data tools; contribute research and data support to other National Equity Atlas projects; and contribute to the further development of the Atlas tool.


Position Responsibilities

  • Conduct quantitative and qualitative research and author, co-author, and contribute writing and research to policy briefs, analyses, and articles, including comparative analyses and equity profiles/research reports focused on particular communities.
  • Lead the development of the Bay Area Equity Atlas.
  • Contribute to the ongoing development of new quantitative and qualitative research methods to support our organizational research agenda and in response to the needs of our partners.
  • Develop creative solutions to communicate complex data and research findings, including through data visualizations (graphs, charts, and maps), presentations, and websites.
  • Facilitate new and existing partnerships with grassroots organizations, advocacy networks, and as a core member of the National Equity Atlas team, participate in the development of new research and analyses and the selection of new indicators to incorporate into the Atlas.
  • Participate in developing and implementing outreach and dissemination strategies, including webinars.
  • Conduct trainings and presentations on the Bay Area Equity Atlas and the National Equity Atlas.
  • Manage grants and project budgets.
  • Stay current with pertinent literature, developments, and data visualizations around issues of demographic change, inequality, mobility, and equitable growth.
  • Occasionally conduct short-term data and mapping analyses for other teams at PolicyLink.
  • We anticipate that this position will eventually involve travel (one to four trips per month).




  • Master’s degree in urban planning, economics, public policy, public health, or related social science (e.g., political science, sociology) preferred, BA degree with at least 5-7 years relevant work experience will be considered in lieu of graduate degree.
  • Four years of relevant work experience conducting research to support policy development, advocacy, or organizing.
  • Excellent writing and research skills, experience with data analysis and quantitative research, including statistical analysis (SPSS or another statistical package) and spatial analysis using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and attention to detail in producing research for publication.
  • Ability to translate complex data and analyses for mainstream audiences, including facility with using Excel for data analysis and the generation of graphs and charts.
  • Strong communications skills, including public speaking and the ability to work collaboratively with local and national partners.
  • Experience with project management, including managing the development of research products.
  • Self-starter with good time management skills and ability to effectively work on multiple projects.
  • Experience working with low-income communities of color and familiarity with public policy and the legislative process are desirable.


  • The hiring salary range for this position is $80,000 - $110,000, dependent upon experience. Additionally, PolicyLink provides an excellent and comprehensive benefits package that includes medical, dental, vision, 401k match, ancillary benefits, access to Flexible Spending Accounts, commuter expenses, and generous leave benefits.


How to Apply


We accept online applications only.

Please note: No phone calls please. Only those selected to participate in our hiring process will be contacted.


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PolicyLink strongly values equity and believes in a just and fair society where all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential. We work towards a more inclusive world and as such we are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, skin color, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, marital status, military status, pregnancy, or parenthood. PolicyLink is committed to maintaining a diverse and multicultural working environment.


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  • Location
    Oakland, California
  • Department
  • Employment Type
    Full-Time (100% FTE)
  • Minimum Experience
  • Compensation
    80,000 - 110,000