Sunday, February 16, 2014

Job: Social Science Research Council, Program Officer/Director - Anxieties of Democracy, NY

Program Officer/Director - Anxieties of Democracy


The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) is an independent, international, nonprofit organization devoted to the advancement of interdisciplinary research in the social sciences through a wide variety of workshops and conferences, fellowships and grants, summer training institutes, scholarly exchanges, research, and publications.


The SSRC invites applications for the position of Program Officer/Director for the new Anxieties of Democracy Program. The program is motivated by a deep concern about whether the core institutions of representative democracies—elections, mass media, political parties, interest groups, social movements, and, especially, legislatures—that connect citizens and civil society to the political system can capably address large problems in the public interest. The program includes both a particular focus on US democracy and a global perspective on established democracies across world regions. With the support of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Anxieties of Democracy Program aims to mobilize existing research; promote new research; publish and disseminate findings; forge pathways for bringing this knowledge to policy, media, and public audiences; and provide opportunities for new generations of social scientists to address how to make democracies govern more effectively. This position is for two years and is potentially renewable.


The best-qualified candidates will have a PhD in one of the social sciences or a closely related field and demonstrated achievements as a researcher. Recent PhDs may apply, but competitive candidates should demonstrate experience in collaborative work, the organization of events, and/or connection and outreach to practitioners. Ability to communicate effectively is crucial, and experience engaging both researchers and nonacademic constituencies, including funders and policymakers, is critical. Familiarity with grants administration and budgeting is desirable. Candidates must demonstrate their ability to work collaboratively and to manage multiple priorities and projects effectively.


The Program Officer/Director will:
  • manage the continued development and implementation of this program in collaboration with the SSRC’s President and Senior Advisor, including the development of funding proposals to support program activities;
  • engage with key members of the program’s network, especially its research planning committee, to facilitate strategic planning and oversight of program activities;
  • oversee planning for upcoming events, including conferences, workshops, and other meetings, as well as manage program budgets;
  • oversee the process and quality of publications emerging from the program as well as its online presence, which will include an interactive digital forum;
  • facilitate connections between scholars and relevant policy and media communities in order to maximize the possibilities of shaping broader public debate on how to improve the problem-solving capacities of representative democratic institutions;
  • liaise and coordinate with other SSRC departments and various organizations that are in partnership with the SSRC; and
  • handle additional responsibilities and projects as directed, depending on interest and capacity.

Terms, Salary and Benefits

Annual salary will be commensurate with experience. Comprehensive benefits include health, dental, vision, disability, life, and gym reimbursement; outstanding pension plan and tax savings programs; generous vacation and sick leave; and more. Provisions are made for professional staff to continue their development as social scientists while at the Council.

Application Information

For further information or to apply, please send a cover letter that includes your thoughts on how the Anxieties of Democracy program might proceed, a curriculum vitae, one writing sample, and the names of at least three professional colleagues who can serve as references to applications(at) Please put “Anxieties of Democracy PO/PD Search” in the subject line.
Applications will be accepted until the position has been filled but should be received by March 15, 2014, for priority consideration.
The Social Science Research Council is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
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