Director of Higher Education Research and Data Analytics
The Education Trust - Washington, DC

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The Director of Higher Education Research and Data Analytics will lead an ambitious, innovative effort directed at advancing the opportunity and equity agenda at colleges and universities. The Director oversees staff, works collaboratively with the Director of Higher Education Practice and the Director of Higher Education Policy, and reports to the Vice President for Higher Education Policy and Practice. The Director also collaborates with staff in the organization’s Division of K-12 Policy and Practice and Division of Government Affairs and Communications.

Major Responsibilities

The Director of Higher Education Research and Data Analytics manages and carries out the organization’s higher education research and analytical work, and supervises a team of researchers, analysts, and consultants. The Director is responsible for:
  • Articulating the Education Trust’s overall higher education research agenda; researching, documenting, and calling attention to patterns and trends in college access, affordability, and success (e.g. quality, completion, earnings, and employment) with a focus on underserved populations;
  • Managing a team of analysts plus paid contractors; managing College Results Online , a public-access Web database that facilitates performance comparisons across similar institutions of higher education and expanding it into new areas; carrying out the same with respect to data collection and reporting for the Access to Success Initiative , a national effort to close gaps in college-going and completion for low-income and underrepresented students of color;
  • Presenting data, findings, and recommendations to policymakers, higher education practitioners, members of the media and others; writing and editing briefs, memoranda, magazine articles, op-eds, and blog posts/web stories;
  • Supporting the Education Trust’s efforts to leverage research and data in developing and analyzing policy proposals on key higher education issues by working with Higher Education policy development staff, particularly in relation to the use of data and metrics related to institutional improvement and accountability; supporting the organization’s efforts to package and disseminate research and data to the media and policymakers in order to advocate for policies and practices that close gaps in higher education by working collaboratively with the Division of Government Affairs and Communications;
  • Identifying and/or constructing key indicators or metrics for assessing or segmenting institution of higher education performance on access, affordability, and success measures; developing tools and processes for making these metrics meaningful and actionable for policymakers and practitioners; and advocating for better use of data and metrics in higher education decision-making at all levels;
  • Mining data to identify institutions of higher education or entities (e.g. states, systems of higher education) that are performing well or making significant progress relative to national trends in access, affordability, and success, particularly for underrepresented populations; documenting best policies, practices, and practitioners for dissemination; conducting literature reviews and policy scans to identify the most effective and strategically advantageous practices for improving access and outcomes in higher education;
  • Working as a liaison with other organizations on our research and metrics work and cultivating a network of researchers and practitioners who are leading experts on access, affordability, and success issues to inform our work and the work of others;
  • Working collaboratively with the Division of K-12 Policy and Practice to make readiness for college, career, and civic participation the primary mission of high schools. Participating in the design of policy and practice initiatives that facilitate the transition between K-12 and higher education, including advocating for inter-operability of data systems to support the seamless reporting of transition outcomes.
  • Collaborating with Education Trust personnel and partner organizations in developing and writing grant proposals for new and existing projects.

Qualifications and Experience
  • At least seven years experience in higher education research; extensive experience with education datasets;
  • Strong analytical, research, and communications skills, with an emphasis on quantitative analysis and interpretation and presentation of quantitative data to lay audiences;
  • The ability to manage staff and prioritize competing demands in a changing, highly collaborative environment;
  • A master’s degree in public policy, education policy, statistics, or related field (Ph.D. preferred);
  • Strong interpersonal skills, and a desire to work as part of a team as well as a desire to interact with members of the broader higher education community;
  • Experience using Excel, Access, and PowerPoint; SAS or SPSS experience a plus;
  • Strong follow-through skills and attention to detail, especially under deadline pressures;
  • A passionate commitment to expanding opportunities for low-income students and students of color, and a belief that higher education could do a much better job in serving these students.


Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. The Education Trust offers a comprehensive benefits package.

The Education Trust - 17 months ago - save job