The Niskanen Center’s Poverty and Welfare Policy program is seeking to hire a policy analyst with a strong data science background to assist in the development and evaluation of public policies that advance individual freedom and inclusive prosperity. This is a full-time position based in Washington D.C.

Ideal candidates will possess a background in statistics and data visualization, with demonstrated experience applying econometric techniques in R and/or Python. Sophistication with respect to contemporary debates in rural economic development, social welfare policy, and political science are highly valued, as well. Finally, we prize intellectual humility over ideological rigor, in accord with the motto “strong views, weakly held.”

This position will report to the poverty and welfare policy director.


  • Lead in the construction of a major new dataset and related data products for a project related to the revitalization of struggling regions across the United States.
  • Conduct original public policy research, including data collection and analysis, review relevant literatures, formulate new ideas, and write policy briefs.
  • Assist general program activities, including but not limited to event organization, legislative outreach and media engagement.
  • Support data projects across other departments, time permitting.


  • A data science and visualization background shown through a portfolio of past work.
  • A bachelor’s degree. Advanced degrees and certifications are a plus, but demonstrated skill and experience will be weighed above academic achievements.
  • At least two years of experience in public policy or academic professional settings.
  • Excellent writing ability.


Competitive salary range, depending on qualifications and experience. Benefits include health and dental coverage, a flexible vacation policy, and professional development opportunities

About the Niskanen Center

The Niskanen Center is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) think tank that works to promote an open society — a social order that is open to political, cultural, and social change — through active engagement in the war of ideas and direct engagement in the policymaking process. We develop policy proposals, mobilize other groups to support those proposals, promote those ideas to legislative and executive decision-makers, build short- and longer-term coalitions to facilitate joint action, initiate litigation to compel responses in defense of individual rights, and marshal the most convincing arguments and information in support of our agenda.

Our commitment to an open society extends to our own organization. The Niskanen Center does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status. To ensure the integrity of this aspect of our application process, submissions are initially screened by directors in a way that is stripped of potentially identifying information.

We currently plan to accept applications for this job until filled. However, we hope to have this position filled by Jan. 1, 2018. Candidates in whom we are interested will be contacted for telephone interviews within two weeks of applying. In-person interviews will be held in our D.C. office. To apply, please send a resume (Microsoft Word or PDF) with a cover letter pasted into the body of the email to shammond [at] niskanencenter [dot] org. Completed applications should include a short writing sample (less than 800 words) and an illustration of proficiency in data analysis and visualization in a readily accessible format.