Senior Research Advisor, US Programs (Oxfam)

Oxfam America Job Description


Senior Research Advisor, US Program


Washington, DC or Boston, MA

Coordinates With:    

Deputy Director, US Program; Senior Policy Advisor, US Program; Senior Communications Officer, US Program; Senior Advisor, Advocacy and Collaborations 

Reports to:    

Director, US Program

Matrix Manager:    

Research Director

BACKGROUND: Oxfam America is a global development organization that creates lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and injustice.  The US Program offers programs, supports partners, and engages in advocacy to overcome economic injustice and poverty in the United States.

PURPOSE OF POSITION:  The Senior Research Advisor leads program and policy research related to decent work and economic justice in the United States.  Through research, publication and networking, the Senior Advisor will help position Oxfam America as a thought leader in relevant program content areas.  In addition to proven research and writing skills and credentials, the Senior Advisor will actively engage others in innovative approaches to assert the rights of low income people in the United States.


  • Identify research and knowledge needs of Oxfam’s US Programs and develop and implement a research agenda; primary areas of concern are low wage work in US/global economy, income inequality, pro-poor market institutions and business models, relevant national policy issues, worker rights, race/gender/immigrant equity, and the US South.
  • Provide high quality conceptual development and management of research processes and products for internal and external purposes; this includes identification and management of consultants/research institutions, coordination of internal project teams, and ensuring deliverables within established budget and time parameters
  • Commission and/or engage in research that leads to published reports (3-4 times per year)
  • Strengthen relationships with relevant research institutions and prominent academics, NGO think-tanks and other public and private institutions in the areas of innovation, markets and policy.
  • Contribute to program goals through external messaging (writing, public speaking, blogging)
  • As appropriate, lead development of internal research for program development (scoping, contextual analysis, conceptual development, scenario planning, risk management)
  • Provide support to the US Program communications officer in development of publications
  • In coordination with US Program Deputy Director, manage external program evaluations, including conceptualization and management of consultants and processes
  • As requested, cultivate and manage donor relationships and produce concept notes, written strategies and grant reports for donors
  • Engage partners in collaborative research and as appropriate provide support to identified partners in development of specific research agenda


  • Commitment to Oxfam America’s mission and goals.
  • Stay abreast of professional standards, trends, and issues affecting this set of responsibilities; demonstrate continuous learning of the field.
  • Work effectively and collaboratively in support of building a team-based culture of work.
  • Perform all duties appropriately for a multi-cultural environment, treating all persons with dignity and respect.
  • S/he will have an understanding of gender equity and diversity within key areas of responsibility and a commitment to promoting gender equity and diversity in our workplace and programs.
  • Domestic travel 6-8 times per year.



PhD in a social science or other relevant field, or equivalent combination of education, experience, and training.

Experience and Core Competencies:

  • Five to seven years’ experience conducting and supervising significant research projects in related fields, including primary and secondary research of quantitative and qualitative data. Fields may include economics, labor, business, political science, social science, gender, development.
  • Three years’ experience working in a non-academic program in a relevant field is preferred.
  • Demonstrated interest in and understanding of the causes of poverty, exclusion and social change processes.
  • Strong comfort level in networking with high-level researchers, other experts and actors in a broad field of disciplines in the social sciences.
  • Ability to synthesize externally produced research into succinct and clear reports that can inform USRO’s programs and advocacy agenda.
  • Strong writing, editing and public speaking skills.
  • Experience managing consultant contracts for quality research within short time frames.
  • Highly organized with attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Ability to work effectively and multi-task in a team setting in a dynamic environment.


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