Council of State Governments
  • 04-Oct-2019 to 03-Nov-2019 (EST)
  • Justice Center, Research
  • Austin, TX, USA
  • TBD
  • Full Time

Medical, Dental, Vision, Short & Long Term Disability, Life, Paid Holidays, Paid Personal Time, Paid Sick Time, Paid Parental Leave

Who we are:

The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization located in four cities across the country with over 100 employees. We combine the power of a membership association, representing state officials in all three branches of government, with policy and research expertise to develop strategies that increase public safety and strengthen communities. Together, we achieve results by:

  • Bringing people together from both sides of the aisle to foster collaboration,
  • Driving the criminal justice field forward with original research,
  • Providing expert assistance to translate the latest research into policy and practice, and
  • Building momentum for policy change at the state and local level.

Our staff have decades of experience in criminal justice, mental health and substance addiction, corrections and reentry, research, workforce development, media, and more. We have served governors, state legislators, and members of Congress on both sides of the political spectrum. But what bonds us together is a shared commitment to our vision and mission, to a common set of values, and to the national, bipartisan advisory board that guides our work.

What we're doing:

Our Research Division conducts groundbreaking national research projects, supports policy teams working intensively in states and counties to analyze data spread across criminal and juvenile justice (and behavioral health) systems, and designs and explores targeted research questions designed to advance strategies to break the cycle of incarceration, improve health and opportunity, and expand the use of what works to improve safety. The team regularly collects and analyzes vast amounts of data and presents findings directly to elected and appointed officials at the local, state and federal level. The research team is headquartered in Austin, Texas.

How you'll fit in:

The Director of the Research Division will support a highly skilled team of approximately ten research staff working on policy-focused research projects, collaborate with other members of the senior leadership team to develop and implement an organization-wide research agenda, and represent the CSG Justice Center's research and projects externally with policymakers, justice system stakeholders, and funders. Specifically, the Division Director will:

  • Help shape and execute the Research Division's long-range strategic agenda, including the coordination of projects and staffing within the division;
  • Stay abreast of emerging research pertinent to the work of the Justice Center, including access to research journals and participation or attendance at forums or other gatherings;
  • Motivate and maintain a high-performance team; work with other division and program directors to recruit new staff as appropriate, assure effective training/development of current and new staff, manage staff workload and evaluate performance;
  • Assist in coordination in provision of technical assistance to state and local governments through the collection and analysis of data, identification of trends in law enforcement, court processes, and corrections, and determining where opportunities exist for policymakers to increase public safety and make more efficient use of state and local tax dollars;
  • Represent the Justice Center through participation in meetings of criminal justice policymakers, practitioners and/or researchers;
  • Develop and implement policy and practice to ensure the accurate representation of data analysis and enable sufficient vetting of analyses wherever possible;
  • Provide the CSG Justice Center with high-level strategic guidance and planning to help achieve project objectives; ensure that the projects are able to take full advantage of all Research Division resources;
  • Maintain strong working relationships with the Director, Deputy Directors, Division Directors, and other members of the organization, ensuring that they are engaged and supported in the overall efforts of the research division effort; integrate research method and priorities into key Justice Center decisions;
  • Manage the division's budget and lead efforts to generate additional and/or new sources of funding for research projects;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to equity and inclusion within the CSG Justice Center;
  • Oversee the ongoing training and evaluation of all research staff, ensuring core competency in all critical research functions, and productive contribution to the overall research division strategy; and,
  • Create opportunities for "knowledge transfer" to all staff, helping to increase the capacity and awareness of research methods and data-driven analytics across the entire organization.

What you'll bring: 

  • Willingness to work from the Austin, Texas office, as well as travel at least one week per month;
  • Masters required and doctorate degree preferred in social science with practical experience in designing and administering research agendas directed at policy development;
  • Minimum of ten years of project management experience, ideally within the criminal justice field;
  • Exceptional understanding of justice and other administrative data, how it is stored, common challenges with analysis, and processes to access and analyze;
  • Demonstrated ability to successfully translate data and research into practical and policymaker-relevant insights in ways that are clear, concise, compelling and actionable;
  • High degree of familiarity with state and local, criminal and juvenile justice systems, including system dynamics and variation. Strong preference for someone who has worked in-depth in at least one state or local justice system as a practitioner, policymaker, or agency leader;
  • Ability to navigate and help provide expert assistance and troubleshooting around issues of data governance, interoperability, and data-sharing across agencies (both CJ and non-CJ);
  • Successful track record of managing complex, multi-program initiatives including budget development, staff recruitment and work plan design;
  • Sophisticated understanding of advanced methods, processes, and techniques used to analyze trends and programmatic outcomes in law enforcement, court processes, and corrections systems;
  • Excellent analytical skills and knowledge of current trends, principal theories, leading thinkers and major concerns in the criminal justice field;
  • Exceptional management skills; an ability to plan, organize, follow through with staff; experience administering budgets and assessing organizational capacity;
  • Strong written and verbal communications skills, including the means to address issues in nonpartisan and non-polarizing ways;
  • Record of success in working collaboratively with a team of diverse people to achieve common goals; and,
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with policymakers, practitioners, scholars, community leaders, and the media.

How you apply:

If you're interested in helping us drive change across the country, you should upload the following elements with your application (incomplete applications will not be considered):

  1. Cover letter
  2. Resume
  3. Example of criminal justice research conducted and presented for a policymaker audience
  4. 3 References

Learn more about careers at the CSG Justice Center.


We welcome and value diversity in our staff, including race, gender identity or expression, educational attainment, disability, veteran status, and personal experience with the criminal justice system.

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