Principal Research Associate

Job Type

Full Time


Minimum: $44,744
Maximum: $50,303




660 North Capitol Street, NW
Suite 450
United States


Position Summary

The Principal Research Associate a key member of NLC’s Center for City Solutions, focused on quantitative methods and data analysis. Responsible for working together with the Research team to form the quantitative backbone for the Center for City Solutions by managing and supporting organizational research initiatives, research partnerships and policy analysis efforts.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

1. Provides a quantitative, data-driven approach to NLC’s research projects within the Center for City Solutions and its’ cross-disciplinary initiatives in the areas of economic development, finance, local democracy and governance, urban innovation, sustainability, land use and housing.

2. Participates in the development and implementation of NLC’s research agenda, in consultation with Research Director, Senior Executive, and other key team members working on NLC’s research program.

3. Takes a leadership role in NLC-wide cross-departmental efforts focused on enhancing analytics and data capacity.

4. Accesses, cleans, and prepares large data sets for analysis—and serves to translate these data sets—to colleagues throughout the Center working on policy specific focus areas.

5. Enables analysis, regressions, and large-scale data manipulation with proficient skills in STATA, R, GIS, and/or other statistical software.

6. Supports the development, implementation and analysis of NLC’s annual membership survey.

7. Supports the development, implementation and analysis of NLC’s annual research project with the state municipal leagues. Previous projects have included state and local tax structures, infrastructure finance and state preemption of cities.

8. Supports efforts to partner with external research organizations, including universities, think tanks and grassroots organizations.

9. Engages on efforts to deepen the capacity of city leaders for effective local action and responds to requests for assistance from NLC members, other municipal leaders and other interested organizations regarding NLC’s research.

10. Conceptualizes and serves as a primary researcher and writer for NLC reports, guides, toolkits, articles and other publications.

11. Plans, organizes and leads webinars, conference calls and convenings designed to showcase NLC’s research, help shape the national dialogue about cities and promote education for city leaders.

12. Provides leadership and representation of NLC at national, regional and state conferences and meetings to build new partnerships, raise the visibility of NLC’s research and stays abreast of the latest developments in the field.

Supervisory Responsibility

This position has no direct supervisory responsibilities for full-time staff currently. This position will serve as coach and mentor for other positions in the department.

Expected Hours of Work:

This is a full-time position. Days and hours of work are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Preferred Education and Experience:

1.A Bachelor's degree is required; Master’s degree in economics, public administration, public policy or related field preferred.

2.Minimum four years of related experience in research or policy analysis; two years with Master’s.

3.Proficient managing data collection and using analysis tools such as R, STATA, GIS and Excel.

4.Experience with association or membership organization preferred, or a combination of education and experience that provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities.

5.Experience working with city officials, and/or knowledge of city initiatives and local economic issues.

AAP/EEO Statement

National League of Cities is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

National League of cities is also committed to compliance with all fair employment practices regarding citizenship and immigration status.

If you are a qualified individual with a disability or a disabled veteran, you may request a reasonable accommodation

Other Duties

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

Physical Requirements

This is largely a sedentary position that requires the ability to speak, hear, see, and lift small objects up to 20 lbs. Requires the ability to travel locally, regionally and nationally for 3-4 trips annually.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree