Work type



Capability Area

Research and Survey

Senior Vice President (SVP) – Economics, Justice, and Society

Apply now Job no: 495266 Work type: Regular Full-Time Location: Chicago – 55 East Monroe Street, IL Capability Area: Economics, Justice & Society


Become a member of NORC’s senior leadership team overseeing the Economics, Justice, and Society team. As the senior vice president of this research department reporting to the executive vice president of research, advance NORC’s mission and goals, contribute to the company’s strategy and operational management, and oversee, develop, and grow the research activities in this sector.

Take ownership of building on the department’s successes and lead its pursuit of new avenues to expand and diversify its portfolio. Become part of a highly cooperative group of organizational leaders, collaborating with the SVPs of other departments, as well as other senior leaders throughout the organization.

This is an exciting opportunity for an exceptional individual to join the senior leadership team of a nationally renowned research organization and to lead a highly successful and critical business unit to new heights of excellence and achievement. The position requires an individual with vision, proven leadership skills, extensive management experience, and a deep understanding of economic and sociological research. While no one candidate will embody all of the traits noted below, the successful candidate will bring many of the following professional and personal qualities to this important role.


Economics, Justice, and Society (EJS) provides data collection and analysis, policy research and program evaluation research relating to social programs and issues, the economy and the labor force, transportation and traffic safety, and crime and law enforcement.  The department is home to many of NORC’s largest and longest-running surveys that relate to critical economic and social issues including the National Longitudinal Surveys, which gather information on labor market activities and other significant life events of groups within the U.S. population; the Survey of Consumer Finances, which collects information on U.S. families’ income and wealth; and the General Social Survey, which examines trends in American attitudes and beliefs over time.  The department is multi-disciplinary and we work with a diverse set of clients and partners, including policy-makers and data users in national, state, and local governments; academia; and the media.

Our survey staff have decades of experience in survey design and methodology, multi-mode data collection, data dissemination, researching hard-to-reach populations, and the design and implementation of confidentiality protections. In addition to traditional multimode surveys (in-person, phone, and web survey), our experts use innovative and real-time data collection methods such as roadside surveys and the collection of biological data. We are also expert in the use of other types of data such as program administrative data and offender records, and we are experienced in a range of techniques such as statistical matching to link data from more than one source to create comprehensive analytic files. We are innovators in data dissemination, creating data search and extraction tools to facilitate data usage while also providing a full suite of more traditional dissemination services.

In addition to our expertise on issues relating to surveys and data, the EJS department includes experts in policy analysis and program evaluation who focus on a diverse set of economic and social issues and programs. We carry out analyses of policy proposals, examine the impacts of existing policies, and evaluate program designs, operations, and outcomes using experimental and non-experimental designs and mixed methods. We also perform statistical research relating to conceptual and measurement issues such as the measurement of poverty, and undertake broader-based studies on social and economic needs and the determinants of longer-range outcomes for policy initiatives.

  • Oversee, manage and lead all aspects of the Economics, Justice, and Society department including department finance and operations, staff management and development, strategic partnerships, and business development.  Determine short- and long-term vision and strategy for department and communicate direction to staff of all levels.
  • Enhance the department’s position as an industry leader in survey research, while strengthening and expanding its capabilities in program evaluation and data analytics.
  • Foster an environment of collaborative innovation, leading to creation of new capabilities, research expertise, and product or service offerings.
  • Serve as a visible thought leader and research expert to further NORC’s mission and enhance the organization’s brand and prominence.
  • Build a cohesive team-oriented and transparent culture across geographically dispersed staff and foster an environment that promotes personal growth and professional development.
  • Grow the EJS research team through both the strategic recruitment of new talent that bring additional capabilities, while simultaneously retaining and providing opportunities for current staff.
  • Establish and strengthen key internal and external partnerships and collaborative relationships that will support and advance the success of the department.
  • Develop new channels for growing research and business opportunities with federal, state, and local government entities, universities, foundations, not-for-profit and commercial clients.
  • Serve as the senior executive for cultivating and enhancing relationships with existing and new clients
  • Frequent travel to Chicago or Bethesda depending on location of position.
  • Advanced degree in economics, sociology, criminal justice, social sciences, or other relevant discipline.
  • Minimum of 15 years of directly applicable work experience in a strategic and management role with a research group at a non-for-profit organization government agency, or other research organization.
  • Substantial experience building, developing, managing, and retaining a team of highly capable research professionals and expertise managing complex, large-scale research projects.
  • Strong track record of successfully identifying and winning research funding with public, private, and not-for-profit clients. Proven experience planning and executing strategic business development activities. Substantial knowledge of the federal procurement process.
  • Reputation for excellence as a leader within the field of social science with deep subject matter and/or research expertise in EJS relevant topics as evidenced by substantial publications, presentations to governmental organizations, industry groups, or academia, or other relevant and visible thought leadership activities.  Familiarity with data policy and developments in data science.
  • Exemplary communications skills and relationship building abilities, with willingness to engage internal and external stakeholders through multiple channels. Combines empathy, listening, and learning capabilities.   A strong collaborator who actively seeks and incorporates feedback from staff of all levels.
  • Unmatched leadership skills grounded in integrity and character and clarity of thought. A forthright view on business practices and financial management. Understands and considers implications and consequences of decisions, direction and actions. Ensures business practices align with NORC’s values, maintains a sense of honesty, trust, transparency, and candor. 
  • Demonstrated experience as a proactive decision-maker who produces superb outcomes through effective management of staff and business processes. A results-oriented manager who assesses risk, rewards, and costs and focuses on performance and continuous improvement. Plans, budgets, tracks and evaluates performance, provides clear direction, sets high standards of excellence, rewards people based on performance and resolves performance issues respectfully and effectively.
  • Strong connections with a wide array of industry thought leaders, foundations, universities and their respective research institutes, and major government statistical agencies and clients (e.g., the Census Bureau the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Bureau of Justice Studies, the Energy Information Agency, the National Science Foundation, the Federal Reserve Board.) 
  • Demonstrated success leading enterprise-level organization transformation or change initiatives; development and implementation of management processes, metrics, and tools that enable organizational transformation while keeping overarching organizational mission and vision in mind.

For full consideration, please submit your CV and cover letter not later than August 30, 2019. 


NORC at the University of Chicago is an objective, non-partisan research institution that delivers reliable data and rigorous analysis to guide critical programmatic, business, and policy decisions. Since 1941, our teams have conducted groundbreaking studies, created and applied innovative methods and tools, and advanced principles of scientific integrity and collaboration. Today, government, corporate, and nonprofit clients around the world partner with us to transform increasingly complex information into useful knowledge.


For over 75 years, NORC has evolved in many ways, moving the needle with research methods, technical applications and groundbreaking research findings. But our tradition of excellence, passion for innovation, and commitment to collegiality have remained constant components of who we are as a brand, and who each of us is as a member of the NORC team. With world-class benefits, a business casual environment, and an emphasis on continuous learning, NORC is a place where people join for the stellar research and analysis work for which we’re known, and stay for the relationships they form with their colleagues who take pride in the impact their work is making on a global scale.

Headquartered in Chicago’s downtown Loop, NORC has additional major offices at the University of Chicago’s Hyde Park campus and in the greater Washington, DC area, as well as five smaller satellite offices in Albuquerque, Atlanta, Boston, Wichita, and San Francisco. The organization houses a diverse portfolio of subject matter expertise with strong technical capabilities in acquiring and transforming data of all types into knowledge, thereby enabling critical decision-making in public policy, program management, business, and society at large—NORC is currently divided into seven core research departments: Economics, Justice, and Society; Health Care Evaluation; Health Care Programs; Public Health; Health Sciences; International Programs; and Education and Child Development.


NORC is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer that values and actively seeks diversity in the workforce. NORC evaluates qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other legally- protected characteristics.


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