Work type



Capability Area

Research and Survey

Executive Vice President of Research

Apply now Job no: 499972 Work type: Regular Full-Time Location: Chicago – 55 East Monroe Street, IL Capability Area: Research


NORC has recently experienced unprecedented growth, driven both by diversification efforts to broaden NORC’s range of research offerings beyond its historic focus on data collection to include evaluation, policy analysis, and technical assistance, as well as adding new clients both within the public sector and in the non-profit and for-profit sectors. The coming years will be a pivotal time for the organization as it seeks to maintain its growth and continue the development of the entire organization and staff to match the larger scale of the company. This individual will hold a critical multi-faceted role as a standard-bearer for NORC’s research mission, a functional leader of people and culture, and a senior business advisor with extensive knowledge of and contribution to the company’s strategy, priorities, and operations. As a member of the Executive Council, the EVP of Research is involved in strategic decision-making at the corporate level as well as participating in the development of corporate policy and interacting with Board of Trustees on topics in their relevant research areas. Working with the SVPs and VPs leading the research departments, the EVP participates in the development of department-level strategies related to research capabilities, staff development, and market development consistent with NORC’s corporate


The EVP of Research sits on NORC’s ten-member of Executive Council and currently oversees five of NORC’s nine research departments, each headed by a Senior Vice President:

• Academic Research Centers

• Education and Child Development

• Economics, Justice, and Society

• International Programs

• Public Affairs and Media Research

The EVP also serves as the lead counterpart with NORC’s governmental affairs consultant. Overall, the EVP’s portfolio encompasses about $100M in revenue and approximately 300 staff.


With support of internal stakeholders, the EVP position’s duties and responsibilities are centered on (1) providing strategic advice and support to research departments to enhance department performance carrying out NORC’s strategic plan at the department level, including (but not limited to) deepening and broadening research capacity, developing external partnerships, recruiting, developing, and retaining senior staff, and business development; and (2) participating in NORC’s Executive Council both to represent department perspectives and to consider organization-wide factors in developing and implementing policy for NORC as a whole. This includes, but is not limited to:

• Supporting department efforts to maintain industry leadership in existing markets and extend and develop research capabilities in new markets through strategy development and, where appropriate, participating in key actions steps of strategy execution.

• With departments, identifying and developing new channels for growing research and business opportunities with federal, state, and local government entities, universities, foundations, non-profit, and commercial clients.

• Working with departments to identify, establish, and maintain key partnerships and collaborative relationships that will support and advance the capabilities and growth of the departments.

• By example and by facilitating inter-departmental linkages and cooperation: fostering an environment of collaborative innovation, leading to creation of new capabilities, research expertise, and product or service offerings.

• With department leaders, identifying needs and recruiting key senior talent to bring in additional skills and capabilities and ensuring current staff are retained and offered opportunity for professional growth.

• Supporting implementation of NORC’s DREI framework and action plan to build a diverse staff and collegial and respectful corporate culture in an environment that promotes personal growth and professional development across a geographically distributed workforce.

• Working collaboratively with members of the Executive Council to identify emerging issues of concern to the organization and developing corporate strategies and policies to effectively address those issues.

• On an ad hoc basis, serving as executive sponsor or committee member for corporate initiatives across a wide variety of topic areas, such as research capabilities, quality assurance, technology, human resources, and finance.

• Communicating on behalf of the Executive Council with a variety of stakeholders, including the NORC Board of Trustees, department leaders, staff, and external parties on NORC policies, performance, and research results.

• Providing mentoring and coaching to department leadership on a variety of topics (such as: leadership skills and problem solving; organizational, financial, and talent management; business development; and procurement, contract, and policy interpretation and compliance).

• Serving as a representative of the organization to further NORC’s mission and enhance the organization’s brand and prominence.

• Frequent travel to Chicago or Bethesda, depending on location of position.


The ideal candidate will bring a successful and progressive track record of leadership in organizations focused on social science research. This individual will have an appreciation for quality and rigor in research while also demonstrating creativity and flexibility in understanding and meeting client needs. They will bring experience leading and managing organizational and cultural change.

While they will, ideally, have their own grounding in one substantive social science area, they will be curious and learning-oriented towards other areas in their EVP portfolio. The EVP will have a reputation for excellence as a leader within a field of social science, with deep subject matter and/or research expertise as evidenced by substantial publications, presentations to governmental organizations, industry groups, or academia, leadership of major research programs, or other relevant and visible thought leadership activities.

More specifically, candidates will bring the following:

Strategic Research Leadership & Change Management: 15+ years of experience in a strategic and management role with a research group at a non-profit/for-profit organization, government agency, or other research organization, preferably at least five years of which has been outside of government. 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.

Strong Commercial and Business Acumen: Strong track record of successfully identifying and winning research funding with public, private, and non-profit clients, including substantial knowledge of the federal procurement process. Proven experience planning and executing strategic business development activities. Strong connections with a wide array of industry thought leaders, foundations, universities and their respective research institutes, and/or major government agencies.

Stakeholder and External Engagement: Possesses excellent communication skills and the ability to interact and communicate with multiple internal and external stakeholder groups, including private, government, and non-profit clients, staff, Executive Council members, Board of Directors, and industry leaders, through multiple channels. Combines empathy, listening, and learning capabilities.

People Leadership: Substantial experience building, developing, managing, and retaining a team of highly capable research professionals and expertise managing complex, large-scale research projects, with experience in both. leading and managing organizational and cultural change. 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.

Additional requirements:

• Advanced degree in social sciences, or other relevant discipline. 


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.


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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