400px United States Institute of Peace logo.svg Director of Research - DIREC002312-00001

Director of Research – DIREC002312-00001

US Institute of Peace

Who We Are

Peace is our commitment. The United States Institute of Peace represents the American people’s shared values and commitment to peace worldwide. We know that Peace is Security – it advances both U.S. and international security by preventing, managing, and mitigating violent conflict.

We are an independent, non-partisan institution and are actively engaged with peacebuilding efforts worldwide. Together we tackle the most challenging problems and hold fast to the possibility of a more peaceful world. To learn more about USIP programs and job openings, go to https://www.usip.org/about/careers.

If you have a passion for making the world a better place and want to have a front-row seat on the world stage, USIP is the place for you.


The Director of Research provides vision, intellectual leadership and organizational direction over all aspects of the Institute’s research in close collaboration with the President. The Director leads the Institute’s grants, fellows, and scholars’ programs, which support cutting edge, impactful applied research with leading institutions and scholars working on conflict-related research. In collaboration with the head of the publishing team, the Director guides the Institute’s research and writing of major USIP-imprint books. The Director is responsible for building strategic partnerships with the peacebuilding research community and cultivates contacts with related subject matter experts. This is a full-time position based in Washington, DC, reports to a Vice President, and is a member of the Executive Office.


Grade 15 – $163,000 – $169,000

The Institute uses the General Schedule salary tables for administering compensation. Offers are determined based upon candidate qualifications, related experience, internal equity, and the amount budgeted for the position.


Major Duties and Responsibilities

Development, Planning, & Management:
* Develops and oversees the institution’s research strategy, ensuring that it addresses critical issues related to global peace and security and is aligned with the organization’s mission, strategic direction, American principles and values in approaching peace.

* Provides leadership to and management of staff, including overseeing grant, fellowship and scholarship award programs and publications, developing, and managing workplans and annual budgets; ensuring performance compliance; and hiring staff members.

* Builds strategic partnerships and cultivates contacts with subject matter experts and a wide variety of external organizations to leverage resources and combine efforts to inform and promote USIP program initiatives and goals.

* Communicates findings to key stakeholders across multiple teams at USIP, including senior leadership, senior program officers and partners in research projects.
* Establishes and maintains relationships with key stakeholders, including policymakers, practitioners, and academics, to ensure that research findings are disseminated widely and inform policy and practice.
* Collaborates with other teams within the Institute to integrate research findings into the organization’s broader strategic and programmatic work.
* Provides strategic guidance and advice to senior leadership on research and analysis issues and participate in the development of organizational policies and strategies.
* Ensures that the institution’s research practices are ethical, transparent, and adhere to best practices in research and evaluation.

* Provides strategic leadership in support of the publications team; provides guidance on compliance with USIP’s quality and format guidelines and adherence to USIP permissions and art guidelines.

Research, Reporting, & Outreach:
* Leads and contributes to USIP’s research through extending knowledge and understanding of conflict prevention, management and resolution and peace analysis.
* Develops research proposals, coordinate research processes, reviews research results for accuracy and completeness, and ensures research activities do not violate ethical standards or laws.
* Collaborates with other USIP offices and individual colleagues on joint research and writing projects, and programs.
* Manages relationships with key external partners regarding research and projects coordination and execution.
* Attends and participates in the planning and development of meetings organized by other Institute departments, recommending issues and participants.
* Attends and participates in various conferences, events, and other programs to speak on behalf of USIP on specific subject matter area of expertise.
* Takes a lead role in responding to the public or media regarding specific research program area.
* Supports efforts to represent the Research Program in internal and external events and meetings, including the dissemination of research and policy-relevant findings.

* Ensures a culture of rigorous research within the Institute, with a strong emphasis on producing high-quality research products that inform policy and practice and closes knowledge gaps.

Performs other duties as assigned.

* Doctorate degree in conflict resolution, international relations, diplomatic history, or closely related field, with minimum of ten (10) years of relevant professional research experience.
* Solid record of publishing original research in a variety of formats including books, peer-reviewed journals, edited volumes, and other research publications,
* Demonstrated capacity of leading an applied research program involving multiple authors, researchers, and stakeholders.
* Must have deep knowledge and experience in various social science research methodologies and data processing, e.g., qualitative, quantitative, descriptive, experimental, etc.
* Demonstrated capacity to think strategically and creatively, and to effectively develop, communicate, and execute plans.
* Demonstrated leadership experience with a stellar record of providing vision and managing a diverse staff, preferably in an academic, research organization, or government setting.
* Demonstrated ability to use unconventional or novel approaches or complex research techniques.
* Must have strong project management and personnel administration skills, and experience managing multiple complex projects.
* Must have strong collaboration skills; must have the ability to coordinate the input and priorities of multiple players.
* Must have excellent writing and oral communication skills, as well as cross-cultural skills, interpersonal skills, media skills, and the ability to deal with counterparts of every political, social, and economic level.
* Prior experience in managing a grant-funded research project is preferred.
* Prior experience in conducting field research overseas and/or working on the ground in conflict-zone areas is preferred.
* Prior experience leading an editorial board or committee is preferred.
* Must have U.S. citizenship.

All applicants must be US citizens to be considered for positions with USIP.

All USIP contract and employee positions are contingent upon the favorable completion of a suitability background investigation.

To be considered for this position, please submit a complete application package consisting of:
1. Completed employment application including titles, dates of hire and salary requirements.
2. Cover letter
3. Resume

Only those applicants that are selected for further discussions will be contacted.

No Phone Calls. Interviews will be scheduled by appointment only.

USIP is an equal opportunity employer. It is the policy and practice of USIP to offer equal employment opportunities to all qualified applicants and employees without regard to race, color, age, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, political affiliations or belief, pregnancy, or any other characteristic protected by law.

How to apply

To apply for this position, please use the following URL:


Deadline: 20 Mar 2024

Job Notifications
Subscribe to receive notifications for the latest job vacancies.