Paul L. Caron

Friday, July 15, 2016

Tax Policy Center Seeks To Hire A New Director

Tax Polcy Center Logo (2017)The Urban Institute seeks a Center Director/Robert C. Pozen Director for the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center:

The preferred candidate will be an entrepreneurial leader in the field of taxation and public finance who offers a compelling vision for the Tax Policy Center’s future. 

Background on TPC
Founded in 2002 as a joint venture of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center is the preeminent nongovernmental tax policy organization in the United States. We have built a record of clear, evidence-based, and objective analysis of tax policy.

Our state-of-the-art microsimulation model combines administrative tax data with information from survey data sets to provide a comprehensive view of American households. The model has proven to be exceptionally useful for analyzing current policies and options to change the tax system.  Thanks to a major investment in our website, we have created an attractive and modern platform to convey our research and analysis to policymakers, the public, and the media, as well as a robust presence on various social media platforms. 

We provide concise, readable, and objective analyses of a broad range of tax issues, including corporate and international taxation, energy and environmental taxation, tax compliance and administration, and state and local issues.  We disseminate our analyses through blog posts, short policy briefs, research papers, Congressional testimony and briefings, conferences, and media interviews.  Our exceptional staff includes respected economists, public policy analysts, lawyers, and journalists.  Many on the team have experience at the highest levels of federal, state, and local tax policy making.

TPC has 35 staff members—31 at the Urban Institute and four at the Brookings Institution.  Leonard E. Burman is currently the Robert C. Pozen Director of the Tax Policy Center at the Urban Institute.  Co-Directors are William G. Gale, Arjay and Frances Miller Chair in Federal Economic Policy at the Brookings Institution, and Eric Toder, Institute Fellow at the Urban Institute.  

Burman intends to transition to the role of Institute Fellow at the Urban Institute, after a new TPC Center Director is on board.  The two co-Directors will continue to serve as part of the senior intellectual leadership of the Center. Gale provides management of the TPC staff and activities at Brookings and will continue in his role as co-director of TPC; Toder oversees the work of the modeling team and will remain an Institute Fellow.  

The activities of its Center Director are partially supported by a permanent endowment established by Robert C. Pozen in 2015; the director’s chair is referred to as the Robert C. Pozen Director.

Center Directors at the Urban Institute play several inter-related roles: they provide strategic leadership within their centers, with the other Center Directors, and to Urban and as a whole; they raise funds; they build partnerships with, and serve as spokespersons and representatives to, both internal and external audiences; they convene stakeholders around key debates in the field; they communicate research findings to advance policy and practice; they manage a team and the operations of their centers; and they provide guidance and support to the researchers and staff in their centers. 

TPC’s Center Director also coordinates activities with the Brookings Institution in collaboration with the Brookings co-director.

In recognition of the many demands on a successful Center Director, Urban now intends to hire for not only a Center Director for TPC, but also for a Managing Director who would leverage the CD, ensuring that we can attract a top intellectual leader in public finance because they would have enough support to accomplish well the many aspects of the job.  However, Urban does not intend to fill the Managing Director role until a Center Director is on board and can be part of crafting the job responsibilities to complement their own strengths and making the selection.   

Overarching Goals

The preferred candidate for Center Director will be an entrepreneurial leader who offers a compelling vision for the Center’s future. Goals for the position include:

  • Provide intellectual leadership to guarantee that TPC research and communications continue to meet the highest standards.
  • Provide overall strategic vision to adapt to changing policy priorities and the funding environment and prepare TPC to take advantage of opportunities to elevate the policy debate.
  • Oversee TPC’s fundraising activities and build relationships to strengthen our existing funding base and expand it.
  • Oversee hiring of senior staff to build on the exceptionally strong staff and recruit future leaders.
  • Find new and creative ways to present TPC research so that we can reach an even wider audience, and serve our current audience better.
  • Effectively and strategically manage the center by setting and meeting priorities while preserving staff morale and sense of shared mission.  

Desired Skills and Attributes

  • Deep expertise in and understanding of public finance with an emphasis on American taxation and economic policy. 
  • A record of research accomplishments or policy leadership in the area of tax policy.
  • An inspirational, intellectual, and strategic leader with proven ability at managing and developing a diverse group of associates in order to foster creativity and drive a sustainable organization. 
  • Experience using digital and social media tools to effectively disseminate policy-relevant content to engage a broad audience.
  • Ability to lead as an effective institutional citizen by building and maintaining cross-center alliances that foster the Institute’s broader initiatives, drive cross-cutting policy initiatives and stimulate new areas of tax policy research.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and comfort engaging a wide audience through a variety of media. 
  • Excellent interpersonal skills. 
  • D. Or J.D. and 15 years related professional experience.
  • A commitment to TPC’s standard of nonpartisanship and objectivity in its research, analysis, and public activities.

About the Urban Institute
The nonprofit Urban Institute is dedicated to elevating the debate on social and economic policy. For nearly five decades, Urban scholars have conducted research and delivered evidence-based solutions that improve lives and strengthen communities across a rapidly urbanizing world. Our objective research helps expand opportunities for all, reduce hardship among the most vulnerable, and strengthen the effectiveness of the public sector.

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