Executive Director Position

Executive Director Position

Since 1985, the Worcester Regional Research Bureau has served the public interest of Greater Worcester by conducting independent, non-partisan research and analysis of public policy issues to promote informed public debate and decision-making. It has identified issues, provided facts, analyzed data, and made recommendations.

The Bureau’s role is to educate both public officials and citizens about issues to ensure informed, fact-based decisions on governmental policies of note. The Research Bureau’s initiatives address two large audiences: 1) public officials, both elected and appointed, to provide them with data and analyses to serve as a basis for policy-making; and 2) citizens of the region who are responsible for identifying issues of importance, advocating for areas of concern, and electing political leadership. In order to fulfill this mission, The Research Bureau evaluates municipal and regional issues, disseminates the results, and provides opportunities for public engagement and education. Over more than 30 years, The Research Bureau has issued 237 reports covering a wide range of topics. Many of the Bureau’s reports contain recommendations adopted by public officials. The Research Bureau also sponsors a series of public forums to highlight particular issues of current concern to a community or the region. Since 1985, the Bureau has organized more than 230 programs open to all interested citizens and public officials. These forums are well-attended and are recorded for viewing on The Research Bureau’s website (www.wrrb.org).

Overview of the Organization and its Programs

The Research Bureau is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit headquartered in Worcester, Massachusetts. It is overseen by a Board of Directors of approximately 100 community leaders that meet three times a year. The Board of Directors elects a thirteen-member Executive Committee that meets monthly and sets policy for the organization. The Research Bureau raises its budget annually, however it enjoys strong corporate and philanthropic support and boasts reserves sufficient for more than one year’s operation. The Research Bureau employs 3.5 staff members and hosts college-level interns throughout the year.

The Research Bureau undertakes the following:

  • Conducts research reports on municipal topics such as economic development, municipal finance, public education, and public administration. Since its inception, The Research Bureau has prepared more than 237 reports.
  • Hosts the Francis A. Harrington Forums on Municipal Government, a free series of lectures and panels on topics of municipal interest, as well as other community-related events. Since its inception, The Research Bureau has
    hosted more than 230 programs.
  • Presents the Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards, annual awards to the unsung heroes of public service in Greater Worcester and Central Massachusetts.
  • Provides expertise on topics of interest to local officials and legislative bodies, television and radio, newspapers and editorial boards, and community organizations.
  • Participates in policy-related task forces and commissions.
  • Partners with government, non-profits, business, and community organizations to address issues of municipal concern.

Strategic Challenges and Opportunities for The Research Bureau

Challenges and opportunities for the new Executive Director include:

  • Managing and supporting a talented research and program staff. Serving and guiding a large Board of Directors and targeted Executive Committee of diverse business and community interests.
  • Transitioning and growing relationships with the Bureau’s key financial supporters including business and philanthropic leaders.
  • Expanding the research agenda while maintaining the organization’s current reputation for exceptional quality.
  • Serving as a thought leader and expert on issues of municipal governance, striking the appropriate organizational balance between research, opinion, and advocacy.
  • Building, nurturing, and sustaining strong and mutually respectful relationships with appointed and elected leaders in the City of Worcester and surrounding communities to ensure that the work of The Research Bureau is well-understood, well-received, and well-positioned for action.
  • Building, nurturing, and sustaining partnerships with key local organizations including the Greater Worcester Community Foundation, Worcester Education Collaborative, Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, and others who work to improve community and public policy in Greater Worcester.
  • Maintaining a strong relationship with host Assumption College.

Executive Transition

With the departure of its five-year Executive Director, a Search Committee is leading the Board of Directors’ effort to select a new leader. The Research Bureau offers prospective candidates the opportunity to lead a highly regarded organization that is an important voice in Worcester and Central Massachusetts on issues of public policy. A new Executive Director must maintain the quality, impact, and independence of the Bureau’s research and programming. S/he must be ready to serve as a powerful and effective public spokesperson for The Research Bureau on issues of public policy. S/he must also be capable of expanding and sustaining financial support.


  • Graduate degree in public policy, economics, business, law or related field or significant related experience required; Doctorate a plus.
  • Prior research and nonprofit management experience strongly preferred.

Skills and Experience

Consummate Researcher and Thought Leader
To sustain the Bureau’s credibility as a regional thought leader, the new Executive Director must understand and adhere to sound research practices, ultimately ensuring that the Bureau produces well-documented, factual, and nonpartisan reports that advance public policy in Worcester and Central Massachusetts. In addition, the Executive Director must remain intimately aware of current trends in regional public policy so s/he can jointly establish with the Executive Committee a highly relevant, annual research program and calendar.

Excellent Communicator
The Executive Director must have equally strong written and verbal communication skills. In addition to writing clear and concise research reports which can be well understood by a broad cross section of constituencies, s/he must also be able to listen carefully, speak persuasively and present effectively on a variety of topics at forums, when providing testimony, and through mass media opportunities.

Relationship Builder and Manager
Although The Research Bureau works independent of all City and regional government entities, it is imperative that the Executive Director develop, sustain, and nurture strong relationships with local communities, public officials, business leaders, and other parties interested in and supportive of its work. Maintaining these strong relationships allows The Research Bureau to nurture receptive audiences that can be engaged early to frame issues and advocate for policy implementation.

Skilled Fundraiser
The new Executive Director must be able to develop and execute a broad-based fundraising program across a range of funders, including corporations, foundations, and individuals. This requires a good understanding (and past successes) with the elements and demands of donor cultivation, including the strategic roles of the leader and the Board in implementation and follow-up, as well as a poised and proactive acknowledgement of the Executive Director’s key role in fundraising. In addition, nurturing and leveraging relationships with in-kind supporters is an important and
ongoing responsibility.

General Manager with Strong Organizational and Time Management Skills
The Research Bureau is an ambitious organization, but a relatively small one. As the leader of a small, yet high-profile nonprofit, the Executive Director will need to conduct research of the highest quality, manage a nonprofit, oversee staff, be the public face of the organization, and raise funds to sustain its work. An Executive Director is being sought who can multi-task, roll up his or her sleeves, is well organized, and has a strong work ethic and excellent time management skills.

Knowledge of Issues Relevant to Worcester and Central Massachusetts
Since much of the Research Bureau’s work focuses on issues relevant to Worcester and Central Massachusetts, the ideal Executive Director candidate will have intimate knowledge (or the ability to quickly gain knowledge) about the region and its current issues, challenges, and opportunities.

Ability to Tolerate Public Scrutiny and Criticism
Although The Research Bureau is a nonpartisan organization, its work is analyzed and evaluated through consumers’ own personal and political lenses. The Executive Director must strike the appropriate balance between research, opinion, and advocacy and be able to tolerate the public scrutiny and criticism that might follow. Ensuring sound research methodologies and reasoned recommendations, the Executive Director must be able to respond to scrutiny with calm assurance and refute criticism with facts.

Application Process

Interested applicants should submit a resume and a description of how his or her qualifications and experiences match The Research Bureau’s needs, as well as salary requirements, to gro.b1563921210rrw@s1563921210boj1563921210. Only electronic submissions sent through this email will be considered.

Candidates are strongly encouraged to apply promptly. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled with priority given to applications received by March 31, 2019.

Salary is commensurate with experience and within the framework of the organization’s annual operating budget.

The Worcester Regional Research Bureau is an Equal Opportunity Employer.