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Senior Economist

CT School Finance Project
New Haven - United States
S: Commensurate with experience

Organizational Description

For nearly four decades, Connecticut has struggled to create an equitable school funding system for all of its public school students. Currently, Connecticut uses 11 different disconnected formulas to fund its public schools, with each one failing to properly take into account the learning needs of students, the resource needs of school districts, and the financial needs of communities. With growing inequalities and significant fiscal challenges, Connecticut needs a transparent, logical, and efficient school finance system that meets the learning needs of its students and answers the state's budgetary, workforce, and economic needs.

Founded in 2015, the Connecticut School Finance Project is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that works to make such a school finance system a reality for Connecticut by serving as a trusted and independent source of accurate data and information about the state's school funding challenges. The goals of the Connecticut School Finance Project are to 1) build knowledge about how the current school funding system works, 2) bring together stakeholders who are impacted by how schools are funded, and 3) identify solutions to Connecticut's school funding challenges that are fair to students and taxpayers, and strengthen schools and communities.

School finance is part of a broader budget picture for the state of Connecticut. Particularly given the significant fiscal challenges the state faces, our organization needs a more in-depth understanding of both the challenges and potential solutions.

Job Summary

Reporting to the Director of Data and Policy, the Senior Economist will research policy and analyze data necessary to understanding the key driving forces behind Connecticut's current fiscal situation. The ideal Senior Economist will have a strong background in policy research and excellent analytical skills, including proficiency in supporting tools. The Senior Economist will also enjoy the interpretation of information and data and have academic research and professional experience in public/municipal finance, labor economics, and tax policy. The Senior Economist should be interested in understanding Connecticut's fiscal situation to form the foundation of solutions that put Connecticut on firmer fiscal footing.

Essential Job Functions

Lead financial and economic research projects from end to end, including: developing research questions and designs, collecting and cleaning data, analyzing data, analyzing policy, surfacing potential policy solutions, and presenting findings through written reports, presentations, web tools, and data visualizations;
Perform analyses to provide insight into the structural issues at the heart of Connecticut's fiscal situation and analyze these structural issues and their impact on Connecticut's finances and governmental operations over the near and long-term future;
Document tasks, methods, data, and findings to a high level of precision and ensure accuracy and efficiency in all work;
Write policy reports and briefs to answer questions about Connecticut's fiscal situation and related issues;
Field varying and sometimes urgent requests for data and information from policymakers, media, and partner organizations;
Seek out expert peer review and feedback on research and analysis;
Collaborate with external stakeholders on research and analysis.

Special Requirements
Ability to work some evenings and weekends;
Valid driver's license, access to car; ability and willingness to travel throughout Connecticut;
This position may work remotely a portion of the time;
Must be able to travel to New Haven office twice a week and to other locations in Connecticut (including Hartford) as needed.

Qualifications
Ph.D. in economics from an accredited university with professional and academic research experience in state and local public finance. Experience with state and municipal debt, labor economics, and/or tax policy is preferred;
At least 2 years of experience in a data-driven professional setting providing research and analysis to inform decision-making;
Strong Microsoft Excel/PowerPoint skills;
Excellent written and verbal communications skills, including the ability to communicate complex, technical information to non-expert audiences;
Commitment to credible and independent policy research and analysis and attention to detail and accuracy;
Strong data management skills with experience in the R programming language;
Commitment to credible and independent analysis;
Strong organizational skills and excellent attention to detail;
Ability to multi-task and work in a challenging, fast paced, and evolving environment;
Excellent written and verbal communications skills, including the ability to communicate complex, technical information to non-expert audiences;
Commitment to credible and independent policy research and analysis and attention to detail and accuracy;
Strong organizational skills and excellent attention to detail;
Demonstrated ability to "multi-task" and deliver high quality work;
A passion for education policy;
Independent, highly organized, and detail-oriented self-starter;
Energetic, hard-working, and enthusiastic team player;
Flexible, resourceful, persistent and willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done;
Ability to be tactful and diplomatic in challenging situations;
An optimistic outlook and ability to move past challenges;
Sense of humor!

Job summary

Employer:

CT School Finance Project

Location:

New Haven, United States

Education:

PhD/Doctorate

Sector:

Finance Economist

Salary:

Commensurate with experience

Job Type:

Fixed-Term

Hours:

Full-Time

Posted:

16th June 2017

Apply By:

14th September 2017

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