The Director of Counties Future Lab oversees the research, data collection, analytics and technical assistance efforts for the National Association of Counties. In collaboration with the Executive Director, the individual creates a county research institute to brand NACo’s transformational county solutions. The position is responsible for developing the overall strategy and implementation of NACo’s practice area programming for the purpose of elevating NACo’s standing as a thought leader in the field. This position reports to the Executive Director.
This position is responsible of all aspects of this department, including the development of a strategy for integrating and branding NACo’s content across the research and practice work; supervision of the research and practice staff; and in collaboration with other members of the management team, serving as external liaison on county issues to the media, member counties and other constituency groups on behalf of NACo.
Primary Duties and Responsibilities:
Develop and implement strategies to enhance NACo’s brand in terms of research, data analytics and evidence-based practice.
In collaboration with the Executive Director, establishes NACo’s practice priorities that support NACo’s strategic plan and mission.
Creates a strategy to integrate NACo’s content across practice areas and in coordination with NACo’s policy issues.
Develops and implements a strategy to reorient the practice work towards more evidence-based solutions, complemented by data and performance metrics.
Works with legislative affairs and public affairs to disseminate NACo’s research and practice products and enhance NACo’s position as a thought leader in the field.
Offers senior leadership advice on the content of NACo’s conferences and events.
Provides strategic thought leadership on policy and practice issues affecting counties.
Supervise and manage the activities of the Counties Future Lab Department.
Supervises the research and practice staff.
Works directly with the division directors in the department.
Oversees NACo’s products, including the County Explorer, and NACo’s programming around several practice areas: health, human services, justice and public safety, economic development, transportation, energy and environment.
Supervises timelines and deliverables for NACo’s practice projects.
Oversees and leads NACo’s grant raising activities for practice projects.
Develops and supervises the department budget, reviews expenditures and allocates financial resources.
Serves as external liaison on county issues to media, member counties and other constituency groups, in partnership with other members of the management team.
Serves as staff liaison on county issues to member counties, media and other stakeholders.
Represents NACo in meetings, coalitions, panels and at conferences.
Supervises the development of practice workshops and forums for NACo conferences and events.
Delivers presentation for both internal and external audiences on NACo and county issues.
Other duties as assigned.
The ideal candidate for this position will have significant experience in research and analysis and a degree in a relevant field (Public Policy, Public Administration, Economics, Urban Planning), as well as a demonstrated ability to translate research, data and evidence-based case studies into coherent and persuasive narratives and transformative solutions. Other qualifications include:
Graduate Degree required, PhD preferred, plus at least ten years’ experience working in a public policy environment
Significant knowledge of county government structure and local development issues
Proven experience with working with state and local officials and organizing high-level convenings
Excellent oral and written communication skills
Thorough knowledge of research methodology and statistical analysis
Ability to interpret data and terminology for others not trained in statistics
Experience with presenting at conferences, conducting workshops and training sessions
About National Association of Counties
The National Association of Counties (NACo) is the only national organization that represents county governments in the United States. Founded in 1935, NACo provides essential services to the nation’s 3,069 counties. NACo advances issues with a unified voice before the federal government, improves the public's understanding of county government, assists counties in finding and sharing innovative solutions through education and research, and provides value-added services to save counties and taxpayers money. For more information about NACo, visit www.naco.org.