Policy Research Analyst

The American Council on Education (ACE) is seeking a Policy Research Analyst in the Department of Government and Public Affairs.


ACE is a higher education, non-profit organization with almost 1,700 member institutions and educational organizations.  ACE’s mission is to provide leadership and a unified voice on key higher education issues through advocacy, research, and program initiatives.  ACE programs include several leadership programs for college and university administrators and faculty.  (For more information on ACE: www.acenet.edu.)

The Policy Research Analyst contributes to an evolving policy portfolio within ACE’s Department of Government and Public Affairs (DGPA). The research analyst will join a dynamic team that advocates and influences national policy on higher education. However, this is not a lobbying position. The Policy Research Analyst works under the supervision of the DGPA AVP and Directors and independently as a contributor to ongoing advocacy and policy work by ACE.


Essential Job Duties or Tasks

  • The research analyst uses higher education databases, such as those developed by the National Center for Education Statistics and program administration files maintained by the Department of Education to create advocacy products and briefing material under the direction of the DGPA team. The research analyst will also use a working knowledge of national survey datasets, including the US Census’ decennial census, monthly Current Population Surveys, American Community Survey, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ indices to produce data and products for internal and external audiences. 
  • The research analyst assists with policy and quantitative analysis to support ACE’s government relations function, including the production of issue briefs and advocacy materials.
  • Authors and contributes to the production of reports, briefs, white papers, memos, and other products intended for policy audiences (including, but not limited to, congressional offices, federal agencies, think tanks, advocacy groups) and higher education leaders.
  • Conducts literature and policy scans of legislation and legislative proposals, and employ quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods analysis of same.
  • Responds to time-sensitive and highly visible higher education policy data inquiries from stakeholders such as member institutions, media, and legislative staff.
  • Works with external collaborators including faculty members, other researchers, and other higher education associations to create community resources to use in advocacy activities. 
  • Works independently and with the DGPA team to synthesize and present findings to legislators, college presidents, associations, and other stakeholders in the higher education policy community.


Education/Experience/Specialized Knowledge and Competency Requirements:

  • Master’s degree in higher education, education policy, public policy or a related field and 1-3 years of previous employment experience in policy research and analysis.
  • Demonstrated experience in quantitative research as a primary method is required; proficiency in STATA is strongly preferred.
  • Experience with postsecondary datasets and tools such as NCES, IPEDS, NPSAS, ELS, Census, PowerStats, and Data Ferret is preferred.
  • Ability to listen critically, ask questions, and transform ideas into action steps.
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Experience contributing to a team.
  • Experience interfacing and communicating with policy and institutional audiences.
  • Evidence of strong writing, communication, and time management skills.


The American Council on Education is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected Veteran status.