Director, Low-Wage Work Program (Specialist)

San Francisco
Jan 12, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Director, Low-Wage Work Program (Specialist) UC Berkeley Labor Center Institute for Research on Labor and Employment

Director, Low-Wage Work Program (Full Specialist) - UC Berkeley Labor Center - Institute for Research on Labor and Employment

The UC Berkeley Labor Center, at the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE), UC Berkeley, is searching for a Director of its Low-Wage Work Program. Founded in 1964, the UC Berkeley Labor Center works on the most pressing economic challenges affecting working families in California and across the country. The Labor Center provides timely, policy-relevant research on labor and employment issues for policymakers and stakeholders, and conducts training for a new and diverse generation of worker leaders and students.

The Center's Low-Wage Work Program focuses on documenting and understanding working conditions in low-wage industries, especially for women, immigrants, and workers of color. It also analyzes policies to raise labor standards at the local, state, and national levels. The Director will develop, oversee, and conduct research on low-wage work and a diverse set of policies that affect working families, as well as supervise research staff, fundraise, and contribute to organizational leadership. In addition, in the coming year the Program will focus on more deeply integrating a race and gender equity lens into its research and policy analysis, and the Director will play a central role in this process.

This position offers an exciting opportunity to play a central leadership role in a high-impact, high-visibility organization and to work with a nationally-recognized team of researchers, policy analysts, and academics.

Responsibilities include:

  • Directing the Center's Low-Wage Work Program, including supervising the program's research staff and serving on the Center's program directors team
  • Planning, supervising and conducting policy-relevant research on labor, employment, and equity in the state of California and nationally
  • Providing leadership in the program's efforts to deepen its focus on race, ethnicity, gender, and immigration status into our research and policy analysis
  • Fundraising for the program, including grant writing and maintaining relationships with funders
  • Providing technical assistance to stakeholders and policymakers on issues related to low-wage work, labor standards, and other labor and employment topics
  • Coordinating research with academic researchers on other UC Campuses
  • Serving as lead author on research reports and policy briefs
  • Engaging the public via conference presentations, responding to media requests, authoring op-eds, and providing legislative testimony
  • Support the Center's efforts to build a diverse generation of future labor researchers

    Basic Qualifications (must be met at the time of application)
    Master's degree or equivalent international degree

    Additional Qualifications (must be met by the start date of job)
    Five (5) years of experience directing on research and policy analysis

    Preferred Qualifications
  • Master's degree or higher in Public Policy, Sociology, Economics, Geography, or related field
  • Ten (10) years of relevant experience in research and policy analysis
  • Five (5) years of experience directing or otherwise providing high-level leadership on research and policy analysis
  • Established track record of conducting labor market analyses of wages and other job quality outcomes, the role of race, gender and immigration status, and firm and industry dynamics
  • Excellent research skills (quantitative or qualitative) and experience conducting mixed-method research
  • Experience with fundraising
  • Advanced writing and communication skills, geared toward policy research reports
  • Advanced knowledge of labor standards policies and workers' rights
  • Strong collaboration skills, including experience working with academic researchers and stakeholders such as unions, worker centers, and others
  • Substantial record of publishing research and policy reports

    This position reports to Ken Jacobs, UC Berkeley Labor Center Chair. The initial appointment will be 100% time for three (3) years. This is an important position within the Labor Center and will be reappointed conditional on funding. Expected start date is January 2021.

    Salary and Benefits
    This position provides full benefits. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience based on the UC Berkeley Specialist salary scale.

    To Apply
    Please visit:

    This position will remain open until filled. Please address any inquiries to Anhara Alexander, [email protected].

    All letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. Please refer potential referees, including when letters are provided via a third party (i.e., dossier service or career center), to the UC Berkeley statement of confidentiality ( prior to submitting their letters.

    The University of California 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, age, or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy, see

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