Program Officer, Anxieties of Democracy

Social Science Research Council

Brooklyn, NY

Job posting number: #7057180

Posted: May 2, 2019

Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description


The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) is a Brooklyn, NY–based, independent, international, nonprofit organization devoted to the advancement of interdisciplinary research in the social sciences through a wide variety of workshops and conferences, fellowships and grants, summer training institutes, scholarly exchanges, research, and publications. For more information, please visit our website:

The SSRC seeks to hire a Program Officer to support its work in understanding and addressing the contemporary challenges facing democracy in the United States and around the world. The principal responsibility of the position is to manage, in partnership with the Vice President of Programs, the Anxieties of Democracy (AOD) program, to contribute to the development of democracy-related programming at the SSRC, and to support other relevant aspects of the SSRC’s work.

The AOD program is motivated by a concern about whether the core institutions of representative democracies can capably address large problems in the public interest. The program promotes research and dialogue on a range of topics related to democratic functioning—for example, asking how democracies can effectively respond to climate change, deal with challenges to national security, and address the political consequences of a changing economy. With the support of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and others, the Anxieties of Democracy program aims to mobilize existing research; promote new research; publish and disseminate findings; forge pathways for bringing this knowledge to policy, media, and public audiences; and provide opportunities for new generations of social scientists to address how democracies could govern more effectively. It pursues these goals in consultation with the AOD advisory committee and through a set of activities that includes topically focused working groups, conferences and workshops, a book series in partnership with a major university press, the Democracy Papers blog, and a range of outreach and public engagement activities.

The Program Officer will oversee the day-to-day implementation of this work while participating in the design and development of new activities related to the state of contemporary democracy, including the preparation of new funding proposals. In addition, the Program Officer will collaborate with SSRC colleagues in related programs on the impact of media on politics (including the Media and Democracy program and the Disinformation Research Mapping Initiative) and other areas of work concerned with political participation and public policy.

This is a one-year position, with the potential of renewal based on availability of funding.


In partnership with the Vice President of Programs and other colleagues, the Program Officer will:

manage the implementation and further development of the Anxieties of Democracy program, including the development of funding proposals to support program activities;

with the program’s advisory committee and SSRC leadership, develop new program directions and conduct oversight of program activities, engage with program funders, and produce reports on program progress;

oversee planning for upcoming events, including conferences, workshops, and working group meetings, as well as manage program budgets;

with the series editors, steer publications for the Anxieties of Democracy book series and serve as managing editor for the Democracy Papers essay series; oversee other program publications as well as the program’s online and social media presence;

facilitate connections between scholars and relevant policy and media communities in order to shape broader public debate on how to improve the problem-solving capacities of representative democratic institutions; and

liaise and coordinate with various organizational partners on aspects of program implementation.

Other responsibilities:

with the Vice President of Programs and other colleagues, collaborate in developing new projects and programs related to the Program Officer’s areas of expertise and interest, supporting the development of new funding proposals in these areas as needed; and

handle additional responsibilities and projects as directed, depending on interest and capacity.


PhD in a social science or closely related field (including but not limited to sociology, political science, and history) required.

Research experience and knowledge of current academic research on challenges to democracy, in the United States and/or comparatively, required.

Excellent organizational skills, attention to detail, and a high degree of professionalism.

Excellent interpersonal skills; team player with demonstrated ability to take initiative, work independently, and respond flexibly to changing demands.

Strong writing skills for a range of audiences.

Interest in working in a professional role at the interface between different scholarly communities, and between the academic and philanthropic spheres.

Ability to travel several times a year for events.

Terms, Salary and Benefits

Annual salary will be commensurate with experience. Comprehensive benefits include health, dental, vision, disability, life, and gym reimbursement; outstanding pension plan and tax savings programs; generous vacation and sick leave; and more. Provisions are made for professional staff to continue their development as a scholar while at the Council.

This position is based out of the Brooklyn, NY offices and as such conforms to the general operating hours of the SSRC standard work week.

Application Information

Applications should be received by June 7, 2019, for priority consideration. Applications will be accepted until the position has been filled. To apply, please copy and paste the following link:

The Social Science Research Council is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. We are dedicated to equal employment opportunity and to cultivating and sustaining a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce. SSRC maintains a policy of non-discrimination with all employees and applicants for employment. All aspects of employment with the Council are made on the basis of competence, skill and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, creed, color, religion, sex/gender, gender identity, national origin/ancestry, ethnicity, age, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital or domestic partner status, medical conditions (including pregnancy and/or genetic information) or physical or mental disability, citizenship status or any other categories prohibited by law.

Apply Now

Please mention to the employer that you saw this ad on