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Senior Research Director

National Student Clearinghouse
vision insurance, paid holidays, sick time, 401(k)
United States, Virginia, Herndon
2300 Dulles Station Boulevard (Show on map)
November 30, 2023

Are you looking for more than just a job and want to make difference? If so, then join the National Student Clearinghouse talent community and discover your impact today!

We are a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization and the leading provider of educational reporting, data exchange, verification, and research services. Serving the education, workforce and learner communities has been at the heart of our mission for over 25 years. Our work - performed in a trusted, secure, and private environment - provides numerous time- and cost-saving benefits to students, schools, administrators, and requestors.

About the Role:

The role oversees the planning, development, and production of all public reporting produced by the Research Center. They are responsible for advancing the research agenda for future publications to meet the existing and emergent needs of the field and to expand the potential research uses of Clearinghouse data as the Research Center grows its influence both internally and externally. They are attuned to distinct audiences and emerging research questions and maintains a robust professional network and schedule of presentations, media engagement and collaboration with the Clearinghouse communications staff. They work with executive leadership and other cross functional senior leadership in ensuring research and data integrity in all Clearinghouse research services and products by aligning the publications strategy with organization goals and providing analytical leadership in supporting the success of the National Student Clearinghouse. They build and manage Research Associates and Analysts, as well as collaborations with external research groups and individuals.

Currently, this position is 100% telework, however, as our company starts to return to our new normal, a hybrid work pattern, this position may be required to periodically work on-site at our office and the frequency would depend on the department/division's requirements. Therefore, candidates must either reside within a reasonable distance to commute to our office or be willing to travel to our office in Herndon, when required.

Leadership Competencies:



  • Demonstrate the Clearinghouse's competencies, which align with our corporate values. Manager will provide more detail to candidates as needed.

    • Senior Leadership Competencies include: Balances Stakeholders, Cultivates Innovation, Drives Vision and Purpose, Strategic Mindset, and Understanding the Business.




Balances Stakeholders:



  • Deal effectively with conflict, reaches agreement without damaging relationships and finds win-win solutions.
  • Develop and fosters a partnership relationship with a diverse group of stakeholders at all levels of the organization.
  • Balance the needs of various stakeholders focusing on delivering value added solutions and services.


Cultivates Innovation:



  • Works closely, drive and lead key internal resources that will drive new business/solutions.
  • Encourage and support creativity, ideation, and innovated thinking by staff and create plan for implementation. Views failures as opportunity to learn.
  • Moves beyond traditional ways of doing things and pushes past status quo.


Drives Vision and Purpose:



  • Leads by example with a high level of emotional intelligence and demonstrate a positive and intellectually curious demeanor about the Clearinghouse's mission, vision, values, and opportunities for the Clearinghouse to provide value to the education community and learners.
  • Guide staff and other leaders on how they contribute to the company mission and vision in a clear, relatable, and optimistic manner.
  • Demonstrate and instill our cultural values and transparent communication philosophies.


Strategic Mindset:



  • Review trends, anticipate future needs, and create a vision of possibilities for sustainable value and opportunities within the field.
  • Develop strategies and willing to take risks to sustain a competitive advantage.


Understanding the Business:



  • Develop, maintain, and demonstrate a strong working knowledge of the Clearinghouse, its environment, including its mission, services, and key stakeholders and how each organizational unit contributes to that mission.
  • Actively seek opportunities for efficiencies and cost-effective solutions that reduce costs and optimize results.
  • Act as the primary contract owner and manage contractual obligations of each party and provide continual review to ensure that all terms and conditions are met to mitigate potential risk.
  • Expertly represent the Clearinghouse externally.


How You Contribute:

  • Work with the executive leadership and other department senior leadership as needed (LI, CDO, IT, ST, PDP, Data Excellence, and Marketing/Communications), to set the strategic direction for, and manage the operations of, the Research Center.
  • Lead the people and ideas reshaping and modernizing research publications and dissemination strategy including the websites.
  • Ensure research and data integrity in the fast-paced and team-based production of quality publications. It includes designing, writing, editing, data validity, soundness of analytic methods, accuracy of results, and public dissemination.
  • Provide analytical leadership to help other departments maintain research and data integrity in their research services and products.
  • Lead cross-team collaborations to innovate with technology for automating publication production and helping optimize the AWS SAS server environment for research purposes organization-wide.
  • Lead and assist the process of developing and implementing grant-supported research publications, including proposals and budgets, legal agreements, secured data access set up for external researchers, consultant hiring, and grant reporting.
  • Represent the Clearinghouse in collaboration with external research engagement and project opportunities, including presenting results through conferences and webinars, media interviews and blogs and serving in external advisory groups.


Workforce Management



  • Builds a team-based environment that aligns with company values, ways of working, and competencies.
  • Evaluates staffing levels and department organization and optimizes the utilization and effectiveness of the team.
  • Recruits and selects the best talent to help optimize skills and experiences and motivate and manage staff to maximize productivity and efficiency.
  • Develops and manages career development and advancement opportunities at the Clearinghouse through MAPS conversations, developing and reporting on performance and goals, and defining and monitoring training and development plans to ensure job and career satisfaction.
  • Ensures staff is adequately trained and provide guidance as needed.
  • Monitors employee performance and conduct appraisals.
  • Rewards employees using formal and informal methods.


Position may be required to perform other duties as required. These essential functions are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the job. Reasonable accommodations will be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.


What You Bring to the Table:

  • Ph.D. or equivalent in a relevant subject area and 8 -10 years of research, data, and reporting experience. A combination of education and experience, including through military service, will be considered.
  • 4 years of experience managing a diverse team.
  • 3-5 years of experience with databases, data manipulation, and statistical software such as SAS, Stata, SPSS or R.
  • Experience in use of data visualization and graphical display of information.
  • Demonstrated ability to innovate with and develop insights from quantitative data.
  • Demonstrated leadership in writing, producing and directing quantitative research publications in one of the following areas: Postsecondary and workforce connections, K-12 education, or postsecondary education.
  • Excellent writing skills and public speaking experience.
  • Expert level in Microsoft Office suite, particularly Excel, PowerPoint, and Word; Proficiency in other collaboration tools.
  • Must live within a commutable distance to Herndon, VA or in one of the Clearinghouse's approved states for hiring purposes. Refer to our HR Policies Page, located on our Careers site at https://www.studentclearinghouse.org/careers/human-resource-policies/, for more details.
  • Talented at the Management competencies:

    • Making complex decision - Demonstrated business acumen.
    • Being flexible and adaptable - Positive and professional attitude with the demonstrated ability to adapt to a dynamic, fast paced industry.
    • Building collaborative relationships and optimizing diverse talent - Demonstrated ability to develop and lead a team in a positive and professional manner with a proven track record of facilitating cross-departmental issue identification, problem solving, and resolution.
    • Focusing on performance - Proven track record in leading programs to achieve goals and timelines.




Additional Desired Requirements:



  • Proficiency in SAS.
  • Experience working with large datasets.


Physical Demands:

  • Use of a computer terminal and/or laptop computer for 8 or more hours a day.
  • Use of a telephone.
  • Frequently required to sit for 7 or more hours per day in close proximity to others in an open office environment.
  • Occasionally required to use hands and fingers to operate, handle, and reach.
  • Vision abilities include close vision and the ability to adjust focus.
  • Must have oral communication and hearing abilities.
  • Travel via car, train, and airplane when needed.


Benefits and Related Information:

The National Student Clearinghouse provides a robust benefit program designed to help meet the needs of each employee and their family, both now and in the future. We offer comprehensive medical, dental, and vision insurance, as well as life and disability insurance benefits, for employees and their qualified dependents. Health care, dependent care, and limited purpose flexible spending accounts, as well as a health savings account, are options available for employees to set aside pre-taxed dollars for certain qualifying expenses. We offer a very generous 401k matching contribution program with the opportunity to defer pre-tax and Roth contributions, as well as catch-up contributions for those who are eligible! We are proud to offer a competitive paid leave program consisting of vacation, sick, and personal time, as well as paid holidays. Vacation time will accrue based on length of service, and new full-time hires can accrue up to 13 days of vacation and up to 10 days of sick time per year. On an annual basis, new employees may use up to 32 hours of accrued sick time as personal time. Additionally, the Clearinghouse observes at least 11 paid holidays per year.

Another perk is that employees have the option to get reimbursed for basic wholesale company and roadside assistance memberships (e.g., Costco and AAA) and to request a buy back on portions of unused accrued vacation based on tenure and certain other qualifications. Employees can further their education and professional development by using our Employee Education Assistance Program, which establishes reimbursement for qualified education expenses upon successful completion of the program, and leveraging the enterprise-wide LinkedIn Learning subscription. There are additional employee benefits, to find out more, please request a copy of our complete benefit package!

We reasonably believe that the salary range for this position is between $135,000 to $190,000. Bonus eligible.

Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities

The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor's legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)

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