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Research Director-Global Trade Watch

General Description:

The Research Director works with the GTW Director to plan and implement all research strategies, projects and materials in support of Global Trade Watch program and goals. The Research Director seeks to expand GTW’s impact by ensuring the team and its many domestic and international allies are empowered with strategic, accurate and thorough information on an array of trade and globalization issues. The Research Director creates academic-quality research materials that frequently become the cornerstone of major domestic and international policy debates. The Research Director also serves as the intellectual sonar for Global Trade Watch, identifying emerging issues and trends.

Specific Responsibilities:

  1. Develop and successfully implement an ambitious and achievable short- and long-term research agenda designed in consultation with the Global Trade Watch Director, organizing and communications staffs. The outputs of Global Trade Watch’s Research Department are widely used by policymakers, civil society organizations, activists, press and scholars in the United States and abroad, often defining major trade and globalization debates.
  2. Play a leading role in developing Global Trade Watch’s overall strategy.
  3. By networking with peers and reading diverse materials, maintain familiarity with a diverse set of issues and research products on the issues related to globalization, international trade, , investment arbitration and dispute settlement, and keep the GTW team informed of developments and strategic opportunities related to economic, policy and trade law developments.
  4. Supervise a junior researcher and/or research interns to ensure clear priorities and quality control. Supervise and review the research work of other staff. Ensure accuracy of all Global Trade Watch written materials.
  5. Manage (and often implement) research-related writing and analytical projects, including books, reports, legislative analysis, data/graphics projects, memoranda, fact sheets, articles, op-eds and submission of comments to various agencies in support of various campaigns and programs.
  6. Edit a widely read and cited blog on trade issues, “Eyes on Trade.”
  7. Conduct rapid response operations to counter misinformation and educate the press.
  8. Maintain and expand relationships with academic, government and other researchers and scholars in the United States and abroad.
  9. Oversee maintenance and development of in-house databases related to the outcomes of various trade agreements on different states and sectors, trade job-loss, congressional votes, WTO dispute settlement, investor-state arbitration and others as needed. This valuable data system allows Global Trade Watch to respond to an array of inquiries and spot trends.
  10. Act as a media and public spokesperson for Global Trade Watch. Represent Global Trade Watch at conferences and other public speaking venues.
  11. Oversee maintenance of research products on websites and blogs.
  12. Act as a facilitator for exchange of research-related information between the different Public Citizen offices, including acting as liaison to publications and program services departments within Public Citizen and organizing libel reads of reports with Litigation Group.
  13. Coordinate research-related media strategy with press officer and communications office.
  14. Other duties as assigned.


  • Education: College degree required, and other advanced degree strongly preferred, ideally in law or economics.
  • Knowledge: Familiarity with a broad range of public policy issues including trade, investment and finance issues and food safety, environmental and other regulatory policy; familiarity with the legislative process, political environment and media relations; extensive knowledge of database development and management, particularly Excel, Access and ideally others (such as “R”); extensive knowledge of research techniques including utilization of Internet, government, NGO and academic sources.
  • Work Experience: 5 years of demonstrated research and writing experience, particularly on economic and legal issues, political candidates and corporate wrongdoers.
  • Skills: Strong supervisory and planning skills; excellent written and oral communication skills; excellent computer skills, including proficiency in Word and database programs; excellent analytical skills including expertise in technical, quantitative/statistical and legislative analysis.
  • Capabilities: Ability to provide leadership and develop and implement programs. Ability to work well with a wide range of people, work well and quickly under pressure, and adapt to changing situations on a daily basis. Comfort with public speaking a plus.
  • Conditions: Strong interest in and commitment to the public interest. The ability to walk two flights of stairs. Some travel may be required.

Salary and Benefits:

Competitive non-profit salary commensurate with experience and great benefit package.

Benefits include:

  • Great medical and dental coverage, including full coverage for children
  • Three weeks paid vacation for new employees, plus five personal days
  • 401K plan with a 5% contribution from PC after one year of employment
  • 12 weeks of paid parental leave after one year of employment
  • Sabbatical after 10 years of employment
  • Student loan reimbursement program

To Apply:

Send a letter of interest, resume, and writing sample to GTWapplicants@citizen.org.

Public Citizen is an equal opportunity employer. People of color, women, LGBT candidates are encouraged to apply. Public Citizen employees are proud members of SEIU Local 500.

About Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch:  

Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1971 to represent the public interest in Congress, the executive branch and the courts. We fight for openness and democratic accountability in government; for social and economic justice in globalization and trade policies; for clean, safe and sustainable energy; for strong health, safety and environmental protections; for safe, effective and affordable medicines and health care and for the right of consumers to seek redress in the courts. We have six divisions based in our Washington, D.C. offices and an office in Texas

The mission of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch division is to ensure that in this era of globalization, a majority have the opportunity to enjoy America’s promises: economic security, a clean environment, safe food, medicines and products, access to quality affordable services such as health care and the exercise of democratic decision-making about the matters that affect their lives.

Public Citizen started working on globalization and ‘trade’ issues in 1991 when we recognized that this was necessary simply to remain effective advocates for the public health, consumer safety, environmental and economic justice goals Public Citizen had promoted over decades. Motivating this strategic initiative was our realization that today’s international commercial agreements, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), were no longer mainly about trade per se. Rather, these far-reaching agreements were backdoor delivery mechanisms to implement an expansive, enforceable package of non-trade policies  – limits on financial regulation and food safety, new monopoly patent rights over medicines and seeds that limit access, new investor rights that promote job-offshoring and subject public interest policies to attack and more. This corporate-led version of globalization is designed to limit governments’ role in regulating the economy and to eliminate many of the public interest safeguards Public Citizen and like-minded organizations and activists had won over decades. And, it shifts decision-making on matters previously determined in national, state and local venues to international bodies where those affected by the decisions have no meaningful role.

Since its inception in 1995, GTW has been a leader in popularizing the globalization and trade debate by connecting these seemingly arcane policies to peoples’ everyday experiences – and helping people make a difference in the future of globalization by giving them the tools they need to educate their communities, hold Congress accountable for policy choices, and hit the streets to protest. GTW works with diverse national and international coalitions. For more information, please see our website: www.tradewatch.org