City of Boston

Director of Strategic Research

Req ID
Mayor's Office
Regular Full-Time
May Mayors Office
Salary Min
Salary Max
Posting End Date
Contact Email


The Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics (MONUM) was formed in 2010 and serves as the Mayor’s civic research and design team. MONUM explores the full range of research and development to create prototypes that cover a variety of ideas to deliver concrete outcomes. It is the City of Boston’s engine for learning, risk-taking, and discovery with agency partners and external organizations to operationalize ideas that positively impact the lives of Boston residents. See the team’s portfolio of work from last year here.


MONUM is seeking a Director of Strategic Research who will join our nimble team of the civically curious. The new Director of Strategic Research  will expand our work in new directions. Importantly, we are looking for someone who is not afraid to think beyond what seems possible today, helping us imagine and dream what could be in the future. This leader will help build evidence that can guide and inform decisions and discussions about critical issues in and outside City Hall.

The ideal candidate for this role will be driven by a need to understand the “why” and be comfortable mapping research processes from start to finish, defining sharp research questions, exploring creative ways of gathering data in leading civic research, and integrating research into strategic initiative deployments to meet the needs of residents and city departments. This person will be a critical stakeholder in ensuring that MONUM’s research outcomes have rigor and durability. A key driver for success in this work will also be the ability to persuasively tell the stories of this work.


  • Lead civic research efforts to support city initiatives and the entire spectrum of the research and development process, including MONUM’s “model” of explore, experiment, evaluate to deliver exceptional services to Boston’s residents, workers, visitors, and more.
  • Explore—across disciplines and from multiple sources— research connections between strategies and tactics that push forward the Mayor’s Vision.
  • Experiment—in partnership—thoughtfully and critically to highlight hidden value, anticipate potential futures and invite more people to participate. 
  • Evaluate—qualitatively and quantitatively—whether a prototype meets its desired purposes and brings value, joy, wonder, efficacy, delight, or any range of outcomes that are beneficial toward building an equitable and just Boston.
  • Connect with partners and stakeholders in civic research, including internal partners across agencies and external partners such as community groups, startups, artists, university partners, small businesses, foundations, and more.
  • Lead several research projects at a time and serve as a central point of contact for civic research while also participating in internally facing work, such as hiring for our fellowship programs, helping other departments with tactical requests, and other things that invariably will come up when working in a dynamic, responsive environment.
  • Document and share what you learn through your work: writing, visually representing, speaking at classes and at conferences, participating in MONUM’s “front door” approach to taking meetings, and talking about the work.
  • Collaboratively manage the team through supervision and training of staff and participating in the leadership of the team.
  • Other duties as determined or specifically requested by the team’s Director.


Some nights or weekend events may be required as determined by the specifics of your portfolio of projects.

Minimum Entrance Qualifications:

  • At least four (4) years of full-time, or equivalent part-time, experience working with research, research design, data analysis, or open data in a business, government, or nonprofit setting. A bachelors degree in social science, engineering, mathematics, public policy, business, computer science, urban studies, or a related field is preferred. A masters degree is highly preferred.
  • A working understanding of the challenges inherent to research, research design, data analysis, and open data, such as privacy, accessibility, documentation, research ethics, and public records laws.
  • One (1) years of supervisory experience required.
  • Demonstrated ability to produce research products, whether through a published report, an honors thesis, or some other kind of research-based work product.
  • Candidates should be strong relationship builders, comfortable with risk, and passionate about solving hard civic challenges with creative, original solutions.
  • We look for people with a track record of execution of complex multi-stakeholder projects, especially those that require creative research methodologies that combine quantitative data sources with qualitative data. We want team members who are comfortable both working alone and in a highly collaborative office. 
  • We look for people who have an innate ability to construct strong relationships with community partners and represent the City of Boston. 
  • We seek individuals with subject matter expertise in areas such as design, public policy, storytelling, social justice, urban planning, or community engagement, as well as specific content knowledge and broad curiosity about cities and major urban issues such as housing, transportation, climate & environment, as well as the related social and community impacts. Ideal candidates will have experience in blending those subject matters. 
  • Ideal candidates should be "self-starters” and comfortable with charting their own course in complex and seemingly hierarchical organizations. Experience working within local government is appreciated, but not essential. 
  • Must be proficient with the Google Suite and spreadsheets and have strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Experience with design or video software packages (Adobe, Final Cut, Motion, etc.) is preferred but not required. 
  • Additional language proficiency in one of the City of Boston's top ten commonly requested language accommodations is preferred.





Union/Salary/Grade: EXM/MM2-10

Hours per week: 35


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