Director of Data & Research

New York City, NY

Position Overview

Join the senior leaders of Hester Street in a critical moment of growth and organizational development, as we implement our Strategic Vision and deepen our work supporting community-led transformational change to reshape our cities, the country and our world.  Bring your technical skills, creativity, strategic vision, commitment to racial and social justice, diverse experiences, and energy to imagine a new future to our team and our partners on the ground.  Help us shape our data and research strategy, team, and body of work, in order to advance our mission, leverage our unique skills and perspective, and align with our strategic vision.

About Hester Street

Hester Street deploys urban planning, design and development expertise to support community-led change, so cities are shaped by the people from the neighborhood-level up. We are a mission-driven non-profit and we work closely with community-based organizations, public and private agencies to advance community-driven planning and policymaking and equitable community development. We focus on low-income communities and communities of color – people and places that historically and systematically have been left out of decision making. Our vision is a racially, socially, and economically just, vibrant and resilient world fueled by the values and vision of the many.


Team Development (20%)

  • Work with co-Director of Data & Research to assess current equipment and staff capacity, identify strengths/opportunities and gaps and develop plan to address;
  • Bring together newly formed Data & Research team, build trust, identify priorities (external and internal), develop communications/management protocols, cultivate a generous spirit of collectivism, collaboration, fearless innovation and commitment to HST mission;
  • Supervise 1-3 direct reports.
  • Develop team’s collective sense of racial and social justice and working with team to innovate and generate better metrics to measure impacts of and combat racial and social injustices
  • Actively identify professional development opportunities and implement a sustainable system of internal growth and development for the team

Strategy & Leadership  (40%)

  • Dream big! Pull from existing models and create your own vision of what an innovative data & research team in service of the people can and should look like, be and do;
  • Connect the dots between HST’s many data- and research-driven projects to draw conclusions and make the case for our approach;
  • Head up HST’s Democratizing Data initiative;
  • Work with senior leadership to develop new projects and/or program areas that advance organization’s mission;
  • Develop tools and strategies that are responsive to and best support our community-based, base building and government partners and allies on strategic priorities, impact, and systemic change;
  • Leverage HST expertise/value add and respond to shifts in planning, design and community development fields, politics, city, region, world;
  • Provide strategic advice to senior leadership on evolving strategies and technology;
  • Align Data & Research internal structure and function, and external work with the aspirations and the struggles of low-income, BIPOC and immigrant racialized communities ;
  • Build relationships with key allies, coalitions, organizations, public agencies and elected officials, research and policy organizations, and academic institutions;
  • Work cooperatively with community-based and national organizations, elected officials, public agencies and institutions to build local and national relationships;
  • Work with HST’s project and communications staff to advance initiatives and build local partner capacity;
  • Work w/senior leadership to implement strategic plan and inform annual strategic priorities & goal-setting;
  • Represent HST in the external world by drafting articles, website & social media posts, case studies/papers; speaking at events and conferences; and other similar activities;
  • 1:1 Supervision – supervise 1-3 Senior Managers (e.g., Research/Data team).

Project Work (20%)

  • Lead key projects and project teams;
  • Develop overall project approach that leverages opportunities for innovation and equity while also achieving project goals;
  • Guide data, research and mapping technical work;
  • Develop strong working relationships with community-based organizations and government agencies;
  • Manage complex project teams made up of HST staff and outside consultants – regularly connect project work with HST’s larger mission and vision;
  • Effectively prioritize, delegate, execute and track tasks across multiple projects, adhering to rigorous timelines.

Business Development & Fundraising (20%)

  • Identify, cultivate and shape business development opportunities;
  • Identify and secure funds that support projects and operations – help draft grant proposals, project/program briefs and RFP responses;
  • Support EDs and Development Team to shape and implement an ambitious and sustainable development strategy.
  • Working together with the Strategy Team, design and implement metrics and methods to measure the impact of programs and tools especially measuring the impact on Black, Brown, immigrant, and low-income communities.
  • Working together with the Communications Team, create internal and external reports showcasing HST’s teams’ data work and impact   


  • 10-15 years of planning, policy, and research experience – preferably a mix of all three;
  • A strong commitment to progressive social change and racial justice, a sharp analysis of systemic racism in the shaping of our cities and our country, and a passion for HST’s vision and mission;
  • Excellent technical skills and strong familiarity with quantitate and qualitative data types and analysis with a passion for equity, innovation, and inclusivity – knowledge of public and private dataset   collection and analysis, familiarity with desktop GIS and online mapping/spatial analysis, knowledge of front-end development (css, html, javascript, turf, d3) is a plus
  • Great communications skills, written and verbal;
  • Strong network and relationships among data and research leaders and organizations;
  • Ability to work both independently, and as part of a collaborative leadership team;
  • Familiarity with the data equity and progressive planning landscape nationally;
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively in high-pressure environments;
  • Effective time management skills, including prioritizing and managing multiple tasks, with light supervision;
  • Demonstrated success supervising and developing staff 1:1 and managing effective, healthy teams;
  • Experience working in and with low-income communities of color;
  • Urban planning, data/research and/or community development background;
  • Language skills other than English a plus;

To Apply

Please upload cover letter, résumé and two work samples.

Hester Street is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to a diverse workforce that reflects the populations with whom we partner and serve. Our organization is women-led and our staff is majority people of color. We seek to build an inclusive organization grounded in respect for differences and encourage applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, disability or veteran status.

Hester Street is a 501(c)3, nonprofit organization incorporated as Hester Street Collaborative.