Careers at Public Agenda

Public Agendaís nonpartisan mission, to help build a democracy that works for everyone, has never been more important to America and its future. We pursue our mission through projects that employ research, public engagement, and communications to:

  • Help the public better understand the challenges facing their communities, such as education, health care, police-community relations and climate change.
  • Help leaders better understand and respond to the publicís views, values and concerns.
  • Give those affected by a problem a voice and role in forging solutions.

Founded in 1975, Public Agenda is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization based in New York City. Our offices are a fun and comfortable (flexible seating like couches and private phone booths) open-layout WeWork office located in the heart of Brooklyn Heights near the Jay St Metrotech A, C, F and Borough Hall 2, 3, 4, 5, R trains.

Public Opinion Researcher

We seek a highly motivated, collaborative researcher with significant experience who is interested in joining our team in New York City. The successful candidate will join our team at the Associate or Senior Associate level, depending on experience and skill set. This position reports to the director of research.

Key Responsibilities:

As part of a collaborative research team, the candidate will be involved in all phases of our public opinion research and other research projects. His/her primary responsibilities will be to significantly contribute to and occasionally lead: background research and policy reviews; the development of research instruments, including surveys, focus group moderator guides and interview guides; fieldwork, quantitative and qualitative data analysis, and drafting and production of reports and briefs for varied audiences.

Required Skills and Abilities:

  • Masterís degree in the social sciences, public policy or a related discipline, with a minimum of 4 years of full-time experience conducting applied social science research, including both quantitative and qualitative methods.
  • Ability to conduct a range of descriptive and some advanced statistical analyses. Comfortable using SPSS or similar statistical software programs.
  • At least 2 years of significant focus group research experience, including moderating groups and analyzing qualitative data.
  • Ability to effectively engage individuals of diverse backgrounds and industries in interviews and focus group discussions.
  • Experience developing survey questions, ideally for policy-relevant research, and a strong interest overall in working on public policy issues. Significant experience in one or more of the following areas is a plus: K-12 education, postsecondary education, health care, civic engagement, democracy reform.
  • Willingness to collaborate with team to translate research findings into key insights, implications and actionable solutions for internal and external audiences.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including report writing, editing and presentation skills. Writing effectively for non-academic leadership audiences is a very strong plus, as is grant writing.
  • Strong Excel skills, experience creating charts and graphs, and interest in data visualization is a plus.
  • Intellectual curiosity, a sense of humor and ability to work with a diverse team on diverse projects.
  • Highly organized, able to coordinate multiple schedules and project logistics on an ongoing basis.
  • A strong interest in Public Agendaís mission and a comfort level working in a nonpartisan (as opposed to an advocacy) organization.

Please send your CV, cover letter and a writing sample (as one PDF) to Roslyn Beck at

Chief Financial Officer

Public Agenda seeks a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to work beside the President to oversee all financial operations, responsibilities and strategies on behalf of the organization and its mission, put procedures in place to optimize inefficient areas of operation, and participate as a member of the senior management team. Our ideal CFO has at least 10 years of experience in nonprofit finance, with at least 5 in a senior leadership capacity; has deep experience with foundation grants and other forms of nonprofit revenues; and has excellent communications, team-building and management skills. S/he should be a quick learner, a creative thinker, have a strong understanding of the varied needs of a nonprofitófrom the financial to the culturalóand keen insights into how to support continuous improvement in organizations.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities:

Financial Management

  • Responsible - directly or by managing staff - for all cash management, investments, insurance, budgeting and financial reporting.
  • Oversee the day-to-day accounting, recording, reporting, and internal control activities of the organization.
  • Coordinate the development of the annual operating, capital, and program budgets, and reporting against the same.
  • Prepare and distribute user-friendly financial data and forecasts for the President, Board of Directors, management team and program staff.
  • Provide all necessary support to the Organization's Finance, Investment and Audit Committees and Board of Directors to assist them in their decision making.
  • Work closely with the organizationís investment managers and Board of Directors to assure adherence to Public Agendaís investment guidelines and policies.
  • Work with the Program Directors and Development Director to efficiently develop proposal budgets and provide easy and quick access to project finance information and ensure contract/grant compliance and reporting.
  • Coordinate the preparation of Form 990 and audited financial statements annually.
  • Maintain the tax-exempt status of the organization and ensure the organization meets the public support test.
  • Monitor and anticipate the organizationís cash flow requirements and cash needs.
  • Rebalance asset allocations as directed by the Board of Directors.
  • Prepare and distribute investment and asset analysis reports periodically.
  • Inform and strengthen strategic thinking and decision making by President and Sr. Team that promotes organizational sustainability and protects against risk.


  • Evaluate liability insurance coverage and related risk management to ensure adequate coverage.
  • Oversee insurance, taxes, and related issues for all real estate and other agreements entered into by the organization.
  • Help lead the development and use of best-practice policies, practices and tools that ensure a well-controlled yet flexible organization with strong fiscal management, project management, cross team communications and work flow.

Personnel and Benefit Administration

  • Maintain and process payroll using the Paychexģ Flex system and ensure completion of the related local, state, and federal reports.
  • Administer employee benefit programs and related records and reports.
  • Oversee HR function, coordinating with external service providers (payroll, benefits, and general HR) and internal staff responsible for various aspects of HR.
  • Aid the President in the determination and implementation of employee personnel policies, manuals, job descriptions etc.

Other Responsibilities

  • Ensure compliance with all applicable Financial Accounting Standards Board, Internal Revenue Service, New York State Attorney General and other relevant regulations.
  • Provide all financial information helpful in the development and maintenance of donor relations and activity development.
  • Participate in relevant professional associations.
  • Fulfill other duties as needed and assigned by the Management Team.


  • Strong affinity for Public Agendaís mission.
  • CPA/CMA preferred.
  • Minimum of ten years of hands-on experience in finance with a nonprofit.
  • Experience with government grants and nonprofit operations a plus.
  • At least five years of experience in team management.
  • Experience with Financial Edge and Raiserís Edge preferred.
  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Minimum degree: Masterís.
  • Strong communications a must, sense of humor a plus!

Public Agenda is an equal opportunity employer that values diversity in the workplace. Interested candidates should send a cover letter, salary requirement, and resume to


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