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Director of Impact Strategy

Organizational Overview

At the Vera Institute of Justice, our vision is of a society that respects the dignity of every person and safeguards justice for all. At a propitious moment for justice reform, we are standing up and driving change on a variety of fronts -- ending mass incarceration, vastly improving life behind bars, ensuring that immigrants get due process, ending cash bail and centering racial equity in all this work. Changing the way people think and act in order to serve justice is in our DNA. Since 1961, we’ve leveraged our access and influence with government partners and worked collaboratively with community stakeholders to transform the systems we rely on for safety and justice:

  • We study problems that impede human dignity and justice.
  • We pilot solutions that are at once transformative and achievable.
  • We engage diverse communities in informed debate.
  • We harness the power of evidence to drive effective policy and practice.

Vera has offices in New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. We are an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace. We hire employees that reflect our values: respect, independence, collaboration, commitment, and race equity. We encourage applications from Black, Indigenous, and people of color. People with disabilities are also encouraged to apply. If you want to learn more about life at Vera click here.

Vera generates ideas to transform criminal legal and immigration systems and takes them to national scale. Following the completion of our strategic plan, we have created the “Impact Pipeline” where we generate ideas and actions for transforming criminal, legal and immigration systems. This staged process helps Vera staff generate ideas with potential for national impact, pilot those ideas, adapt and improve them, and evaluate their effectiveness.

What you’ll do

The Director of Impact Strategy will work with projects at different stages of the Impact Pipeline, supporting the development of comprehensive strategies for shifting criminal and immigration systems toward greater equity and justice. Vera employs a multifaceted approach to systems change, leveraging applied research, strategic communications, technical assistance, and advocacy expertise. The ideal candidate will have experience within a mission-driven organization that employs diverse strategies to achieve social impact and further racial equity.

This position will report to the VP for Research and MEL, and work in close partnership with the Director of Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning, the Director of Innovation and Program Strategy, and members of the research leadership team.

The core responsibilities of this position include: helping build and shape the impact pipeline and strategy development process; defining long-term goals for initiatives; developing theories of change that weave together advocacy, government partnership, research, and strategic communications; incorporating feedback from a range of stakeholders, including those who are directly impacted by criminal legal and immigration systems; developing explicit power-building and racial equity strategies; and mapping out the short- and medium-term resources and activities towards achieving change at scale.

Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Lead strategy development with initiatives along the Impact Pipeline
  • Use Theory of Change modelling and other planning tools to develop strategic plans with ambitious goals for national criminal legal and immigration reform initiatives  
  • Lead in-depth planning session and draft memos and other materials that summarize initiative strategic plans
  • Work with the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) unit and initiative teams to develop and fine tune performance measures for the main components of strategic plans
  • Meet with initiative teams on an ongoing basis to discuss emergent M&E results and feedback from community stakeholders, fine-tuning and updating strategies as needed
  • Develop strategic planning tools and frameworks, with a particular focus on equity - including strategies to incorporate the perspectives of those who are directly impacted
  • Act as an organizational hub for information on strategic planning and program development, advising and mentoring staff developing new and emerging initiatives
  • Support a culture of idea generation and innovation at Vera by socializing the principles and practices of the impact pipeline and serving as an advocate and resource
  • Serve as a member of the research leadership team and support institute-wide research culture and practice
  • Liaise with key contacts in research, communications, advocacy and other Vera departments to ensure coordination on planning activities and strategy development

Who you are

You take initiative, and thrive in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment. In everything you do, you exhibit a core commitment to racial justice. You have excellent writing, organizational, and communication skills and an interest in working on research in the criminal legal and/or immigration systems.

  • Lived experience and/or demonstrated commitment to addressing issues of racism and inequity in the criminal legal, immigration, or related systems 
  • 8+ years experience  in research, direct service, policy, or consulting required
  • 3+ years experience developing program plans and/or organizational strategies required
  • Interest and applied experience working collaboratively with program providers to develop strategic plans
  • Experience developing Theory of Change models and/or using other planning tools and methodologies in applied policy settings
  • Collaboration skills and experience mentoring and supporting colleagues with diverse skillsets
  • Experience using participatory research methods, partnering with impacted communities, or working with advocacy movements
  • Leadership and project management experience
  • Written and oral communications skills 


We believe in compensating our staff members at or above market. Compensation is commensurate with experience and includes competitive benefits.

How to apply

Please submit a cover letter and resume. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Online submission in PDF format is preferred. However, if necessary, materials may be mailed or faxed to:


ATTN: People Resources / Director of Impact Strategy

Vera Institute of Justice

34 35th St, Suite 4-2A, Brooklyn, NY 11232

Fax: (212) 941-9407

Please use only one method (online, mail or fax) of submission.

No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.


Vera is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.  All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status or current employment status. 

Vera works to advance justice, particularly racial justice, in an increasingly multicultural country and globally connected world. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission. People who have been directly impacted by the criminal legal or immigration systems are encouraged to apply.

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