Job Opportunity: Research Director

Who We Are

California YIMBY is a statewide housing advocacy organization dedicated to ending the housing shortage and making California an affordable place for everyone to live, work, and raise a family. California YIMBY is not a traditional non-profit: we reject the policy and political status-quo and work to realize fundamental evidence-based change to California’s housing policies, which would benefit tens-of-millions of people. Founded in 2017, California YIMBY has redefined the national housing debate by sponsoring transformative legislation like SB 50, and has helped draft and pass 12 bills that broke down exclusionary barriers and will enable millions of new homes to be built.

The Opportunity

California YIMBY is seeking a full-time Research Director to lead our research activities, to coordinate research efforts with partner academics and researchers, to write for academic and lay audiences, and to represent California YIMBY at events and in the media. This research will inform California YIMBY’s advocacy agenda.
The Research Director will report to the new Policy Director, develop and carry out California YIMBY’s research agenda, including identifying new research opportunities, devising and conducting studies, and formulating policy proposals informed by their research.
The Research Director will:

  • Design and implement a research program that helps inform California YIMBY’s advocacy.
  • Conduct independent research, produce policy papers, briefs, and content explaining housing research.
  • Host periodic educational events featuring researchers and their work.
  • Coordinate research efforts with partner researchers and institutions.
  • Work with the communications team to translate academic research into materials intended for non-academic audiences.
  • Coordinate public events featuring housing researchers.
  • Draft responses to fallacious scholarship and media claims.
  • Represent California YIMBY at events and in the media through press interviews, op-eds, blogs, and social media.
  • Collaborate with senior staff and the development department to write research grants and other development efforts.

Minimum qualifications

Possess strong writing and communication skills, strong organizational, analytical, and project management abilities, and be comfortable working on a distributed team. Have experience working with data sources such as the Census/ACS, PUMS, and HMDA, and with identifying, collecting, cleaning, and analyzing datasets to elucidate social phenomena. The successful applicant will have a passion to end the housing crisis and a minimum of 2 years of relevant professional or academic experience.

Preferred qualifications

PhD or equivalent degree in Economics, Political Science, Planning, Public Policy, or equivalent field and a minimum of 3 years of relevant research experience, with a focus in at least one of the following areas: urban policy, affordable housing, land use, or real estate. Knowledge of federal, state, and municipal housing programs or land use regulations is strongly preferred. Management experience is desirable.


Email your resume, cover letter, and research portfolio which includes two-three pieces for which you were the sole or principal responsible author to Successful first stage candidates will be asked to provide professional or academic references and additional work samples.
Location: California remote, preferably Oakland or Sacramento.
Salary: $80,000 – $110,000, depending upon experience.