Skip to content

Arnold Ventures is a philanthropy whose core objective is to maximize opportunity and minimize injustice. We are dedicated to tackling some of the most pressing problems in the United States. We invest in sustainable change, building it from the ground up based on research, deep thinking, and a strong foundation of evidence. We drive public conversation, craft policy, and inspire action through education and advocacy.

Location: New York, N.Y. or Washington, D.C.

Salary: Competitive salary and benefits package based on qualifications

Department: Criminal Justice – Policing Team

Report to: Vice President of Criminal Justice

Travel: Occasional travel expected

Position Overview

Arnold Ventures’ Criminal Justice initiative aims to advance community safety and the values of fairness, effectiveness, and racial justice. We fund innovative work in five domains: Policing, Pretrial Justice, Community Supervision, Prisons, and Reintegration. The Initiative works with teams of experts from inside and outside government and across disciplines to reform the U.S. criminal justice system through research, evidence, testing innovative pilot programs, and policy change.

We are seeking a Director of Criminal Justice Research to establish our policing research agenda, lead many of our most significant research projects, and provide strategic, research-related advice across the Criminal Justice team. This individual will be responsible for identifying, analyzing, and pursuing new high-leverage philanthropic opportunities and managing current investments. The Director of Criminal Justice Research will report directly to the Vice President of Criminal Justice overseeing the Policing domain and, working closely with the Executive Vice President of Criminal Justice, will be instrumental in building a research portfolio focused on improving police accountability; reimagining the police response to crisis; reducing violent crime by evaluating the effectiveness of police reforms; understanding crime trends and strengthening the community role in crime prevention; addressing disparate racial impacts of police practices; and understanding the arrest power and identifying alternatives to arrest. (Learn more about our Policing portfolio here.)

Core Responsibilities

  • Identify trends in criminal justice and policing policy, and practice and assess potential for data analysis, policy evaluation, and piloting and evaluating the effectiveness of interventions to improve criminal justice and other outcomes for individuals, as well as promote the safety and well-being of communities
  • Develop a research agenda to guide the Policing team’s research investments
  • Identify, develop, and present charitable investment/grant recommendations to Arnold Ventures’ Board of Directors
  • Oversee investments and partnerships, and draw lessons from them to inform strategy and future projects
  • Provide advice and consultation on all criminal justice research grants, as well as projects in development, so as to ensure the highest methodological rigor and study design
  • Work with Arnold Ventures’ Board of Directors and the Policing team to develop and refine Arnold Ventures’ research strategies
  • Develop and manage relationships with key stakeholders, experts, and new and existing grantees
  • Collaborate with staff to explore and develop cross-initiative philanthropic investment opportunities and build the research capacity of the Criminal Justice team
  • Other duties as assigned

Minimum Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in criminal justice or criminology, public policy, psychology, sociology, or other social sciences (Candidates with a Master’s Degree and an established research track record may be considered)
  • 7-10 years of relevant work experience performing and/or overseeing significant policy-relevant criminal justice research projects, preferably related to policing, violence, crime trends, intervention effectiveness, and the intersection of the criminal justice and other systems
  • Understanding of the criminal justice system and criminal justice policy
  • Deep knowledge of statistics and research design and experience interfacing with senior-level criminal justice stakeholders about research and evaluation of justice programs and policies
  • Ability to translate complex research findings into key takeaways for diverse audiences
  • Proven commitment to and passion for social justice and impact
  • Successful track record of developing and executing strategies to drive change

Preferred Knowledge/Skills/Abilities

  • Deep strategic thinker with a demonstrated ability to make an impact quickly – rapidly gets up to speed on new issues and confidently develops recommendations on a wide range of topics
  • Flexible, adaptable, and able to thrive in a variety of situations
  • Use of rigorous logic and methods to solve difficult problems with effective solutions that look beyond obvious answers
  • Able to develop, engage, and collaborate with a strong, diverse network of organizations and experts
  • Action-oriented, creative, and entrepreneurial self-starter who assumes personal ownership of work and is capable of effectively prioritizing and working simultaneously on multiple projects
  • Intellectually curious, open-minded, objective, and receptive to feedback
  • High degree of integrity, ability to build trust, communicate effectively, and collaborate with senior leadership
  • Effective leadership and management skills, including ability to support and develop colleagues

Core Values

The successful candidate will also demonstrate the following core values that inspire the Arnold Ventures team to make a difference.

  • Respect for Ourselves & Others
  • Audacious Action
  • Collaborative Engagement
  • Depth of Thought
  • Clear Communication

We ask that you include a cover letter in addition to your resume when applying, and we invite you to address your reasons for engaging in this work in your cover letter.

Arnold Ventures is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, gender identity, marital status, or sexual orientation.

Acknowledging the importance of diverse perspectives, Arnold Ventures is committed to employing individuals from a variety of backgrounds and with a variety of experiences. Members of historically marginalized communities and candidates who have been impacted by the systems we are seeking to change are strongly encouraged to apply.



Arnold Ventures funds projects to understand problems and identify policy solutions.

Map of the U.S. made of Arnold Ventures icons