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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Policy Research Specialist

Organization: American Foundation for the Blind

Posted: 6/1/2017

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) removes barriers, creates solutions, and expands possibilities so people with vision loss can achieve their full potential. AFB helps the 25 million Americans living with vision loss in every aspect of life—their education, their careers, their families, the technologies they use, and the laws that shape their environment. In contrast, in many parts of the world, untold millions of children and adults with disabilities are denied education, opportunities to work, and other basic rights merely because they are blind or visually impaired or have other disabilities.

Career Opportunity:

The American Foundation for the Blind is seeking a Policy Research Specialist to work in its Washington D.C. Metro Office located in Arlington, VA. AFB's Public Policy Center collaborates with policy makers in Congress and the Executive Branch to ensure Americans with vision loss have equal rights and opportunities to fully participate in society. The position reports to the Director, Public Policy. The successful candidate will provide specialized knowledge and expertise in the development and analysis of policy research and program evaluation to further AFB’s public policy and research agendas and to support AFB’s mission, strategic plan and annual initiatives.


  • Offers specialized knowledge and expertise for the proposal, development and implementation of research projects including but not limited to scientific and policy research, demographic studies, and program evaluation. Offers expert guidance to other AFB staff undertaking research-related activities. Assists with the formulation of research-based public policy and program evaluation recommendations.
  • Provides reliable expert support for the articulation of data and research findings both orally and in writing for lay and professional audiences. Responds to demographic and related information requests and coordinates communication of responses with various AFB departments.
  • Expertly supports the writing of grant proposals and assists with the management of outside-funded projects (federal, state, or private), helping to advance and implement AFB's research objectives. May serve as principal investigator for AFB-administered research grants as assigned. Monitors and expertly assesses potential grants and other new research revenue. Serves as grant peer reviewer for federal agencies as appropriate and assigned.
  • Undertakes and supports the preparation of original research and research-based knowledge through public presentations, discipline-specific seminars, professional peer-reviewed publication, and consultation. Participates in the design and delivery of research-related sessions and roundtable activities at AFB/other sponsored events and via the Internet to foster discussion, debate, and information sharing.
  • Serves as an authority on AFB's behalf participating in disability-based and discipline-based coalitions and other venues to advance AFB's public policy agenda and to promote partnership opportunities among interested stakeholders for conducting and disseminating research.
  • Represents AFB before the U.S. Congress and the Executive Branch through formal and informal written/oral communications, testimony, comments on proposed regulation, etc. for the purpose of articulating support for AFB's public policy agenda with appropriate evidence from relevant fields of research.
  • Maintains professional development in his or her discipline, research techniques, and social and policy issues affecting people and services in the vision loss and disability fields, in order to integrate the "state of the art" into AFB's research efforts.
  • Performs other duties as assigned
  • Qualifications:

    Doctoral degree or enrollment in doctoral studies program required. Doctoral level expertise in public health, aging services, gerontology, labor research, public administration or disability-related disciplines strongly preferred. Must possess demonstrable professional/academic proficiency in research methods and policy analysis (including proficiency with SPSS/SAS and related software). Demonstrated exceptional speaking and writing skills. Knowledge of and experience in vision loss/disability studies a plus. Ability to manage multiple competing priorities and projects simultaneously in a fast-paced environment under deadlines necessary. Some travel required.


    Commensurate with experience.

    AFB IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER. AFB DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE AGAINST EMPLOYEES WITH DISABILITIES AND WE INVITE PROTECTED VETERANS TO APPLY. Applicants have rights under Federal Employment Laws: Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA); Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO); and Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA).

    Interested parties, please email a Cover Letter, Resume, and Salary Requirements to Human Resources

    Contact: Mary McGuckin, PNP Staffing Group

    Phone: (267) 534-2329


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