Project Manager (17 Rooms)

Brookings Institution

Washington, DC, US


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The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC. Our mission is to conduct in-depth research that leads to new ideas for solving problems facing society at the local, national and global level.


We bring together leading experts in government and academia from all over the world, rooted in open-minded inquiry and representing diverse points of view, who provide the highest quality research, policy recommendations, and analysis. Research topics cover a full range of public policy issues in economics, foreign policy, development, governance and metropolitan policy.


With fair and transparent business practices, clear communication, mutual respect, and a collaborative atmosphere that offers both professional and personal development opportunities, Brookings offers an inclusive and welcoming workplace that values the efforts of all contributors.


The Global Economy and Development program (Global) at Brookings aims to shape the policy debate on how to improve global economic cooperation and fight global poverty and sources of social stress. Collaborating with external partners, Global has launched a “17 Rooms” project to catalyze discernible contributions across all of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This includes two interconnected activities: 


  1. A flagship annual 17 Rooms process, aiming to stimulate cooperative actions to accelerate SDG progress around the world on a 12-18 month horizon. This includes an annual September meeting, in advance of the UN General Assembly. 
  2. An effort to pilot and test syndication of a “17 Rooms-X” approach, as an open-source tool for advancing actionable SDG products and problem-solving among diverse constituencies around the world (e.g., universities, municipalities, companies, multi-stakeholder alliances)


Please note: This position is based in Brookings’ Washington, DC office. In response to COVID-19, Brookings staff are temporarily teleworking through September 7, 2020. Once the Brookings office reopens, the person hired for this position will work in the Brookings Washington, DC office.


Ready to contribute to Brookings success?


Reporting to the Senior Fellow and director of the 17 Rooms project, the Project Manager is responsible for managing all aspects of the initiative and ensuring success across all project objectives and deliverables. This includes collaboration with the Senior Fellow and Global colleagues in administration, communications, development, and finance to draft and execute the project work plan. It also includes active day-to-day collaboration with external partners, including RF colleagues and a high-level network of domain experts contributing across a diversity of SDG-relevant workstreams.  


The Project Manager will consult with the Global Administration team to recruit and indirectly supervise a Project Coordinator while also providing substantive technical, administrative, and research support in helping to execute key tasks as needed.   The Project Manager will serve as the initial point-of-contact for most internal matters on behalf of the project.  


This position will be a termed appointment through January 2022 


The Project Manager will guide a small team , likely to include a Project Coordinator and supporting Research Analyst, to oversee the following key sets of responsibilities and provide a high level of project support in terms of communications, development, budgeting and relationship management: 


  1. For the annual flagship process 
  • Coordinate stakeholders across 17 distinct Rooms (working groups) to ensure successful completion of their respective work streams. 
  • Draft and edit core project documents, including an annual meeting synthesis report.  
  • Provide overall Brookings project management to ensure, in collaboration with external partners, successful planning, execution, and follow-up for the September annual meeting, whether conducted virtually or in person in NYC. 


  1. For the syndication process 
  • Collaborate with external partners (e.g., universities, local governments, multi-stakeholder alliances) to draft strategies, pilot syndication processes, and spot opportunities for innovation. 
  • Manage the preparation of a “Beta” toolkit to support an open source approach to empowering 17 Rooms-X initiatives around the world.  


  1. For the overall project 
  • Oversee the preparation of written and digital communications products. 
  • Develop and maintain digital data management structures to capture relevant project information in support of ongoing learning. 
  • Serve an ambassadorial role, helping to identify new opportunities for strategic collaboration with external partners. 
  • In collaboration with the Senior Fellow and Director of Administration, help to ensure success in recruiting, selecting, and onboarding supporting project staff.  
  • In collaboration with the Senior Fellow and Finance team, lead on estimating project spending and budget compliance, develop terms of reference, and oversee deliverables for all project contracts.   
  • In coordination with the Global Development and Finance teams, draft relevant sections of periodic grant reports. 


Ready to make an impact? In this role, you will support Brookings values of collegiality, respect, inclusion, diversity and community, and bring the following qualifications:


Education/Experience Requirements:


The Project Manager will bring a mix of creativity and systematic project management skills. A flexible and entrepreneurial mindset will be essential, always with an eye toward opportunities for innovation and amplifying impact. The development and oversight of efficient and regular procedures will also be key to fostering the greatest possible opportunities for a diverse and complex global network of collaborators to generate impact.


Bachelor’s degree in economics, environmental science, international affairs, development studies, or related field required. Master’s degree strongly preferred. Minimum five years combined experience of policy analysis, research management, project management, and/or program development. Experience conducting empirical and/or qualitative research analysis is a plus. Experience working in multicultural professional environments and high level of comfort interfacing on policy issues with senior figures from public institutions, civil society, academia, philanthropy and the private sector /are required. Must be authorized to work for any employer in the U.S.


Knowledge/Skills Requirements:


  • Cooperative, professional, and entrepreneurial disposition; able to navigate ambiguity in building new and efficient processes and systems. 
  • Strong working knowledge of global economic, social, and environmental policy issues and demonstrated ability to get up to speed quickly on frontier insights; familiarity with the Sustainable Development Goals strongly desired.  Excellent writing and oral communication skills.  Ability to work effectively with high-level counterparts.  Exceptional organizational skills; willingness to multi-task and do “whatever it takes” to ensure project success and meet deadlines.  Sound judgment and discretion in navigating complex policy issues.  Proficiency in all Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access) required. Knowledge of Stata, R and Invivo a plus. 


Additional Information:


What can we offer you? Brookings provides a generous benefit package that is comprehensive and includes both traditional benefits and unique offerings.


Brookings requires that all applicants submit a cover letter and resume. Please attach your cover letter and resume as one document when you apply.


Successful completion of a background investigation is required for employment at Brookings.


Brookings is an equal-opportunity employer that is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace. We welcome applications from all qualified individuals regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, physical or mental disability, marital status, veteran status, or other factors protected by law.