Job Listing: NADO Research Foundation Fellow

NADO Research Foundation Published: January 13, 2022
Washington, District of Columbia
Job Type


NADO Research Foundation Fellow

Title: Research Fellow
Location: Washington, DC and/or remote work
Job type: Part-time, up to 24 hours per week
Compensation: $18 per hour

About NADO: The National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) provides advocacy, education, research, and training for the nation’s regional development organizations (RDOs). RDO is used generically to describe the national network of 540 multi-jurisdictional regional planning and development organizations. These public-based entities play an invaluable role in fostering intergovernmental collaboration among federal, state, and local officials. They deliver and manage various federal and state programs. Most importantly, they work to solve areawide issues and to address the fundamental building blocks required for competitive and sustainable communities and economies.

The association and its members promote regional strategies, partnerships, and solutions to strengthen the economic competitiveness and quality of life across America’s local communities. The NADO Research Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) affiliate of NADO that provides professional development training, research, and peer networking services. The Research Foundation examines new and innovative practices in regional development, strives to improve the organizational and professional capacity of regional development organizations and their partners, and bridges the communications gaps between policy makers, practitioners, and the public.

NADO’s member organizations collectively assist thousands of cities and counties with economic development, small business and entrepreneurial development, public works and infrastructure, workforce training, transportation planning, regional transit programs, affordable housing, aging programs and services, disaster recovery and prevention, economic resilience, public health, and a variety of other community services.

Position Description
Under the direction of the Deputy Executive Director and Associate Director(s), the Research Fellow researches issues and topics relevant to the work of NADO’s members across the country. The Fellow writes case studies, articles, issue briefs, and other documents that highlight the various strategies and approaches RDOs are implementing to strengthen their regions economic health. The Fellow also assists in planning conference sessions, online seminar content, and peer learning activities that assist America’s regional planning and development organizations in pursuing economic development, transportation, regional planning, and equity initiatives in their regions, particularly those that include small metros and rural areas. This entails building the regional organizational and institutional capacity, leadership networks, comprehensive strategies, and program tools necessary to ensure America’s local communities are equipped to participate in today’s global economy and respond to constantly shifting economic, political, demographic, and environmental landscapes.

Specific Responsibilities Include
• Research content for case studies, articles, and in-depth research reports
• Communicate by phone, email, in-person, or other methods with regional development organization professionals and other stakeholders regarding community and economic topics
• Develop, manage, and analyze results of various member surveys
• Assist with planning content for conferences, workshops, forum sessions, webinars, or other events
• Proofread articles and social media materials prepared by other staff
• Assist with social media information dissemination
• Assist with the NADO Annual Training Conference, National Regional Transportation Conference, regional conferences, special events, special reports, newsletters, and other related communication programs
• Other duties as assigned
Required Skills/Experience
• Knowledge of regional and local planning, community, and economic development and/or transportation planning issues in order to analyze programs, policies, and projects for research or training deliverables
• Strong understanding of community and economic development issues in America’s small urban and rural
communities in order to contribute to research and training deliverables
• Strong writing and verbal communication skills in order to gather information, communicate with management and other staff
• Basic skills with Microsoft Office products, such as Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, as well as Adobe Acrobat Pro, required. Successful candidates will also have a level of proficiency with various virtual meeting and training platforms including Microsoft Teams, Zoom, the Go-to-Meeting suite of training programs, and others
• Familiarity with or willingness to learn basics of publishing content to websites using a content management system
• Must be a collaborator and have research experience in following a research plan to identify sources, collect and analyze information, and present findings
• Must be comfortable working independently and as part of a remote team

Educational Requirements
Bachelor’s degree required. Pursuit of a graduate degree in urban or regional planning, political science, public policy, economic development, or a related field is preferred but not a requirement.

Physical Demands
The work is sedentary, although some slight physical effort may be required. The work requires frequent computer and telephone use. Research Fellows located in the Washington, DC area will have access to the NADO office which is located on Capitol Hill. We have transitioned to a hybrid office setting which provides ample workspace for staff as needed. Research Fellows can work solely in the office, remotely, or a combination based on the agreement decided with their supervisor.

Application Process Materials

Submit the following to Laurie Thompson, NADO Deputy Executive Director, at [email protected]
• Cover letter (not to exceed 1 page) explaining why you are interested in the position and what skills/expertise you will bring to the team
• Current resume
• Writing sample (not to exceed 2 pages) relevant to economic development, transportation, planning, or a related field