Since 1968, Urban Institute employees have contributed objective analysis and expertise to important economic and social policy conversations, from city halls to the White House and beyond. Blending academic rigor with on-the-ground engagement, our research results in evidence-based, real-world solutions to some of the country’s biggest policy challenges.

Our work is an unqualified reflection of the great people we hire. Urban derives its strength from creativity, intellectual contribution and growth, and our differences in viewpoint, background, and experience. Accordingly, we welcome and celebrate diversity in all its forms—ideology, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, educational attainment, disability, or veteran status. Urban is proudly multidisciplinary, multicultural, multiracial, academic and applied, and highly schooled and practically experienced.

Shape decisions, offer solutions, MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

As an Urban employee, you can expect to

  • be encouraged and supported to fulfill your potential through meaningful work that matters;
  • work with great colleagues who are smart, mission-driven, and collaborative;
  • be respected for who you are;
  • be recognized and rewarded on ability and merit for your contributions; and
  • enjoy a welcoming workplace free from harassment, discrimination, and intolerance.

Benefits of Working at Urban

At the Urban Institute, we believe talent and outstanding effort should be rewarded by meaningful opportunities to apply skills and training, opportunities to learn and grow, and competitive salaries and benefits that meet employees’ needs during the various stages of their lives.

Besides a collegial, casual work environment that supports an excellent work-life balance, employees enjoy these benefits:

  • competitive market-based salaries at all levels
  • generous paid time off and holiday leave
  • comprehensive and affordable medical insurance, including health, dental, and vision coverage
  • generous employer contributions to a retirement program with immediate vesting, best-in-class funds across the full range of asset classes, and onsite retirement education and counseling sessions
  • paid parental leave and domestic partnership coverage
  • excellent prepaid tuition assistance that has afforded numerous staff the ability to complete graduate degree programs
  • generous short- and long-term disability coverage
  • pretax commuting expense reimbursements and telework options
  • access to a free onsite gym
  • bicycle parking

Our employees also have opportunities to come together for fun, learning, and healthy activities and competition. They include policy presentations and panel discussions with in-house and external experts, employee receptions, summer and winter theme parties, the Annual Cherry Blossom Walk, yoga, and a host of other events sponsored by our own recreation committee. We compete among ourselves and with our sister institutions through DC’s Think Tank Softball League, Ultimate Frisbee, and Urban’s Chess Club—GO OUTLIERS!

Why Work at Urban?

At Urban, you’ll work alongside experts across the organization and beyond in the nation’s epicenter of public policy—Washington, DC. Your work will have an impact on real-life, real-time policy issues and discussions.

Research Careers at Urban

Urban scholars conduct rigorous research to understand and solve challenges in cities and communities, at state and national levels, and across a rapidly urbanizing world. Blending academic rigor with on-the-ground engagement, we team with practitioners, governments, community leaders, and the private sector to diagnose problems and find solutions.

Positions ranging from entry-level research assistants to midcareer associates to highly experienced and credentialed fellows are available across a breadth of policy areas, including communities, crime, education, health, housing finance, population studies, program evaluation, retirement, taxes, and welfare.

Professional Careers at Urban

Urban provides additional opportunities to grow your skills, apply your training, and impact policy within our communications, information technology, and business and administrative offices. Your skills and experience in communications, business, human resources, information technology, and project and contracts management will help Urban continue to open minds, shape decisions, offer solutions, and improve lives.