Code for America believes government can work for the people, by the people, in the digital age, and that government at all levels can and should work well for all people. For more than a decade, we’ve worked to show that with the mindful use of technology, we can break down barriers, meet community needs, and find real solutions.

Our employees and active community of volunteers build and transform government and community tools and services, making them so good they inspire change. We merge the best parts of technology, nonprofit, and government to help support the people who need it most. With a focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and deep empathy for partners in government and community organizations and the people that our partners serve, we’re building a movement of motivated change agents driven by meaningful results and lasting impact. At Code for America, you contribute to exciting work while learning and developing in a supportive and flexible environment. Our compensation and benefits are holistic and thoughtfully curated to represent our employees and our mission. Help us drive real generational change that lasts.

Code for America is looking for a talented Director of Qualitative UX Research who will lead and manage our qualitative research team and practice. You will ensure we deeply understand the needs of the people who use our services, and elevate research findings in service of better outcomes in public service delivery, including food assistance, tax credits, record clearance, and more.

About the Role: 

Qualitative research at Code for America elevates the perspectives and experiences of historically underserved communities to help drive positive change in government. The team focuses on an equitable practice, which requires particular sensitivity and responsiveness to each client’s individual life circumstances. We also work to understand the broader set of people and roles involved in delivering a government service or product. The Qualitative Research team at Code for America are recognized for their excellence in these domains, and this role offers a unique opportunity to lead that team as it grows and evolves. To learn more about our Code for America’s approach to qualitative research please see our qualitative research principles and practice guide.

You will be reporting directly to the CTO, with the directors of Service Design and Data Science as your peers. This organizational structure reflects Code for America’s commitment to qualitative research as a fundamental part of informing policy and program directions that influence broader systems change, as well as informing effective delivery of products and services.

In this position you will: 

  • Establish a vision and strategy for our qualitative research function.
  • Manage and lead a team of 9 qualitative researchers, and grow it with care.
  • Foster a dynamic and equity-centered research culture, and develop our qualitative research practice and capabilities.
  • Partner cross-functionally to ensure qualitative research is being leveraged to improve products, services, and client outcomes across our portfolio.
  • Create a longer-term research agenda in partnership with quantitative researchers, to achieve long term systems change goals focused on policy and best practices.
  • Contribute to organizational strategy and alignment as a member of our senior leadership team.

About you: 

  • You have 10+ years of experience in qualitative research or user experience research, including management of a research team.
  • You have demonstrated impact in design research with exposure to product development, technology, and complex systems.
  • You are particularly experienced in collaborating with both quantitative disciplines and design disciplines, with a strong perspective on the role that qualitative research findings should play in long term strategy. You make mixed methods research a key part of your research agenda.
  • You are an expert at finding the right balance between rigor and speed when planning research, depending on the needs of the project.
  • You care deeply about Code for America’s mission of improving government services with a focus on equity.
  • You approach your work with empathy, humility, care, and intention; and you’re excited to grapple with extremely challenging problems.
  • You are an experienced research leader, skilled at recruiting and supporting both researchers and other managers. You have set up or evolved systems to support your team, such as career ladders or paths for skill development. You lead your team to action, and collaborate cross-functionally to ensure your team’s impact.
  • You are a strong communicator, with experience using storytelling to drive systems change that improves client outcomes.
  • You have deep knowledge of qualitative research methods, with an understanding of trauma-informed, culturally responsive, and/or participatory practices, working with historically underrepresented and underserved communities.

It’s a bonus if you have:  

  • Personal experience with or professional experience working within the justice system, social safety net or other mission-relevant government services.
  • Direct experience with quantitative research or academic research
  • Fluency in another language besides English (e.g. Spanish, Mandarin, or Cantonese)
  • Experience doing research on products or services available in languages other than English
  • Experience speaking at conferences, or running workshops and trainings both for other researchers and for stakeholders
  • Leadership experience with diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives

What you’ll get: 

  • Full benefits package with 100% coverage towards select medical, dental and vision plans and contributes 80% of the cost towards dependent and family coverage
  • 401k plan with matching funds
  • A collaborative, hardworking and fun environment
  • Leadership and teammates who value Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity
  • Professional development includes bi annual 360 review process and $1000 annual budget
  • A manager and org-wide structure that supports and enables professional development
  • Compensation: Code for America’s salary bands are transparent internally as a part of our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, we extend this to our hiring process. This role at this level is ranged from ($155,550 – $211,600) in yearly salary. As a part of our equitable hiring practices, we aim to target the midpoint of the 2nd quartile of the range for all new hires. That target for this role is $176,138. These ranges and the target are for the San Francisco/ Bay Area market and subject to adjustment for cost of living differentials. The largest cost of living adjustment is 15%.  

Equal Employment Opportunity: 

Code for America values a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace and strongly encourages women, people of color, LGBTQ+ folks, people with disabilities, members of ethnic minorities, foreign-born residents, and veterans to apply. Code for America is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants will not be discriminated against because of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, religion, national origin, citizenship status, disability, ancestry, marital status, veteran status, medical condition or any protected category prohibited by local, state or federal laws.