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Migration Policy Institute, President, DC

Migration Policy Institute


The Migration Policy Institute (MPI), a nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank dedicated to the study of migration policies, is seeking a new President. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to lead the premier global migration think tank and influence immigration policy around the world.

The new President will be responsible for providing a new generation of leadership for MPI and, together with MPI’s Board of Trustees, implementing the Institute’s mission and guiding its overall agenda in a challenging new era. This position requires strategic vision, leadership and management ability, proven fundraising skills, and the ability to engage effectively with diverse constituencies in the public policy arena, as well as broad knowledge of the migration field. The successful candidate will be responsible for managing a staff of 35 and an annual budget of $6 million, and will lead a team of analysts and communication specialists in developing and promoting policy ideas that improve outcomes for all who engage the immigration system in the United States and other countries. The position will be located in Washington, DC, with frequent travel, including internationally. Salary and benefits will be highly competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Background, Mission, and Programs

Founded in 2001 by Demetrios G. Papademetriou and Kathleen Newland, MPI grew out of the International Migration Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. It has since gained a reputation as the leading source of expert nonpartisan analysis, policy recommendations, and empirical data relating to migration phenomena in the United States and internationally. Headquartered in Washington, DC, MPI has an office in New York and a presence in the United Kingdom. In 2011, MPI founded a sister institution in Brussels—the Migration Policy Institute Europe—which builds upon the work that MPI has done for years in Europe.

MPI is guided by the philosophy that international migration needs active and intelligent management. When such policies are in place and are responsibly administered, they bring benefits to immigrants and their families, communities of origin and destination, and sending and receiving countries. MPI’s policy research and analysis proceed from four central propositions:

  • Fair, smart, transparent, and rights-based immigration and refugee policies can promote social cohesion, economic vitality, and national security.
  • Given the opportunity, immigrants become net contributors and create new social and economic assets.
  • Sound immigration and integration policies result from balanced analysis, solid data, and the engagement of a spectrum of stakeholders interested in immigration policy and its human consequences—from community leaders and immigrant organizations, to policymakers at all levels.
  • National policymaking benefits from international comparative research, as more and more countries accumulate data, analysis, and policy experience related to global migration.

MPI’s work is organized around four research pillars:

  • Migration Management
  • Refugees and International Humanitarian Response
  • North American Borders and Migration Agenda
  • Immigrant Settlement and Integration

In addition, MPI publishes a respected online journal, the Migration Information Source, which provides policymakers, journalists, researchers, and nongovernmental organizations with accurate information on international migration.

In the 15 years since its founding, MPI has played an influential role in the immigration policy discussions that have taken place in the United States, Mexico, Canada, Europe, Southeast Asia, and beyond—providing an evidence-based, pragmatic, nonideological approach to sound migration management and immigrant integration policymaking designed to benefit all stakeholders. The Institute’s work has been advanced through the publication of more than 500 reports and books; testimony before the U.S. Congress, national parliaments and blue-ribbon commissions; hundreds of public briefings; and countless private meetings and convenings with key government and civil-society leaders around the world.

The Position

The President of MPI will be required to carry out the following responsibilities:

  • Work with the Board of Trustees to chart a strategic vision for the organization’s next phase.
  • Review and revise as necessary the Institute’s overall mission and activities, including the rationale and geographic emphases of each MPI program.
  • Establish and maintain productive relationships with MPI’s funders, including a range of philanthropic organizations and governments, to ensure a diversified, sustainable funding base.
  • Serve as the head of MPI’s executive team and assume overall managerial responsibility for the Institute’s programs, personnel, communications, legal and regulatory compliance, and finances.
  • Attract and retain highly qualified analysts and staff, and provide professional advancement opportunities for promising future leaders in the field.
  • Oversee the design, management, and execution of MPI’s programs, ensuring rigor and quality in all work products.
  • Establish and maintain effective relationships with MPI’s partners and collaborators across diverse research and policy communities, with intergovernmental organizations, and with nongovernmental and migrant-led organizations, in the United States and abroad.
  • Represent MPI and promote its research and policy ideas in the media and public and private settings.


  • Strong leadership skills, including the ability to inspire and support a team of dedicated, talented analysts and staff.
  • Clear understanding of the importance of objective, fact-based nonpartisan public policy research and analysis.
  • A broad knowledge of migration and/or closely related fields.
  • A proven track record of leading and managing multidisciplinary teams, overseeing qualitative and quantitative research projects, and administering budgets and personnel.
  • Demonstrated capacity in fundraising and development, and access to a wide network of decision-makers and opinion leaders in migration and adjacent fields.
  • The ability to write about and explain policy issues persuasively.
  • The ability to effectively represent MPI at public events, in the media, and across varied constituencies in the United States and abroad.

Strongly Preferred:

  • Professional fluency in a foreign language, in addition to native-level English.
  • In-depth understanding of the policy-making process in the United States, and of the role and functioning of international institutions.
  • A substantial track record of professional achievement on U.S. immigration policy and/or international migration.
  • A substantial publications record and distinction in the research and/or public policy worlds.

This position is based in Washington, DC.

To Apply:

Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume . Please reference “President” in the subject line and include a line telling us how you heard about this position.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis and the position will remain open until filled. Due to the expected large number of applicants, only those being considered for the position will be contacted. No phone calls, please.

The Migration Policy Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual or gender orientation, religion, or physical ability. Minorities are strongly encouraged to apply.

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