State Policy Network

Illinois Policy Institute

Director of Opportunity and Justice

  • Type: Full-Time
  • Disciplines: Outreach, Policy
  • Contact:
  • Location: 190 S. LaSalle, Suite 1500 Chicago, IL 60603
  • Application Deadline: March 15, 2018


The Illinois Policy Institute seeks a Director of Opportunity and Justice to join its policy team. This position is based in Chicago.

The Institute is the state’s largest government watchdog. We are on the front lines of policy fights, defending taxpayers against tax increases and unbalanced budgets, and developing and proposing liberty-based and free market solutions to Illinois’ many problems. The Institute is the leading voice
for reform across Illinois. We’re seeking a liberty-minded, energetic finance/accounting professional to support those efforts.

The Director of Opportunity and Justice is responsible for developing and implementing Illinois Policy’s liberty-based criminal justice policy solutions that improve lives and increase jobs in Illinois.


  • Researches Illinois criminal justice laws and develops liberty-based solutions.
  • Develop and implement proactive and reactive strategies to advance published research, earned and paid media, marketing, and events. Develops marketing-centric communications and research to promote criminal justice initiatives.
  • Testifies in front of state and local government regarding the merits of proposed policy solutions.
  • Leverages professional and grassroots networks to build support for policy solutions in conjunction with the government affairs department.
  • Identifies possible policy “personal story” leads for production by the marketing department;
  • Works with the external relations department to develop, pitch and report on specific project ideas for targeted fundraising.
  • Serves as a spokesperson, on behalf of the Illinois Policy Institute, on all issues relating Opportunity and Justice.
  • Supports members of the policy team by conducting research relevant to our broad portfolio of public policy issues.
  • Serve as the primary point of contact for internal and external stakeholders.
  • Prepare original content for distribution through blogs, reports, fact sheets, letters to the editor, and op-eds.


  • Bachelor’s degree required; a degree/advanced degree in accounting, finance, economics, public policy, public administration or related field a plus but not required.
  • 5+ years experience in a state or local government, or performing similar work in a research organization or think tank, is preferred.
  • Exceptionally strong analytical, research and writing skills. Advanced mastery of Excel and other modeling software preferred.
  • Strong self-management skills and ability to multi-task, set priorities and follow-through.
  • Ability to travel regularly, including nationally on occasion.
  • Media experience a plus.
  • Strong commitment to the principles of personal responsibility and free enterprise.

How to apply

Interested candidates should submit the following application materials to Cinda Pensabene at

  • Résumé
  • Cover letter detailing your sincere interest in this position, the mission of the organization, and your salary requirements
  • 3 professional references and contact information

While we thank all applicants in advance for their interest in this position, we are only able to contact those to whom we can offer an interview.  No phone calls, please.

Illinois Policy Institute

190 S. LaSalle, Suite 1500

Chicago, IL 60603