Program Manager for Center for Poverty Solutions

Illinois Policy Institute is seeking a leader to manage the work of our newly launched Center for Poverty Solutions. The ideal candidate will share our belief in the power of the free market to alleviate poverty through opportunity and work, and will have outstanding communications, strategic, organizational and networking skills.

For information about IPI, visit

The program manager for the Center for Poverty Solutions will:

  • Develop a thorough understanding of the problems of poverty in Chicago and of the nongovernmental and governmental organizations involved in addressing them.
  • Work with the institute’s policy, communications, operations, government affairs and development teams to bring free-market solutions to bear on the problems of poverty in Chicago.
  • Serve as the liaison between the institute and service providers engaged in alleviating poverty in Chicago.
  • Meet with people affected directly by poverty in Chicago to gain deeper insight into the problems they face, and amplifying voices we identify through our storytelling project as champions for poverty-alleviation solutions.
  • Develop a thorough understanding of the policies and approaches that have been applied to problems of poverty and of free-market, data-driven solutions to these problems.
  • Engage with effective service providers, forging strong working relationships and also learning about what’s working.
  • Nurture partnerships with service providers and maintain strong collaborative relationships with these organizations.
  • Help identify legislative areas of opportunity to advance free-market solutions to the problems and causes of poverty.
  • Serve as a spokesperson for the Center in media, videos and podcasts.
  • Coordinate with the various teams at the institute to host events such as expert panels on topics related to poverty in Chicago.
  • Report on the work of the Center to senior leadership.


The ideal candidate will have:

  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in economics, communications, business, political science, law or similar field.
  • At least five years’ work experience in: a think tank or other organization dealing with matters of public policy, especially as they pertain to poverty-related issues; business, nonprofit or service provider in a field that deals with poverty-related problems; government agency or office relevant to poverty-related issues; news or policy publication; or educational institution; or six years’ combined work experience and graduate studies in a field relevant to this position.
  • Experience managing projects.
  • Strong public speaking skills.
  • Ability and desire to meet and form working relationships with people involved in poverty-alleviation work across Chicago.
  • Demonstrated commitment to the free-market policies and the mission of the Illinois Policy Institute.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, especially Word and Excel.


Range of $60,000 to $100,000 base salary, commensurate with experience. Performance-based annual bonus on top of base salary. Compensation package includes health (medical and dental plans with employer-paid share), 401(k), flexible spending benefits, and vacation and sick days.


The Program Manager for the Center for Poverty Solutions will work from our Chicago office. Illinois Policy Institute has a hybrid work policy where employees can work from home up to three days each week.

To apply:

Qualified candidates should submit the following application materials in one PDF document:

  • Résumé
  • Cover letter detailing:
    • Your interest in this position
    • Why the mission of Illinois Policy Institute and its Center for Poverty Solutions resonates with you
    • Your salary requirements
  • Writing sample

Applications should be submitted to Cinda Pensabene at

There is no application deadline for this position. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. This job will remain posted on our site until it is filled.

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. Only direct applications will be considered. No phone calls, please.