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Senior Research Associate

The Civic Federation is an independent, non-partisan government research organization that provides analysis and recommendations on government finance issues for the Chicago region and State of Illinois. Founded in 1894, its membership includes business and professional leaders from a wide range of Chicago area corporations, professional services firms and institutions.


Position Title & Description: Senior Research Associate

The Senior Research Associate will work in a team to compose eight local budget analyses. The Associate will also write long-term research reports on public finance issues, attend local government meetings and communicate research findings to the media, elected officials and key stakeholders.



  • Analyze local government budgetary and financial documents, including government revenue trends, appropriations data, personnel data and pension fund trends;
  • Partner with the other Senior Research Associate in composition of eight annual local government budget analyses, other annual reports and blog posts;
  • Act as lead researcher for non-recurring long-term research projects on a variety of government finance and management issues;
  • Attend local government board and council meetings as needed, reporting findings back to staff; and
  • Monitor local governments by tracking legislation and current events as they pertain to financial issues or other ongoing research projects.



  • Graduate degree in public policy, journalism, public administration, political science, business, economics, law, or related field;
  • Superior writing skills, including summarizing, formatting and proofreading;
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail;
  • Excellent critical analysis skills, especially of financial data;
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office software;
  • State or local government experience preferred;
  • Strong quantitative skills and statistical expertise preferred; and
  • Must take initiative and be self-motivated.


Salary and Compensation

Budgeted starting salary of $50,000 annually, depending on experience and qualifications. Generous vacation and benefits package. This is a full-time position.


To apply, please submit the following documents via mail or email:

  • Resume;
  • Cover letter stating your qualifications for the position;
  • One long writing sample (20 to 40 pages);
  • One short (2 to 3 pages) summary of an issue or document (e.g.: executive summary, abstract, memorandum); and
  • Three references.


Address application to:
Sarah Wetmore
The Civic Federation
177 N. State Street Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60601
[email protected]  (no phone calls please)


The Civic Federation is an Equal Opportunity Employer.