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Head of Research and Impact

Research | New York, NY | Full Time

Job Description

Sesame Workshop aims to hire a Head of Research and Impact.  The right candidate should be an experienced leader with strong expertise in child development and market research with significant quantitative and qualitative experience in media (television, digital) and educational research to lead its global Research department and oversee Data Strategy & Analytics.    Reporting to this senior-most research executive will be the VP, Content Research, VP, Market Research and the open VP, Data Strategy & Analytics.

The Research and Impact department plays a critical role in enabling the Workshop to deliver on its mission of helping kids grown stronger, smarter, and kinder all over the world. As the head of this function, the Head of Research and Impact is responsible for overseeing a team that plans, designs, monitors and delivers on all educational and market research undertaken by Sesame.   The Head of Research and Impact will ensure that the use of research and data insights fuel the Sesame Workshop strategic priorities and ensure continued innovation and impact of our programming, social impact work, marketing, and other operations. The right candidate must have a proven ability to influence, build relationships, inspire people, work across departments, and ensure partnership.  The ability to think strategically, creatively, and conceptually to develop insights, implications, and recommendations for the organization will be critical for this role. Finally, the candidate should feel comfortable being a powerful external voice representing and sharing our work externally at conferences and in the press with the academic, education, and impact communities.

This position will be a member of the Sesame Workshop Leadership Operations Team and the Direct Report Areas will be Market Research, Content Research, and Data Strategy and Analytics


  • Build on Sesame’s rich legacy of social and educational impact to position the Workshop as the key global thought leader on early learning, cross-platform education, family and community support models, and impact measurement
  • Lead development of the Workshop’s impact framework to measure progress towards achieving our mission to make kids around the world smarter, stronger, and kinder
  • In partnership with the programmatic, education and content leads, help identify children and family needs and oversee development of a holistic global impact strategy; help lead the impact strategic planning process for the organization, including development of impact goals, dashboard, and measurement
  • Manage all programmatic, consumer, market, evaluation, and innovation research and data, including oversight of the measurement, verification, management, reporting, integration, and improvement of the Workshop’s social and educational impact
  • Oversee the development and management of SW’s first- and third-party data strategy working closely with Audience Development, our IT group, and the operating units) and third-party data strategy
  • Ensure that research, data, and consumer insights are accessible and actionable for internal strategic decision-making and drive the design and implementation of all of programs and products
  • Collaborate closely with the philanthropic and development teams to leverage impact planning and research as a critical aspect of program development and a driver of value for partners and funders
  • Develop actionable insights around Sesame’s target customer/audience segments for each of its key operational areas
  • Drive global thought leadership around impact and measurement for the Workshop
  • Work across the organization to codify Sesame’s ‘theory of change,’ and promote that internally and externally as a driver of scalable impact, innovation, and partnerships 
  • Contribute to the strategic and operational development of the business by identifying and promoting innovation and partnerships that mitigate impact risks and open new social impact and commercial opportunities, including diversification of revenue streams 
  • Coordinate and partner with the Joan Ganz Cooney Center around research approach and thought leadership as appropriate
  • Attract, develop, coach, and retain high-performing team members,

Required Experience

  • Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology, Communication, or related discipline
  • 15+ years of applied experience leading a research organization
  • MA/BA in a related field (psychology/communications)
  • In-depth expertise with research in media, early childhood, education, and evaluation.
  • Expertise in quantitative and quantitative methods
  • Ability to present complex research and data insights to a variety of audiences
  • Ability and experience applying reach data and principles to develop strategic media and business objectives
  • Demonstrated ability to elevate, empower, motivate, coach, and develop large, diverse teams for high performance  


About Sesame Workshop

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit media and educational organization behind Sesame Street, the pioneering television show that has been reaching and teaching children since 1969. Today, Sesame Workshop is an innovative force for change, with a mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. We’re active in more than 150 countries, serving vulnerable children through a wide range of media, formal education, and philanthropically funded social impact programs, each grounded in rigorous research and tailored to the needs and cultures of the communities we serve. For more information, please visit


Equal Opportunity Employer/Minorities/Females/Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity