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Associate Director of Research and Planning

Research & Development | Hybrid in Tysons, VA | Full Time | From $85,000.00 to $100,000.00 per year

Job Description

About us:

Tysons Community Alliance (TCA) is an independent, non-profit (501(c) 6) community improvement organization, committed to the transformation of Tysons, VA into a vibrant, inclusive, globally attractive urban center where all thrive. By facilitating collaboration, activating places, promoting Tysons and place management, the TCA coordinates, plans, and leverages resources to make Tysons a thriving, diverse and competitive urban community.

In this initial year of operation, the TCA has a work program and budget of $4 million, with initial funding provided by the Fairfax County Government, and plans to hire a staff of up to 14.

Position Summary:

The Associate Director of Research advances the mission of the Alliance by developing and maintaining a comprehensive data and research program to identify, analyze and document the dynamic changes occurring in Tysons and in the region, particularly those related to transportation, urban development, market conditions, and demographics. The Associate Director coordinates with department heads in Placemaking, Transportation, and Communications, as well as stakeholders from both the public and private sectors, to provide a robust data and research program focused on the organization’s strategic initiatives. This position serves as the focal point for data management, analysis, and research efforts, contributing to the development of strategic initiatives and providing valuable insights that support programs across the organization.

Primary Responsibilities:

The Associate Director will develop and lead research and coordinated policy tracking efforts to address core priorities of the TCA Business Plan and Tysons Strategic Plan and will work closely with the heads of the Placemaking, Transportation, and Communications departments to understand and address departmental research needs. They will coordinate with key entities having established data and research interests serving Tysons, including Fairfax County Government and Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. More specifically, they will:

Data Collection and Organization:

Establish an accessible data clearinghouse for accurate and relevant information related to the retail, hotel, office, residential and service economies around Tysons, as well as data on other performance measures useful in public decision-making.

Collect and curate relevant datasets pertaining to transportation, urban development, market conditions, activity, and demographics in and around Tysons.

Collaborate with external agencies, research partners, and stakeholders to acquire, catalogue and assess additional datasets.

Manage proprietary data subscriptions for the organization.

Work with the Vice-President of Strategy and Research, and with other department heads as needed, to support TCA’s community survey/input platform.

Research, Planning and Analysis:

Conduct comprehensive research on ongoing changes and trends impacting markets and policy development in Tysons and the region.

Analyze and report on significant metrics and indicators that demonstrate demographic shifts, market dynamics, and evolving transportation patterns to inform strategic decision-making.

Ensure the accuracy, reliability, and methodological consistency of research outputs.

Stay up-to-date on industry best practices and emerging trends in place-based research and policy development, and utilize innovative methodologies to further the goals of the organization.

Reporting and Visualization:

Prepare regularly updated documentation and visualizations that effectively communicate research findings to internal and external stakeholders. Examples may include static reports, presentations, online dashboards, interactive maps, and other innovative visualization tools.

Utilize data visualization tools to present complex information in an accessible manner.

Produce market data collaterals for use by brokers, real estate agents, property managers and other stakeholders.

Establish and apply the best and most relevant indicators and metrics to assess and compare placemaking outcomes and impacts. Methodologies may come from one or more of the following, or other established frameworks: the Place Standard Tool, the Place Diagram, The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces, and the Placemaking Impact Framework methodology(ies).


This position represents research and planning efforts as part of the leadership team and has specialized responsibilities, reaching with broad impact across all departments. Reports to the Vice-President of Strategy and Research and may supervise interns, coordinate staff projects and manage contractors as needed. Represents the organization in matters relevant to stakeholders, local and regional government officials, partners, contractors and vendors. Expends funds within the parameters of previously approved budget.

Qualifications, skills and attributes

The Associate Director of Research and Planning must have a clear understanding of the strategic vision supporting effective economic development priorities, as well as highly developed data management and analytical skills and be able to creatively and effectively quantify nontangible outcomes. Must be able to handle multiple priorities in a fast-paced environment and generate an outstanding level of productivity focused on organizational goals. be a clear communicator, able to work collaboratively both inside the organization and with public partners. In addition:

Minimum five years’ professional experience in data management and analysis, research, urban planning, economic development, or related area. Nonprofit experience and/or focus on public/private partnerships preferred.

Bachelor’s degree required; master's degree in data management, research methods, urban planning, economic development or related area strongly preferred.

Thorough understanding of economic research principles and of best practices in urban planning required.

Strong written communication skills with ability to synthesize and distill technical information for use by wide-ranging audiences.

Familiarity with the local business, land use, development and government environment desirable.

Must be a team player, able to collaborate effectively, creative and flexible in keeping with the startup environment.

Compensation and Benefits

We offer a starting salary range of $85,000-$100,000 depending on experience, plus a comprehensive benefits package including 401(K), Health, Dental, Vision, Life and Disability coverage, Transit/Parking, and ample paid time off.

The responsibilities of this position call primarily for in-person presence, including occasional weekends or evenings, with some opportunity for remote work.

Tysons Community Alliance is an Equal Opportunity Employer