Senior Director, Research & Evaluation

Since 1950, NCOA has quietly earned bipartisan respect as the champion for every person’s right to age well—envisioning a just and caring society in which each of us, as we age, live with dignity, purpose, and security. NCOA has systematically tackled the biggest issues facing America’s older adults, especially those who are struggling. Our strategy is simple: identify challenges facing older adults; create solutions through collaborative leadership, innovative services, advocacy, and social enterprise; and bring these solutions to scale to improve millions of lives.

As the Senior Director of Research and Evaluation, you will focus on one of NCOA’s Key Priority Strategy areas—developing robust data and insights on the needs of our target population, including diverse populations—as the foundation for all our work. This will include a clear focus on NCOA’s customer profiles, rigorous program evaluation and analysis, and working collaboratively with the Chief Information Officer and the Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer. Your research will help align NCOA’s programmatic portfolios and network activation strategy to reach millions of individuals and empower them to live with health, security, and independence.

In this role, you will lead a team to develop a comprehensive understanding of NCOA’s target population(s); refine NCOA’s methodologies for measuring social impact; determine how to best evaluate the impact of various health and economic security programs; and direct investments into future research and evaluation to better inform NCOA on its populations and programs. Reporting to the Chief Customer Officer and in collaboration with program area leaders and staff, you will serve as an internal expert for evaluation studies and work collaboratively with staff across NCOA to design and implement research and evaluation studies, build capacity for ongoing assessment, and develop information to inform practice and policy. You will help develop the evaluation and research components of proposals for government, foundation and corporations.

We created this role to accelerate our development of predictive analytics. How can we predict who will fall into poverty and what targeted interventions would be most effective? What evidence-based health promotion and disease prevention programs will enable people to remain in the community instead of being relocated to a nursing home? How must our interventions vary depending on age, income, gender, geography, ethnicity, and thirty other variables? You will be framing the big questions that will guide our research efforts, shape how we design our proposals, inform how we run our programs, generate the impact we promise to our current and future funders, and inspire our policy advocacy work.

Success in this role requires the ability to tailor your message to different audiences (public and private sector funders, legislators, regulatory agencies, leaders in the aging networks, and the public). Our thought leadership depends on the quality of your questions, the credibility of your research, and your ability to connect with, inspire and influence other organizations to join with us.


In collaboration with NCOA leadership:

  • Develop robust customer profiles to aid in determining who is using NCOA’s programs and services, and who is not. This will include:
    • Utilizing currently collected information on our programs and customers to create customer profiles.
    • Directing NCOA’s resources to better gather, analyze, and report out on the data currently collected.
    • Directing NCOA’s resources and investments into new research and data needs to increase the information available to NCOA senior leadership on our customers.
  • Serve as an internal expert for evaluation of program and services. This will include:
    • Working with NCOA leadership and program staff to review the current evaluation data on the programs.
    • Directing NCOA’s resources to better gather, analyze, and report out on the data currently collected.
    • Directing NCOA’s resources and investments into new evaluation data needed to increase the information available to NCOA senior leadership on our programs.
    • Determining appropriate evaluation tools and analysis for future programs that NCOA undertakes.
  • Lead and develop the team that interacts with research partners and vendors ensuring that the work contemplated and completed serve NCOA’s goals. This will include:
    • Managing, overseeing, and evaluating the day-to-day work of the research team.
    • Determining staffing needs for NCOA’s research and evaluation needs.
    • Ensuring the team meets the research and evaluation needs of NCOA.
  • Lead the relationships with research and evaluation partners and vendors. This will include:
    • Developing and maintaining ongoing relationships with research and evaluation partners and vendors.
    • Ensuring the partners and vendors are providing high quality data and analysis to NCOA and fulfilling their agreements or contracts.
    • Ensuring that NCOA is fulfilling its agreements and contracts to provide our research and evaluation partners and vendors the information required.
    • Determining new areas of investment in research and evaluation and carrying out the procurements or agreements in accordance with NCOA policies.
  • Oversee knowledge management as it relates to internal data about NCOA’s customers. This will include:
    • Ongoing broad staff engagement and education on the importance of research and evaluation and the findings from the work that is being done.
    • Ensuring that NCOA’s management team and executive team are regularly briefed on the outcomes of the work that is being done.
    • Ensuring that staff and management have an opportunity to provide input into the research and evaluation future state.
  • Advise NCOA staff on continuous refinement of NCOA’s social impact methodology to maintain integrity in NCOA’s public accountability and the collection of outcomes to reflect these methodologies.
  • Lead the development of research and evaluation sections of major proposals for funding. This will include:
    • Working with the program and development staff to write and edit sections of proposals related to data, evaluation, and research.
    • Leading or co-leading proposals related solely to data, evaluation, and research.
    • Reviewing and editing funding presentations and proposals to ensure that it accurately reflects the current data.
  • Present research and evaluation findings at national conferences.


  • Passion for NCOA’s mission to improve the lives of millions of older adults.
  • At least 8-10 years of experience in developing and executing data and information-driven strategies for community-based research and evaluation projects.
  • Strong ability to think analytically and critically, including translating ideas and insights into real-world research projects with specific and measurable outcomes.
  • Deep creativity and an ability to use data to uncover potential opportunities for growth and innovation across an organization.
  • Ability to think analytically and critically, including translating ideas and insights into real-world applications and learnings to the benefit of NCOA customers.
  • Proven experience in leading cross-organizational projects, preferably in a nonprofit organization.
  • Exceptional writing skills necessary to draft evaluation components of proposals.
  • Demonstrated ability to quickly absorb and become articulate about NCOA’s programs to complement the expertise of other team members.
  • Experience managing and motivating staff, and, comfortable and competent in matrixed management.
  • Strong interpersonal skills; ability to collaborate and effectively interact with external evaluators/vendors and to build partnerships around common interests and goals.
  • Demonstrated experience with knowledge management and content management practices.
  • Experience in progressive nonprofit organization helpful.
  • Ph.D. or relevant Master’s degree required.


  • Self-confident. You are thoughtful in your approach, consultative, and confidently take the lead. You are fair and just.
  • Collaborative work style. You collaborate on projects, communicate results, and are willing to listen and learn from others. You enjoy daily interaction with staff of all levels and quickly earn respect and loyalty. You are a resource and a counselor.
  • Momentum builder. You are not simply an implementer; you initiate and facilitate results-based outcomes. You hold others accountable to their commitments and keep initiatives moving forward and on track.
  • Business acumen. You are skilled at helping organizations make informed decisions that deliver bottom-line results.
  • Excellent communicator. You possess strong oral and written skills. You are articulate and clear both in person and in written communication.
  • Analytical. You have incisive analytical skills and the ability to make critical assessments. You can identify and frame problems and set priorities.
  • Service-oriented. You are approachable, flexible, and responsive.

What’s Attractive to the Right Candidate?

  • For more than 65 years, NCOA has made improving the lives of older adults our passion and our mission. NCOA is a highly-regarded national institution.
  • You will be asking the big questions that move us forward as an organization. We’ll encourage your curiosity, creativity and willingness to ask the difficult questions. In this senior leadership role, you will be working on complex strategic issues across the organization.
  • We offer a competitive compensation plan including incentive and bonus programs based on achieving performance objectives; 3 weeks’ vacation, sick leave, maternity/paternity leave, and holidays; flexible scheduling/telework after meeting the employment and performance requirements; health insurance, short- and long-term disability, and life insurance; contributions to a 403(b) plan.
  • NCOA is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is dedicated to these principles. We value and welcome diversity in the workplace and encourage all minorities, women, veterans, and persons with disabilities to apply.

To Apply

Simply email your resume to Bob Corlett at with “NCOA – Senior Director of Research & Evaluation / 2019-2452 CW” as the subject of the email.

Staffing Advisors has been engaged to find the right candidate and is committed to helping create a diverse work environment for our client. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. This position may require pre-employment screening potentially including a criminal background check, verification of academic credentials, licenses, certifications, and/or verification of work history.