Deputy Director, Development

Manhattan Institute (MI) is a national public policy think tank based in midtown Manhattan, with a small satellite office in Washington, D.C. For 42 years, MI’s scholars have been developing and disseminating policy ideas based on conservative and classical liberal principles; the policy solutions they put forward are research-based and intended to help foster greater economic choice and individual responsibility in New York City and across America. To finance its scholarship, (including MI’s quarterly urban policy magazine, City Journal), MI relies on gifts from generous supporters. The Institute has a small team of high-performing development professionals who are MI’s primary fundraisers, responsible for researching and cultivating new donors, soliciting contributions, building and maintaining relationships with MI’s supporters, and acting as ambassadors for MI in New York, Washington, and nationally.

The deputy director of development is a crucial leader and member of this team, helping oversee their colleagues and all of MI’s fundraising and donor relations work, while maintaining and constantly growing their own portfolio of major donors.

We seek candidates who are deeply interested in public policy at the national, state, and local levels, and who want to help MI raise financial resources—but past fundraising experience is not required. Most importantly, we seek those who have a high “social IQ” and proven experience in analyzing and writing about complex public-policy ideas—and who enjoy doing so with strategic goals in mind.

An effective deputy director of development will be curious about policy, keenly analytical, and able to maintain and build new relationships for MI that advance the Institute’s mission. They will be indefatigable, hyper-organized, eager to set ambitious goals, and driven to meet and exceed these goals every day. The position requires a speaker, thinker, and writer who is capable of articulating the value of MI scholars’ projects and goals to audiences of sophisticated, policy-savvy supporters. We seek an individual who thrives in entrepreneurial, creative, and fast-paced environments, and who wants to help propel the success of MI’s scholars over time.

Alongside their supervisory role on the team, the deputy director will be assigned to specific MI policy vertical(s)—which range from federal-level issues such as energy and health care to state, local, and urban affairs, as well as promoting free-market ideas to the next generation of Americans.


Job responsibilities may include:

  • Be an ambassador for MI and its work, serving as a primary host of MI’s events in New York, Washington, and elsewhere
  • Oversee a portfolio of current donors, ensuring continuity, growing relationships, and handling submissions toward the goal of deepening their investment in MI
  • Actively research, cultivate, and secure new gifts from prospective major donors in New York City and across America
  • Help lead, along with the VP of Development, a six-person Development team:
    • •  Monitoring progress toward individual and team fundraising goals
    • •  Tracking and keeping team members accountable for submission deadlines
    • •  Helping team members strategize with regard to researching and cultivating prospective donors


The successful candidate may come from a variety of backgrounds—including private industry (especially but not exclusively investor relations, business development, or sales), government or public affairs, Capitol Hill, a think tank, or academia.

Specifically, we are looking for candidates who possess the following attributes:

  • 4-6+ years of work experience
  • Demonstrated experience translating nuanced ideas to high-level parties (preferably in New York and Washington) in a persuasive manner
  • Excellent speaking, pitching/presentation, and writing skills
  • Graduate degree (MA, MBA, JD, PhD) preferred but not required
  • Demonstrated team management experience, preferably with proven ability to track and evaluate team performance against specific and measurable goals
  • Highly organized; desire to create and perfect systems, schedules, and databases for themselves and on behalf of their team members

Applicants lacking prior work experience that speaks to most, if not all, of the aforementioned requirements will not be considered.

This position is based at MI’s main office in New York City; interested candidates who do not reside in the New York metropolitan region should be planning or willing to relocate immediately. Occasional travel to Washington, D.C. and elsewhere is required. Approximate travel up to 20%.

Salary is commensurate with experience. Benefits, including retirement, are provided.


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

  • Resume
  • Cover letter that clearly lays out your interest in the position and how your experience would be valuable to MI specifically; include salary requirements (a stock cover letter will not be considered)
  • List of three professional references, including email addresses, telephone numbers, and relationship to the reference

Applications should be submitted to Talent Market via this link