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Job Announcement: Sr. Research Fellow for Welfare Reform

What is the Role?

FGA works with state leaders across the nation to advance positive health care and welfare reforms, and to stop policies that grow the welfare state at the expense of families and taxpayers. In just the past two years, 25 states have implemented FGA model reforms that will result in 3.4 million people escaping the welfare trap over the next three years.

This success has led to new opportunities at both the state and federal level, thus the need to add a dynamic new expert to our world-class team of policy leaders. Expanding our team will allow us to help millions more Americans move from welfare to work and the hope of a better life.

The Senior Fellow will focus on building the case for FGA’s welfare reform agenda, and will work with a skilled team of communicators to translate that research into persuasive publications, articles and presentations. The primary audiences for this research will be state legislators, state executive officials, and federal policymakers overseeing welfare programs. He or she will work for Jonathan Ingram, FGA’s Vice President of Research and one of the primary architects of FGA’s welfare reform agenda.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Lead both short and long-term research projects to determine the impact of our reform agenda—on those dependent on welfare, on taxpayers, and on economic growth and spending
  • Write up findings of our research for various publication formats, including full research reports and short top-line publications designed to educate and equip state lawmakers
  • Respond in a timely manner to requests for data or research from FGA’s government relations team or state and federal lawmakers
  • Assist in drafting and editing welfare reform legislation
  • Educate FGA staff and public affairs contractors about new research findings
  • Present FGA’s welfare reform findings and solutions to groups of policymakers at FGA’s annual Summit and at various legislative conferences and briefings
  • Answer inquiries from the media and public about FGA’s welfare research

The successful candidate will have a strong track record of:

  • Succeeding in a fast-paced, changing, and demanding environment
  • Getting details right while still keeping a complex project moving
  • Working well with peers to achieve a goal
  • Being self-motivated, able to work independently and juggle competing priorities
  • Conducting original research and translating complex ideas into persuasive talking points
  • Teaching or training audiences about complex issues, preferably related to anti-poverty, human flourishing or human services topics.

Don’t think you are overqualified if you have far more experience than the minimum outlined above.  You will be working directly with governors, their senior staff and legislative leaders to design and execute unprecedented research on how to roll back the welfare state and restore human dignity. Compensation will reflect experience and capacity.

Why FGA?

Launched in June 2011, FGA is a dynamic and fast-growing free-market think tank headquartered in sunny Naples, Florida, and is known for its world-class team of policy experts, innovative marketing, rapid growth, and innovative policy solutions.

The organization’s founder and CEO is Tarren Bragdon, former head of the Maine Heritage Policy Center and a former member of the Maine legislature. Tarren is a renowned expert on health care policy, and under his leadership, the FGA team has led the fight against ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion in the states. But his vision also extends to a transformation of our welfare system, with the goal of disrupting the cycle of dependency that takes away hope from generations of Americans.

If you become a part of FGA, you will be joining a flexible, lean, fast-paced organization that expects much from you, but will ensure you are working in your areas of greatest strength, and will give you the freedom to iterate new approaches to achieving the organization’s goals. While many policy organizations focus on a myriad of issues, FGA’s narrow focus on a few issues and its absolute dedication to in-depth planning and message development will create incredible clarity for you. This laser focus and intense preparation greatly increases the organization’s ability to accomplish big goals.

And the results are good. FGA has grown at a rapid pace since its launch nearly six years ago, and is now one of the nation’s largest free market state-based think tanks.

Who should Apply?

The successful applicant for this position will be someone who is passionate about advancing free market ideas, has demonstrated the ability to review massive amounts of data and see the stories behind the numbers, and who is good at educating others about ideas. They must also have a proven track record of keeping projects on track, communicating well with others, and meeting deadlines.

If you’re interested in this role, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have a strong belief that a free market economic system is the best possible way to relieve poverty and give people the opportunity for a better life?
  • Do you believe that getting a job is a critical factor in escaping poverty and welfare dependence?
  • Do you believe government has a minimal role to play in providing a welfare safety net for the poor, and that it should be focused on the truly needy?
  • Do you think embracing the realities of politics is essential to advancing good public policy ideas?
  • Do you wish you could spend lots of time testing messages and perfecting them before delivering them?
  • Does it motivate you to be held to a very high standard of measureable, real-world results achieved?
  • Are you ok with making mistakes in order to learn?
  • Are you often the person in the room who asks the uncomfortable question that everyone is thinking?
  • Do you like having lots of freedom to decide where and how you work?
  • Do you tend to be the one who initiates conversations with colleagues, rather than waiting for them to come to you?

If you answered yes to all these questions and are looking for the opportunity to make a lasting impact, then you should apply for this role.

Timing, Location & Compensation

FGA is seeking to fill this position no later than the end of May. Many of FGA’s staff work remotely, therefore the location for this position is flexible. FGA offers salary and benefits that are very competitive, including a health benefit and generous paid leave plan.

To Apply

Qualified candidates should submit the following:

  • Résumé
  • Cover letter detailing why you would be a good fit for the FGA culture, why you want to work with us, and what kind of value you would bring to the FGA team. Please also include your salary requirements and your availability for travel.
  • At least two writing samples, one of an op-ed or other short published piece, and a more in-depth piece (research brief, memo, etc.)

Please include “Senior Research Fellow – Your Name” in the subject line of your email. Materials should be emailed in one PDF document to Erik Makrush at

While we thank all applicants in advance for their interest in this position, we are only able to contact those to whom we can offer an interview. No phone calls, please.

At FGA, we don’t just talk about changing policy—we make it happen.

By partnering with FGA through a gift, you can create more policy change that returns America to a country where entrepreneurship thrives, personal responsibility is rewarded, and paychecks replace welfare checks.