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New America Chicago Fellow

New America’s National Network believes that across America local innovators are identifying solutions to our most intractable public problems (ending homelessness, increasing access to critical benefits and services), but these solutions may not be visible, or available, to those who need them most. There are geographic inequities that stymie the spread of innovation, data, and ideas nationwide, and while there are networks that are helping cities foster innovation, they are not always inclusive of those places most in need.

We believe that the mission of helping the United States solve its public problems cannot be achieved only by researching, analyzing, thinking, and informing a

top-down process of government solutions the way traditional think tanks have largely done. The next generation of ideas will be produced more like a tech innovation: piloted, improved, shared and scaled. That is why New America is building a National Network, made up of hubs in key locations, designed to speed the process of sharing innovative solutions, to pilot and “nudge” higher connectivity across and within places, and to lift up organizations and leaders solving public problems.

New America Chicago seeks to advance this work in close partnership with the Chicago Community Trust (CCT), whose mission is to advance equity and opportunity by mobilizing people, ideas, organizations and resources.  The partnership between New America and CCT seeks to:

  • Leverage New America’s experts, policy insights, evidence-based practices, and national platform to inform CCT’s strategic development and program evolution;
  • Create a “two-way street” between NA and CCT to share lessons learned, ideas, stories and problem-solving approaches;
  • Help CCT and NA build powerful, visible platforms in Chicago that can serve as a regional and national hub of intellectual leadership and innovative problem-solving; and
  • Make policy experts available to CCT and its networks to inform its work.
  • In the immediate term, New America and CCT seek to advance a body of work focused on racial and economic equity. The following provides a sense of the areas that we are interested in exploring initially; we hope to grow a portfolio from these seeds, and to connect it to work going on elsewhere in the Midwest:
  • expanding access to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
  • Addressing predatory lending;
  • Developing a Pilot on child savings accounts;
  • The role of local media in elevating issues of equity

New America seeks a creative problem solver, strategic thinker, and experienced project manager who can bridge the worlds of community organizing, policy making, and tech to better deliver services and programs to the people of Chicago. Other skill sets include:

Familiarity with the landscape:

  • Deep familiarity with Chicago and its communities,
  • An ability to quickly adapt to New America and CCT’s cultures and approaches, including the content areas of their various programs.
  • Interest and expertise on issues related to economic equity, particularly the Earned Income Tax Credit, and Universal Basic Income, and related issues
  • Relationships with other leaders and organizations focused on economic equity
  • Experience and credibility in multiple settings, including working with policy makers, organizing networks, community organizations and civic leaders
  • Interest in helping New America develop a midwest-focused body of work on social and economic opportunity


  • Engaging with local leaders and stakeholders, partners, and CCT grantees on a set of equity-focused topics;
  • Engaging national-level experts from New America and beyond in Chicago-focused conversations
  • Develop relationships and build pathways to develop policy and implement programs that can move the needle in Chicago and serve as a model for the state and national level

Innovation & Ideation:

  • Experienced project manager with demonstrated capacity to measure, achieve, and show results
  • Ability to develop strategic project plans with clear benchmarks, objectives, and key results (OKRs)
  • Familiarity working with technologists (engineers, designers, product managers) and ability to needed skill sets for projects and recruit contractors on an as-needed basis. Ability to manage short-term technical sprints and translate recommendations and lessons learned back to non-technical partners.
  • Ability to coordinate distributed, informal teams across local and national institutions;
  • A builder of strategic workplans with clear benchmarks
  • Capacity to connect community experience to public policy, technology and vice versa;
  • Creative and adaptable problem solver and connector.
  • Relationships within the tech community or ability to identify and build strong partnerships quickly

About the role:

  • This position is time bound. It is funded by CCT from a period of one year, after which New America and CCT will evaluate and revisit.
  • This role will be critical to New America and the Chicago Community Trust, you are a team member in both organizations.
  • The role will also build partnerships with key players across the city and demonstrate clear added value of our efforts related to economic equity.

How to Apply:

You will find a link to an application at

Please submit a resume, writing sample (3-5 pages on any topic, though some aspect of social policy is preferred) and a draft workplan for a previous project that you have worked on.


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