Director of Economic Research

Website Missouri Department of Economic Development

Director of Economic Research
Strategy & Performance

Jefferson City, MO
(hired candidate will be welcome to office out of any Missouri community or metro area)

The Missouri Department of Economic Development’s (DED) sole purpose is to create greater opportunities for Missourians to prosper. DED has an exciting opportunity to use data to drive organizational strategy and decisions like never before. We are in search of an economic research leader to empower DED team members with insights, develop
fact-driven strategies, and collaborate with partners. Do you want to serve as a leader on a team with a bold vision that backs it up with the commitment and smarts to achieve it? If so, this is the role for you!

*** Note: this job announcement has been updated from the original fall 2019 posting to highlight the leadership components of the role ***

Your Primary Focus Will Be:

Objective 1: Build, define, and refine the scope of DED’s economic research services so internal customers and other stakeholders have their research, information, and data needs efficiently met (~10% of job)

  • Conduct needs analysis with key internal customers such as DED’s business, community, and workforce development teams as well as DED’s international, entrepreneurship, tourism, and other teams.
  • Conduct needs analysis of DED’s key stakeholders which may include state legislative officials, local officials, economic and community developers, community colleges, nonprofits, and other private, public, and charitable sector partners.
  • Develop and articulate DED’s scope of research services. Determine which research services will reside within DED and which will reside with other state or external entities. Develop and maintain formal and informal partnerships to meet DED research objectives.

Objective 2: Provide direction to and support for DED’s research team members (~10% of job)

  • Ensure DED’s research team structure is set up to meet DED’s research services needs while considering budget constraints.
  • Provide direct supervision, along with role and responsibility clarity, to research team members.
  • Ensure that research team members have the support and training needed to succeed.

Objective 3: Ensure customers have needs met with excellence and speed by overseeing the gathering, synthesizing, and delivering of economic, community, and workforce development research (~50% of job)

  • Build and refine customer-centric research services workflows.
  • Oversee the production, processes, and reporting of economic impact analyses in partnership with DED’s economic analyst.
  • Oversee and provide responses to requests for information and proposals (RFIs/RFPs).
  • Support DED team members’ insight needs with business lists and customized research.
  • Oversee and provide proactive economic and workforce intelligence to business development team members.
  • Oversee the research support for workforce development needs with project-specific research that helps coordinate workforce investment and economic development activities.
  • Oversee the research support for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) team with research that enables them to evaluate project opportunities and make data-driven resource decisions as well as achieve goals from CDBG action plan(s).
  • Ensure DED has access to cost-effective research tools that enable achievement of strategies.
  • Ensure DED team members have direct access and training to useful research resources.

Objective 4: Prepare analyses and produce products that help ensure DED’s strategies, including regional strategies, have sound economic and fact foundations (~25% of job)

  • Prepare and oversee preparation of economic analyses that review Missouri’s (and each of DED’s six regions’) strengths and weaknesses across a variety of economic, workforce, and community development indicators.
  • Produce and oversee production of timely reports and white papers that provide insights and facts directly relevant to DED’s strategic priorities.
  • Work with DED leaders to ensure economic analyses, insights, and facts are translated into specific actions.
  • Guide and train team members in comprehension and understanding of economic and workforce indicators.
  • Lead the research and comparison benchmarks for DED’s key performance measures.
  • Leverage workforce and CDBG data into DED’s overall economic development strategy.

Objective 5: Support DED’s other economic and research activities (~5% of job)

  • Apply quantitative and qualitative research methods to assist in the review of DED programs.
  • Additional duties as needed/assigned.

Research Leader | Analytical | Collaborator | Project Management | Effective Communicator

Salary: Salary will be competitive and based upon credentials

Travel: Approximately 10% in-state travel if based in Jefferson City. If team member offices elsewhere in Missouri, they should expect regular (up to weekly) travel to DED’s Jefferson City office and/or other locations.

Desired Qualifications/Evaluation Criteria:

  • A Master’s degree or higher is preferred with an emphasis in Statistical Analysis, Research Methodology, Economics, Business or Public Administration, Community or Economic Development, or a related field


  • 3 or more years of successfully conducting qualitative and quantitative economic development research at a state or regional level
  • Demonstrated commitment to building economic research expertise through trainings, certifications, and/or memberships to applicable industry organizations
  • Experience visualizing data through tools such as Excel, Tableau or others
  • Demonstrated track record of strategically building and leveraging partnerships to achieve results
  • Strong writing capabilities
  • Demonstrated readiness to lead and support a research team


For questions, please contact Paul Eisenstein, Deputy Director of Strategy & Performance Division, at 573-526-8216 or


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