POSITION: Research Associate
TEAM: Studies
REPORTS TO: Director, Global Cities


Global cities are increasingly driving world affairs—economically, politically, socially, and culturally—and have emerged as leading actors on the global stage, essential for successfully addressing the world’s most critical challenges. The Council’s Global Cities Center of Excellence seeks to develop and advance city-based solutions to critical global challenges and elevate cities as central actors shaping world affairs by convening urban leaders, stakeholders, and innovators and analyzing and amplifying their actions. A broad range of issues are examined through the global cities lens, including climate change, culture, economy competitiveness, global governance, inclusion, inequality, infrastructure, innovation, migration, resilience, resource scarcity, security threats, smart cities, urban diplomacy, and urban violence. Target audiences include mayors, municipal and civic leaders, and key staff of primarily larger cities; funders of research and city-based solution development; think tanks, academia, and NGOs; corporations with a vested interest in cities; specialized media outlets; national governments; and global institutions and foreign ministries. This area of study builds on and is closely aligned with the Council’s annual Pritzker Forum on Global Cities, hosted in partnership with the Financial Times.

The research associate provides key support for the Global Cities research team by helping with producing publications, including reports, policy briefs, and blogs; disseminating Global Cities content to target audiences; developing content for digital communications platforms; and providing support to our network of nonresident fellows, partners, and constituents.


  • Provide research support to the Global Cities Project team, including literature reviews, data analysis, identifying data sources and tracking citations, ensuring data integrity and accuracy, helping with qualitative interviews and supporting peer reviews and consultative research processes.
  • Assist in writing and editing drafts of global cities reports, policy briefs, project proposals, meeting summaries, blogs, and op-eds, and critically reviewing and fact-checking materials produced by fellows, nonresident fellows, and colleagues.
  • Collaborate with the communications team to design and carry out dissemination strategies of global cities research through digital platforms, including obtaining data for infographics, drafting content to use on social media, writing drafts of related blogs and op-eds, drafting podcast questions, and developing digital interactives.
  • Assist as needed with the presentation of research and publications, including creating PowerPoint presentations with complex graphs, developing talking points, and compiling other related documents.
  • Manage production and distribution of global cities newsletters and news brief; staying up to date on relevant and breaking news, events, policy developments, and announcements; identifying opportunities to highlight past work with current news cycles; and helping to grow the global cities listserv annually.
  • Provide support at Council events approximately 3-4 times monthly (registration, ushering, etc.), requiring some evening and early morning hours.
  • Occasionally assist at the front desk to relieve Reception and Office Assistant in meeting/greeting Council constituents and handling incoming calls.
  • Perform other projects as assigned


  • 2+ years’ experience in research-based and/or policy arena working with government, nonprofits, think tanks, or academia.
  • A master’s degree in a relevant global affairs field – e.g., political science, history, international relations, economics, public policy, urban studies.
  • Demonstrated experience in research and analysis, quantitative and qualitative skills, and experience with datasets and statistical analysis.
  • Superior verbal and written communication skills (editorial and proofreading), including the ability to communicate complex concepts and topics clearly, thoroughly, and succinctly; preferable experience with policy-relevant writing and Chicago Manual of Style.
  • Strong interest in foreign policy, global governance, political theory, and global cities.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to professionally interact with high-level stakeholders and experts.
  • Experience adapting content for digital media platforms.
  • Prior experience using Salesforce is helpful.
  • Exceptional attention to detail, time-management, and organizational skills.
  • Ability to work independently, meet deadlines, adjust to changing circumstances, and manage multiple projects simultaneously; thrives in fast-paced and dynamic environment.

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues. We convene leading global voices, conduct independent research, and engage the public to explore ideas that will shape our global future. The Council is committed to bringing clarity and offering solutions to issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business, and governments engage the world.


Please email a cover letter and résumé as Word or PDF documents to hr@thechicagocouncil.org. Other career opportunities can be found on the Council’s website at www.thechicagocouncil.org. EOE