Congratulations to the 2021 Salute to Excellence finalists!

Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce

Vice President of Research

Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce


Job Summary

The Vice President of Research leads the Chamber’s Research Center, managing the Research Center’s staff, work products and budget. The VP of Research is charged with consistently achieving superior, actionable research that fulfills the Chamber’s mission and is presented in a manner that is distilled to topline findings, is accessible and engaging.

The Vice President works closely with the Chief Policy Officer to develop, implement and evaluate robust and diverse research processes, tools and products to serve Chamber members, Chamber staff, and in furtherance of the Chamber’s economic development, talent, growth and policy work.

The Vice President forges research partnerships, strengthens research opportunities, and cultivates research innovations internally and externally. The Vice President will frequently design new concepts, processes and
methods that serve as state-of-the-art research solutions for the organization and the industry. Using a professional network of peers and affiliations, the Vice President will consistently represent the organization as a leader in research and be a liaison to emerging research opportunities and collaborations.

The Vice President manages the Research Center’s two junior staff and therefore is both a mentor to the staff to expand their knowledge and successful use of critical data sets, key tools, methodology, and customer relations, and must also successfully direct significant project management for the overall research team.

The Vice President establishes a tenor and tone of research as a guiding value and foundation of organizational work with consistent and creative approaches to engaging staff and internal and external audiences in the furtherance of high-quality research delivering value to the organization and region. The Vice President must conduct or manage the creation of robust, rigorous research, but be equally able and willing to distill research to
its key findings in a manner that is accessible and engaging to the Chamber’s members and the broader community. The Vice President serves as a key spokesperson for the organization on research findings in regional and national mass media.

The Vice President is accountable for the Research Center’s expense and revenue budgets and is accountable for revenue goals based on the annual workplan and budget.

Job Responsibilities

1. Lead a robust, applied research program and team that serves, leads, and engages across Chamber
organizational mission and programs and fulfills internal and external research, data, and analysis needs.
2. Realize tangible and actionable research outcomes derived through varied processes in economic,
demographic, and other social and business research disciplines. Outcomes are often available to a wide
audience of users, including Chamber members, mass media, elected and government officials, and other
major policy and program clients. Research frequently involves confidential projects, data and information
for economic development, government and public policy, and Chamber member issues.
3. Establish the research program and project agendas, budgets, timelines, team systems and process designs
in coordination with the Chief Policy Officer.
4. Manage Research Center staff, program and projects including scheduling, data management, product
development, meeting planning, and providing input on release of research.
5. Direct Chamber survey research processes, including data conversions, reporting and assistance with
design of survey instruments.
6. Manage junior staff members to meet the Research Center’s work plan. Mentor junior staff in understanding
and successful use of relevant data sets, tools, and methodologies.
7. Evaluate, acquire, direct and utilize a wide range of tools and their application among Chamber user teams
and needs. Create, plan, oversee, cultivate and promote highest level skills, tools and training across top-tier research, analysis, business intelligence and data mining systems.
8. Create, guide, implement and evaluate internal response systems to a wide variety of requests from Chamber
clients, customers and stakeholders for research and assistance in a timely and accurate manner.
9. Manage the Research Center’s expense and revenue budgets in light of planned products (revenue) and
needed tools (expense) and keep the Chief Policy Officer apprised of the Research Center’s budget status
throughout the year.

▪ X 80% or more
▪ 50% to 80%
▪ Less than 50%
▪ This position does not have supervisory responsibilities.

The pivotal nature of research, information, data and analysis throughout programs, results, and reporting for
the Chamber requires that project assignments are a consistent and on-going aspect of this position and drives
the need for successful project management and leadership. The current structure of the Research Center
includes the VP of Research and two Research Coordinators, junior staff who need project management
guidance and mentorship from the VP of Research.
This position must provide frequent, often daily, leadership of projects and programs that requires discernment
of tools, sources, appropriate paths of design and delivery, achievable timelines and budgets, relevant internal
and external participating staff and partners, and most effective means of monitoring performance and results.
This position must rely on judgment, innovation and creativity, discernment and experience to produce useful,
accessible research products. The VP of Research must excel in creating the robust analysis that undergirds
the final research project and must also feel comfortable working with clients, peers across the Chamber, clients,
the Chamber’s Marketing and Communications team to distill the analysis to engaging, accessible products.
The VP of Research works closely with the Chief Policy officer in developing and implementing projects, specific
products and initiatives including, but not limited to, developing and leading research projects and initiatives,
selecting participants and recruiting volunteers as needed, making assignments and managing the workplan,
developing timelines and budgets, identifying deliverables and tracking performance and results.

Check the estimated percentage of time devoted to project work:
▪ Less than 25%
▪ 25% to 50%
▪ X More than 50%



▪ Must be a graduate of an accredited university with a minimum of one or more master’s level degrees in a business or social sciences discipline; preference for doctoral or professional degree in the similar fields.
▪ Must have a minimum of five years’ experience in regional or community research in an applied setting.
Preference will be shown for candidates with prior experience in economic development and/or
occupational and workforce-related research.
▪ Must have demonstrated commitment and recent experience with applied social, demographic or business research organizations, processes, issues, and tools.
▪ Prior experience successfully managing a team.
▪ Prior experience successfully managing a budget and generating revenue.


▪ Leadership style that creates trust, enthusiasm, and confidence and produces results for the team.
▪ Excellent management and supervisory skills with strong aptitude for mentoring junior staff.
▪ Competence in creating and meeting budgets.
▪ Excellent customer service skills.
▪ Excellent written and oral communication skills including public speaking; demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in front of groups and the media translating research findings into layperson-friendly messages that are accessible and engaging.
▪ Strong organizational skills with proven ability to meet deadlines and successfully manage simultaneous, multiple projects.
▪ Proven ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships.
▪ Ability to identify strategic issues and develop plans and resources to accomplish objectives.
▪ Self-motivated with the ability to work with little supervision.
▪ Ability to work, on occasion, outside normal business hours, primarily for presentations.
▪ Applied knowledge of PC functions and Microsoft Office Applications, such as Word, Excel and
▪ Applied knowledge of tools utilized in economic development research REMI, Implan, EMSI, JobsEQ; data visualization tools (e.g., GIS, Tableau).


▪ Typically sitting at a desk or table.
▪ Occasionally lifting light objects (less than 24 pounds).
▪ Intermittently walking, standing, bending and carrying.
▪ Requires use of safe work practices with office equipment, avoidance of trips and falls and observance of
fire regulations.
▪ Manual dexterity, visual and auditory acuity needed.
▪ Some repetitive motion is involved.
▪ Work is performed in an office or computer room.
▪ Work may require visits to businesses, elected officials, economic and Chamber partners in the Middle
Tennessee region, and other research partners as needed.
▪ Position requires travel out of the Middle Tennessee region less than five percent of the time.
▪ The Chamber is observing in-house safety protocols based on CDC, State and Metro Nashville/Davidson
County guidance around COVID-19.
▪ The Chamber does not currently have a teleworking policy. All staff work full-time in the office.

Additional Information

How to Apply

To Apply:
Submit to cover letter, resume, and writing sample demonstrating research experience to Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.


  • Date Posted: July 13, 2021
  • Type: Full-Time
  • Job Function: Analytics / Evaluation
  • Service Area: Community Development
  • Working Hours: Monday 8am-5pm