Policy Analyst (multiple entry-level positions)
Opening Date: February 7, 2024 Closing Date: Open until filled Expected Start Date: May 7, 2024
Starting Salary: $65,000
A policy analyst works as part of a team to conduct nonpartisan, objective evaluations of Texas state agencies. A policy analyst takes a deep dive into an agency’s operations; collects and analyzes information and data; identifies state laws and operations needing improvement; writes concise reports recommending changes; makes oral presentations on the results of reviews; and provides information and assistance to legislators and their staff.
In a nutshell, a policy analyst looks for creative ways to improve state government and agency operations, learns about a wide variety of policy issues, works with the top management of state agencies, interviews stakeholders both in and outside state government, and participates in the legislative process. Periodic travel and occasional long hours are components of this job.
We are a fun, hard-working team of intellectually curious people who believe in our mission to improve government operations. The Sunset Commission is an equal opportunity employer.
- A bachelor’s degree.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
- Strong research skills and ability to analyze and synthesize information and data, identify problems, investigate issues, and develop effective solutions supported by evidence.
- Ability to objectively assess current state policy and agency practices, and develop workable recommendations for consideration by the Sunset Commission and Legislature.
- Ability to write clearly and persuasively, and summarize complex information accurately and concisely.
- Ability to independently and effectively create timely, relevant, and accurate work products.
- Strong communication skills, including team, interpersonal, and interviewing skills. Ability to build effective working relationships with team members, agency personnel, stakeholders, and legislative staff.
- Ability to work under pressure and manage multiple work assignments to meet tight project deadlines.
- Graduate degree in public policy, law, social sciences, business administration, journalism, or a similar field.
- Program evaluation, policy analysis, project management, government, or other relevant professional experience.
Opening Date: January 31, 2024 Closing Date: Until filled Expected Start Date: Two weeks from date of offer
Starting Salary: $110,000-$150,000
Sunset staff is composed of program evaluation professionals that support the Sunset Commission by performing reviews of state agencies and assisting in the legislative process. The staff work in teams led by a Project Manager and overseen by a Review Director to conduct independent analyses of state agencies to give the commission an outside evaluation of opportunities to better organize and operate state services. We are a fun, hard-working team of intellectually curious people who believe in our mission to improve government operations. The Sunset Commission is an equal opportunity employer.
As a senior-level position, a Review Director works under the Deputy Director for Reviews to help guide the course of Sunset reviews of state agencies. A Review Director oversees multiple Sunset reviews simultaneously, encouraging and motivating each team to collaborate to meet review objectives and facilitating the professional growth of team members. Review Directors are accountable to the Deputy Director for Reviews for ensuring consistent, quality, and timely reviews by helping teams identify problems and develop workable report findings and recommendations that are logical, accurate, and clearly and persuasively written.
As part of the legislative process, a Review Director assists project managers in communicating with the legislature, both orally and in writing, at times helping navigate situations requiring tact and discretion. A Review Director maintains awareness of Sunset legislation on all agencies under review to be able to communicate with members of the legislature to help address any concerns affecting multiple reviews.
In addition to overseeing Sunset reviews, a Review Director serves as a supervisor for assigned staff, including conducting their performance evaluations. A Review Director may supervise or lead internal teams or special projects andperform other duties to meet the ongoing needs of the agency. Periodic travel and occasional long hours are components of this job.
Education and Experience
- A bachelor’s degree
- At least five years of full-time supervisory experience
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
- Knowledge of the organization and functioning of Texas state government, including the legislative process
- Knowledge of qualitative research techniques, including interviewing
- Skill to review or monitor the work of others to ensure it meets quality and timeliness standards, to give clear and direct constructive feedback, and to provide mentoring and coaching to develop the skills of others
- Skill in grammar usage and report writing
- Skill in interview techniques and navigating situations requiring discretion
- Ability to oversee multiple projects simultaneously, demonstrating high levels of organization and time management skills, and to identify the need to reallocate workload
- Ability to work professionally and collaboratively with others in an effort to achieve common goals
- Ability to communicate information accurately, clearly, and concisely, both orally and in writing
- Ability to think critically and synthesize information to make sound arguments, conclusions, and recommendations
- Ability to be non-partisan, objective, and make recommendations irrespective of one’s personal beliefs
- Ability to adapt one’s own style of leadership and communication as needed to create a collaborative and positive work environment
- Ability to have Sunset’s perspective in mind and understand how any decision will impact Sunset overall
- Ability to manage cyclical, variable work, including working under pressure to manage multiple work assignments with tight project deadlines
- Graduate degree in public policy, law, social sciences, business administration, or a similar field
- Experience working for the State of Texas in a program evaluation, policy analysis, audit, legal, government relations, or other relevant role
- State of Texas benefits package, including health insurance, employer-matched retirement plan, and paid vacation and sick leave. Dental, vision, and disability insurance; health and dependent care savings accounts; 401(K); and an employee assistance program are also available.
- Small, professional office located in the Capitol Complex in downtown Austin with parking.
- Hybrid remote work based on needs of job.
- Merit increases, bonuses, and opportunities to advance based on individual performance and initiative.
- Emphasis on professional development, both through in-house training and opportunities to attend external training sessions, workshops, and seminars.
- $2,000 relocation bonus for new hires residing 250 miles or more from Austin, TX.
How to Apply
Our initial application process has two steps. Please read the following instructions carefully before you begin the process.
Please submit the following documents to firstname.lastname@example.org in Word or PDF format.
- State of Texas application
- Your resume
- Three references with email addresses and phone numbers
If you do not provide all three documents, your application will not be considered further. Please do not submit a cover letter.
Applicants who meet the minimum requirements will receive a confirmation email containing three questions designed to assess their interest in Sunset and approach to the job. You will receive the email within one business day of submitting the documents required under Step 1. Please be sure to check your spam folder for any correspondence from Sunset.
To be considered further, you must submit your responses to the three questions within 48 hours of the email timestamp. Please do not start the application process unless you will have time to answer the questions within the required timeframe. Once submitted, you will not be allowed to revise your responses.
What Happens Next?
A selection committee of Sunset staff will evaluate and score the responses. Based on their qualifications and responses, selected applicants will then be interviewed and undergo a background check.
Sunset typically posts job announcements during the summer after a legislative session (odd-numbered years). However, hiring for Policy Analysts occasionally occurs at other times. Hiring for administrative staff is on an as-needed basis. Information about upcoming hiring and all job postings will be on this page and Work in Texas as soon as available. Please check back regularly.
Policy Analyst Description
Policy Analysts work in teams to review and evaluate the operations of Texas state agencies. Key job duties include developing background research, participating in interviews, analyzing policy and program issues, and developing recommendations to improve agencies under review. Experience in or knowledge of state government and the legislative process, and Masters-level education are preferred.
Sunset in Texas
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