Product Director - New Practice Lab

Full Time
New Practice Lab

The Director of Product is a key leadership role at the New Practice Lab that focuses on improving the design and delivery of critical public policies that serve families at both the federal and state government levels. The Lab’s work bridges policy and product, and this key role is responsible for driving the product half of the Lab’s work. Unlike other senior product roles, this role is unique in that it not only requires expertise in digital benefits delivery, but an understanding of policy implementation and policy design as well. The Product Director will lead on scoping and managing the delivery of fast-paced “delivery improvement sprints'' for public sector partners, including stewarding high-level government relationships, managing teams of field-leading experts and families with lived expertise, and ensuring sprint design and execution yields pre-scoped outcomes in target policy areas. 

New Practice Lab sprints are designed to yield two outcomes: 

  • Immediate delivery improvements that make life better for families 
  • Transferrable insights to inform policymakers designing the next generation of policies 

The Product Director will be a key member of the Lab’s leadership team (working inside a larger, established think-tank) with significant influence over sprint strategy. 


  •  Successfully oversee at least 3 policy delivery sprints with families and government partners to improve economic security outcomes for American families. (A successful sprint engages families and government partners directly to identify changes government can make to improve delivery and/or uptake of key services, but our sprints also test how a policy is working for families and result in clear policy insights for the next generation of policy making.) 
  • Develop and grow a reliable and sustainable slate of external experts and contractors on which the Lab can draw in future sprints, ensuring a range of expertise in all relevant skills and issue areas. 
  • Collaborate with the Policy Director and policy team to determine a strategy for high-impact sprints and engagements to advance our core vision around paid leave, access to tax credits and care policies. 


The New Practice Lab is a force multiplier for social and economic policies that uplift American families. We make the American safety net simpler, easier to access, and more responsive to the lives of real people.

The big idea behind the Lab has always been simple: when we make policy away from the people it impacts most, or rely on the tools of past eras to administer it, it tends to fail in delivery. The only way to improve delivery is to bring users back into the process through the use of more modern and participatory design tools. This approach can and does improve delivery, and what we learn along the way offers powerful insights that can reshape the way the next generation of policymakers does its work. 

With this cycle in mind, our work rests on two critical pillars of activity: 

  • We run sprints with families and government partners to improve the public benefits delivery chain for existing policy 
  • We carry the insights of real families into the policymaking process to center delivery from the start 


You are a deeply optimistic person— not unreasonably so, but close! Your natural instinct is to punch above your weight, and that’s the kind of team you want to be on, too. You are at your most creative and engaged with a challenge that feels just beyond what you already know how to achieve— you’re a ‘figure it out’ kind of leader. Perhaps most importantly, you are interested in making a difference for low-income families by investigating root causes and challenging status quo thinking, and you want to spend your time working with a group of smart, committed teammates taking on the biggest, most urgent problems in family economic security. 


  • Scope, prioritize and execute sprints
    • From among myriad options, help scope projects to meet high-impact policy design targets. Identify policy and/or technology barriers to improve benefits delivery and uptake.
    • Lead on developing both our broad strategy and specific opportunities for policy and delivery sprints.
    • Roadmap product sprints that test, evaluate, and provide recommendations for specific policy delivery measures. 
    • Play a key role in helping to build out the overall strategy for the Lab’s work to help drive towards Lab goals
    • Serve as a key executing member of the sprint team
    • Help oversee sprint and project budgets


  • Build public sector partnerships for sprint work
    • Establish government relationships to facilitate sprint work
    • Play a leading role in landing sprints with potential partners
    • Share and build agreement on scope of work with partners


  • Generate and share insights to improve benefits delivery
    • Identify and pursue opportunities to productize and disseminate findings from sprints, collaborating with other members of the Lab’s senior leadership team to translate insights from sprints into broader recommendations for action by policymakers and public sector agencies. 
    • Draw out actionable insights with partners and seize opportunities for implementing high-priority recommendations to complete the product-driven policymaking feedback loop. 


  • Manage and support healthy teams
    • Coach, oversee, and execute alongside sprint teams (including 1-2 designers/researchers, 1 data scientist, and/or a contractor if needed)
    • Manage teams of field-leading experts
    • Build out and - directly or indirectly - supervise a team of permanent staff and contractors to execute on all of our projects.  
    • Support work with constituent users, including low-income and non-English speaking families with lived expertise



  • Insightful, highly capable thought leader and product manager able to bridge the worlds of policy design and service delivery. 
  • Strong disposition toward optimism, collaboration, and the presumption of good faith in colleagues and partners. 
  • Recognized expert in human-centered design methods, leader in the field of service delivery with experience product managing or participating in government technology sprints
  • Experience centering and improving race, gender and other equity-focused outcomes through design and/or delivery work. 
  • Ability to effectively communicate with and win the confidence of internal/external stakeholders at the most senior levels, including senior government officials, investors and partners
  • Ability to support product build-out as a tool to test high-impact policies. 
  • Capable of building teams and overseeing large, complex bodies of work.
  •  A quick study, able to engage rapidly and at a high level on complex policy and service delivery projects while still adding value to the work. 
  • A commitment to a workplace and team atmosphere that centers the values of care, equity, and well-being.


Salary is commensurate with experience and shouldn’t be a barrier for the right candidate. The salary band for this role is $124,000-181,000.

How to apply:

Submit a resume and a one-page cover letter. The writing sample is not required, please feel free to submit a blank page. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We would like to fill this position as soon as possible.

Please no phone calls and no email

New America is an equal opportunity employer committed to hiring a diverse workforce at all levels of the organization thereby creating a culture that allows us to better serve our mission, our employees, and our communities. We value and encourage the contributions of our employees and strive to create an environment where everyone can reach their full potential and drive outstanding results. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, gender identity or expression, or any other basis protected by local, state, or federal law. This policy applies with regard to all aspects of one’s employment, including hiring, transfer, promotion, compensation, eligibility for benefits, and termination


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