Rubenstein Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program – Brookings Institution

The Brookings InstitutionBrookings is pleased to announce the second round of the David M. Rubenstein Fellowship Program. The challenges facing the United States and the world require rigorous, innovative, evidence-based research that generate fresh thinking and innovative policy solutions. Through this program, Brookings is seeking to increase diversity in our scholarly community by recruiting the next generation of rising stars and creative thinkers to help achieve our mission of improving governance in the United States and across the world.

For the 2019 class, the institution is again looking for ten outstanding early- to mid-career scholars and policy experts with a diverse array of backgrounds, experience, and scholarship expertise.

In addition to the research priorities of the five programs, Brookings is placing an emphasis on policy researchers with a background in artificial intelligence, emerging technology, and/or data science with public policy. Strong candidates may be as conversant about deep reinforcement learning as they are labor policy, or as familiar with cryptography as they are international security. Alternately, they may use novel data (e.g., satellite imagery, social media posts, IRS records) or methodologies (e.g., machine learning, survey experiments) to gain insight into pressing policy questions. In both cases, strong candidates will draw on deep technical expertise to inform their policy research, and demonstrate a clear ability and willingness to work at the intersection of artificial intelligence, emerging technology, data science, and/or public policy.

Rubenstein Fellows will have the opportunity to enhance the policy impact of their ideas and academic achievements by working with Brookings’s network of scholars and experts, relying on the Institution’s abilities to develop and promote research to the policy community and the wider public.

Rubenstein Fellows will diversify, augment, and complement the core policy research expertise of the more than 100 resident scholars at Brookings.

Program Overview

Since its founding in 1996, the Metropolitan Policy Program (Metro) is uniquely positioned to help cities and metropolitan areas innovate in a fast-changing global economy in ways that benefit more people and places. Metro’s mission is to deliver research and solutions that help metropolitan leaders build an advanced economy that works for all.

The Metro Program produces trusted analyses that link people, place, and economy, empowering practitioners and policymakers to think and act systemically. The team forges close relationships with civic, philanthropic, nonprofit and government leaders in dozens of metro areas across the country, gaining a comprehensive understanding of what matters in communities and informing bottom-up change.

The Metro Program seeds and scales local solutions, using its role as a national think tank to spur replication and adaptation through peer-to-peer learning and policy reforms at the state and national levels. Metro has delivered research and solutions that have strengthened the capacity of cities and regions to achieve economic prosperity.

The Metro Program invites submissions from scholars or policy experts with knowledge, experience, and interest in one of the following broad areas:

  • Labor markets
  • Social safety net
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Competition and regulation

The Metro Program seeks applicants with an interest and track record in examining these topics explicitly through the lens of cities, metropolitan areas, and/or states, and with attention to impacts by race and ethnicity.



Under the supervision of the Vice President of the Metropolitan Policy Program, Rubenstein Fellows in Metro will publish in-depth, peer-reviewed monographs and research papers as well as short opinion pieces, blog posts, and other products to promote their ideas in the public policy debate. Rubenstein Fellows will also participate in public and private events, raise money for research projects, interact with the media, and contribute to the overall intellectual life of the Institution.


Successful candidates will hold an advanced degree in a relevant field or equivalent expertise and possess a record of relevant work experience as well as a firm grounding in public policy or a related discipline and have a record of, or demonstrated potential for, distinguished work through blending academic excellence with experience in the public or private sectors. The individual must have the ability and competence to conduct cutting-edge research and outreach to impact public policy.

Application Process and Selection Timeline

Interested candidates who meet the program’s eligibility requirements should apply online and submit:

  • A curriculum vitae (CV), including a list of publications, with a cover letter describing their research interests and priorities, and
  • A short piece of written work (no more than 5 pages) that highlights the candidate’s capabilities.

When you apply, please attach your CV and cover letter as one document and upload your writing sample as a separate attachment.

For full consideration, please apply by February 14, 2019. Candidates who advance will be invited to interview and present their work and research.  Following interviews, Metro’s Vice President will recommend finalists for selection by the President. Official announcement of awards will be made by March 31, 2019; however, some selections may be made in advance.

This is a two-year termed appointment.  We expect fellowships to begin in September 2019.

Selection is based on a combination of the following criteria: depth and breadth of professional experience, quality and rigor of scholarly research, and a commitment to upholding Brookings’s core values of quality, independent, and impactful policy research that seeks to promote the public good.

Additional Information:

Successful completion of a background investigation is required for employment at Brookings.

Brookings is an equal-opportunity employer that is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace. We welcome applications from all qualified individuals regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, physical or mental disability, marital status, veteran status, or other factors protected by law.

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