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Head of Research

CFP Board
Washington D.C.
Based on experience
Closing date
Oct 12, 2023

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Job Role
Employment Type
Full Time
Experience Level
10 or more years
CFP® Certification
Not necessary

Job Details

General Function

Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, the newly created role of Head of Research will work closely with the senior CFP Board leadership to develop a dynamic, rigorous, and relevant research capability of the same quality. But beyond that demanding responsibility, the Head of Research also will be charged with a critical forward-looking responsibility: identifying and implementing a comprehensive approach to research that meets the increasingly complex needs and demands of members in an age of constant data expansion. Paving the way, the Head of Research will develop and execute a research agenda that: a) Quantifies the benefit of CFP certification to the public, firms, individual advisors, and potential certificants; b) Positions CFP certification for greater growth, relevance, and impact; c) Facilitates identification and reporting of quantitative evidence that facilitates organizational decision making; d) Anticipates, analyzes, and reports on the practice of financial planning including trends, impact, and outcomes. This newly created position will actively pursue opportunities for CFP Board to leverage research programs through partnerships that result in a body of knowledge via publications, presentations, and communications in collaboration with staff. The Head of Research will act as spokesperson on research methodology, findings, and their implications that elevate the reputation and relevance of CFP Board.


Essential Functions/Responsibilities

  • Leads the planning, development, and implementation of the CFP Board’s comprehensive and organization-wide research program in partnership with the executive leadership team and senior staff.
  • Directs, approves, and evaluates an annual research agenda and plans that include identifying research objectives, data collection methods, statistical analysis, and reporting format and presentation.
  • Delivers market and economic analysis essential to decision making on certification standards, growth, branding, and policy.
  • Manages and directs internal and external teams that create original research, thought leadership, and derivative products to inform and support the organization.
  • Accountable for the quality of research outputs, ensuring an independent and unbiased approach that is in alignment with strategic priorities and CFP Board values.
  • Regularly monitors, analyzes, and reports on competitive landscape and industry forecasts.
  • Recommends and/or proposes research designs or research methodologies to achieve business and organizational objectives.
  • Oversees and/or directly synthesizes and analyzes data and the translation of research insights into actionable recommendations and direction.
  • Ensures the development of RFPs and the management of outside research partners and vendors.
  • Communicates research findings in a variety of formats including publications in peer reviewed journals.
  • Coordinates, collaborates and/or facilitate CFP Board staff in communicating the impact and influence of research undertaken by CFP Board to stakeholders, media, financial advice eco-system and policymakers.
  • Participate with other staff in building and nurturing research focused relationships with key players and influencers across firms, academia, the investment industry, special interest groups, and other external organizations conducting research relevant to CFP Board.
  • Serves as research spokesperson to media and industry conferences.
  • Oversees and approves the organization-wide research budget and agenda.
  • Provides leadership and oversight of the research team; sets departmental and individual goals to align with organizational priorities and research strategy.
  • Partners with the Center for Financial Planning on research initiatives and deliverables that support Center programming.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.



Research Background and Competencies

  • Doctoral degree with strong focus on quantitative sciences (Master’s degree with strong research record may be considered).
  • Minimum of 10 years of program research experience with 5 years in a management position.
  • Experience with data survey techniques, research methodologies including rigorous data analytics.
  • Demonstrated ability to direct and manage primary and secondary research.
  • Familiarity with trends in the financial advice eco-system and competitive landscape.
  • Ability to independently lead end-to-end projects/deliverable; uses a hypothesis-driven approach and key strategic frameworks to structure research projects.


Management Skills and Experience

  • Executive-level verbal and written communication skills including experience working with and presenting research findings to executives and Board of Directors.
  • Strong editorial skills with attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage projects within schedule and budget.
  • Exceptional interpersonal and collaboration skills with the ability to effectively interface internally and externally.
  • Ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects and people simultaneously and follow through on issues in a timely manner.
  • Seasoned manager of business partners and vendors.
  • Financial services experience desirable.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, statistical, and database software preferred.
  • Must be legally authorized to work in the United States without the need for employer sponsorship, now or at any time in the future.


This position is based in the Washington D.C. office and works a hybrid schedule which could be changed at any time.

CFP Board believes that diversity of experience and perspective are strengths and seeks to continue to grow a highly committed, skilled, and collaborative staff.


Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) is a non-profit organization that serves the public by fostering professional standards in personal financial planning. We set and enforce the requirements for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification — to uphold standards of competency and ethics for financial planners who are committed to CFP Board to putting their clients' best interests first.

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