Studio Associate

Studio Associate

2018 Studio on Community

Rich Harwood, President and Founder of The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, has created a studio within The Harwood Institute to support special efforts to advance new ideas for strengthening communities and society in a rapidly changing world. He is looking for two studio associates to begin work in September of 2018.

The studio will explore topics such as: 

  • The emergence and meaning of a new American narrative;
  • The importance of belief and a can-do spirit in moving communities and countries forward; 
  • New mechanisms and spaces for bridging societal divides and engaging individuals in collective efforts;
  • A new approach to shared responsibility in communities;
  • The role of civic rituals in society; and
  • The renewed role for the human element in civic and political affairs.

The Studio Concept

Studios have long existed as a combination workshop and space where the act of reflection can merge with acts of production. Studios have been filled with associates who both seek to contribute to those efforts, while developing their own ideas and skills. Located within the Institute, the studio will allow Rich and a high-performing team of individuals the opportunity to innovate together and advance and incubate new ideas, projects and initiatives.  

Studio Associate Position Description

This is a tremendous opportunity for individuals who are seeking an intense, purpose-driven experience, who want to be part of a larger effort to advance new ideas for communities and society, particularly at a time of growing division and inwardness throughout the U.S. and elsewhere. Studio associates will work directly with Rich, a national leader whose practice, methods, ideas and approaches have helped shape the field of civic and community change for nearly 30 years.

Studio associates will support Rich in:

  • Developing a series of new groundbreaking books, including conducting research; interviews, compiling background materials; and serving as a thought partner and sounding board. 
  • Creating new ways to spread critical ideas emerging from the studio, including new articles, special reports and projects. Specific work would including drafting ideas and materials for written pieces; researching content and ideas for possible convenings; and developing concepts for new delivery mechanisms like podcasts, innovative collateral and new courses.
  • Working on special projects with Rich that innovate on key challenges in society. Projects may include: developing an assessment of community readiness for funding and programming to be used by an Australian federal agency, developing a strategy for one of the largest NGOs in Canada to remain fiercely local and community-oriented, helping a health agency in the Midwest reform and grow its statewide coalition of partner organizations.

In addition, each studio associate will write a piece in their own voice, for publication, that draws on the Harwood ideas and practice and applies to their own context.

Potential Candidates

  • A University faculty member or graduate student whose knowledge, skillset and commitment to strengthening communities will advance the Studio conversation; someone hoping to increase the impact of interdisciplinary engagement at his/her home institution and someone seeking a fellowship opportunity to accelerate his/her research;
  • A consultant or coach who wants to expand their professional experience and knowledge;
  • Independent researchers and scholars, educators and other related professionals.


Studio associates must possess the following skills:

  • Excellent writer
  • Strong researcher
  • Conceptual and synthetic thinker 
  • Good communicator
  • Personable and strong sense of humor
  • Very focused, disciplined and rigorous
  • Internal standard of excellence 
  • Enjoys working as part of a team


  • Minimum of 20 hours per week for 9-12 months OR 40 hours per week for 5-6 months
  • Up to $12,500 stipend 
  • Must work in the Institute’s Bethesda, Md., office

Note for University faculty members and graduate students: You may be able to receive financial support from your university or college through a supplemented leave of absence, sabbatical and/or research fellowship. 

Additional Benefits

Studio associates will:

  • Attend a Harwood Public Innovators Lab
  • Participate in an annual Harwood Summit
  • Shadow Rich Harwood in Harwood Institute meetings for learning and exposure

To Apply

Send letter of inquiry about your interest along with your qualifications to Grady Lenkin, special assistant to Rich Harwood, at Spots are limited, and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

The Harwood Institute is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

About The Harwood Institute

The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation is a nonpartisan, independent nonprofit that teaches, coaches and inspires people and organizations to solve pressing problems and change how communities work together. Founded by Richard C. Harwood in 1988, the Institute partners with some of the world's largest nonprofits, and their tools and frameworks have spread to all 50 states in the U.S., across Australia and Canada, and have been used by individuals in more than 40 countries worldwide.

About Rich Harwood

Rich Harwood is founder and president of The Harwood Institute. For more than 30 years, he has devoted his life to transforming communities and changing our public discourse. Rich’s work has included helping communities deal with issues related to the environment, healthcare, improving public education and healing from disasters. A few years ago, he led the community process in Newtown, Connecticut, to determine the fate of the Sandy Hook School, where 20 children and 6 adults were tragically murdered on December 14, 2012. He has authored a number of books and articles on the state of politics and public life and has spoken extensively on these subjects over the course of his career.