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Senior Policy Associate - J-PAL Global

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) J-PAL is recruiting a Senior Policy Associate for work in Agriculture, Health, Firms, Finance and/or Social Protection to contribute to its mission of promoting evidence-informed policy. In your cover letter, please indicate which sector(s) you are most interested in and why, out of the options for Agriculture, Health, Firms, Finance, and/or Social Protection. Demonstrated interest and experience in more than one sector may be considered favorably. The position will be based in Cambridge, MA, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Only applications following the instructions at the bottom of this page will be considered.

The Policy & Communications Group plays a key role in translating research by J-PAL affiliates into actionable poverty alleviation policies around the world. Staff connect the dots between economics and policy and are passionate about working with organizations to form partnerships for evidence-informed development policy. 

J-PAL values diversity in our work and the diverse perspectives our staff bring. We encourage people of color, first generation college students, and more to apply to this role. In your cover letter, please share how your racial, gender, and/or socioeconomic identity has influenced your drive and desire to work at J-PAL. (This is not required, but rather an opportunity for us to get to know you.)
For more information on J-PAL Global's commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion visit this webpage.

Your work provides the foundation and direction for J-PAL’s growing policy efforts. As a Senior Policy Associate, your primary tasks will involve communication, analysis, and specialization.

Evidence Communication and Dissemination (40%): Write publications that “translate” economic research into lessons for policymakers around the world. Senior Associates will have the opportunity to support senior staff to create materials for policy outreach, including publicationsevaluation summaries, presentations, grant proposals, policy memos, blogs, social media content and newsletters and website content among other sector-specific work. Senior Associates have the opportunity to help organize events and further their communication skills by presenting at conferences and participating in meetings with policymakers and partner organizations. Senior Associates also have the opportunity to work with senior staff on specific research tasks, and are expected to see these projects through from start to finish with limited supervision.

Topic Specialization (35%): Develop in-depth knowledge of one or more of the following J-PAL sectors: AgricultureFinance and Social ProtectionFirms, and/or Health, and provide evidence support to policymakers. Senior Associates may also have the opportunity to support the administration of a sector-specific, competitive research fund by processing grant proposals, coordinating with researchers, and supporting partnership development between implementing groups and research affiliates to spark new research projects.  

Other (25%): Have the opportunity to support J-PAL’s overall mission in a number of ways. These can include performing internal tasks such as knowledge management, supporting recruitment and hiring, supporting work on diversity, equity, and inclusion, and undertaking professional development opportunities. Senior Associates may also serve as liaisons between J-PAL Global and one of J-PAL’s regional offices covering AfricaEuropeLatin AmericaNorth AmericaSouth Asia, and Southeast Asia, support cost-effectiveness analyses, or assist with other broad J-PAL projects.

Professional Development
The Policy & Communications Group invests in your professional development. As a Senior Policy Associate, you will learn, engage, travel, and grow.

Learn: J-PAL supports a culture of learning with opportunities to attend weekly MIT–Harvard Development Seminars and take classes for credit with MIT’s generous tuition assistance program. All J-PAL staff are also eligible to take the innovative online MITx MicroMasters credential in Data, Economics, and Development Policy (DEDP) free of charge.

Engage: Senior Associates have the opportunity to work with J-PAL affiliated researchers, as well as interact with J-PAL’s partners, including decision-makers and practitioners, alongside senior staff. As core content creators, Senior Associates’ publications are distributed to development stakeholders worldwide.

Travel: Senior Associates have the opportunity to present at J-PAL’s regional offices, attend policy events worldwide, and participate in a unique “Associate-to-Field” international experience supporting on-the-ground research during their time at J-PAL.

Grow: Senior Associates can expect to join a peer group eager to build institutional knowledge and pass on lessons learned. Senior Associates receive one-on-one mentorship from senior staff. Promotions from Senior Associate to Manager are based on performance and ability.

As a member of the MIT community, you benefit from more than just your salary. 
J-PAL hires highly qualified staff and rewards them accordingly. Total compensation packages are competitive for the non-profit international development field with excellent MIT benefits, including comprehensive health insurance, a 401(k) match and pension-based retirement plan, tuition assistance, commuter benefits, MIT community discounts, a generous vacation policy, and more. We like working at MIT and think you will too.

Your technical expertise, strong communication and organizational skills, passion for translating research into action, and interest in international development make you an ideal candidate for Senior Policy Associates.

Education: You hold at least a bachelor’s degree (master’s preferred) with significant training in economics, including intermediate-level economics and econometrics. Do you have a demonstrated academic interest in international development and public policy and/or international experience? Even better.

Experience: We are looking for candidates with between two and four years of relevant work experience and a Master’s degree. Have less than two years of work experience? Consider applying to one of our Policy Associate positions.

Skills: You are a self-starter who is able to set personal goals, manage time with multiple work streams and competing priorities, learn quickly, independently identify solutions and propose innovations. Candidates should be comfortable working in or learning computer applications, including Google Suite, Salesforce, and Foundation Connect. Proficiency in English is required. Knowledge of Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia, French, Portuguese, Spanish, or other languages spoken in our regions of work are a plus.

Communication: You are detail-oriented and have advanced writing skills. You understand how to communicate policy lessons from technical academic research in ways that policymakers and practitioners understand. You are precise, clear, and creative.

Organization: You are a strategic thinker. You can handle multiple projects at once, meet deadlines, and effectively manage your time.

Cultural competencies: You are comfortable and adept at working in a diverse and multicultural work environment, with colleagues, partners and policymakers from around the world. You display cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality, and age sensitivity and adaptability.

Attitude: You love learning. You are passionate about international development policy and the rigorous research that informs it. You are agile, adaptable, self-motivated, hardworking, and collaborative