J-PAL North America

Associate Director of Policy

Cambridge, Massachusetts

To read the full position description and review application instructions, click download.

Website: J-PAL North America


J-PAL North America seeks nominations and applications for a new Associate Director of Policy.  J-PAL North America is a regional office of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), a global research center working to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. As a lab of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) economics department, J-PAL North America leverages scholarship from more than 170 affiliated professors at over 55 universities, and has a full-time staff of approximately 40 research, policy, and administrative professionals, that work together to conduct randomized impact evaluations, policy outreach, and training to generate and disseminate rigorous evidence about which anti-poverty social policies work and why. J-PAL North America works across a wide range of policy areas that relate to poverty including health, labor, crime, education and more. J-PAL’s work is regularly cited by major media outlets, like the New York Times, the Economist, and the Washington Post.

J-PAL North America is uniquely positioned where staff work closely with top researchers from MIT and many other universities. Staff describe the experience of working at J-PAL North America as being in a nimble, fast-paced team, but being hosted at MIT gives the staff access to MIT’s excellent benefits and institutional resources. At the same time, J-PAL’s work extends far beyond academia. Through its policy outreach and strategic partnerships with researchers, government leaders, not for profits, funders, and communities affected by poverty, J-PAL North America is growing the body of quality evidence and disseminating evidence to inform policies that address the complex causes and consequences of poverty. Leaders who want to have one foot in academia and another in policy/practice thrive with J-PAL’s unique approach.

To help lead a recently expanded policy team and increase our policy impact, J-PAL North America is now poised to bring on a new Associate Director of Policy to join a vibrant, collaborative team that is committed to reducing poverty by spurring the development of rigorous research that can inform effective policy solutions. The new Associate Director of Policy will lead J-PAL North America’s work promoting and supporting the use of randomized evaluations in North America, disseminating evidence to inform social policy, and developing and managing high-level relationships with donors, policymakers, media, and researchers. This is a significant opportunity to advance J-PAL North America’s partnerships with key stakeholders to ensure that evidence contributes to public discourse around some of the most pressing questions in social policy. The Associate Director of Policy will also contribute broadly to J-PAL North America’s strategic, financial, and operational success as a member of its senior leadership team.

 Ideal candidates for the Associate Director of Policy role will bring deep passion for and commitment to J-PAL North America’s mission and at least 7 years (but we expect that many candidates will have more experience) in a leadership or management position with direct responsibility for policy or strategic partnership building in service to communities affected by poverty. Additionally, they will be a proven partnership builder, a successful fundraiser, and will bring a broad analytical skill set with experience conducting and/or supervising impact evaluations including randomized evaluations. A Master’s or advanced degree in a relevant field such as economics, political science, or public policy is required.


This search is being conducted with assistance from Allison Kupfer Poteet and Cara Pearsall of NPAG. Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

To apply, submit a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications and a resume via MIT’s human resources system. Visit http://jobs.mit.edu/external, search for job ID XX (Associate Director of Policy - J-PAL North America) to apply for this role.

 MIT is an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, ancestry, or national or ethnic origin. J-PAL North America actively welcomes applicants from diverse backgrounds and from those with backgrounds that have been historically underrepresented in the field of economics. 

Our Lead


Allison Kupfer Poteet

Allison leads a national search practice that spans philanthropy at all levels, leading direct service providers, as well as nonprofits advancing solutions through policy, advocacy, evaluation and learning, and innovative approaches to social change.

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