Iqbal Singh Dhaliwal is the Executive Director of J-PAL, based at the economics department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He works with the Board of Directors to develop the organization’s strategic vision, and with the leadership of the six regional offices to coordinate J-PAL’s worldwide research, policy outreach, capacity building, and operations. He is also the Co-Scientific Director of J-PAL’s South Asia regional office, Co-Chair of the Innovation in Government Initiative, and Co-Chair of the Innovations in Data, Experiments and Action (IDEA) Initiative. He is a board member of J-PAL, of the NGO Noora Health and an advisory board member of the NGO Evidence Action.
Iqbal has held a number of positions at J-PAL, including Deputy Executive Director (2013–2017), founding Director of the Policy and Communications group (2009–2017), interim Director of the Research, Education, and Training vertical (2016–2017), and Co-Chair of the Governance Initiative (2010–2014). He is the co-author with Rema Hanna (Harvard) of a very large, five-district randomized evaluation on improving health outcomes and service provider attendance in rural India.
Before joining J-PAL in 2009, Iqbal was a director in the economic analysis practice of a consulting firm in Boston where he managed numerous engagements involving antitrust issues, regulation, and strategy; and before that an analyst in a strategy consulting firm outside of Washington D.C. He began his career in public service as a member of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), in which he served as a Deputy Secretary in a state government, director of a statewide welfare department, and CEO of a publicly owned company. As the sub-collector of one of the state’s largest administrative divisions, he led a large bureaucracy that implemented numerous development programs in the field.
Iqbal received the Director's Gold Medal for standing first in the nationwide Civil Services selection and training at India's National Academy of Administration. He received the Dean's Fellowship at Princeton University and the gold medal for standing first in the college in his undergraduate program. He has a BA in economics from the University of Delhi, an MA in economics from the Delhi School of Economics, and an MPA in development from Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.