Associate Director, Business Development - IPA

United States of America (the)
Language Requirement 
Length of Commitment 
More than two years
Start Date 

IPA’s Business Development team is focused on increasing the organization’s success in starting new research studies and strategic initiatives. This includes leading efforts for new partner engagement, developing multi-country studies, and expanding IPA’s network of leading academic researchers. The Associate Director of Business Development will play a dynamic role working closely with the Business Development team, the Regional Directors, and IPA’s Policy and Sector Programs teams to start new projects that advance IPA’s mission of generating and promoting evidence on what works in international development.

The Associate Director of Business Development will perform a diverse range of functions including coordinating with researchers and external partners, advising IPA staff working on new project development, improving internal processes, and contributing to the organization’s Business Development strategy. This position will also be expected to develop resources and disseminate general information across the organization to support the development of new research and policy programs In addition, the Associate Director of Business Development will be expected to lead select large proposals and manage other projects in the start-up phase before they are handed over to new teams.

IPA is looking for someone who can smoothly interact with leading researchers and development partners, enjoys managing and improving internal processes, and has a team-oriented mindset. Outstanding candidates should have a background in both research and program development, be clear analytic thinkers and writers, and be unafraid to accomplish a tremendous amount with enduring good humor.


Project and Proposal Development Strategy, Guidance and Support: (50%)

  • Play a leadership role overseeing and improving IPA’s proposal and budget development process to ensure proposals are high quality and are in line with IPA standards.
  • Identify opportunities that IPA Country Offices and Sector Programs should pursue and coordinate with the appropriate IPA staff to create a project development strategy.
  • Oversee and mentor select Business Development staff to ensure the team members are productive, are efficiently contributing to business development efforts, have clearly defined roles and responsibilities, and are growing professionally.
  • Coordinate with Finance, HR, Legal and Grants teams to ensure that Country Offices make sure all new proposals meet IPA standards.
  • Represent the Business Development team in internal IPA cross-functional working groups.
  • Oversee IPA’s efforts to identify new funding opportunities, search for information about donors and open funding calls, and share this information with IPA staff and researchers.
  • Advise and support researchers and Country Directors in select project development conversations and proposal development.
  • Provide capacity building and advise IPA staff globally on business development strategy, processes and resources.
  • Oversee the improvement of the project development resources available to IPA staff, including information on donors, researcher interest, and budget creation.
  • Ensure clear and timely communication from the Business Development team across IPA about upcoming calls for proposals, budget guidelines and other related information.

Strategic Project and Initiative Development: (25%)

  • Create and carry out plans to bring in strategic research studies to IPA, including identifying researchers, coordinating with partner organizations, and identifying sources of funding.
  • Independently lead select strategic or complex project development opportunities including coordinating large complex proposals to DFID, USAID, UN, and other government funders.
  • Coordinate IPA’s involvement in select large consortium bids.
  • Draft sections of select research proposals, concept notes and budgets with lead researchers and other IPA staff.
  • Work with the Executive Director, Director of Business Development, and the Research and Policy team to identify and pursue new Sector Programs and mission-enhancing areas of growth.

Select Business Development and Program Management Support (25%):

  • Lead select business development workstreams that could include market analysis for new IPA Country Offices or Sector Programs, the development of new offices or lines of business, and the development of other long-term partnerships.
  • Manage the startup of select large projects as they are handed off between the Business Development and Programs staff.
  • Carry out regular analysis of IPA’s project development efforts including historical information on proposals submitted, win/loss rates, and average size proposals won.
  • Carry-out other related business development and project management tasks as needed.
  • 7 years of professional experience in international development and/or field research, with 2+ years of demonstrated ability to write and win grant proposals.
  • Master’s degree in social science, public policy, economics, or a related field.
  • Must be a strategic thinker, able to push forward with imperfect information, and comfortable providing direction to others.
  • Previous experience managing staff and leading organizational initiatives that require coordinating with multiple other teams.
  • Familiarity with the partnership development and bidding process for major donor grants and contracts, including USAID, DFID, and other bilateral and multilateral donors.
  • Excellent verbal communication, including the ability to effectively communicate with internal and external individuals and organizations.
  • Experience managing field research and randomized control trails is preferred.
  • Experience developing and managing large budgets for fieldwork in developing countries.
  • Must be able to provide exemplary service to internal and external stakeholders, and must have exceptional soft skills to navigate difficult conversations. 
  • Outstanding ability to write clearly, quickly, and persuasively.
  • Ability to work independently and complete high-quality assignments
  • Must be extremely organized, detail-oriented, and able to manage multiple competing deadlines.
  • Familiarity with IPA and J-PAL researcher network members is preferred.
  • Strong presentation skills and experience with public speaking.
  • Must be willing to travel up to 15%

    How to Apply