Associate Director Education - J-PAL Global

United States
Other advanced degree
Language Requirement 
Start Date 
May 01, 2018

J-­PAL is recruiting for the role of Associate Director Education, based at the J­PAL Global office at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA. The newly­ created Education group reflects J­PALs latest effort to make high quality education in development economics, data analysis, and program evaluation accessible to students and practitioners around the world. The group is responsible for the management and development of the new MITx MicroMasters in Data, Economics, and Development Policy and well as the Department of Economics's blended Master’s in Data, Economics, and Development Policy, which will launch in Spring 2020. As Associate Director Education, you will act as Program Director for these two initiatives. In addition, you will also develop and execute a broader vision of the role J­PAL should play in higher education worldwide, in particular (but not necessarily exclusively) leveraging the MicroMasters platform.

We are looking for a dynamic, entrepreneurial individual who is passionate about thinking creatively about global capacity building in this sector to manage, represent, and grow these exciting new programs.



This is a great opportunity for an individual who thrives in a fast­paced, entrepreneurial environment, can balance managing multiple processes with little supervision while also thinking strategically about opportunities to improve and grow the group’s programs.

Your primary responsibility will be to oversee the academic integrity and successful implementation of the MicroMasters and blended Master’s programs, to represent the program towards external stakeholders including policymakers, other universities, conference audiences, learners, and donors, and to contribute to the realization of J­PAL’s broader capacity­building mission, in particular in the higher education sector. You will supervise a team to manage the MicroMasters courses on a day­today basis. You will chart the course for effective growth of the program and for using it as a platform to improve access to high­quality education in development economics and data analysis worldwide (for policy makers and students).

You will also be an integral part of the senior research, education, and training team at J­PAL, contribute to the vision of this group, and can chose specific projects to be involved with.

All members of the research, education, and training team at J­PAL Global are expected to engage in research. Your work should involve randomized controlled trials focused on the alleviation of poverty. You will have access to J­PAL resources (matchmaking, grant competitions, etc) to carry out this work. You will be an active member of the Department of Economics’ academic community, for example attending weekly student and faculty seminars in the development field. Your research efforts should also be targeted toward resulting in high­quality academic publications. Upon the launch of the blended Master’s program, you will also lead a weekly seminar for our Master’s students.

Academic program and course management: You will act as lead on course and content management to ensure that courses and exams are delivered according the highest academic standards. To support you, you will be able to draw on MIT Economics Ph.D. candidates as TAs, who you supervise and train. You will also collaborate with a large number of stakeholders across the university to ensure the smooth delivery of the MicroMasters courses and – upon its launch – the blended Master’s program.

Launch the blended Master’s program: You will be responsible for ensuring the successful launch of the blended Master’s program in the spring of 2020. You will supervise the admissions process that will select 20 learners for the initial cohort, and act as students’ main academic point of contact once they arrive on campus. You will also advise students on their their "capstone projects” (field internships in lieu of a Master’s thesis) and grade their final project reports.

Partnerships: As a Associate Director Education, you will work to support our global capacity building efforts by building strategic relationships with partners in governments, NGOs, foundations, multilateral aid agencies, and universities worldwide. You will be a key ambassador of J­PAL’s work and the MicroMasters and blended Master’s programs towards external audiences.

Development: You will lead a team towards realizing our vision of improving access to higher education by seeking opportunities to fundraise for our Education programs, including the creation of scholarships for students. You will write and manage grants and represent the program towards donors.

Innovation and experimentation: As manager of one of MIT’s first MicroMasters programs, you will become part of a dynamic community of educational innovators who are passionate about leveraging digital technology to boost access to higher education. You will become an expert in online learning best practices and academic research on education technology, and conceptualize learning innovations and strategies the program should develop and lead their experimental testing. You will lead regular quantitative analyses of learner data to help us understand how we can improve our courses to reach more and teach better.

Staff supervision and collaboration: As a Associate Director Education, you will supervise and mentor two or more junior Education staff on everything from work­life balance and writing tips, to career growth and professional development. In addition, you will collaborate with a large and diverse group of stakeholders within and outside of J­PAL, including donors, university partners, and policymakers from around the world. You will represent us in regular meetings with these groups and will have significant opportunities for worldwide travel.

Other tasks: The Research, Education, and Training groups work closely together. You will collaborate with the Research group, both at J­PAL Global and at the regional offices, in assessing internal training needs, integrating the latest research resources into our staff trainings, and developing and maintaining suitable distribution platforms. You will also be work with the Global Training team. The Global Training group creates resources and teaching materials and delivers courses to develop internal staff capacity and cultivate a network of like­minded stakeholders, in order to promote the production and use of rigorous evidence as part of J­PAL’s mission of fostering evidence­informed policy.


Professional Development

The Research, Education and Training Group invests in your professional development. As a Associate Director Education, you will learn, engage, travel, and grow.

Learn: As a member of the Education team, it will be central to your role to keep abreast of the latest impact evaluation methods and developments and trends in the policy and training spaces, and to seek out opportunities to deepen your knowledge in these areas. The Research, Education, and Training Group supports a culture of learning, with opportunities to attend weekly MIT–Harvard Development Seminars and to take classes for credit at MIT or elsewhere with our generous tuition assistance program.

Engage: The Associate Director Education will have significant outward facing responsibilities, with the opportunity to interact and collaborate closely with multiple policy partners and with J­PAL’s regional Education groups in Africa, Europe, Latin America, North America, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. In addition, you may have the opportunity to work with J­PAL affiliates and other PI’s and the research staff tied to their projects.

Travel: The Associate Director Education has the opportunity to represent the MicroMasters program towards audiences worldwide.

Grow: The Associate Director Education can expect to join a peer group eager to build institutional knowledge and pass on lessons learned. Associate Director Education receive one­on­one mentorship from senior Group members and are eligible for internal promotions after two to three years with J­PAL. Such promotions are based on performance and ability.



As a member of the MIT community, you benefit from more than just your salary.

J­PAL hires highly qualified staff and rewards them accordingly. Total compensation packages are competitive for the non­profit international policy field with excellent MIT benefits, including comprehensive health insurance, a 401(k) match and pension­based 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 research and teaching, and interest in international development or poverty alleviation policies make you an ideal candidate for the Associate Director Education position.

  • Education: You hold a PhD in economics, political science, statistics, public policy, or other related fields. You also have significant training in and a strong technical understanding of econometrics and randomized impact evaluations. Exposure to monitoring and evaluation methods in a policy context is desirable.
  • Experience: You have at least two years teaching experience and prior experience working in teams. Experience should include teaching or research involving randomized evaluations. Prior experience supervising staff and managing complex projects is a plus.
  • Skills: You are comfortable learning computer applications and new technologies and have some experience with presentation or editing software or a willingness to learn them. You can analyze and work with data; knowledge of STATA is essential and R is a strong plus. If you don’t already know R, you should be willing to learn.
  • Communication: You are able to adapt to different communication styles and needs while engaging with stakeholders with diverse backgrounds, interest, and experience, and you enjoy public speaking. Your writing and presentation skills are advanced, and you can communicate technical concepts and complex models in a clear and engaging way. You are precise, clear, and creative. Advanced proficiency in English is required.
  • Organization: You can successfully handle multiple projects at once, meet deadlines, and effectively manage your time. You enjoy preparing polished presentations and teaching materials and pay attention to detail.
  • Attitude: You love learning and are willing to stay current with impact evaluation and research methods. Your teaching experience and coursework demonstrate your passion for international poverty alleviation policy. You are self­motivated, work hard, and enjoy working in teams.

How to Apply

Complete the J-PAL/IPA Common Application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “Associate Director Education - J-PAL Global”. 

Note that you are able to submit your application before your references complete their recommendation letters; however, you must include their contact information before submitting your application.

Given the volume of applications received, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.