Development Officer - J-PAL Global

United States of America (the)
Language Requirement 
Length of Commitment 
Three years or more
Start Date 

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) at MIT is hiring a full-time Development Officer to contribute to its mission of reducing poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. 

We are seeking a dynamic and motivated fundraising and relationship management professional to help lead and execute J-PAL’s donor engagement and stewardship strategies. The Development Officer will join a creative, energetic team, working closely with staff across J-PAL’s program areas to elevate our fundraising efforts.

The ideal candidate has experience working with large philanthropic foundations and high net worth individuals for fundraising in the academic research and/or international development fields. S/he will be responsible for delivering on an organizational fundraising strategy and developing processes to establish sustainable funding streams to expand J-PAL’s efforts to translate research into action worldwide.

About J-PAL:

J-PAL is a global research center working to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. Anchored by a network of more than 170 visionary researchers at universities around the world, J-PAL conducts innovative research and builds powerful partnerships to solve the world’s greatest challenges.

J-PAL was launched at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2003 and has 350 research, policy, training, and operations staff across in Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, North America, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. For more information visit


The Development Officer is based in the Policy and Communications group at J-PAL Global, our head office at MIT in Cambridge, MA. Primary responsibilities include:

  • Working with J-PAL leadership to jointly develop and execute a multi-year strategic plan for fundraising and donor engagement for J-PAL’s network of seven offices.
  • Supporting relationship management for several of J-PAL’s existing individual and organizational donors, ensuring consistent and meaningful outreach. 
  • Liaising with MIT’s Office of Resource Development and the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS) to leverage joint fundraising efforts and ensure smooth coordination.
  • Conducting prospect research and cultivating relationships with a diverse range of potential individual and organizational donors in coordination with MIT ORD and SHASS.
  • Building appropriate systems to support donor engagement, including developing processes for research and cultivation, outreach calendars, opportunities for recognition, and appropriate accountability metrics. 
  • Tracking funding opportunities and supporting the development of proposals to philanthropic foundations and other international funders.
  • Supporting development of engaging outreach content for existing and potential donors, from writing paper materials to planning donor visits at J-PAL offices and research sites around the world.
  • Providing guidance and resources for J-PAL staff at headquarters and in regional offices for best practices in fundraising and donor engagement. 
  • Providing vital input to the organization’s short- and long-term strategic and operational planning.

Professional Development

The Research, Education, and Training Group invests in your professional development. As a team member, 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 at MIT or elsewhere with our 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: Managers have the opportunity to work with J-PAL affiliates and directors, as well as interact with policymakers and practitioners alongside team members. A manager's work can include creating and contributing to publications that are distributed to development stakeholders worldwide. 

Travel: Managers have the opportunity to present at J-PAL’s regional offices, attend policy events worldwide, and participate in a unique international experience supporting on-the-ground research.

Grow: Managers can expect to join a peer group eager to build institutional knowledge and pass on lessons learned. Managers receive one-on-one mentorship from senior leaders and promotions 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.

Qualifications & Skills:

  • Education: A bachelor’s degree is required.  
  • Experience: At least 4 years’ experience fundraising for academic research or international development activities from a range of funding streams, including philanthropic foundations and high net worth individuals.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the priorities of major funders in the international development field, including foundations and governments.
  • Experience executing on a fundraising strategy, ideally at a large institution.
  • Experience executing a multi-stakeholder initiative or campaign. 
  • Highly motivated to work independently to achieve agreed strategic goals.Excellent communications and interpersonal skills, including strong writing and presentation abilities.
  • Excellent organizational and project management skills.
  • Willingness to travel within the United States and overseas, including to J-PAL regional offices in Chile, France, India, Indonesia, and South Africa.
  • Commitment to J-PAL’s mission of reducing poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence.

How to Apply

Ready to join a team of supportive, engaging, and fun colleagues? Apply now.

Please note: Candidates must be legally authorized to work in the United States. This position is not eligible for visa sponsorship. 

Please submit a CV or a resume and a cover letter. The cover letter should discuss your fit for and interest in the position and J-PAL.

Complete the MIT Application. Search for Job ID: 16975 (Development Officer).

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. 

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