Director of Policy (Senior/Associate) - Inclusion Economics India Centre at IFMR

J-PAL South Asia
  • India
Start Date (Earliest):


Inclusion Economics, a policy-engaged research initiative that spans Inclusion Economics at Yale University (YIE), Inclusion Economics India Centre (IEIC) at IFMR, and Inclusion Economics Nepal (IEN), is seeking a senior leader to spearhead the organization’s policy work in India. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work closely with a set of world-renowned researchers in a dynamic, close-knit team to build transformative policy-research partnerships and advance evidence-based decision-making in South Asia and globally. 

The Organization

Inclusion Economics India Centre at IFMR (formerly EPoD India at IFMR) is a research organization that collaborates with Inclusion Economics at Yale University, based across Yale University’s Economic Growth Center and The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies. We conduct cutting-edge research using insights from economics, political science, and related fields to understand how policy can promote inclusive, accountable economies and societies. Our core research areas include gender, environmental economics and climate change, and policy implementation. We are particularly interested in how better governance can improve outcomes in these fields. We also aim to increase data literacy and strengthen leaders’ ability to implement evidence-informed policies, ultimately building a culture of evidence-based decision-making in the public sector. Throughout the research life cycle, we engage with policy counterparts and regularly communicate data-driven insights to our research-policy partners and the general public.

The Role

Inclusion Economics India Centre (IEIC) is hiring a (Senior/Associate) Director of Policy, with exact role title commensurate with experience, to serve on our senior leadership team in New Delhi. The individual will lead priority policy initiatives, including working closely with leadership across IEIC and Inclusion Economics to conceptualize and oversee policy engagement in an envisioned Evidence and Policy Innovation Lab that works closely with government counterparts. The successful candidate will lead the policy team at IEIC and identify opportunities to increase uptake of evidence generated by IEIC researchers. The successful candidate will be conversant in research and policy issues relevant to our organizational focus areas, navigating effectively among senior decision makers while leading and mentoring teams to do the same. S/he/they will have the ability to work collaboratively with leadership across the Inclusion Economics network to develop and execute a strategic vision and will be an extremely effective verbal and written communicator with varied audiences. S/he/they will be able to contribute to the organization’s strategy development, proposals, budgets, deliverables, and presentations while building systems to allow others to work effectively in these areas as well. The ideal candidate for this position will be versatile, able to effectively guide and mentor staff and teams in the day-to-day, work collaboratively with a wide range of stakeholders, and support fundraising. 


Partner with IEIC and broader Inclusion Economics leadership and affiliated researchers to advance the organization’s policy work in India, including conceptualizing and launching a policy-responsive research lab with an identified government counterpart. This will include designing the lab structure and aligning with leadership on goals, setting up systems, recruiting and managing staff and finances working under this initiative, and serving as a key leader and spokesperson for the work of the lab. Within this initiative, we envision the work including: 
  • Developing strategic relationships with stakeholders, including policymakers of all levels of the government, donors, and other mission-aligned individuals and institutions relevant to the lab. 
  • Working with policymakers through technical advising and capacity building to encourage the use of rigorous, evidence-based decision-making in their departments, institutionalizing practices to make policy engagements effective.
  • Identifying and supporting new policy-research opportunities that align with our portfolios, as well as identifying opportunities to build on successful studies to inform policies at scale.  
  • Working with researchers and leadership to identify, lead, and implement a targeted program of communications about the work of the lab.
  • Representing our research and policy engagements in a variety of written and in-person forums to engage effectively in the research-to-policy space and communicate effectively about our work to stakeholders of the lab. 
  • Designing and embedding strategies to maximize impact and mitigate risks throughout project design that factor research, political, and appointment cycles
As part of the Inclusion Economics India Centre’s leadership team, the candidate will also support the broader work of Inclusion Economics through: 
  • Supporting a high-caliber, committed team of research and policy-oriented staff, ensuring staff can deliver on organizational policy and research-oriented objectives.
  • Mentoring multiple managers and senior managers, providing both strategic and administrative guidance, as well as supporting their professional development through competency-based approaches and cultivating a collaborative culture. 
  • Developing a thorough understanding of the Indian policy landscape and making recommendations on how our work can make the most impactful contribution to policy-making.
  • Identifying and cultivating fundraising opportunities, as well as inputting and leading the submission of successful funding proposals in line with our research priorities.
  • Providing guidance on programmatic and financial issues in service of organizational strategic objectives.
  • Identifying and investing in new strategic research-policy collaborations, and guiding strategic investments in existing engagements.
  • Building partnerships with the research, policy, and development community, both to build our presence in the development space and to identify new opportunities for collaboration with external stakeholders.
  • Effectively representing the body of our work to external stakeholders, including donors, policy counterparts, and (potentially) capacity-building trainees.
  • Supporting the work of our affiliated researchers on topics of interest for Inclusion Economics India, including through policy briefs, op-eds and/or presentations for non-academic audiences.
  • Deepening collaboration between US- and India-based Inclusion Economics staff and affiliates to promote knowledge exchange, mentorship, and policy innovation.
  • Developing and implementing systems to effectively organize, monitor, and systematize policy engagement efforts and auxiliary support structures. 

Other activities to support our strategy and work in India and South Asia, as needed. 

Basic Qualifications

  • Master’s degree or Ph.D. in economics, political science, public policy, international development or a related field, with a clear interest in Inclusion Economics India Centre’s focus areas of gender, labor markets, governance, environment, etc.
  • 12+ years of relevant experience, including progressively senior management experience overseeing direct reports and directly managing program activities in India and experience working with policymakers.
  • Strong interpersonal and social skills, and willingness to interact with a wide range of individuals including Research Associates, academics, donors, policy counterparts, research institutions, etc.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English. 
  • Excellent oral communication in Hindi.
  • Deep understanding of policy-relevant issues in an emerging economy context.
  • Understanding of how quantitative development economics research is conducted.
  • Experience with grants management, budgeting, and project management.
  • Proven ability to manage multiple tasks, propose solutions, and build consensus for collaboratively developed solutions in a timely manner with minimal supervision.
  • Excellent attention to detail.
  • Capacity to maintain an organized and structured work style in a fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to work in a multicultural environment across multiple time zones.
  • Willingness to travel to visit research project sites and represent our work to external stakeholders on a regular basis.

Preferred qualifications: 

  • Experience working in India in development economics research and/or policy, including with randomized controlled trials.

This position will be based in Delhi, India, with frequent travel throughout the country.  Occasional travel abroad will be required.


How to Apply

If you are interested in this position, please fill out our Screening Questionnaire; you will be asked to upload a single PDF containing your CV, cover letter, writing sample, and academic transcripts. Label your file “Last name, First name – (Senior/Associate) Director of Policy”.