Policy and Communications Manager - J-PAL North America

United States
Language Requirement 
Start Date 

J-PAL North America, based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), seeks to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. We do this by conducting randomized evaluations, sharing policy lessons, and building evaluation capacity. Our work spans a wide range of sectors including health care, housing, criminal justice, education, and economic mobility. We leverage research by affiliated professors from universities across the continent and a full-time staff of researchers, policy experts, and administrative professionals to generate and disseminate rigorous evidence about which anti-poverty social policies work and why.

J-PAL North America, is seeking a Policy and Communications Manager to contribute to the design and execution of J-PAL North America’s policy outreach work for our mission-driven research and policy organization. The Policy and Communications Manager’s primary tasks will involve management, policy synthesis, and policy outreach. This position is based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA.


Management (30%):

  • Contribute to the strategic leadership of the organization.
  • Supervise junior staff.

Policy Synthesis (35%):

  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with key partners in government, non-profit, philanthropy, and the private sector.
  • Build policymakers’ expertise in rigorous evidence.
  • Create briefs, publications, and presentations to communicate proposed, ongoing, and completed research by J-PAL’s affiliated professors, translating and synthesizing highly technical Economics research papers for a non-technical audience. 

Policy Outreach (35%):

  • Develop and execute on a long-term strategy for J-PAL North America’s policy outreach work.
  • Manage annual policy outreach milestones and calendar.
  • Support J-PAL North America’s Policy, Research, and Training teams in becoming more effective at disseminating policy lessons to key stakeholders.
  • Generate and support high-level speaking opportunities for J-PAL North America leadership and J-PAL’s affiliated researchers.
  • Organize and attend conferences or other events designed to bring together policymakers, practitioners, researchers, and funders.
  • Act as a primary contact for all press and media inquiries. Build relationships with media outlets and relevant press contacts.
  • Identify and respond to opportunities for J-PAL North America to participate in conversations on relevant topics.
  • Draft press releases, op-eds, and other materials to share policy lessons from completed research and promote the use of rigorous research to inform policy. 

Professional Development:

J-PAL invests in your professional development.

Learn: The Policy Group supports a culture of learning, with opportunities to attend weekly seminars, engage in small-group discussions with other J-PAL staff, and take classes for credit at MIT or elsewhere with our generous tuition assistance program.

Engage:  The Policy Manager will have the opportunity to work with J-PAL affiliates and directors, policymakers and practitioners, and J-PAL staff.

Travel:  The Policy Manager may travel to provide in-person support to selected partner organizations. The Policy Manager may also have the opportunity to travel to attend conferences and external meetings relevant to J-PAL’s work.

Grow: J-PAL actively focuses on the professional development of its employees and constantly looks to improve the skills and knowledge of staff at all levels.


J-PAL hires highly qualified staff and rewards them, accordingly. Total compensation packages are competitive for the non-profit and government fields 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.


Education: You hold a master’s degree in economics, public policy, public administration, social sciences research, or a related field. You have taken courses in quantitative methods and impact evaluation. 

Experience: You have four or more years of relevant work experience and a demonstrated interest in social policy. Applicants with more work experience and previous experience managing other people are highly encouraged to apply. You should have demonstrated experience managing external communications, preferably for a non-profit, government organization, or research center, and a proven ability to keep an organization’s communications responsive and on message.

Additional Skill Requirements:

  • Demonstrated ability to form new relationships with key stakeholder groups, including the media, non-profits, and government.
  • Advanced oral and written communication skills and the ability to communicate technical information to non-technical audiences is required.
  • Strong attention to detail and the capability to think strategically.
  • Proven ability to handle several different projects/tasks at one time, juggle multiple relationships simultaneously, successfully complete tasks assigned, and meet deadlines. 
  • Self-motivated and demonstrated success working collaboratively or independently.

How to Apply

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

  1. Submit a short application via MIT’s human resources system. Visit http://jobs.mit.edu/external, search for job ID 15656 (Policy and Communications Manager - J-PAL North America), and complete an application. Please include both your cover letter (outlining why you are interested in J-PAL North America and why you are qualified for this role) and resume in this portal.