(Senior) Director, Embedded Labs - IPA

  • United States of America
  • Master's
  • PhD
Start Date (Earliest):
Length of Commitment:
Two years

IPA is recruiting an exciting new leadership role to spearhead our large and growing portfolio of embedded labs: evidence units within government organizations that seek to improve the use of data and evidence in public policy. The embedded labs program is IPA’s fastest growing program: IPA is currently working on over 20 embedded labs in 14 countries and six sectors, with new opportunities created on an ongoing basis.

Because of our unique role in this dynamic portfolio, IPA is also launching The Evidence Lab Exchange:a program of South-South, government-to-government learning exchanges, knowledge products, and shared resources across the diversity of public policy evidence labs.

The (Senior) Director, Embedded Labs develops and leads IPA’s strategy to co-create embedded evidence units within government organizations. S/he leads IPA’s embedded labs program to equip IPA’s partners to create evidence-based, sustainable impact that outlasts IPA’s direct involvement in each lab.

The Director will lead a highly functioning team, including regional roles, for advancing technical assistance and embedded support to policy partners as well as business development for embedded labs in a wide range of sectors. S/he will report to and work closely with the Senior Director of Policy to create and deliver on opportunities to equip IPA’s partners to become generators and users of data and evidence. S/he will also support IPA’s global policy team in providing dotted-line global oversight to embedded lab teams based in country offices.


Lead the development and implementation of IPA’s embedded labs strategy (40%)

  • Lead the development, implementation, and communication of IPA’s embedded labs strategy to equip IPA’s government partners to become generators and users of data and evidence.
  • Manage country- and global-based policy teams to create, identify, and prioritize opportunities for IPA to develop embedded labs in targeted sectors and countries
  • Develop and lead the implementation of strategies to leverage these opportunities for embedded, evidence-informed policy change
  • Oversee the management embedded labs grants, ensuring IPA delivers on the strategies, activities, and outputs to which we commit
  • Provide dotted line oversight of a high-functioning global embedded labs team
  • Lead global- and country-based policy team in identifying, creating, pursuing, and winning embedded labs project development opportunities, ensuring that IPA is well-resourced to deliver on high impact policy and evidence use opportunities
  • Recruit and train qualified embedded labs staff around the world to deliver IPA’s technical assistance
  • Oversee an annual budget and lead project budget management and reporting, financial risk control procedures, projections for multiple grants and contracts.
  • Advise Country and Regional Directors on embedded labs strategy, collaborating with other technical experts at IPA (for example, sector experts and IPA’s Right Fit Evidence unit) to support new and existing labs.

Conceptualize, incubate, and resource The Embedded Lab Exchange (40%)

  • Lead the development of The Embedded Lab Exchange, defining its mission, structure, and strategy to support embedded labs across a variety of partners, sectors, and regions
  • Build a coalition of funding, policy, and technical assistance partners to join and support the Exchange, building cross-national momentum around supporting embedded evidence capacity within government
  • Oversee global and local policy teams to collaborate with government counterparts in the co-creation of knowledge products, learning exchanges, and resource-sharing models for embedded labs through the Exchange
  • Maintain a strong pipeline and portfolio of funding relationships, grants, and funding opportunities to resource IPA’s embedded lab strategy and The Evidence Lab Exchange

Represent IPA externally to build strategic partnerships and raise our profile in the evidence-based

policy space (20%)

  • Deliver presentations and represent IPA at conferences and meetings with decision-makers
  • Represent IPA externally to share lessons learned on embedded labs (i.e. articles, presentations, events, etc.)
  • Monitor the field of international development to identify strategic, policy-relevant areas for the development and translation of evidence into policy and practice by IPA


  • 10+ years of work experience in the field(s) of policy outreach, communications, and/or international development
  • Masters or PhD in public policy, public administration, international development or related field required
  • An exceptional written and verbal communicator, with the ability to effectively position the program and to communicate its vision and plans to a range of audiences.
  • Exceptional ability to present complex information in clear simple language to a range of audiences and to effectively translate academic research into clear policy lessons
  • Comfortable developing and raising 5-7 figure grants
  • Experience interacting with high-level contacts in public policy, for example senior functionaries in developing country governments, NGOs, foundations, and multilateral aid agencies
  • Flexible, self-motivated, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently, collaborative team player
  • Strong organizational and interpersonal skills
  • Demonstrated management experience and leadership skills, including managing and leading across teams and managing up to executive leadership.
  • Knowledge of randomized control trials and experience in the education sector is preferred
  • Experience working in one or more of the developing countries where IPA has country offices preferred
  • Fluent in English; working proficiency in Spanish or French preferred