Senior Finance and Operations Associate - J-PAL Global

J-PAL Global
  • United States of America
Start Date (Earliest):
Length of Commitment:
Two years

Position Overview:

The Senior Finance and Operations Associate is based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA.

The Finance and Operations team at J-PAL supports J-PAL’s mission to efficiently translate research by J-PAL affiliates into actionable poverty alleviation policies around the world. We are looking to hire staff who combine a strong passion for working with organizations around the world to inform development policy with solid administrative abilities to further our mission.  

Under the supervision of the Senior Manager of Finance and Operations, the Senior Finance and Operations Associate serves as financial and operational lead for a portfolio of up to three major initiatives at J-PAL and works with senior F&O staff to ensure efficient operational management at J-PAL. Tasks include a mix of financial operations, grants management, and leading organizational projects in the F&O area, all within a university environment.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities:

Finance and Grants Management: 

Grants & Finance

  • Coordinate grant and gift related financial activities for major J-PAL Initiatives and/or Program Areas. Develop budgets for proposals and submit proposals into MIT systems while also ensuring compliance with donor requirements and formats and communicating compliance concerns with the team or management; monitor proposal progress and liaise with MIT grants administrators on negotiations and funding questions; review contract terms and conditions, establish subawards and partnership agreements as needed; manage regular financial reporting and closeout.  
  • Participate in donor meetings and conference calls as needed. 
  • Issue new blanket POs for new fiscal years; process procurement requisitions, journal vouchers, and verify credit card purchases.
  • Process accounts payable including approving invoices/RFP's and travel expense reports, interacting with vendors to answer questions and resolve issues.
  • Provide support for IRB applications and revision processing for several researchers. 
  • Implement new protocols as informed by Initiative Monthly meetings and/or Executive Committee decisions.
  • Collaborate with others for continuous improvement on grant management processes and quality of support provided.

Analysis and Reporting

  • Pull data from internal MIT accounting systems, prepare regular financial reports on grants for donors and J-PAL staff. Report on spending compared to budget, monitor subaward spend progress, and advise project managers and senior management on financial position, spend-down, potential issues, reforecasting and gaps in project funding. 


  • Work with MIT’s Subawards Office and J-PAL’s initiative management, establish subawards for recipients of research grants from J-PAL Initiatives and other funding.
    • Supervise subaward management, including receipt of donor and J-PAL deliverables, submitting invoices, tracking of finances, and compliance with MIT’s IRB policies and fiscal standards.
    • Serve on task forces at J-PAL and in collaboration with MIT offices to improve subaward processing.
    • Manage subaward closeout processes with MIT and award recipients.


  • Work with senior F&O staff to support efficient operational management at J-PAL.
  • May lead and participate in system improvement projects to be determined by bi-annual strategic planning. 
  • Liaise with one or more regional offices to support their financial and operational management.
  • Participate in teams with other MIT offices to support J-PAL’s work.
  • Provide training for other grant admin staff around the world on Initiative management.

Supervision Received:

The Senior Finance and Operations Associate reports directly to the Senior Manager of Finance and Operations. He/she takes ownership of tasks and exercises good judgment in knowing when to seek feedback from managers, and shows initiative in adding value to processes. The Senior Finance and Operations Associate is expected to see projects through from start to finish.

Supervision Exercised:


Qualifications & Skills:

  • Education: Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field required.
  • Experience: Minimum of 3 years in a relevant field such as grant management or finance required. Experience with financial budgeting, tracking and projections preferred.
  • Communication: Good written and verbal skills; ability to build good relationships and work within a team; ability to communicate clearly with a broad range of stakeholders. Is empowered to communicate compliance, legal or financial concerns to teams or management.
  • Time & Project Management: Proven ability to anticipate, plan, prioritize, and meet tight deadlines; demonstrated ability to efficiently organize and manage a high volume of work. Implements strategies for managing pressing deadlines or communicates when this is not possible and seeks advice. Seeks to maximize efficiency through better processes or tools.
  • Attention to Detail: Strong ability to self-manage a time-sensitive workflow while maintaining high quality output and absolute accuracy with details; follows developed processes or established criteria to make decisions but has good judgment to make decisions when the situation is outside of already established processes. Is comfortable raising these issues to management when the decision is not clear or the risk level is particularly high.
  • Travel: Willingness and ability to travel internationally required. Position may require travel to J-PAL’s regional offices.
  • Collaboration: Works collaboratively with others to achieve results using excellent communication and listening techniques. Strives to work with others in order to reach an agreement.

Employment is contingent upon the completion of a satisfactory background check.

 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. 

How to Apply

Please apply via MIT Careers website, Job Number: 23080