Senior Policy Associate (Health) - J-PAL Global

United States
Language Requirement 
Length of Commitment 
Three years or more
Start Date 
June 01, 2018

J-PAL is recruiting a Senior Policy Associate with a focus on Health to contribute to its mission of promoting evidence-informed policy. This position is based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA. 

The Policy & Communications Group plays a key role in translating research by J-PAL affiliates into actionable poverty alleviation policies around the world. Staff connect the dots between economics and policy and are passionate about working with governments and organizations to inform development policy.

J-PAL's Health sector aims to encourage health-promoting behaviors and improve the delivery of health care services, as well as to better understand the impact of health care on reducing poverty.


Your work provides the foundation and direction for J-PAL’s growing policy efforts. As a Senior Policy Associate, your primary tasks will involve policy analysis and communication, with an emphasis on health literature.

  • Sector Support: Provide support to Health sector manager and sector Co-Chairs Joseph Doyle (MIT), Pascaline Dupas (Stanford), and Karen Macours (Paris School of Economics) to synthesize literature from economic research in health to produce policy publications and presentations, disseminate findings in policy outreach events, and support efforts to promote evidence use and scale-up of effective programs.  Strengthen technical capacity of J-PAL staff worldwide to understand and communicate effectively about evidence in health. 
  • Communication: Write publications that “translate” J-PAL’s economic research into insights for policymakers around the world. You will create materials for policy outreach, including evaluation summaries, publications, and website content, with a particular focus on the Health sector. Senior Associates have the opportunity to help organize events and advance their communication skills by presenting at conferences and participating in meetings with policymakers and partner organizations. 
  • Analysis: Conduct research and analysis for policy memos, grant proposals, and Health sector-specific work. Collect and examine project implementation data to conduct cost-effectiveness analyses. Senior Associates also have the opportunity to work with senior staff on specific research tasks, and are expected to see these projects through from start to finish with limited supervision. 

Professional Development

The Policy and Communications Group invests in your professional development. As a Senior Policy Associate, 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: Senior Associates have the opportunity to work with J-PAL affiliates and directors, as well as interact with policymakers and practitioners alongside senior Group members. As core content creators, Senior Associates’ publications are distributed to development stakeholders worldwide.
  • Travel: Willingness to travel domestically and internationally up to 25%.  Senior Associates have the opportunity to present at J-PAL’s regional offices, attend policy events worldwide, and participate in “Staff-to-Field” international experiences to support on-the-ground research and policy efforts. 
  • Grow: Senior Associates can expect to join a peer group eager to build institutional knowledge and pass on lessons learned. Senior Associates receive one-on-one mentorship from management and are eligible for internal promotion to Policy Manager; such promotions are based on performance, ability, prior experience, and educational qualifications.


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.


Your technical expertise, educational or professional exposure to public health, strong communication and organizational skills, passion for translating research into action, and interest in international development make you an ideal candidate for Senior Policy Associate.

  • Education: You hold at least a Master’s degree with significant training in economics, including intermediate-level economics, econometrics, and calculus. Do you have a demonstrated academic interest in international development policy and/or study abroad experience? Even better.
  • Experience: This position requires two to four years of relevant work experience. Do you have five or more years of relevant experience? Consider applying for our Policy Manager position.
  • Skills: You are comfortable learning computer applications, including Salesforce. Knowledge of Spanish, French, or other languages a plus.
  • Communication: You are detail-oriented and have advanced writing skills. You understand how to communicate policy lessons from technical academic research in ways that policymakers and practitioners understand. You are precise, clear, and creative.
  • Organization: You are a strategic thinker. You can handle multiple projects at once, meet deadlines, and effectively manage your time.
  • Attitude: You love learning. You are passionate about international development policy and the rigorous research that informs it. You are self-motivated, work hard, and enjoy working in teams.


How to Apply

Ready to join a team of supportive, engaging, and fun colleagues? Have permanent U.S. work authorization? Apply now.

  1. Create a single PDF with the filename “SPA_Health_Lastname_Firstname” that includes:
  • One-page cover letter stating:
    • Why you’re interested
    • Why you’re qualified
  • Curriculum vitae or resume (no more than two pages)
  • Transcripts of your undergraduate and graduate courses (unofficial transcripts accepted)

       2. E-mail the PDF to [email protected] with the subject line “SPA_Health_Lastname_Firstname”

Applicants who successfully advance to the next stage will be required to submit two recommendation letters. Letter writers should e-mail the recommendations from their professional or academic email address to [email protected] with the subject line “Recommendation Letter_ApplicantLastname_ApplicantFirstname. Short-listed applicants will be asked to complete an at-home writing exercise testing technical and policy analysis skills.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis starting February 19, 2018. Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Please note this position is not eligible for any type of visa sponsorship.