Senior Policy Associate - J-PAL North America

United States
Language Requirement 
Length of Commitment 
More than two years
Start Date 
June 04, 2018 - August 31, 2018


Application materials must be submitted for the Senior Policy Associate (North America) position by January 15, 2018
The recruitment team will review application materials and reach out to shortlisted candidates beginning in mid-January, with the goal of making offers by mid-March. 
The start date is June 4, 2018 or July 9, 2018

J-PAL North America, based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, seeks a Senior Policy Associate to contribute to its mission of promoting evidence-informed policy.

The Senior Policy Associate will support J-PAL North America’s ongoing partnerships with philanthropic foundations, policymakers, and implementing partners. As a Senior Policy Associate, your primary tasks will involve stakeholder engagement, evaluation support, initiative management, policy outreach, and sector expertise. Candidates should have an understanding of impact evaluation, training in statistics, knowledge about social policy, and excellent communication skills. We seek applicants from diverse backgrounds and welcome candidates with experience working on rigorous evaluations in the United States or abroad.


Stakeholder engagement: Support engagements with policymakers, practitioners, and researchers working on randomized evaluations in North America. Build and maintain strong relationships with key partners in government, non-profits, foundations, and the private sector. Lead initial conversations with prospective partners to identify promising opportunities for randomized evaluations. Work independently to organize convenings designed to bring policymakers, practitioners, and researchers together to spur new research collaborations and share policy lessons from completed research.

Evaluation support:  Lead collaborations with policymakers and practitioners to design randomized evaluations of innovative policies and programs. Represent J-PAL North America in conversations with potential partners. Support partners in identifying their target population, defining eligibility criteria, refining their program’s theory of change, and identifying constraints and potential threats to the integrity of the study.

Initiative management: Manage processes related to initiatives and Requests for Proposals to fund randomized evaluations, including promoting funding opportunities among academic researchers, maintaining initiative records and tracking compliance in Salesforce, and organizing the application process.

Policy outreach: Create publications and presentations that synthesize and highlight the policy implications of key research results. Present J-PAL affiliates’ research to policymakers, practitioners, and philanthropic partners.

Sector expertise: Develop expertise in one or more of J-PAL’s sectors. Work with senior staff and academic leadership to identify policy lessons from J-PAL affiliates’ research. Lead sector-specific fundraising and research development efforts. 

Professional Development

The Policy Group invests in your professional development. As a Senior Policy Associate you will learn, engage, travel, and grow.

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 Senior Policy Associate will have the opportunity to work with J-PAL affiliates and directors, as well as interact with policymakers and practitioners. As member of the Policy Group, the Senior Policy Associate will help in recruiting, organizing training events, and helping to teach J-PAL’s capacity building courses.

Travel:  The Senior Policy Associate may travel to provide in-person support to selected partner organizations. The Senior Policy Associate may also have the opportunity to travel internationally to present at J-PAL’s regional offices or 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.



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 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 bachelor’s (master’s degree preferred) in economics, public policy, statistics, or a closely related field. You have training in statistics and quantitative methods.

Experience: This position requires 2+ years of relevant work experience. Your experience should demonstrate your ability to successfully manage both your own work and multi-person projects and effectively handle a variety of interactions with internal and external parties.

Communication: You are detail-oriented and have advanced writing skills. You understand how to communicate technical information to non-technical audiences.

Organization: You are a strategic thinker. You can handle multiple projects at once, push forward multiple external stakeholders, meet deadlines, and effectively manage your time.

Attitude: You are passionate about 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? Apply now.

This position is not eligible for any type of visa sponsorship.

  1. Submit a short application via MIT’s human resources system. Visit, search for job ID 15539 (Senior Policy Associate - 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.

We will begin reviewing applications on a rolling basis as we receive them. Short-listed applicants will be asked to complete a writing and technical exercise. Finalists will be called for an in-person interview.