Policy Manager (Crime, Violence, & Conflict) - J-PAL Global

United States
Other advanced degree
Language Requirement 
Length of Commitment 
Three years or more
Start Date 

Watch this video to hear from a current Policy Manager about life at J-PAL. Learn more about Alison Fahey here.

J-PAL is recruiting a Policy Manager with a focus on crime, violence, and conflict 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 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 organizations to inform development policy.

J-PAL's Crime, Violence, & Conflict sector explores ways to reform criminal justice systems, reduce crime, counter violent extremism, reduce inter-group violence (such as ethnic and sectarian violence), reduce other inter-household and inter-community violence, and improve international military and humanitarian interventions.

Staff support the generation, synthesis, dissemination, and use of evidence in crime, violence, and conflict.


Your work requires a breadth of knowledge and a depth of understanding to support J-PAL’s growing policy efforts. As a Policy Manager, your primary tasks will involve managing the Crime, Violence, & Conflict sector, communication, analysis, and staff supervision.

Sector Management: Act as lead staff on J-PAL’s Crime, Violence, & Conflict sector, and manage 1-2 associate-level staff within the sector. Work with Sector Co-Chairs Chris Blattman and Jens Ludwig to create and update review papers that describe the current state of knowledge in crime, violence, and conflict around the world (including domestically), organize events for policymakers, raise funds for the Crime and Violence Initiative, and administer RFPs. As J-PAL’s newest sector, project development and partnership management will be a primary focus of the position. Serve as J-PAL Global’s point person to the University of Chicago Crime Lab, a leading research organization focused on crime and violence reduction in the US.

Regional Liaison: Serve as primary liaison between J-PAL Global and one of J-PAL’s regional offices covering Africa, Europe, Latin America, North America, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.

Communication: Build relationships with key partners in governments, NGOs, foundations and multilateral aid agencies worldwide, and present J-PAL’s work and research in the Crime, Violence, & Conflict sector. Write publications that “translate” J-PAL’s economic research into lessons for policymakers around the world. You will create materials for policy outreach, including publications and presentations, as well as other high-level deliverables, as requested by J-PAL senior staff and affiliates.

Analysis: Conduct research and analysis for policy memos, grant proposals, and Crime, Violence, & Conflict sector-specific work. Collect and examine project implementation data to conduct cost-effectiveness analyses.

Staff Supervision: As a manager, you will supervise and mentor Policy Associates on everything from work-life balance and writing tips, to career growth and professional development.

Professional Development

The Policy Group invests in your professional development. As a Policy Manager, 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: Managers have the opportunity to work directly with J-PAL affiliates and directors by disseminating lessons learned to policymakers and practitioners. Managers also have the opportunity to TA or lecture at J-PAL’s capacity building sessions offered around the world.

Travel: Managers have the opportunity to present at J-PAL’s regional offices and attend and organize policy events worldwide.

Grow: Managers can expect to join a peer group eager to build institutional knowledge, focused on sharing and implementing best practices and lessons learned. In addition, managers receive one-on-one mentorship from senior J-PAL leadership and have the opportunity to work directly with affiliated professors.


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, track record of work in criminal justice, security sector reform, conflict management, or violence prevention, strong communication and organizational skills, passion for translating research into action, and interest in international development make you an ideal candidate for Policy Manager.

Education: You hold a Master’s degree or PhD in economics, public policy, or a closely related field, including coursework in microeconomics, econometrics, and development economics. Do you have a demonstrated academic interest in international development policy? Even better.

Experience: You have 5 or more years of relevant and substantial work experience (2 or more years if you have a PhD), including at least 1 year of experience working in a developing country. Some of your work experience has focused on conflict management, prevention, reconstruction, or crime sector work. You have a successful track record of managing junior staff. Have less than 5 years of relevant experience? Consider applying for our Policy Associate or Senior Policy Associate positions.

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 with little supervision, meet deadlines, and effectively manage your time, as well as others’.

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 and managing others.

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 “Crime_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 “Crime_Lastname_Firstname”

 3. As this position is to be based at MIT, please also complete the brief application form at http://tinyurl.com/hgnrqn3 

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.

Please note this position is not eligible for any type of visa sponsorship.