Policy Manager - J-PAL North America

United States
Language Requirement 
Start Date 

J-PAL North America, based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), seeks to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. We do this by conducting randomized evaluations, sharing policy lessons, and building evaluation capacity. Our work spans a wide range of sectors including health care, housing, criminal justice, education, and economic mobility. We leverage research by affiliated professors from universities across the continent and a full-time staff of researchers, policy experts, and administrative professionals to generate and disseminate rigorous evidence about which anti-poverty social policies work and why.

The Policy Manager’s primary responsibilities will involve partnership development, management, policy analysis, and policy outreach. This position is based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA.

The Department of Economics at MIT is an Equal Opportunity Employer –we seek applicants from diverse backgrounds and welcome candidates with experience working in the United States or abroad.


  • Partnership Development: Develop partnerships between policymakers, practitioners, and researchers to work on randomized evaluations in North America. Build and maintain strong relationships with key partners in government, non-profits, foundations, and the private sector. Provide technical and project management support to policymakers and practitioners through ongoing initiatives, including the J-PAL State and Local Innovation Initiative; Education, Technology, and Opportunity Initiative; and the U.S. Health Care Delivery Initiative.
  • Management:  Manage day-to-day work portfolio and overall professional development of Senior Policy Associates and Policy Associates. Assist in recruitment of new members of the Policy Group.
  • Policy Analysis: Provide feasibility assessments and initial analyses of policies and programs that might be well-suited for rigorous evaluations. Conduct research and analysis for policy memos, grant proposals, and publications. Build expertise in rigorous evidence, as it applies to policymakers in North America.
  • Policy Outreach: Create briefs, literatures reviews, other publications, and presentations to communicate proposed, ongoing, and completed research by J-PAL affiliated professors. Organize and attend conferences or other events designed to bring policymakers, practitioners, researchers, and funders together to spur new research collaborations, disseminate policy lessons from completed research in the J-PAL portfolio, and share best practices. Contribute to development of strategy for J-PAL NA’s long term policy outreach and engagement.

Professional Development

  • 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. 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: Policy Managers have the opportunity to work with J-PAL affiliates and directors, as well as interact with policymakers and practitioners. As senior members of the Policy Group, Policy Managers will help in recruiting, supervising, and mentoring junior staff; organizing policy events; and teaching J-PAL’s capacity-building courses.
  • Travel: Policy Managers may have the opportunity to support on-the-ground research, attend policy events and conferences, and visit J-PAL’s other regional offices to share lessons and engage in mutual learning.
  • 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.


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.


Your technical expertise, strong communication and organizational skills, and passion for evidence-informed policy make you an ideal candidate for Policy Manager.

  • Education: You hold a master’s degree in economics, public policy, public administration, business administration, or a related field.
  • Experience: You have four or more years of relevant work experience. Candidates with more than four years and with direct supervisory experience preferred. Your experience should reflect your ability to develop relationships with senior policymakers and practitioners and give you a nuanced understanding of the constraints they face in implementing evidence-based policy.
  • 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 a precise, clear, and confident public speaker.
  • 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, as well as others’.
  • Attitude: You are passionate about 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? Apply now.

  1. Submit a short application via MIT’s human resources system. Visit http://jobs.mit.edu/external, search for job ID 15672 Policy Manager - 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.

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

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 to assess your understanding of evaluation methods and your ability to interpret and summarize research findings. Finalists will be called for an in-person interview.