IPA is recruiting an exciting new leadership role to spearhead our large and growing portfolio of embedded labs: evidence units within government organizations that seek to improve the use of data and evidence in public policy. The embedded labs program is IPA’s fastest growing program: IPA is currently working on over 20 embedded labs in 14 countries and six sectors, with new opportunities created on an ongoing basis.

Because of our unique role in this dynamic portfolio, IPA is also launching The Evidence Lab Exchange:a program of South-South, government-to-government learning exchanges, knowledge products, and shared resources across the diversity of public policy evidence labs.

The (Senior) Director, Embedded Labs develops and leads IPA’s strategy to co-create embedded evidence units within government organizations. S/he leads IPA’s embedded labs program to equip IPA’s partners to create evidence-based, sustainable impact that outlasts IPA’s direct involvement in
each lab.

The Director will lead a highly functioning team, including regional roles, for advancing technical assistance and embedded support to policy partners as well as business development for embedded labs in a wide range of sectors. S/he will report to and work closely with the Senior Director of Policy to create and deliver on opportunities to equip IPA’s partners to become generators and users of data and evidence. S/he will also support IPA’s global policy team in providing dotted-line global oversight to embedded lab teams based in country offices.

IPA's compensation structure is designed based on the labor market for the specific geographic location where the employee is located.  We are offering the following salary ranges for this position: 
-  (Senior) Director, Embedded Labs is classified as "D2" on IPA's global job structure.
-  For US based employees the starting annual gross salary is $111,000 with a maximum of $170,000.
- The salary for locations outside of the US will vary depending on IPA's salary scale ranges for that specific location.

Actual base salary may vary based upon, but not limited to, relevant experience, base salary of internal peers, business sector, and geographic location.


Lead the development and implementation of IPA’s embedded labs strategy (40%)

  • Lead the development, implementation, and communication of IPA’s embedded labs strategy to equip IPA’s government partners to become generators and users of data and evidence.
  • Manage country- and global-based policy teams to create, identify, and prioritize opportunities for IPA to develop embedded labs in targeted sectors and countries
  • Develop and lead the implementation of strategies to leverage these opportunities for embedded, evidence-informed policy change
  • Oversee the management embedded labs grants, ensuring IPA delivers on the strategies, activities, and outputs to which we commit
  • Provide dotted line oversight of a high-functioning global embedded labs team
  • Lead global- and country-based policy team in identifying, creating, pursuing, and winning embedded labs project development opportunities, ensuring that IPA is well-resourced to deliver on high impact policy and evidence use opportunities
  • Recruit and train qualified embedded labs staff around the world to deliver IPA’s technical assistance
  • Oversee an annual budget and lead project budget management and reporting, financial risk control procedures, projections for multiple grants and contracts.
  • Advise Country and Regional Directors on embedded labs strategy, collaborating with other technical experts at IPA (for example, sector experts and IPA’s Right Fit Evidence unit) to support new and existing labs.

Conceptualize, incubate, and resource The Embedded Lab Exchange (40%)

  • Lead the development of The Embedded Lab Exchange, defining its mission, structure, and strategy to support embedded labs across a variety of partners, sectors, and regions
  • Build a coalition of funding, policy, and technical assistance partners to join and support the Exchange, building cross-national momentum around supporting embedded evidence
  • capacity within government
  • Oversee global and local policy teams to collaborate with government counterparts in the co-creation of knowledge products, learning exchanges, and resource-sharing models for embedded labs through the Exchange
  • Maintain a strong pipeline and portfolio of funding relationships, grants, and funding opportunities to resource IPA’s embedded lab strategy and The Evidence Lab Exchange

Represent IPA externally to build strategic partnerships and raise our profile in the evidence-based
policy space (20%)

  • Deliver presentations and represent IPA at conferences and meetings with decision-makers
  • Represent IPA externally to share lessons learned on embedded labs (i.e. articles, presentations, events, etc.)
  • Monitor the field of international development to identify strategic, policy-relevant areas for the development and translation of evidence into policy and practice by IPA
  • 10+ years of work experience in the field(s) of policy outreach, communications, and/or international development
  • Masters or PhD in public policy, public administration, international development or related field required
  • An exceptional written and verbal communicator, with the ability to effectively position the program and to communicate its vision and plans to a range of audiences.
  • Exceptional ability to present complex information in clear simple language to a range of audiences and to effectively translate academic research into clear policy lessons
  • Comfortable developing and raising 5-7 figure grants
  • Experience interacting with high-level contacts in public policy, for example senior functionaries in developing country governments, NGOs, foundations, and multilateral
  • aid agencies
  • Flexible, self-motivated, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently, collaborative team player
  • Strong organizational and interpersonal skills
  • Demonstrated management experience and leadership skills, including managing and leading across teams and managing up to executive leadership.
  • Knowledge of randomized control trials and experience in the education sector is preferred
  • Experience working in one or more of the developing countries where IPA has country offices preferred
  • Fluent in English; working proficiency in Spanish or French preferred
Application Instructions 

We thank all candidates for their interest. Another leadership position on the Global Policy team is posted here. If you have interest, feel free to apply for both positions and we will direct your application as appropriate.

Apply now

About IPA 

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a research and policy nonprofit that discovers and promotes effective solutions to global poverty problems. IPA brings together researchers and decision-makers to design, rigorously evaluate, and refine these solutions and their applications, ensuring that the evidence created is used to improve the lives of the world’s poor. In recent decades, trillions of dollars have been spent on programs designed to reduce global poverty, but clear evidence on which programs succeed is rare, and when evidence does exist, decision-makers often do not know about it. IPA exists to bring together leading researchers and these decision-makers to ensure that the evidence we create leads to tangible impact on the world. Since its founding in 2002, IPA has worked with over 600 leading academics to conduct over 900 evaluations in 52 countries. This research has informed hundreds of successful programs that now impact millions of individuals worldwide. 

IPA's Commitment to Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) 

As an organization, IPA is dedicated to improving the lives of the world's most vulnerable populations through evidence and policy. We also recognize how important it is for our staff to reflect the diversity of the places where we work and the communities we work with. As such, IPA is committed to hiring from a diverse pool of candidates, from a range of backgrounds, beliefs, experiences, and perspectives. We know that this makes our work stronger and more responsive to the challenges faced by those we work with and for and we encourage people from historically underrepresented groups to apply. Click here to learn more about IPA’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Innovations for Poverty Action is an affirmative action equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other protected class. IPA will endeavor to make a reasonable accommodation to a qualified applicant with a disability unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of our business. If you believe you require such assistance to complete this form or to participate in an interview, please contact us at jobs@poverty-action.org or via phone at 1-202-386-6200. The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of the work to be performed by the specified position. The statements are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all possible duties, tasks, and responsibilities. Management reserves the right to amend and change responsibilities to meet organizational needs as necessary. Please note that IPA will never request any form of payment from an applicant. Applicants are encouraged to confirm the information listed above with IPA prior to releasing any extensive personal information to the organization. Please direct questions to jobs@poverty-action.org.

** Please note that only qualified applicants will be contacted by the hiring manager.