Innovations for Poverty Action – New York, NY

IPA seeks an outstanding applicant for the position of Chief Research and Policy Officer (CRPO). The ideal candidates will have notable accomplishments in either international development research or promoting evidence-informed policy and programs. The CRPO position is an exciting new leadership role at IPA that reports to the Executive Director and serves as a member of IPA’s Senior Management Team. S/he will be responsible for developing and leading IPA’s strategy to ensure relevant evidence is developed for and used by decision-makers and that IPA’s voice continues to lead the fields of both rigorous impact evaluation and informing policy to improve opportunities for the world’s poor.

The CRPO will oversee a team of senior research and policy staff leading IPA’s policy outreach and communications, Sector Programs, the development of policy relevant research agendas and replications, and new activities that further IPA’s goals to promote evidence. S/he will also work with IPA’s regional and country leadership to develop policy-relevant research agendas and strategies to influence practice and policy at the country level. As part of the Senior Management Team, the CRPO will participate in setting overall directions for the organization, and work to continuously build internal and external understanding of and support for IPA’s mission.

Lead the development and implementation of IPA’s strategy to translate evidence into practice and policy 

  • Lead the development and communication of IPA’s global strategy to ensure that evidence is sought and applied at scale by decision-makers (including practitioners, policymakers and funders).
  • Advise IPA Sector and Country Programs on the development of consistent research-to-policy and practice strategies, and support them as needed in developing high level partnerships with governments and other organizations that have the potential to adopt and scale effective ideas.
  • Work cross-functionally to develop organizational practices, staffing structures and systems that facilitate the delivery of research to policy initiatives and lessons sharing across the organization.
  • Oversee and provide leadership to policy outreach & communications functions at the global, sector and country level to ensure a consistent approach to the dissemination of evidence and that IPA’s voice and brand continues to lead the field of rigorous evaluation and policy translation.
  • Work with IPA’s large network of leading researchers to leverage their expertise and research studies to inform global policy conversations on international development and aid.
  • Work with Sector and Country programs and IPA’s research network to identify and prioritize demonstrated solutions for IPA to promote at a global level, and to develop strategies and partnerships to get these ideas disseminated, adopted and scaled.

Oversee the development of sector expertise at IPA and of policy-relevant research agendas aimed at developing ideas along the path-to-scale 

  • Oversee and grow a team of internal IPA Researchers with the goal of moving evidence along the path to scale by developing studies that replicate and expand on demonstrated and promising ideas.
  • Oversee IPA’s existing Sector Programs (Financial Inclusion, SME, Social Protection) and grow IPA’s expertise in other Sectors through the coordination and leveraging of IPA’s research network and Sector Working Groups (Agriculture, Education, Governance and Health) and by building relationships with subject matter experts as needed.
  • Work with Sector Programs, IPA Researchers and IPA research network to identify and develop strategies to address policy relevant research gaps at the global level, and advise country leadership on the development of research focuses and agendas at the country level.
  • Expand and represent IPA’s role in raising the standards of evidence and in translating evidence into policy & implementation
  • Provide leadership to position IPA in our next phase of growth and represent IPA externally, ensuring that we are leaders in the experimental research methods field and evidence-to-policy conversation.
  • Working with the lead IPA Researcher, promote IPA’s data transparency and data publication initiatives.
  • In close collaboration with the Global Programs team, identify and lead the development of potential new initiatives that further IPA’s mission to promote the use of evidence for decision making, such as the Goldilocks Initiative to build right-fit M&E systems or the Progress out of Poverty Initiative (PPI).
  • Support or lead the fundraising for expanding IPA’s leadership role in the experimental research field, for policy outreach or Sector program grants, including identifying and liaising with donors and contributing to proposal development, as needed.

Leadership and Management 

  • Oversee and mentor three Sector Program Directors (Financial Inclusion, SME, Social Protection), one IPA Researcher, the Associate Director for Policy Outreach and Communications, and the PPI Director, and recruit new staff as needed to expand IPA’s strategic goals.
  • Support direct reports and their teams with strategy development, goal setting, fund raising, policy engagement activities, partner and researcher relationships.
  • Contribute to setting the overall direction for the organization as a member of the Senior Management Team.
  • Ensure close coordination with the Global Programs team to ensure organizational sharing and learning, the development of consistent strategies and messages.
  • Prepare materials for and participate in Board meetings as necessary.


  • 15+ years of work experience in the field(s) of international research and policy
  • Masters in economics, public policy, or related field required
  • Noted contributions in social science research and/or international practice and policy required
  • Strong understanding of randomized trials and experience in multiple sectors is strongly preferred
  • 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
  • Experience in and comfort interacting with very high-level contacts in public policy, for example senior functionaries in developing country governments, NGOs, foundations, and multilateral aid agencies
  • Experience working directly for a government or implementing large scale, complex programs preferred.
  • Flexible, self-motivated, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently, collaborative team player
  • Experience, comfort and expertise in public speaking to a variety of stakeholders, at various conferences and other public commitments
  • Strong organizational and interpersonal skills
  • Demonstrated management experience and leadership skills. Experience working in a Senior Leadership Team is a plus.
  • Experience working in one or more of the developing countries where IPA has country offices would be a plus
  • Experience in securing large grants and fund raising preferred
  • Travel 25% of time

Application Instructions
To apply click here .