Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) at Harvard Kennedy School is a young, dynamic research initiative that brings analytical insights, typically from economics, to the design and implementation of public policies and programs around the world. EPoD directly engages with governments and local organizations to identify key questions, design innovative new policies or interventions, and test these using the tools of economics and data analysis, including large field-based experiments. Current research topics at EPoD include governance, education, entrepreneurship, health, agriculture, sustainable development, and access to finance.
EPoD is currently seeking an Assistant Director of Research to take on a new leadership role focusing on labor market and education research in Saudi Arabia. The successful candidate will oversee an exciting portfolio of work in Saudi Arabia to identify and support opportunities for data and economic analysis to inform local labor and education policy, empower underrepresented groups, and support social development. The successful candidate will also play a central role in developing new research-policy engagements that apply EPoD's model of research in Saudi Arabia and beyond. The successful candidate will become a key contributor on EPoD's leadership team, working closely with EPoD's Directors to refine our model of research and drive ahead critical areas of EPoD's work.
This position is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but includes frequent travel to Saudi Arabia and potentially other locations such as Indonesia, India, and Pakistan.
Research strategy, development and stakeholder engagement
Play a lead role in developing EPoD's research strategy and the supporting operational structure for research in Saudi Arabia with key objectives of:
Policy relevance and impact
Responsible financial oversight
Design high quality systems for research management and ensure effective implementation of projects within Saudi Arabia, with potentially some support across EPoD research portfolios. Key areas include secure data management, ethical use of human subjects in large field-based research studies, coding protocols, etc;
Lead the development and oversee implementation of EPoD's model for large-scale research-policy collaborations with a focus on Saudi Arabia, which will include:
Contributing substantively to background papers on identified topics of focus;
Ensuring the successful design and management of Request for Proposals (RFP) mechanisms, including contributing directly to project incubation, proposal assessment, and development of project follow-up strategies;
Identifying, assessing and developing opportunities for new large-scale policy research engagements, in consultation with EPoD leadership.
Play a lead role in shaping EPoD's research communication strategy including oversight of: the synthesis of research findings, development of data-driven content including policy briefs, policy insights, policy insight videos, and other communications pieces for an outside audience, including policy counterparts and current and potential funders;
Directly contribute to the analytical and content-driven activities of EPoD's research work through independently and collaboratively authored pieces including background papers, policy briefs and potentially peer-reviewed research publications;
Formulate, synthesize and articulate content for new initiatives and proposals;
Build and expand partnerships with policy and research stakeholders, build and maintain productive relationships with current and potential funders, and effectively represent EPoD and faculty researchers at relevant conferences and in meetings with senior policy partners.
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...Continued from Duties and Responsibilities
Senior Portfolio Management
Serve as the senior staff member overseeing the implementation of various large complex research portfolios, particularly RFP-based initiatives;
Recruit, supervise and mentor direct reports, including managers and senior managers who are responsible for the implementation of large complex policy-research portfolios;
Serve as a key decision-maker on programmatic and financial matters, incorporating inputs from a range of faculty, team members, collaborators and partners, as needed to meet programmatic objectives;
Collaboratively develop and/or provide feedback/oversight to other staff involved in development of policy research proposals, presentations, reports and other outputs;
Oversee the design and implementation of policy and training workshops in Cambridge, as well as in the field in close collaboration with field team;
Travel to the field as needed to ensure robust management of program activities, representing EPoD interests (likely multiple times a quarter);
Negotiate and solve complex operational challenges with faculty, senior stakeholders and other collaborators.
This position is a fully benefits-eligible term appointment ending one year from the date of hire with the strong possibility of renewal.
Harvard University requires pre-employment reference and background checks. Harvard University is committed to supporting a healthy, sustainable learning and working environment.
Salary Grade: 058
Union: 00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary
PhD in Public Policy, Economics, Political Science or related field with a minimum of 2 years of directly relevant experience; OR a Master's Degree in International Development, Public Policy or Administration, Economics or related field and a minimum of 7 years of directly relevant experience
Coursework in empirical methods, including econometrics and economics
Staff management experience
Progressively senior positions in international economic development with a combination of management and research responsibilities, ideally in a research university environment
Prior research or professional experience related to Saudi Arabia or the MENA region
Advanced skills in Stata
Must have ability to integrate economic concepts, research and policy issues into coherent and effective written and teaching materials. Excellent writing skills for public audiences, including impeccable grammar, spelling and language facility
Strong leadership and supervisory skills, with the ability to see work products through to completion, coordinating all inputs and stakeholders, as needed
Strong interpersonal skills, the ability to interact well with faculty, staff, students, research partners, policy counterparts and donors in developed and developing countries
Well-organized, able to prioritize and manage multiple assignments simultaneously, with strong attention to detail
Willingness to travel to international destinations (30-40% of the time)
Strong public speaking skills
Demonstrated ability and/or experience in business development and/or fundraising
Experience in financial management and field research
Experience managing an international team
Experience in developing field-based research projects in the topics of economics, public policy or related
Modern Standard Arabic language skills a plus
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER: We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
Internal Number: 45708BR
About Harvard University
Harvard University is devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, and research, and to developing leaders in many disciplines who make a difference globally. The University, which is based in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts, has an enrollment of over 20,000 degree candidates, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Harvard has more than 360,000 alumni around the world. The University has twelve degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, offering a truly global education. Established in 1636, Harvard is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States.