Chief Global Programs Officer

This listings application deadline has expired so it is probably out of date

View all jobs →

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is looking for a passionate and experienced Chief Global Program Officer (CGPO) to provide strategic leadership and oversight to our Global Programs to advance our vision of A World with More Evidence and Less Poverty. The ideal candidate will have experience aligning organizational strategy to the programmatic, research, policy, operational, financial, and technological context of the geographic locations in which IPA operates. The ideal candidate, in addition to meeting the essential job competencies, is committed to IPA’s mission of using evidence to fight poverty and demonstrate our core values of Rigor, Integrity, Local Leadership, Diversity, and Collaboration.

Position Summary:

  • The Chief Global Programs Officer (CGPO) is the overall lead of IPA’s Global Programs team, encompassing IPA’s portfolio of work across four regions – Latin America and the Caribbean, West Africa, East Africa, and Asia; the Global Operations team; and the Business Development team. The Chief Global Programs Officer is responsible for setting the strategic agenda and direction of IPA’s country programs in line with our Strategic Ambition, including identifying opportunities for modifying or expanding IPA’s global geographic presence. The CGPO is responsible for aligning priorities between Global and Country Offices, coordinating and communicating these activities with stakeholders, and ensuring that IPA’s global portfolio is sustainable and well-positioned to achieve our vision through our Strategic Ambition. The CGPO will collaborate with the Chief Policy and Research Officer to maintain a solid business development pipeline and strategic partnerships for the organization, and works closely with other members of the senor management team to strengthen research quality control, operations, and compliance across IPA’s regions and country offices to ensure that IPA’s work influences national and global policymakers. The CGPO is responsible for fostering a culture of trust and transparency within the country programs, regional and global programs teams that advances our values.

The CGPO will play an important role in representing IPA globally – internally and externally – ensuring that Regional and Country Offices are aligned and connected with Global Functional Teams.

To succeed, the CGPO must be a strong communicator and translator between academics, researchers, and private and public partners. They should also be intellectually curious and open to new ideas and ways of doing things. The CGPO will provide a clear vision and leadership that allows Regional and Country Directors to lead their teams while supporting and providing tactical guidance in overcoming operational challenges.

The CGPO reports directly to the Executive Director, is a key member of the IPA Senior Management Team and works closely across all IPA’s Global Programs as a strategic partner to support country operations and staff and the growth of the organization globally, and the achievement of our Strategic Ambition. They will oversee three or four Regional Directors, the Senior Director, Global Operations, and the Senior Director, Business Development.


Oversight of Country Programs

  • Lead, oversee and provide mentorship to a team of 4 Regional Directors, who oversee 22 Country Offices
  • Guide and oversee Regional Directors with Country Office annual/ strategic planning, monitoring regional/country teams to ensure that Country strategies are in line with and advance the three pillars of IPA’s Strategic Ambition, and that plans are executed successfully
  • Ensure the overall program and research quality, financial and operational health of Country Offices, by working closely with Regional and Country Directors to implement global policies and standards and comply with local laws and regulations
  • Coordinate with the appropriate functional teams to develop metrics and dashboards for effective Country Office oversight and support
  • Working with Regional Directors and with the support of the HR team, oversee the recruitment, management, development, and succession planning of leadership staff in IPA’s regional and country programs to ensure a commitment to excellence, growth, and a strong, diverse, and high performing talent pool.
  • Leading the development and implementation of approaches and guidelines to strengthen Country Programs’ strategies, programs, and operations
  • Regularly assess IPA’s overall geographic presence, by leading a regular review of country office performance and needs as well as strategic opportunities; ensuring that IPA’s geographical presence and country and regional structures are the most effective at balancing our strategic ambition goals and operational constraints
  • In consultation with the Senior Management Team, assess opportunities on establishing new country presence or closing Country Offices, and other opportunities for developing a project-based approach outside IPA Country Offices
  • In partnership with Regional Directors and the Senior Operations Director, develop and identify innovative approaches to structuring Country Offices or regional teams, including through the creation of regional roles or support centers to strengthen the efficient provision of administrative and technical support services across country offices.
  • Identify and develop innovative approaches to implementing IPA’s strategy in Country Offices, and facilitate sharing and learning across Country Offices
  • In partnership with the CFO and the Senior Operations Director, develop and identify approaches to strengthen IPA’s business model and financial sustainability.
  • Strengthen approaches to project and risk management and oversight, to ensure best-in-class delivery and effectively identify and manage country program, programmatic, operational, reputational, and financial risks.
  • Lead and oversee the Senior Operations Director, who is responsible for the maintenance and implementation of Safety and Security guidelines, policies, and protocols; and the development, roll-out, training, and ongoing monitoring of key business policies and guidelines, including the Schedule of Delegated Authority for Country Offices, the Global Procurement Policy, Anti-Human Trafficking Monitoring Plans, Safeguarding Policies.
  • Business/ Project Development Guidance, External representation, and Partnerships
  • In close collaboration with the Chief Policy and Research Office, the CGPO will oversee the business development efforts across all country teams, including the deployment of project development resources, project budget approvals, and the coordination of IPA’s direct project fundraising efforts under the Business Development Director as part of IPA’s Donor Stewardship strategy
  • Provide stewardship to key donor relationships on behalf of IPA, work with IPA’s Business Development team to fundraise for Country Programs, recommend new funding opportunities aligned with IPA’s strategy and mission
  • Oversee strategic project development opportunities to develop and grow IPA’s global presence, encouraging communication and collaboration between IPA Country Offices and Sector Programs, Research Methods, Policy, and RFE teams; and help to facilitate networking and partnership with potential implementing partners, researchers, and donors.
  • Advise on the development and management of external relationships with donors, researchers, and other strategic partners
  • Work closely and coordinate activities with IPA’s partners including the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), CEGA, and others; donors, and researchers; both in the development and implementation of country research and policy agenda and activities.

Contributing to IPA Organizational Strategy and Leadership

As member of the senior management team (SMT), contribute to identifying and championing organizational priorities; ensuring both that experience, opportunities, and needs from Country Offices informs and shapes global strategies and planning, and that global goals are part of the country plans and priorities.

As a senior leader at IPA, lead cross-functional special projects across IPA that seek to address unexpected crises (such as COVID-19) and or solve long-standing organizational pain points.

Be a partner to IPAs Global/ Functional teams to ensure strong coordination and integrated support across international, regnal and local levels.


  • A minimum of 10 years of experience leading international development organizations at senior leadership level.
  • Demonstrated experience ensuring high-quality leadership, program delivery, and operations in multiple regional and contexts.
  • MPA, MPP and/or a Master’s Degree or a combination of a bachelor’s degree and experience in a relevant subject area such as economics, statistics, public policy, business/public administration, non-profit management, international development or related field.
  • Ability to present academic research in clear simple language and to engage policymakers and donors in discussion on using and scaling rigorous evidence
  • Passion for and experience with quantitative research and evidence-based policymaking
  • Experience developing or managing research projects in multiple sectors, ideally randomized controlled trials, is preferred.
  • Strong communication skills, ability to multi-task and a creative approach to work
  • Ability to coordinate with cross-functional teams at a variety of levels
  • Ability to deal with a wide variety of cultures and personalities gracefully
  • Ability to deal with ambiguity, cope with change, and comfortably handle risk and uncertainty
  • Experience advising others on handling complicated management, human resource, and logistical issues.
  • Experience in an IPA Country Program, or similar organization, strongly preferred
  • Experience collaborating with donors, government agencies, policymakers, and researchers on evidence-based policymaking

Willingness and ability to travel frequently (~20%-25%)

Application Instructions

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.

Method of Application

Submit your CV and application on company website: