Chief Research & Policy Officer

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Job Description

IPA seeks candidates with passion and strategic focus for the position of Chief Research and Policy Officer (CRPO). The ideal candidate will have notable accomplishments in either international development research or promoting evidence-informed policy and programs. The CRPO is a key member of the senior management team, reporting to the Executive Director.

The CRPO will develop and lead IPA’s strategy to ensure that policymakers get rigorous, relevant, and timely evidence to inform their decisions. The CRPO will serve as an important voice of IPA, representing the organization externally in the international and development sectors.

The CRPO will provide strategic guidance and leadership to a team of senior leaders overseeing IPA’s Sector programs, Policy team, and Right-Fit-Evidence unit. Together, these teams form Research and Policy (R&P). IPA’s Research and Policy teams are central to driving forward our Strategic Ambition by creating policy- and practice-relevant research agendas, developing and supporting research and policy action to move interventions along a path to scale, and ensuring that our policy and advisory services are creating meaningful impact for our government and implementing partners. In addition, R&P teams work in close collaboration with the 22 country offices that IPA works in to ensure they are equipped and supported to deliver on the Strategic Ambition through technical, fundraising and partnership development support.

As a Member of IPA’s Senior Management Team, the CRPO will have an active role in setting the overall strategic direction of the organization and working hand in hand with the Executive Director to continuously build internal and external understanding of and support for IPA’s mission. The CRPO is responsible for fostering IPA’s organizational values, code of conduct and promoting a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion within the R&P teams and across IPA globally.


  • Identify and lead the organizational strategy processes for new initiative areas or program directions for IPA, fostering collaboration opportunities across sector programs, policy, communications and country office teams.
  • Provide strategic leadership and mentorship to Senior Directors for Sector Programs, Global Policy, and Right-Fit-Evidence to ensure their plans and approaches align with IPA’s organizational goals.
  • In partnership with the Chief Global Programs Officer, lead global Business Development initiatives and personally contribute to stewarding funders to ensure a strong pipeline that enables the organization to achieve its strategic plan.
  • Support and motivate direct reports and their teams with strategy development, goal setting, project and sector fund raising, policy engagement activities, partner and researcher relationships.
  • Work in partnership with the Global Programs team to support country offices in Africa, Asia, and Latin America in technical, project and sector fundraising and partnership development support.
  • Monitor IPA’s progress against its Strategic Ambition to ensure that we are creating an impact on programs and policies that affect people living in poverty around the world.
  • Actively engage in networks in the international development sector to keep abreast of developments, and engage with key players in the field to ensure that IPA is well positioned to participate in and contribute to important changes and trends in the sector.
  • Lead the Research and Policy teams in partnership with Global Programs to shape both a research agenda and a policy agenda across several sectors to ensure that research is being used strategically to have an impact on the lives of people living in poverty.
  • Partner with the Chief Partnerships and Philanthropy Officer and Senior Dr. of Communications to ensure that our external communications advance our strategic goals of informing practitioners and policy makers and give visibility to IPA’s work.
  • Ensure strong financial planning, management and resource generation across all R&P teams.
  • Participate in setting the overall direction for the organization and the next phase of growth as a member of the Senior Management Team.
  • Support and engage in enterprise risk management and financial sustainability planning.
  • Staff the Program Committee of the Board and actively participate in Board stewardship and engagement efforts.


  • 15+ years of work experience in the field(s) of international research and policy.
  • Masters in economics, public policy, or related field.
  • Deep understanding in social science research and/or international practice, and public policy.
  • Exceptional ability to present complex information to a range of technical and non-technical audiences and to effectively translate academic research into clear policy lessons.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate, consult, advise, build, and maintain relationships with key internal and external stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated management experience and leadership skills, such as working in a senior leadership team for an organization of similar size and complexity as IPA.
  • Demonstrated competency in strategic planning and implementing vision.
  • Seasoned, results-oriented leader with proven track record of excellence and experience in overseeing senior leaders, diverse teams and multiple program portfolios.
  • Flexible, self-motivated, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently and respond to multiple priorities in a timely manner while being a collaborative team player.
  • Proven ability and experience in public speaking to a variety of stakeholders, at various conferences and other public commitments.
  • Strong organizational and interpersonal skills with an ability to navigate interpersonal and interdepartmental dynamics.
  • Flexibility and willingness to travel about 15% of time.

Method of Application

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