IPA seeks a Country Director to oversee its Bangladesh country office, based in Dhaka. The Country Director will work with IPA Global and key stakeholders and external partners to set the strategic direction, mobilize resources, and achieve IPA’s mission in Bangladesh. The Country Director will oversee multiple simultaneous impact evaluations and policy engagements across a variety of sectors including education, financial inclusion, social protection, small and medium enterprises, agriculture, and governance. The position provides the opportunity to guide the research and policy programs, spend time in the field, oversee country operations, and to lead external-facing engagements with academic researchers, government agencies, donors, and other implementing partners.

The Country Director - assisted by research, operations, and finance teams - will provide overarching oversight to all project teams, lead strategic planning for the country program, oversee finance and operations teams, build and strengthen systems for high quality data collection, provide capacity building of local staff and partners, and lead policy engagement with local practitioners and policy makers. The Country Director will also contribute to IPA’s continued expansion by cultivating and growing new partnerships and identifying and developing new project opportunities. The position requires close interaction with external partners including academic researchers, policymakers, and other Implementing Partners.


Policy impact and external relations

  • Represent IPA in national and local government agencies and partner organizations. Manage relationships with current and potential IPA partner organizations
  • Develop and maintain relationships with implementing partners, the government and academia for the country office to maximize its impact
  • Engage government partners and other stakeholders to identify research questions of interest and cultivate potential research projects in those areas
  • Oversee capacity building of local development partners in evidence-based policy making and rigorous impact evaluations
  • Oversee targeted dissemination, encourage scale up of successful interventions.

Oversee high-quality research

  • Oversee and manage a team led by Research Managers/Coordinators, including (Senior) Research Associates and Analysts, and Field Managers, whose responsibilities include project design, management of data collection, data management and analysis, and writing of research reports; all in close collaboration with the Principal Investigators
  • Build systems and structures to ensure that the implementation of research activities follows IPA’s research quality standards and processes and Principal Investigator’s directions
  • Work to incorporate best practices and lessons learned in research and operations by other IPA offices and research affiliates

New project development

  • In collaboration with potential partners and Principal Investigators, identify and develop potential projects with meaningful research and policy implications
  • Participate in research project design and lead budgeting during the proposal stage to ensure evaluations meet IPA standards
  • Coordinate fundraising for research and policy proposals.

Ensure sound operations and finances

  • Provide supervision and support to administrative staff led by Senior Operations and Finance Managers, overseeing human resources, IT, procurement, operations, and finance.
  • With support from the Global Finance and Grants team, ensure compliance with financial procedures, approve expenditures, make accurate spending projections, and ensure overall compliance.
  • Oversee the management of project budgets and donor reporting, with support from the Research Manager, Research Coordinator, and administrative staff, and in coordination with IPA’s global grants team.
  • Ensure that country office structures are supported by incoming revenue through country office budget planning and management.

Mitigate and manage risks

  • Set standards and parameters for work to ensure staff safety and security
  • Monitor safety and security concerns for IPA operations in country and act as primary contact in crisis management
  • Take steps to mitigate risks and to safeguard the organization’s reputation
  • Master’s degree in development economics, international affairs, international public policy, or field related to international economic development
  • A minimum of 5-7 years of relevant work experience, including 3 years in a management position; preferably experience in research and policy engagement, ideally in Bangladesh.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead large teams and multiple projects
  • Experience in developing research projects, experience with budgeting and project planning
  • Strong quantitative skills and familiarity with randomized controlled trials is an added advantage
  • Passion for connecting rigorous research to policy makers and practitioners and communicating what works in development
  • Commitment to leading a diverse team in a multicultural environment and building staff capacity
  • Ability to communicate effectively across cultures with multiple stakeholders including international and local academic researchers, government officials, NGO partners, enumeration teams, and study participants
  • Experience in people and financial management
  • Experience in grants and contracts management, preferably in a research setting, preferred
  • Excellent management and organizational skills and ability to work independently with proven ability to multi-task
  • Flexible, self-motivating, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently, and a team player
  • Fluency in both written and spoken English is required

Physical Requirements:

  • Ability and willingness to travel to various project sites
  • Ability to safely and successfully perform the essential job functions consistent with government standards, including meeting qualitative and/or quantitative productivity standards
  • Ability to maintain regular, punctual attendance consistent with IPA standards
  • Must be able to talk, listen and speak clearly on telephone
Application Instructions 

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “Country Director, Bangladesh”. Applications require you to include two letters of recommendation, statement of purpose (cover letter), CV, and transcripts. Note that you are able to submit your application without the recommendation letters.

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 830 evaluations in 52 countries. This research has informed hundreds of successful programs that now impact millions of individuals worldwide. 

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.