Senior Policy Manager
Harvard University
United States

Duties & Responsibilities

The Opportunity Insights Institute studies economic mobility through lenses such as education, neighborhood environments, and health to understand the drivers of economic opportunity in the country and give local policy-makers customized data and insights to help them craft effective policy solutions.

The position of Senior Policy Manager who will support the institute Policy Director and maintain major partnerships between the institute and state/local government agencies.  The Manager will lead partner engagement, work closely with state and local policymakers using our data and insights to address major barriers to upward mobility, manage policy project analysis and quality assurance, as well as lead management and communication of the policy research agenda and findings. This position will report directly to the Policy Director for the Institute.
The Senior Policy Manager will be responsible for creating partnerships with communities, local organizations, and public housing authorities to expand the work of the Creating Moves to Opportunity project by employing Institute tools, analysis and technical assistance to pilot housing mobility initiatives. The Manager will also help lead the creation of a national housing mobility agenda and inform the Institute’s model for scaling policy initiatives generally.

Responsibilities Include:

  • Liaises directly with local government partners and stakeholders as the primary representative of the Institute.
  • Refines, interprets and communicates highly-complex research findings to local stakeholders across the country, highlighting the implications of these results for local policy.
  • Identifies and engages stakeholders and resources in partner-communities to support partnership goals and overcome challenges.
  • Collaborates with local partners to design and potentially support implementation of advanced policies and interventions based on the institute's research.
  • Actively supports new partner development efforts in collaboration with the Policy Director, including assessing and developing new partnership proposals.
  • Navigate state and local political environment.
  • Develops and delivers sophisticated analyses and insights to shed light on the magnitude and drivers of local economic inequality, using large-scale, complex local administrative data sets.
  • Translate technical findings, including econometric analyses, into actionable, policy-relevant insights for a non-technical audience
  • Prepares non-technical reports on impacts and findings from partnerships that are accessible to key stakeholders.
  • Manages the day-to-day workflow of projects to completion; manages project resources, leads meetings, conference calls, and other project management necessities to obtain project objectives.
  • Manages all aspects of quality assurance, compliance and programmatic activities.
  • Identifies and develops evaluation opportunities for projects to enhance the institute's research and inform future partnerships.
  • Identifies additional assignments and makes decisions within the scope of responsibilities.
  • Determines when Policy Director or research team should be consulted.
  • Work alongside the research team to both refine the research agenda and leverage new findings to help policy partners.
  • Assist in publicizing and spurring adoption of insights and tools generated by the institute, including participating in media events, as necessary.
  • Contributes to the scholarly literature and policy process by participating in writing reports and developing presentations of policy research findings and outcomes and otherwise collaborates on the publication of project and research results, as appropriate


Basic Qualifications


  • Minimum Master’s degree with 7+ years of experience working with senior municipal or state agency leaders, non-profit management or academic administrators on issues of public policy, particularly housing, education or health policy.
  • Experience in at least one of the following: Quantitative research training, including econometrics, policy analysis, cost-benefit analysis, evaluation design, management strategies, and negotiation techniques.
  • Project management and leadership experience.


Additional Qualifications


  • Strong communication and relationship-building skills with local policymakers and community stakeholders.
  • Experience complex initiatives and addressing competing demands.
  • Ability to uphold high professional standards.
  • Ability to translate technical findings, including econometric analyses, into actionable, policy-relevant insights for a non-technical audience.
  • Ability to navigate state and local political environments.
  • Quantitative and programming skills are a plus.  Our team works in STATA, but we value equivalent experience in Python, R and other platforms if skills are adaptable across computing environments.
  • Willingness to travel.
  • Adaptability, dependability and enthusiasm for the institute’s mission.
  • Ability to collaborate with different stakeholders and teams.
  • Integrity to uphold own and organization’s expectations for high-quality work.
  • Tactful and capable of holding difficult conversations given stakeholders’ opportunities, constraints and objectives.
  • Personal accountability for consistent application of processes and policies.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.


Additional Information

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