Position Announcement: Director of Research

A Director of Research is being sought by Population Action International (PAI), a not for profit organization that has spent the past 50 years advocating in the halls of Congress, in the international policy arena, and on the front lines for women around the globe. For PAI, success means that every woman in the world has accessible, affordable, effective contraception and is positioned to plan her family and her future. With 222 million women in the developing world unable to access family planning tools, PAI’s mission has never been more relevant or urgent.

Programmatically, PAI occupies an important niche in the reproductive rights community. As a $7 million organization that receives no government funding, PAI is uniquely positioned to evaluate, improve and endorse strategies and plans to ensure international family planning efforts are the best they can be. Our research provides a critical base of evidence  for advocates to make the most compelling case to policymakers in their own countries. We analyze, assess and translate original research into timely insights intended for policymakers and advocates on the ground.

In 2012, PAI developed a strategic plan that charts an ambitious path forward for the organization and positions it for growth and greater impact. Through the implementation of this plan, PAI will make an even greater difference in the lives of women and their children in developing countries.

This position requires an experienced researcher and a skilled manager with significant knowledge and expertise in the fields of sexual and reproductive health and rights, population and demography.  This person must have extensive experience leading the design and implementation of policy research.  He/she should be a strong staff manager, mentor, strategic thinker and effective collaborator in order to fully leverage PAI’s expertise in research, advocacy and communications.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Directs PAI’s research programs:  Develops and implements a strategic, high-quality research program that supports PAI’s mission and supports the objectives of PAI’s strategic plan.  As part of the research program, and in close collaboration with advocacy and communications departments, leads production of research analysis/publications that highlight family planning/reproductive health and population-related issues relevant to the current policy environment. Ensures the research integrity of PAI products.
  • Manages the research team (currently 6 FTEs): Builds a cohesive team united around, achieving PAI’s 10-year and 3-year goals. Manages all aspects of the Research Department including budget, planning, and staffing.  Provides direction, mentoring and technical guidance to research team members; and supports their professional and technical development.  Performs other management and administrative tasks as required.
  • Supports PAI’s country strategy and partners overseas: Provides partners with research tools and technical assistance, on as-needed basis. Works with local partners and PAI staff to collect, analyze and disseminate data to help achieve family planning and reproductive health goals at the country level.
  • Develops, monitors and manages the research department’s annual operating plan and budget, in collaboration with the Vice President for Programs. Allocates departmental resources to highest priorities and ensures the department stays on budget.
  • Participates in senior management team: Serves with other department heads on organizational leadership group, representing the interests of the whole. Participates in the development and implementation of organizational policies, practices and procedures. Ensures interdepartmental cooperation to optimize workflow.
    • Participates in fundraising: Works cross-departmentally to create funding proposals for new and existing research; presents to donors and potential donors.
    • Serves as a public contact for PAI’s research with media, donors and peers and in national and international professional settings.

Qualifications and Experience

  1. A minimum ten (10) years of experience designing and executing strategic research programs on sexual and reproductive health, family planning, and demographic issues. Demonstrated ability to translate findings into policy and/or programming essential.
  2. A Masters or Doctoral degree in a related field.
  3. Credible publication record.
  4. Meaningful work experience in the global South strongly preferred.
  5. Demonstrated leadership, management and mentoring capabilities.
  6. Outstanding written and oral communication skills.
  7. Must be able to travel internationally and domestically.
  8. Previous management experience required.
  9. Language proficiency beyond English a plus.

PAI is a family-friendly organization offering a competitive benefits package. Please submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample (maximum length 3 pages) and salary requirements to: recruitment@popact.org.

Deadline: Wednesday, July 24 2013