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Senior Administrative Associate - J-PAL North America

J-PAL North America at MIT
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Closing date
Aug 13, 2021

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Job Details

About J-PAL North America

J-PAL North America, a research center within the Economics department at MIT seeks a Senior Administrative Associate to join its team and contribute to its mission to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. J-PAL North America conducts randomized evaluations, builds partnerships for evidence-informed policymaking, and helps partners scale up effective programs. As a regional office of the global Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, J-PAL North America leverages research by affiliated professors from universities across the world to generate and disseminate rigorous evidence about which anti-poverty social policies work and why. 

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion is essential to address the complex causes and consequences of poverty. To advance our mission, J-PAL North America must draw on diverse experiences from our staff and affiliated researchers in order to ask better questions and identify better solutions. We are working to increase the limited representation of individuals from underrepresented backgrounds in the economics profession. Our organization is implementing strategies to attract, develop, and advance a diverse staff and building a pipeline to increase diversity among economic researchers. We are committed to engaging in self-reflection, learning, and dialogue to nurture understanding across differences. Together, we will build an equitable, inclusive culture where everyone is respected, empowered, and heard. To learn more about our work and team culture,  visit

Opportunity Overview

As a member of the J-PAL North America team, you’ll be part of a Nobel-prize winning scientific movement that can transform US policy making. Our Senior Administrative Associate plays an important role in this work, working directly with J-PAL North America’s Executive Director and the Associate Director of Policy to provide complex and diverse administrative support.  For our Senior Administrative Associate position, we are looking for candidates with significant administrative, office, or related experience, excellent oral and written communication skills, impeccable attention to detail, strong project management skills, and who can take ownership of their work independently and collaborate effectively with other members of the team. The Senior Administrative Associate should be able to maintain confidentiality and successfully manage relations with donors, partners, researchers and staff at all levels. This position is based on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts but is currently a fully remote position. Depending on the evolving Covid health care situation, the office is expected to re-open in September at which time a hybrid work schedule will be offered, with some days in the office and some days remote. Please visit the MIT Now website ( for more information on how MIT is ensuring employee health and safety in response to Covid.


  • Manages the schedules of the Executive Director and Associate Director of Policy, working iteratively with numerous staff and external contacts
  • Schedules diverse and complex appointments and meetings, accommodating multiple calendars and competing priorities
  • Prepares itineraries for multiple constituents and prepares briefing documents for meetings and agendas for high-level meetings with researchers, strategic partners, and donors
  •  Schedules travel arrangements, including international travel
  •  Plans and organizes internal and external meetings and events, including booking space, arranging catering, and setting up A/V and IT services, and other tasks as needed
  • Processes and submits reimbursements for travel and other expenses
  • Manages contact records, tracks meetings and calls, and enters relationship histories into Salesforce
  • Organizes high-level documents in google drive
  • Manages large and complex mailings
  • Coordinates with design team for J-PAL communication materials
  • Exercises discretion and maintains confidentiality with sensitive data and information
  • Plans and coordinates visits with high-level donors
  • Drafts PowerPoint slides for internal presentations
  • Takes detailed notes during meetings
  • Conducts research projects as needed
  • Provides general office support as needed
  • Anticipates various support needs that may arise
  • Other duties as assigned 

Compensation & Benefits

This full-time, non-exempt position is classified by MIT as a grade 6 salary level. Current MIT salary levels are publicly available at This is a fixed market-based salary range that is based on experience.

J-PAL North America staff are MIT employees, which means they are eligible for a wide array of institutional benefits. Some of these MIT benefits include comprehensive health insurance, a 401(k) match up to 5% of salary plus a pension-based retirement plan, tuition assistance up to $5,250 per calendar year, commuter benefits, access to MyLifeServices, a generous vacation policy (3 weeks of paid vacation in your first year, and 4 weeks every year after that, plus an additional 12+ paid Institute-wide holidays per year), paid leave for sick time, maternity and parental leave, back-up child care benefits and much more.

Professional Development Opportunities

J-PAL North America supports a culture of learning, with opportunities to attend weekly seminars, engage in small-group discussions with other J-PAL staff, participate in workshops, or take classes for credit at MIT or elsewhere with our generous tuition assistance program.   


Commitment to Mission & Values: Cares personally and deeply about policy that has the potential to reduce poverty and the rigorous research that informs it. Demonstrates interest in poverty alleviation in the North American (primarily the United States) context in particular. Demonstrates a commitment to J-PAL North America’s values. 

Education: This position requires a high school diploma, with an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree preferred.

Experience: This position requires 5 years of administrative experience or equivalent, which may include experience gained through part-time work, college level coursework, internships or volunteer positions. Prior demonstrated experience working with communities of color and/or those experiencing poverty in North America is a plus.

Technical Skills: Actively demonstrates the administrative and computer skills necessary to successfully execute tasks to which they are assigned, such as scheduling meetings, arranging travel, processing financial reimbursements or note taking. Ability to use Microsoft office and/or Google applications and comfort learning new applications is required. Knowledge of Asana and Salesforce is helpful.

Ownership of Work: Takes responsibility/is accountable for effectively completing assigned discrete tasks or projects with high attention to detail under direct supervision. Produces high quality work in the time expected; identifies and follows up with managers and other stakeholders as needed to ensure assignments are completed on time. Takes initiative and offers ideas for new ways to approach work; shares knowledge and/or talents with others as needed to complete assigned tasks or projects.

Written Communication: Accurately and succinctly communicates in writing with J-PAL staff and external stakeholders with minimal supervision from senior-level staff, including the ability to draft grammatically correct, cohesive emails, memos and reports, prepare content for slides, proposals and publications, copy-edit and take detailed meeting notes. 

Oral Communication: Demonstrates strong active listening skills and accurately and succinctly communicates information orally to staff and external partners with minimal supervision from senior-level staff. 

External Stakeholder Relations: Supports development and maintenance of ongoing strategic relationships with donors, researchers and other existing stakeholders under supervision from managers. 

Task & Project Management: Takes on a process-oriented task, plans and organizes work, delegates appropriately, coordinates with others, establishes appropriate priorities and timelines, exercises follow through, and adds overall value to the process. 

Problem Solving/Decision Making: Demonstrates adeptness at analyzing facts, judgment, and strong decision-making ability. Responds to problems, issues, and opportunities that are identified by supervisors. Collaborates to identify a solution or response.  

Travel: Willingness and ability to travel as needed locally and in the US (usually minimal) to attend events or participate in meetings. 


The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) is a global research center working to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. Anchored by a network of 224 affiliated professors at universities around the world, J-PAL conducts randomized impact evaluations to answer critical questions in the fight against poverty.

J-PAL North America, based at MIT, leads J-PAL’s work in the North America region. J-PAL North America conducts randomized evaluations, builds partnerships for evidence-informed policymaking, and helps partners scale up effective programs.

Our work spans a wide range of sectors including health care, housing, criminal justice, education, and economic mobility. We leverage research by affiliated professors from universities across the continent and a full-time staff of researchers, policy experts, and administrative professionals to generate and disseminate rigorous evidence about which anti-poverty social policies work and why.

Find Us
1 617 253 7109
400 Main Street E19-201
United States
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