Policy Director, Innovation, Research and Partnerships - Tenders Global

Policy Director, Innovation, Research and Partnerships

International Rescue Committee


Policy Director, Innovation, Research and Partnerships

27 Nov 2023
Closing date
22 Apr 2024

Background: The International Rescue Committee (IRC) helps people affected by humanitarian crises to survive, recover and rebuild their lives. We deliver lasting impact by providing health care, helping children learn, and empowering individuals and communities to become self-reliant, always focused on the unique needs of women and girls. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, we now work in over 40 crisis-affected countries as well as communities throughout the U.S., Europe and Latin America.

The Global Policy and Solutions team (P&S) is a dynamic team that leverages the power of IRC’s ideas to solve the biggest challenges facing IRC’s clients across the “arc of crisis.” From combating the drivers of conflict to meeting the needs of displaced people, the team partners with innovative thinkers, experts and those with lived experience to identify solutions and bring them to life. We take pride in being solutions-oriented and creative. We are precise in our goals, tactics, and messages. We drive change year over year, knowing that system change takes dedicated focus while maintaining the flexibility to respond to emerging needs across the globe. Finally, we are collaborative, working not only with programs, strategy, research and innovation, and communications teams across the IRC, but also externally, constantly seeking to new ideas and perspectives from others in our sector and beyond.

To achieve the ambitions of the P&S team, we are launching the Innovation, Research and Partnership (IRP) Unit, which will catalyze policy change at scale through research, data analysis, and engagement with stakeholders and experts across the IRC and externally in the sector and beyond. Serving as a research, analysis, and innovation force multiplier for IRC’s policy work, the IRP will help reengineer our ways of working – by growing and leveraging our networks, enhancing our analytical capabilities, and challenging our thinking.

Job Overview: The IRC has recently changed its approach to policy development and problem-solving by altering the way it collaborates with policy thinkers, politicians, policymakers, and civil society. The Policy Director will launch and lead all aspects of the newly created IRP function, leveraging their own networks of policy experts and practitioners, deep policy experience and strategic oversight to develop innovative, impactful and achievable solutions to the most pressing and complex issues facing IRC’s clients. The Director will be at the center of IRC’s “solutions NGO” brand, consistently pushing boundaries and bringing that brand to life.

Major Responsibilities:

Innovations, Research and Partnerships Strategy: Design and develop overarching policy and solutions strategy for the IRP, ensuring that priorities align with and enhance IRC organizational objectives, the needs of IRC’s clients and P&S and Advocacy and Influence (A&I) team priorities. Oversee and track IRP efforts to ensure that the team is meeting its ambitions, and adjusting tactics or concluding work streams as appropriate.

Networking and Testing: Amplify and sustain a network of internal and external experts, including those with lived experience. Leverage relationships to advance IRC’s understanding of particularly complex policy challenges and develop innovative and targeted solutions.

Expert Convenings: Oversee efforts to prioritize , develop, and routinize IRC’s approach to strategic convenings and conversations with internal and external experts in order to expand and enhance IRC’s problem analysis and solution-generating capabilities.

Solutions Generation and Testing: Work closely with the VP of Policy and Solutions and the VP, Humanitarian Systems Change to understand both immediate challenges and long-term complex issues facing IRC’s clients, alongside emerging technical innovations from both within and outside of the IRC. Identify opportunities to align external challenges with scale-able internal and external solutions to test through IRP-led research and convenings.

Thought Leadership: Working closely with the Policy Communications unit and the Marketing and Mobilization team, leverage IRP capacity and convening power to advance and promote IRC’s thinking and aspirations on policy innovations.

Analysis: Coordinate data and policy analysis efforts, developing knowledge of IRC’s data sources and identifying opportunities for analysis to improve our approach to solutions and to support thought leadership profile.

Policy Product Development: Support the smooth design, development, and delivery of products to amplify IRP efforts and solutions. Provide insights, ideas and solutions to support IRC’s signature policy products (e.g., Watchlist; Solutions Report).

Steward Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion both in the culture of IRC, in your management approach, and as well as in the policy solutions we develop and ways that we wield influence.

Spokesperson: Serve as IRC policy expert spokesperson communicating with journalists, policymakers, experts, and the public to showcase IRC’s policy solutions.

Team Management: Develop and model new ways of working, manage a hard-working team and positively contribute to IRC leadership team and IRC culture. Create an inclusive environment by establishing a culture of care and encouraging different ideas. Share time and credit with direct reports, showing appreciation and increasing visibility by giving them access to more senior staff and highlighting their accomplishments.

Key Working Relationships:

  • Position reports to: Vice President, Policy & Solutions
  • Position directly supervises: Associate Director of Policy Innovations; Policy Officer
  • Internal contacts: Policy colleagues and advocates across the globe; Technical Excellence leads and VP of Humanitarian Systems Change; Resettlement, Asylum and Integration unit, Communications; Policy and Solutions Strategy/Planning Unit; Awards Management; President’s Office, External Relations Department
  • External contacts: Key experts in academic, research/think-tanks, multi-laterals, governments, INGOs and beyond; donors.

Job Requirements:

Education and experience: Master’s Degree in relevant field such as Public Policy, Public Administration, International Relations, Social Sciences or Economics, with a focus on quantitative methods preferred or 8-10 years experience in innovation, policy and/or advocacy strategy development

Work experience:

  • Experience researching, conducting analysis, and developing policy recommendations
  • Experience building partnerships and engaging with partners in the sector preferred
  • Experience managing a team, and getting buy-in for ideas outside of direct management line
  • Experience convening experts, organizing effective events with clear deliverables.

Demonstrated skills and proficiencies:

  • Extensive knowledge of humanitarian, displacement and migration/immigration issues, expertise in macroeconomic analysis desirable
  • Deep understanding of relevant World Bank, USG and UN processes and financing for humanitarian contexts, and familiarity with leverage points within these institutions that can be targeted to achieve policy change objectives
  • Deep network of policy experts in relevant issue areas
  • Ability to think strategically, synthesize complex information and develop innovative policy and advocacy approaches
  • Strong project management skills with the ability to oversee sophisticated projects across diverse teams
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate and collaborate successfully with experts, high level decision-makers, and colleagues in the humanitarian and development fields. Bias towards collaboration and support towards bringing diverse partners together to ideate and problem solve
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including the capacity to present complex issues in a clear and concise manner. Ability to translate materials and data into coherent narratives that resonate with policymakers. Also excellent moderating skills.
  • Strong dedication to IRC’s mission and values. Fluency with the humanitarian sector, key parts of IRC’s strategy, and existing policy strategy
  • Demonstrated ability to scale seed ideas, particularly in complex or ambiguous environments
  • Excellent project leadership and management skills
  • Ability to bring creativity and critical thinking to public policy data modelling and analysis projects
  • Proven leadership skills, including of teams and projects that require collaboration beyond direct management lines
  • Initiative and ability to work independently on fast-paced issues — and juggle competing demand — often on tight deadlines

Working Environment: Hybrid office work environment. Minimum 2 days per week in office required. Up to 15% travel required.


Posted pay ranges apply to US-based candidates. Ranges are based on various factors including the labor market, job type, internal equity, and budget. Exact offers are calibrated by work location, individual candidate experience and skills relative to the defined job requirements.

US Benefits:

We offer a comprehensive and highly competitive set of benefits. In the US, these include: 10 sick days, 10 US holidays, 20-25 paid time off days (depending on role and tenure), medical insurance starting at $145 per month, dental starting at $7 per month, and vision starting at $5 per month, FSA for healthcare, childcare, and commuter costs, a 403b retirement savings plans with up to 4.5% immediately vested matching contribution, plus a 3-7% base IRC contribution (3 year vesting), disability & life insurance, and an Employee Assistance Program which is available to our staff and their families to support counseling and care in times of crisis and mental health struggles.


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