29 days old

GIRL Center Director and Senior Associate

The Population Council, Inc
New York, NY 10017
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JOB TITLE: GIRL Center Director and Senior Associate

REPORTING TO: Vice President of Social and Behavioral Science

LOCATION: New York, NY or Washington, DC preferred or any of the Council's 13 international offices

JOBS SUPERVISED: Center Manager, Study Coordinator, Research Fellows, Research Associates and Analysts


POSITION SUMMARY: The GIRL Center Director and Senior Associate is responsible for providing strategic, intellectual, and management leadership. The director is responsible for strategic planning, research development, resource mobilization, and research communications while managing the GIRL Center team and budget, and overseeing the day-to-day execution of the Center's four priorities: research, communications, convening, and capacity building.

Today, the world is witness to the largest generation of adolescents (aged 1019) in history. In the current environment, funding for adolescents is distributed across donors and sectors without cohesion. Investments are often not based on evidence, and funds are usually distributed with short-term, project-based deliverables in mind rather than a focus on the long-term impact for improving the lives of adolescents, especially girls. In June 2017, the Population Council launched the Girl Innovation, Research, and Learning (GIRL) Center to facilitate evidence-based decision making for adolescent programming and policies. The GIRL Center (the Center) is a global research and thought leadership hub that generates, synthesizes, and translates evidence on adolescents, especially girls, to support investments that transform their lives. Since 2017, the Center has had exponential growth and has become a leading global center on adolescent research in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). We are proud of our impact, and we are looking for a dynamic and visionary research leader to take the Center to the next phase of growth.

This leadership role will contribute to the Council organizational development initiatives, including our Agenda for Change (our commitment to enhance diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) including through our research; our research processes; and our structure, systems, and staffing), Strategic Research Initiatives, and Organizational Health Priorities, by working across programs, functions and offices.

The candidate for the GIRL Center Director will be a highly strategic and engaging research leader who can represent the Council mission to an array of internal and external stakeholders. She/he/they should bring a passion for utilizing data and science to influence global and national dialogues and investment on health and social policies for adolescents, especially girls. Successful candidates will bring previous experience as an organizational leader, proven external relations skills, and a commitment to increased diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace and in the global health and development sector writ large.

Ideally, this position would be based in New York, NY or Washington, DC or any of the Council's 13 international offices. At present, Council offices follow local public health guidance, with U.S.-based staff working remotely. When public health conditions related to COVID-19 allow, in-person work will resume with remote arrangements considered on a case-by-case basis.


The Director's responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Vision and Research Strategy: In collaboration with the Center's research staff and affiliated research experts, develop and lead the GIRL Center research agenda, including setting research priorities, collaborating with staff/experts to execute research priorities, and ensuring rigorous quality control. Serve as principal investigator (PI)/co-investigator on research projects designed to contribute to the body of knowledge in adolescent research, and to advance the Center's Strategic Road Map .
  2. Communications: Lead the development and execution of a strategic external relations plan that continues to position the GIRL Center as a leading global center of excellence for innovation, research, and learning. Promote the impact of the Council's research through thought leadership on the international stage through different channels including scientific papers, earned media, conference presentations, and presence at technical meetings. Translate and communicate research findings for policy and programmatic audiences.
  3. Resource Mobilization: Lead fundraising efforts for the GIRL Center by cultivating donor relationships, preparing donor materials, and developing a forward-thinking fundraising strategy and operation plan to ensure overall sustainability of the Center. Lead and contribute to proposal writing.
  4. Strategic Planning: Lead updates to and implementation of the GIRL Center's strategic plan, including tracking progress by leading the development and oversight of annual workplans. Contribute to Council research priorities, including continuing work in girls' education, adolescent empowerment, and adolescent health and well-being.
  5. Resource Management: Oversee and manage GIRL Center budget and talents, including ensuring alignment between resource allocation and strategic plan. Track spending against progress toward a wide range of projects outputs and objectives. Responsible for linking financial management to GIRL Center resource mobilization strategy.
  6. Convening and Partnership: Lead the development and execution of internal and external convenings that inform the Council research agenda and identify and secure strategic partnerships to elevate the Council's profile among influencers in a range of fields, including academia, government, and philanthropy.
  7. Capacity Building and Mentorship: Oversee the development of a robust pool of talent within the GIRL Center; mentor and manage early and mid-career research staff. Engage with the Council Social and Behavioral Science Research Leadership, Country Directors, GIRL Center staff, and researchers across the Council to develop initiatives that cement the Council's reputation for attracting and training the next generation of researchers on adolescence.


We recognize that strong candidates may not have every qualification listed here, and encourage applications from individuals who bring passion, skills and experience in many or most of these areas.

1. Doctoral degree in a relevant discipline (such as sociology, demography, epidemiology, economics, or related fields) and 10 years' relevant work experience or a satisfactory combination of education and relevant experience.

2. Strong record of peer-reviewed publications on issues related to adolescents and gender issues in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Fluency in quantitative and qualitative research methods and data management and analysis.

3. Experience in strategy development and translating strategy and vision into actionable goals to move the field forward.

4. Experience in building new work streams, including identifying strategic priorities, drafting and tracking workplans on a diverse research portfolio, managing multi-million-dollar research budgets, and working effectively with internal stakeholders.

5. Demonstrated ability to cultivate and maintain donor relationships and write successful grant proposals.

6. Experience in or strong knowledge of open science initiatives, open data platforms, data triangulation, and data visualizations. A record of taking evidence resources or data products from concept to delivery.

7. Demonstrated experience and skills in research uptake and impact, including a track record of translating research and evidence effectively for a wide range of audiences (including sector experts, media, policymakers, donors and practitioners) through different mediums on issues affecting adolescents. Strong public engagement and speaking skills and demonstrated experience in hosting webinars and panel discussions with donors and partners.

8. Experience in conducting field-based research in LMICs, multi-country secondary data analyses, and systematic reviews and meta-analysis. A track record of mentoring early to mid-career researchers and research staff.


Optimistic and resourceful, with strong self-awareness, cultural competence, emotional intelligence, and humility

Ability to lead with influence and inspiration, and build collaboration and buy-in toward a common vision

Deep passion and commitment to honest and candid conversations and self-reflection about racial justice, gender, privilege, social class, and power dynamics

Commitment to social and racial justice and a commitment to uplift and include the voices and experiences of those who have been systematically marginalized

Transparent and innovative in approaching research, data products, partnership and management

Willingness to travel domestically and internationally and participate in remote meetings across multiple time zones on a regular basis

SALARY AND BENEFITS: Salary range between $125,000-150,000 annually, depending on knowledge, skills and experience. Excellent benefits package includes medical, dental, vision and life insurance available immediately upon hire; 403(b) retirement plan with employer contribution equal to 12% of annual salary after one year of employment; generous annual and sick leave; and paid parental leave. Competitive packages provided for locations outside of the US. We strive to provide an environment of professional growth and development.

Application Deadline: May 10, 2021.

When applying through the web portal please attach your CV and Cover Letter in Word or PDF format.

The Population Council is an international, nonprofit, nongovernmental institution that seeks to improve the well-being and reproductive health of current and future generations around the world and to help achieve a humane, equitable, and sustainable balance between people and resources. The Council conducts biomedical, social science, and public health research and helps build research capacities in developing countries. Established in 1952, the Council is governed by an international board of trustees. Its New York headquarters supports a global network of country offices. We are seeking an individual to fill the position described. If you know of a qualified candidate or are interested in this position, please apply at: http://www.popcouncil.org/employment/index.asp.

The Population Council provides equal opportunity; it does not discriminate against any person with regard to age, color, creed, national origin, disability, political belief, veteran status, religion, marital status, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Decisions on employment are based on an individual's qualifications as related to the position for which they are being considered. The Council especially encourages applications from members of underrepresented groups including but not limited to Black people and people of African descent, Indigenous people, people of color, women, LGBTQ+ individuals, including people who identify as transgender, non-binary, or gender expansive, people with disabilities, first-generation college graduates, and those from communities with the most to gain from expanded access to sexual and reproductive health services and information and quality education. The Population Council is international in the composition of its board of trustees and its staff, as well as in the nature and deployment of its activities.



Posted: 2021-04-08 Expires: 2021-05-09
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GIRL Center Director and Senior Associate

The Population Council, Inc
New York, NY 10017

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