Senior Program Officer, Inequality and Exclusion, Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies

The Inequality & Exclusion Grand Challenge is an ambitious multi-stakeholder multi-year applied policy initiative. Working with country partners, from Sweden to Sierra Leone, and institutions including Oxfam and the OECD, we aim to pioneer policies that address both economic and group-based inequalities. After three years of research on what is needed and what works, culminating in the launch of our flagship report From rhetoric from action, we are transitioning to the next phase of the project. Going forward, we will be focusing on policy implementation and experimentation as well as strengthening our international advocacy activities. To meet the needs of this new and exciting phase of work, we are expanding our team. The Senior Program Officer role will be new to the team, providing advocacy leadership and expert technical advice on the implementation of policies in countries. As we shift the Grand Challenge’s emphasis from policy research to policy action, we will need strong leadership qualities, proven ability to collaborate with a range of partners, and original thinking. This is a job for someone dedicated to applying policy knowledge to deliver a more equal world.


The Center on International Cooperation (CIC) is seeking a Senior Program Officer for its Inequality and Exclusion Grand Challenge as part of its Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies. The Senior Program Officer will provide policy advocacy leadership and expert technical advice on the implementation of policies to address inequality and exclusion in our partner countries. This is a key role to unlocking the next stage of our work, moving from policy research to policy implementation.

The Senior Program Officer will:

  • Drive the implementation and experimentation of policies at the country level. This will require liaising with multiple partners, as well as, where appropriate, helping with technical design, providing advice on policy legislation, proposing policy amendments, and responding to relevant country demands for support.
  • Work with the Pathfinders team and wider academic partners to capture the distributional impacts of policies and other outcomes as part of comprehensive policy evaluation.

  • Lead on the planned new policy innovation website, engaging with web developers as well as research partners to ensure the creation of an engaging and helpful online policy hub. Once created, provide oversight of promotion and on-going development of the online policy hub.

  • Design methods of raising awareness of policy experiments and innovation, inputting on a communications strategy for an international audience.

  • Supporting resource mobilization at national, regional and global level, by developing project concept notes and proposals, liaising with research and development institutions, drafting project documents and agreements, and developing specific fundraising activities for selected projects.

  • Initiate and contribute to research, including writing policy briefs, developing tools, and guides for wide dissemination to ensure we continually create and share knowledge as the Grand Challenge initiative progresses.

  • Work closely with the Program Lead, and Pathfinders team to manage research grants, donor relations and project staff and consultants.


Required Education

A Master’s degree in social policy, economics, public administration, or any other subject that is relevant for tackling inequality and exclusion. Experience in lieu of education may be considered.

Required Experience

A minimum of 10 years progressively relevant experience in the field of social and economic policy or any other field that is relevant to inequality and exclusion. Experience of at least 2 years within a policy implementation setting. Proven and demonstrable track record on:

  • Policy innovation in the inequality and exclusion sector.
  • Leading policy advocacy strategies at local, national, regional, or international stage.
  • Navigating the practicalities of implementing policies on the ground.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Knowledge of the Sustainable Development Goals, development actors and their tools and instruments;
  • Expert knowledge on inequality including inequality dynamics, drivers of exclusion, and trends at the national and global levels.
  • Experience of direct policy implementation, including having given technical advice to local and national government actors.
  • Deep understanding of global issues relevant for the post, including the existing key players at different levels.
  • Highly developed data analysis skills and ability to write for technical and non-technical audiences.
  • Ability to work under pressure, remaining calm in stressful situations.
  • Highly adept at working collaboratively with national and global counterparts, and colleagues at Pathfinders and CIC.
  • Can work with professionals from various educational and cultural backgrounds, understands gender issues related to the post and adopts a gender sensitive approach at work.
  • Can develop clear work plans and timelines for activities, is able to manage time adequately and work under pressure to achieve concrete results. Is able to identify priorities and assignments and adjust them as required. Foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning.
  • Proven ability in establishing and maintaining productive partnerships with clients and partners by gaining and maintaining their trust and respect.
  • Ability to identify partner country’s needs and match these to appropriate solution and monitors environment to anticipate problems and needs.
  • Has capacity to convey messages clearly to a variety of audiences and to adapt communication style accordingly.
  • Able to empower others to translate vision into action.
  • Fluency in English is required, along with outstanding written and oral communication skills.

Preferred Experience  

  • Exposure to work in low and middle-income countries is desirable.
  • Shown ability to reject status quo, offering original thinking

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities  

  • Ability to speak to the media
  • Able to apply data skills to manipulate small and medium sized data sets
  • Knowledge of different policy evaluation techniques.
  • Demonstrated working level capability in a second UN language is strongly encouraged; the candidate will ideally show that they can communicate and conduct work/research in a second UN language.


All applications must be submitted through NYU's online Interfolio portal. For further information and to submit an application, please follow this link. Applications must be submitted by January 17, 2022 at 11:59 PM EST.